[A2k] TAFTA: Illegitimate EU-US Agreement Will Begin Under Total US Surveillance

La Quadrature du Net jz at laquadrature.net
Thu Jul 4 03:25:05 PDT 2013


La Quadrature du Net – For immediate release

Permanent link: https://www.laquadrature.net/en/tafta-illegitimate-eu-us-agreement-will-begin-under-total-us-surveillance

TAFTA: Illegitimate EU-US Agreement Will Begin Under Total US Surveillance

*** Paris, 4 July 2013 — Today, exactly one year after the final rejection of ACTA, the European Parliament adopted a resolution [1] in strong reaction to the massive spying by the USA. Our representatives have failed to demand that the upcoming secret negotiations of trans-atlantic trade agreement be frozen. In a context where EU officials are being spied upon by US counterparts, this upcoming “super-ACTA” will be born with very little legitimacy. ***

It has been one year to the day since a massive, global and decentralized citizen movement helped defeat ACTA [2], (the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement), a historic victory against governments attempting to attack our fundamental rights online.

Today the European Parliament adopted a resolution about PRISM and the massive, generalized surveillance programs of the NSA, in the wake of the recent revelations about the spying of all EU officials by the USA.

The Parliament failed to adopt amendments calling for the postponing of the negotiations of the Trans-Atlantic Free Trade Agreement or TAFTA (also known as TTIP [3]). As the EU Commission – whose representative in charge of TAFTA, Karel De Gucht, openly lied [4] to the EU people and to the Parliament – announced [5] that negotiations should move on, the Parliament now gives it the green light. It is an alarming sign for EU democracy that should get citizens mobilized.

As both parties have already made clear, the upcoming TAFTA will be used as a vector to alter EU “regulatory issues” ranging from access to medicine, food safety, or finance. Like ACTA, it will also include provisions on copyright enforcement, and may affect the whole Internet ecosystem. It is set, by design, to be another attempt to circumvent democracy and undermine our fundamental rights online.

“In a context where all communications between EU negotiators will potentially be available to their US counterpart, how could the EU Commission be in a strong position to negotiate and defend citizens' freedoms? How could the negotiation be balanced? Among others, the will of negotiators to discuss 'data flows' [6] instead of enforcing EU citizens fundamental right to privacy shows how these negotiations could once again be used to bow to the pressure of the US and its industries. In a context of massive spying of EU citizens' communication by US institutions and corporations, TAFTA would turn into yet another illegitimate agreement betraying EU citizens.” declares Jérémie Zimmermann, spokesperson for the citizen organisation La Quadrature du Net.

* References *

1. http://www.europarl.europa.eu/sides/getDoc.do?type=MOTION&reference=P7-RC-2013-0336&language=EN#

2. https://www.laquadrature.net/en/acta-total-victory-for-citizens-and-democracy

3. TTIP (Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership) is an attempt to rename TAFTA in a positive-sounding manner, "partnership", while avoiding to be too pronounceable or to sound too similar in pronunciation as "ACTA"

4. https://www.laquadrature.net/en/acta-commissioner-de-gucht-lies-to-the-eu-parliament

5. http://europa.eu/rapid/press-release_MEMO-13-641_en.htm

6. https://www.privacyinternational.org/blog/privacy-is-not-a-commodity-to-be-traded

** About la Quadrature du Net **

La Quadrature du Net is an advocacy group that defends the rights and freedoms of citizens on the Internet. More specifically, it advocates for the adaptation of French and European legislations to respect the founding principles of the Internet, most notably the free circulation of knowledge. 

In addition to its advocacy work, the group also aims to foster a better understanding of legislative processes among citizens. Through specific and pertinent information and tools, La Quadrature du Net hopes to encourage citizens' participation in the public debate on rights and freedoms in the digital age.

La Quadrature du Net is supported by French, European and international NGOs including the Electronic Frontier Foundation, the Open Society Institute and Privacy International.

List of supporting organisations: https://www.laquadrature.net/en/they-support-la-quadrature-du-net

** Press contact and press room **

Jérémie Zimmermann, jz at laquadrature.net, +33 (0)615 940 675


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