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Secret Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (wikileaks.org)
650 points by shill on Nov 13, 2013 | hide | past | favorite | 192 comments

I really, really hope the culture of leaking information becomes so strong that governments will become incapable of keeping anything a secret. That would give me some hope for the future.

Anyone that leaks information is a fucking hero.

Edit: Stop attacking me personally. I'm talking about the government's privacy here, not mine (nor anyone else's). I actually think my privacy will improve if this becomes a reality.

> governments will become incapable of keeping anything a secret.

That isn't the goal, not for privacy advocates nor for Wikileaks or Julian Assange, who said:

"The goal is justice, the method is transparency. It's important not to confuse the goal and the method."

Advocates of individual privacy rely on the government, as a service provider, to keep secrets in order to protect the rights of individuals.

I find it amazing how often supposedly substantive discussions about Wikileaks and Julian Assange go on without any explicit mention or acknowledgment of what I've always considered his central thesis:


"The non linear effects of leaks on unjust systems of governance


The more secretive or unjust an organization is, the more leaks induce fear and paranoia in its leadership and planning coterie. This must result in minimization of efficient internal communications mechanisms (an increase in cognitive "secrecy tax") and consequent system-wide cognitive decline resulting in decreased ability to hold onto power as the environment demands adaption."



Yeah, I had always hoped this was the goal. It's not the leak that has the most effect, but the reaction to the leak.

That may have been Assange (and WikiLeaks) goal when it was founded. It's hard to claim that's currently their goal, given that their push for "transparency" is limited to the USA (and occasionally the UK) ever since their site switchover back 5-6 years ago.

Have you been to the Wikileaks site? There are plenty of documents/leaks on other countries. Why are you expecting to hear about them on US/UK media?

Yes I've been, and those leaks substantially date back to before the switchover I just described. In fact that was my point. They used to be about transparency and now they have a different political agenda.

Did WikiLeaks ever leak the documents describing Ecuadorian network surveillance equipment they were trying to buy? It was leaked to WikiLeaks first but they, for some strange and surely innocuous reason didn't publish it. It was eventually leaked by BuzzFeed instead.

How about the promised massive leaks regarding Russia? [1] Not only have those leaks never panned out, but Assange now has his own TV show on the RT channel run by the Russian state, which is a far cry from how Russia described him in 2010, as a "petty thief running around on the Internet." [2]

If transparency, and transparency alone were the goal, I wouldn't be able to ask about these. But transparency alone isn't the goal. Assange has his own political agenda to push, Wikileaks is his instrument to do it (especially after he pushed out DDB). It should then not be surprising that when Assange's political ends were altered, that the focus of Wikileaks shifted as well.

[1] http://content.time.com/time/world/article/0,8599,2028283,00... [2] http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2010/11/30/moscows-bid...

I've seen stuff about Canada that I'd say is completely about transparency. As for other material, the organization vets and authenticates documents and has always taken some time to do so. It doesn't surprise me that non-English language stuff is slower.

> It doesn't surprise me that non-English language stuff is slower.

You don't have to read the stories I linked. You might want to at least glance at the URL though. E.g. [2] was posted in 2010. Still waiting...

You're free to send them some North Korean secrets to publish.

No need, I'll just wait until they publish the Ecuadorian and Russian secrets that they're documented to be sitting on.

I really . . . hope . . . that governments will become incapable of keeping anything a secret.

Does that include personal information about you, for example your personal medical information that is part of the treatment records of a government-administered medical insurance plan? Some countries (not many) make personal income tax filings public information. Do you live in such a country?

I've made my company fully transparent, including, for example, all salary information. Most of those steps seemed very scary at first. In hindsight, there was nothing to be scared about, really.

This is not to say that extreme transparency applied to all things is right - just that it often looks a lot more scary than it is. When you act transparently you relinquish some control, and some people hate the very idea of giving up any control.

Would you mind posting your company salary information here? I've always been interested to see how a real-life startup salary structure looks.

Or is it only transparent if you're in the club?

That's an interesting challenge. We've posted revenue numbers on our blog, but not salary information. That said, the first job ad we put out will have pretty clear salary information, so, ok, I'll answer.

Here's the payscale in short, then. There are 2 main roles within the company: client management and sales.

Salespeople get £20k p.a., plus a 15% commission on sales, plus a share of the bonus pool. The base salary never goes up according to the current scheme.

Client Managers get £28k p.a., plus a share of the bonus pool, but their salary goes up by £2k/quarter for the first year, £1k/quarter after that, up to £40k.

