USA pimpin for its mega corporates

Written By: - Date published: 5:04 pm, December 18th, 2014 - 19 comments
Categories: capitalism - Tags: ,

Another day, another crucial leak of information relating to a relentless drive by the USA  to have control of as much data as they can, in as many countries as possible, regardless of public interest and to improve profits for itself. They are coming for your data and they want it for free.

Edit: Jane Kelsey has analysed a leak from TISA.  Her conclusions:

The US is demanding that New Zealand and other countries accept sweeping rules that would override privacy protections for digitised personal and other data’, according to Professor Jane Kelsey from the University of Auckland.

Obligations to allow cross-border movement and storage of data, and other rules that undermine net neutrality and prohibit requirements that service suppliers site their servers within the country are in a leaked US proposal to the ongoing negotiations for a Trade in Services Agreement.

TISA is another mega-agreement being negotiated in secret among 23 parties including the US, New Zealand and the EU, who call themselves the ‘Really Good Friends of Services’. This leak follows an earlier leak of the financial services chapter, which also showed far-reaching new constraints on governments’ ability to regulate services in the public interest.

19 comments on “USA pimpin for its mega corporates”

  1. Manuka AOR 2

    Here is the intro:

    Leaked TISA text exposes US threat to privacy, data security
    Thursday, 18 December 2014, 9:24 am
    Press Release: Professor Jane Kelsey

    17 December 2014

    For immediate release

    Leaked TISA text exposes US threat to privacy, data security and net neutrality

    ‘The US is demanding that New Zealand and other countries accept sweeping rules that would override privacy protections for digitised personal and other data’, according to Professor Jane Kelsey from the University of Auckland.

    Obligations to allow cross-border movement and storage of data, and other rules that undermine net neutrality and prohibit requirements that service suppliers site their servers within the country are in a leaked US proposal to the ongoing negotiations for a Trade in Services Agreement.

    TISA is another mega-agreement being negotiated in secret among 23 parties including the US, New Zealand and the EU, who call themselves the ‘Really Good Friends of Services’. This leak follows an earlier leak of the financial services chapter, which also showed far-reaching new constraints on governments’ ability to regulate services in the public interest.

  2. Tracey 3

    wikipedia notes

    “…The process was an initiative of the United States. It was proposed to a group of countries meeting in Geneva and called the “Really Good Friends”. All negotiating meetings take place in Geneva. The EU and the US are the main proponents of the agreement, and the authors of most joint changes. The participating countries started crafting the proposed agreement in February 2012[2] and presented initial offers at the end of 2013.[3]

    The agreement covers about 70% of the global services economy. Its aim is liberalizing the worldwide trade of services such as banking and transport.[4] Services comprise 75% of American economic output; in EU states, almost 75% of its employment and gross domestic product.[5]

    “Declassify on: Five years from entry into force of the TISA agreement or, if no agreement enters into force, five years from the close of the negotiations.” [1] Because of this practice it is not possible to be informed about the liberalizing rules that the participating countries propose for the future agreement. Only Switzerland has a practice of making public on the Internet all the proposals it submitted to the other parties since June 2012.[2] European Union published its “offer” for TISA only in July 2014,[6] after the Wikileaks disclosure. …”

    http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trade_in_Services_Agreement

  3. politikiwi 4

    I am wondering why this is the first time I’ve heard about this? Have I completely missed something?

    The “Local Presence” section – the first in the document – is worrying enough:
    “Subject to any conditions, limitations and qualifications set out in its Schedule, no party may require a service supplier of another Party, as a condition for the cross-border supply of a service in its territory, to establish or maintain a commercial presence, or to be resident in the Party’s territory.”

    That obviously has implications for cloud hosting services, which we are told is “the way the world is going.” But does it not also have tax implications? Big Business like Google already use complicated cross-border arrangements to route their cash to the lowest tax regions possible. Governments are losing billions of dollars in legitimate tax revenue as a result, and foregoing even the possibility of requiring a business entity to be present within their jurisdiction seems ludicrous. We could only expect more of the same from Big Business.

    Looking forward to the Brighter Future.

    • karol 4.1

      The MSM hasn’t published much on TISA. But Jane kelsey has commented about it in the past.

      She mentions it in this op ed piece from June this year.

      The more startling news is that our Government, with almost 50 other countries, is negotiating another secret deal in the shadows of the World Trade Organisation. They are calling to negotiate a Trade in Services Agreement (Tisa).

      It is part of a troika: along with the TPP and the deal the US is negotiating with the European Union, it aims to create a new set of global rules that are designed exclusively to serve commercial interests.
      […]
      If we thought the TPP was secretive – background documents remain secret for four years after any deal is done – Tisa proponents want to keep their documents secret for five years.

      They aim to create an unrestricted global market for services, just as TPP is aimed at the Asia-Pacific. That means locking open the door to foreign corporations that dominate the world’s media, IT, finance, tourism, transport, healthcare, education sectors and more.

      And Kelsey has a post on The Daily Blog today about it and the TPP:

      The privacy concerns are obvious. But the US isn’t just silent on privacy. It strips down the (already weak) general exception in these kinds of treaties to the point of being meaningless – and then says it doesn’t apply to the movement of data. There is nothing to suggest any other privacy protection in the rest of the TISA.

