[A2k] The Hill: Wyden appeals to Internet activists on trade agreement

Thiru Balasubramaniam thiru at keionline.org
Thu Apr 23 01:01:58 PDT 2015


http://thehill.com/policy/technology/239683-wyden-appeals-to-internet-activists-on-trade

*Wyden appeals to Internet activists on trade agreement*

*By **Mario Trujillo* <http://thehill.com/author/mario-trujillo>* - **04/22/15
10:38 AM EDT*


Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) on Wednesday appealed to Internet activists who
have relentlessly criticized him over his support for “fast-track” trade
legislation.

In a *Wired* op-ed, the ranking Democrat on the Senate Finance Committee
asserted the fast-track authority and the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP)
trade deal itself would help protect the open Internet.

He also asserted that trade deals would not prevent the United States from
changing its own outdated policies on things like copyright law.

“Many of these activists have stood shoulder-to-shoulder with me in the
past as I fought against powerful special interests,” *he wrote*
<http://www.wired.com/2015/04/senator-ron-wyden-free-internet-trade/?mbid=social_twitter>.
“I appreciate their views and their work to keep the internet open and
free.”

“Let me explain my position clearly,” he added.

Wyden said he agreed with some criticism that draft provisions in the
Pacific trade deal could go too far to “protect copyright at the expense of
free speech, digital security and the public good.”

But he touted other protections won in the trade negotiations, including
securing the open flow of online data between countries. Wyden said he has
also pushed U.S. trade negotiators to protect net neutrality in the deal.

He vowed to never accept a trade agreement that included provisions similar
to the failed SOPA and PIPA copyright bills, which Internet activists
helped kill in 2011.

Outside groups like Fight for the Future have criticized Wyden for helping
introduce “fast-track” trade promotion authority, which would require a
quick vote in Congress after the administration negotiates the trade deal
with 11 other Asian-Pacific countries.

“Ron Wyden used to be a hero for the open Internet. Then he introduced
fast-track for TPP. Call and boo him now,” the group tweeted last month.

Other tech lobbying groups have specifically *highlighted flaws*
<http://thehill.com/policy/technology/239423-copyright-could-be-stumbling-block-in-trade-bill>
in how the “fast-track” proposal handles copyright issues. The Internet
Association said the bill “fails” to factor in the “limitations and
exemptions in copyright law.”

But Wyden said he has lobbied U.S. negotiators to fight for those
exceptions in the Trans Pacific Partnership deal itself.

“These new provisions are consistent with what is known as ‘fair use,’ and
are vital for researchers, journalists, and an informed public,” he said.



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