The bonus pool is calculated by taking all the turnover, halving it, then deducting overheads, commissions and base salaries. The remainder is the bonus pool, split in a number of shares.

Kudos for being so open. (Although to relate the point back to the Original thread about Government openness, Governments (and lots of Big Corps) also tend to be quite transparent about Salary bands, Bonus, etc.)

Now to derail the discussion:

How do you reward excellence? There will surely come a time where an employee has been working considerably harder than his colleagues asks for a pay-increase. How do you envision this would go down with the other employees? Your Client-Manager salary infact seems to be based purely on duration of service, not output.

Also, your company seems very unique to only have two roles, which perhaps explains why you can reveal this information freely. Full transparency would include how much you get paid, how much the office admin gets paid, the lawyers, accountants, coders, etc.

> How do you reward excellence? There will surely come a time where an employee has been working considerably harder than his colleagues asks for a pay-increase. How do you envision this would go down with the other employees? Your Client-Manager salary infact seems to be based purely on duration of service, not output.

First, it's worth noting that this is a work in progress. We have quarterly meetings where the whole company decides on what changes they want to see made to the compensation scheme, so this stuff might very well change over time.

Secondly, they are rewarded for their hard work already - but as a team, rather than individually - via the bonus scheme. Whatever's left of their 50% of revenue is in the bonus pool, so if they generate an extra £100k of revenue, that will translate into an extra £50k of bonus pool.

Are there individual incentives? Not at the moment. They may well come in in the future, of course.

> Also, your company seems very unique to only have two roles, which perhaps explains why you can reveal this information freely. Full transparency would include how much you get paid, how much the office admin gets paid, the lawyers, accountants, coders, etc.

My cofounder and I get paid the amount of wage and dividends that allows us to pay no income tax. It's pretty standard (and not all that high) in the UK. There's just one director and one office manager, so I'm hesitant to post their current salaries as that is private and specific information, at least outside the company, I think...

The salaries of all your employees? Doesn't that violate their own rights to privacy? Or does this only extend to the board of directors?

Why would it violate any rights to privacy? What rights are you talking about, anyway?

The only thing we don't share openly in this manner is personal health problems.

To clarify: It's my right, if I so choose, to keep my salary and any other personal financial information private from the rest of the world (minus of course, my employer and the IRS). So your releasing that information is a violation of my privacy.

According to whom? To your sensibilities or a specific law? There is no general right to privacy in the U.S. like there is a right to free speech. AFAIK unless there's something in the contract prohibiting it, they're just as free to disclose it as you are to not disclose it. (ianal tinla)

edit: of course, if this is something you feel stongly about, you should just add it to any future employment contract you sign - I imagine most employers would be pretty flexible about this sort of thing.

Nope, it's not a right - or rather, that right is not protected in any kind of legal document. It's not a legal right or even a legal privilege. It's just a custom that stems out of the fact that most employers are worried about employees knowing each other's salaries, because often they have multiple people doing more or less the same job for very different salaries.

Which jurisdiction are you talking about? swombat looks like they are sitting in the UK.

I grew up in the UK and know that the UK abides by the European Convention for Human Rights which has a clause 8(1) concerning privacy. The Human Rights Act 1998 incorporated the European Convention on Human Rights into UK law. Article 8(1) of the Convention provides guarantees that such personal matters are kept private unless you explicitly provide consent for them to be released.

The European Union takes this matter pretty seriously - hence the whole do not track and cookie notification policies that you see with European websites these days. I live in Canada now, and here they have two federal privacy laws, the Privacy Act and the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act - though some provinces are deemed federally exempt because they have their own legislation that is substantially similar in nature to the federal mandates. I guess this "right" isn't accounted for in U.S. law?

Here's article 8 of the convention:

> Article 8 – Right to respect for private and family life

> 1. Everyone has the right to respect for his private and family life, his home and his correspondence.

> There shall be no interference by a public authority with the exercise of this right except such as is in accordance with the law and is necessary in a democratic society in the interests of national security, public safety or the economic well-being of the country, for the prevention of disorder or crime, for the protection of health or morals, or for the protection of the rights and freedoms of others.

I am not a lawyer, however I think this refers to personal and family matters. How much you're being paid by your employer is not a personal matter, it's a business matter.

There are many public employees whose salaries are published openly and regularly. If this was a breach of human rights, then it is a breach that the UK government is guilty of on a regular basis.