      Privacy is not the only concern. The Snowden disclosures show how digitised data makes spying so easy, especially for the US with its web of formal and covert allies. Mega-firms like Google and Facebook have been distressingly cooperative.

  4. AmaKiwi 5

    The US government is the enforcement agent for its multinational corporations.

    When there were consumer protests against Nike’s Asian sweat shop factories, one popular protest sign said, “Nike, we made you. We can break you.”

    I think we need to direct our protests against the multinationals through boycotts. Multinationals buy the politicians and tell them what to legislate.

    “Google, we made you. We can break you.”

    Someone with internet expertise please tell us how we can boycott Google.

  5. batweka 6

    “Really Good Friends of Services”

    🙄

  6. Manuka AOR 7

    This sounds shockingly bad.

    A nation’s services: health, education, welfare, public housing, communications, transport and delivery, agricultural and food supplies, environmental, law enforcement, emergency services? Are those are the things that transnational mega corporations are now going to be limiting, regulating or controlling? The next step up from privatisation – essentially complete corporate takeover from the inside out.

    Corps already have mega powers – think big pharma.
    What are individual nations going to be left with?
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Corporatocracy

  7. Manuka AOR 8

    US President Theodore Roosevelt, 1910:

    “Corporate expenditures for political purposes, and especially such expenditures by public-service corporations, have supplied one of the principal sources of corruption in our political affairs”.

    More here: http://open.salon.com/blog/steven_rockford2010/08/31/teddy_roosevelt_warned_us_about_corporatism

  8. Manuka AOR 9

    Some questions:

    Would we be able to regulate our own national protections against use of carcinogenic, hormone disrupting and other toxic chemicals in NZ agriculture, water and food supply? In our buildings and household products? In our homes, schools and public venues? Would we be able to regulate against GM in ag, and against a wider Monsanto takeover?

    Similar questions are asked here (this regarding TAFTA): http://www.counterpunch.org/2014/12/17/should-the-worlds-largest-chemical-corporations-be-allowed-to-attack-states-chemical-safety-protections/

  9. The Murphey 10

    Q. What did people actually think ‘cloud technology’ was about?

    Q. How is the US administration not the corporations?

    Words and ‘money’ are the weapons delivered by the financial and legal frameworks. Humanity is currently being driven towards the precipice of its current existence behind hidden secret deals.

    Q. Will the race for ‘our existence’ which the majority have no inkling they are embroiled with be won?

  10. KJS0ne 11

    The whole negotiation in secret thing is really concerning. It seems these TNCs and their lobbyists have realized that if they arrange legislation as part of FTAs or global treaties they can get around the public debate by convincing member states that it is in the best interests of the treaty to keep the negotiations private. SOPA was only killed because of massive public outrage and grassroots and internet organisation, the TNCs clearly learned from their mistake there. Keep it private and rush it through under urgency while the public is none the wiser.

  11. saveNZ 12

    This has very serious implications and must be stopped.

    I can easily see our current government (and probably Labour) using the cheapest offshore bidder to provide government services e.g. health services. Your highly sensitive health information will then being stored and managed in a country by a company with different data standards to NZ as costs are cut all the way (security is often the first to go). All of a sudden surprise surprise also the NSA has all your health information. Great now not only the NSA but the Nigerian or Russian scammers and everyone else can gain access to it!

    Likewise imagine Police or Justice system information could be off shored in a similar manner and then be available to the NSA and scammers.

    Under this rule anybody can have access to our medical and judicial information outside of NZ against an individuals will, (and in a location where a small bribe could disclose or change anything).

    But this goes further. Also imagine what could happen if anybody changes this information, either through incompetence or malice. Good luck getting this rectified – we already have huge problems getting basic services through call centers in the Phillipines, India etc or even in our own country.

    But even worse is the potential to play dirty politics with this information – it’s inevitable, just look what the SIS got up to playing politics with information to discredit individuals in opposition or how OIR’s were manipulated and fast tracked for certain people. Forget a fair trial anymore. Justice will just be a game to be manipulated by those who have greater power to access information, store information and modify information.

    Imagine what individuals, governments, corporations and the NSA could do to anyone they see as a threat to their empire building. All done conveniently off shore with less transparency and accountability.

    This is Globalism and off shoring and dirty Politics magnified to horrific levels.

    • Murray Simmonds 12.1

      SAVENZ:

      You are exactly right in all these important points that you make.

      But its not a case of “What if . . .” but rather “When . . ” if NZ signs up to these deals.

      The USA only needs to offer the service of hosting the information for free in order to outbid all other countries and thus win the right to legally host our records. And even then, if that didn’t work out as they plan, they would PAY to have the info hosted in the USA. Thus our confidential information would, by law, have to to be held in the USA. ( It is so stated in the leaked “agreements” that they want us to sign up to).

      As you say, “Imagine what individuals, governments, corporations and the NSA could do to anyone they see as a threat to their empire building.” . . . . But that is precisely the whole point of the exercise.

      The USA doesn’t play hardball just for fun. Its all about giving their multinationals unfettered rights of access to our confidential and private information so that they are free to rip off all of us, not just in NZ, but all around the world.

      My concern is this : ‘What well happen if we refuse to sign up to the deal?” Will we find all manner of trade embargoes and restrictions levied against us by the USA?

      By tying the negotiations to ‘Free trade” agreements as they have done, we are being subjected to nothing less that international blackmail in my opinion.

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