Trans Pacific Partnership: Internet Censorship Plan Reportedly Under Discussion

A controversial internet censorship plan including in the Trans Pacific Partnership trade agreement is reportedly being discussed by several world leaders, leaving to a backlash on the internet and plans to put a halt to it.

The plan will reportedly be under discussion in upcoming meetings, as the leaders of 12 countries discuss the plan as part of a greater trade agreement.

At the site OpenMedia, a petition against the Trans Pacific Partnership has already garnered close to 45,000 signatures. The petition calls on world leaders to protect the right of everyone to access the internet and preserve the right of sovereign countries to draft their own copyright laws.

News of the Trans Pacific Partnership has circulated for more than a year, and though exact details are not known it has elicited concern from advocacy groups. While much of the Trans Pacific Partnership deals with various trade agreements, there have been some details leaked about internet censorship portions.

Some of the aspects believed to be included in the Trans Pacific Partnership are measures to criminalize small scale copyright infringement, which would essentially outlaw music downloads. The agreement would encourage Internet Service Providers to institute a three strikes policy, kicking a person off of their internet connection after three accusations of copyright infringement.

Internet activists have already successfully stopped legislation aimed at restricting internet access. A controversial measure known as the Stop Online Piracy Act, or SOPA, was proposed in 2011 but met with a strong wave of opposition. Several websites, including Reddit and Wikipedia, staged blackouts to protest the proposal. Eventually it was pulled by its sponsor in Congress.

Details about the Trans Pacific Partnership and its reported internet censorship plan remain hazy, however. There have been no announcements that it will be under discussion, leading to skepticism about whether the plan would actually be implemented.