Ref: http://conventions.coe.int/Treaty/en/Treaties/Html/005.htm

Is there such a thing as a right to privacy at work? The employer can install cameras, monitor computer usage, monitor entry and exit... there's no privacy at work, including what your salary is.

I always liked the idea of making income tax filings public. Seems like it would make catching people who are dodging tax and the relevant discussions around it a lot easier.

also, makes it easier to figure out who to kidnap and also who to blackmail.

Good point. But aren't there plenty of other public indicators of wealth?

No easier then driving around the nearest gated multi-million-dollar community. Or a trip through the Trader Joes parking lot.

There are some millionaires who choose to live modest and discreet lives. (or some I'm told). Publishing everybody's tax return does deny them the discreet part of their choice. That may be acceptable, but it is a real consequence.

As it is in Sweden.

While you are at it, might as well make voting rights proportional to taxes paid (perhaps plus a free allowance to allow poor people to have a say at all).

there is a difference between keeping something confidential (because it relates to an individual and doesnt really need public scrutiny, indeed there is no public interest in scrutinisg the data e.g. a private citizens medical or tax records) and keeping something secret, something that is purposefully being kept from the public and there is a public intertest element in it -e.g. government behaviour, secret laws that would impact on private citizens etc.

It's not quite so simple as considering all leaks of government information heroic. For instance, would it have been heroic to leak news that U.S. code breakers had cracked enemy codes in WW2?

Even better, what if the government was closing in a child pornographer with chemical weapons and a nuke, and the leak allowed him to rape more children while nuking a nunnery and poisoning an orphanage?

You forgot ...thus lowering house prices in a wide area. Now the electorate are on your side!

Wouldn't that only make the buyers happy, and the sellers upset? ;)

You'd expect so. But the buyers are looking for a greater fool to flip the real estate to at a higher price later.

This is possibly a reasonable argument for keeping things confidential temporarily. It's not a justification for keeping information confidential indefinitely.

Is this some kind of humor? The odds of such a thing happening are close to nil.

It could happen. Even worse, it could happen on the anniversary of 9/11.

(disclaimer: that's a joke)

Yes, it parodies the usual scaremongering responses given in response to leaking/whistleblowing: pedophilia, terrorists, dirty bombs etc.

I can't tell if you're really dense, or being sarcastic...

My god, it would be 911 times 2,356.

Yes, the dreaded 2,146,316, as foretold by Nostradamus.

You forgot drugs, drugs are bad.

Nah, not anymore, doesn't scare the sheeple like it use to.

Only if you ignore today's bogeymen:

* Methamphetamine

* "Bath salts" (i.e. MDPV)

* Synthetic cannibinoids

> Child pornographer with chemical weapons and a nuke

Do even approximations to such boogieman figures even exist?

Kim Jong Il?

Think of the children!

Like, for instance, that the Japanese diplomatic codes had been broken and that the administration had prior knowledge of an imminent attack on Pearl Harbor, yet chose to do nothing, because the public response would finally allow the U.S. to enter the war?

Absolutely, it would have been heroic. It might have led to real justice instead of ruinous warmongering.

It seems that we're fated to see every conspiracy theory on hn eventually. Wikipedia covers the SIGINT available prior to Pearl Harbor pretty well[1]. There is no evidence that anyone in the entire U.S. civilian or military hierarchy had advance knowledge of the attack.

[1] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Events_leading_to_the_attack_on...

Firstly, it is a conspiracy hypothesis. There is no expectation that it conforms with the facts of history. It was presented to illustrate how a timely leak of a secret might have impacted history positively, rather than negatively, as implied in a previous post.

Secondly, even if it were remotely true, there would have been significant incentives for any involved parties to alter or hide any evidence. History continues to be written by the victors, and crackpots continue to doubt it.

Well I guess if Wikipedia doesn't mention it, it didn't happend, right? Awesome argument ...

There's a much easier point to be made: If (i) Wikipedia doesn't mention it, and (ii) it's important enough that it would be reasonable to expect Wikipedia to mention it if there were evidence, then you should at least provide a citation as to why you believe such a thing. Otherwise, why should your readers accept your unsubstantiated hypothesis?

why should your readers accept your unsubstantiated hypothesis

The typical line of thinking with conspiracy theories seems to be the less substantiated the theory, the more credence it should be lent, under the logic that the government is suppressing evidence.

So basically the less evidence, the more believable. Beautiful, isn't it?

Except for the fact that there are more false statements than true ones...

That appears to be a conjecture worthy of a thesis in philosophy and/or mathematics.

And where do statements of indeterminate truthfulness fit in?

Ssshh, pay no mind to the man behind the curtain.

It might have led to real justice instead of ruinous warmongering

If allowing Japan to continue its (quite brutal) invasion of China is what you call justice, I'm not sure we are seeing eye to eye here.

Entering the war made a mess, but so would have staying out of it. The mess was already in motion, it was too late to avoid it either way.

I do not accept as axiomatic that war can be made less horrible by adding more combatants.

Heroic how exactly? If the US had not entered the war when it did, the whole of Europe, and perhaps the rest of the world, would have probably ended up under Nazi control.

There are many instances of Allied forces breaking codes but not acting on them, because to do so would have signalled to the enemy that their codes had been broken and the advantage would be lost. This comes back to my post further down, most individuals simply don't know the bigger picture!

I'm no history buff, but I think that's unlikely.

It's true the US had an isolationist movement, and even business ties to Germany, but it would have eventually entered the war against Nazi Germany. After all, it was already supporting its allies (UK, Soviet Union, etc) via materiel through the Lend-Lease program, before the attack on Pearl Harbor ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lend-lease )

Also, without wanting to diminish the participation of the US in the war, most of the effort was done by other countries, such as the Soviet Union.

Doubtless the final shape of Europe would have been different if the US had entered the war later, but Germany would have been defeated anyway.

What if the US stayed out of Europe and only declared war against Japan? If the US had invaded Manchuria while Stalin was still busy with Europe, the Chinese civil war might have panned out differently.

I think that unlikely. Germany would have fallen to the Russians. Soviet Europe would have stayed that way for a few decades before reverting to independent mixed economies. The real question is what would have happened between China and Japan, without the American nukes.

yes it is simple.

You are implying that there was a good vs evil paradigm with WWII which is completely a USA fallacy.

Both sides were being funded by the central banking cartel. Do you actually think there would be any difference if you were living under Nazi control or not?

Look at all the astroturfing of the phrase "6 million Jews" in WWI before Hitler even came in to power.

Whilst I do partly agree with your comment from a very existentialist viewpoint[1]. This has to be the worst comment I've seen on HN.

[1] Yes, there would be a big difference to living under Nazi control or not. Whether we would know, or care, is another matter. Homosexuality and Judaism would surely be non-existent, but would that bother us if everything around us is 'Nazi' and the very idea of Judaism or Homosexuality didn't exist? Much like most peoples attitudes towards witchcraft. We are all a product of our society.

Kind sir, we appear to have run out of Nazi extermination camps. However, I invite you to book a one-way trip to North Korea. I hear their concentration camps are wonderful this time of the year.

And how did NK end up being that crazy? USA.


"As a result, almost every substantial building in North Korea was destroyed."

How do destroyed buildings lead to such craziness?

It's not just "destroyed buildings", like in a few military bases here and there. Read again.

I guess taking on that quote was a pot-shot. And, yes, the US have a role to play in North Korea. After all the Kims, at least initially, built their reputation in Korea on fighting the Americans.

Have you ever been to Tokyo? Craziness everywhere!

Japan didn't have "every substantial building destroyed". But we can pretend you are funny if that's what you are into.

According to your logic, we can expect concentration camps to pop up right and left in the Philippines a few years from now.

That is a very naive and idealistic position. Governments often and rightly have genuine reasons for keeping things secret - as do other institutions, businesses and indeed individual people.

He/She is clearly referring to Whistle Blowers.

All the ridiculous, obtuse comments just to feel superior. If you can't attack the actual message, then impeach the character?

Grow up.

"governments will become incapable of keeping anything a secret"

I assume he meant what he said.

Their language clearly indicates that they mean any information.

Fine, don't shut down the programs, but is it too much for the people paying for these programs to ask about their nature and to be informed of the accountability breaches?

Every citizen has a right to know the nature of what we are doing (how else can we decide whether or not we want to live with the trade offs or not?), and to be informed when something goes off the rails on the ethics side of things. This is a pretty low bar to set.

The right to know what we're paying for. Probably the best way of putting it.

How can we call ourselves a democracy when money is taken from us and we don't know where it goes? It seems like we're voting for people, but there's no discourse about the secret stuff.

Apart from "obvious" national security in the name of TERRORISM[1], what are such reasons?

[1]: http://www.gwern.net/Terrorism%20is%20not%20about%20Terror

Obvious one comes to mind: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_Federal_Witness_P...

It's not hard to think of others.

Negotiations. When you go to a new job and they tell you "How much do you make at your current position? Tell us, you have nothing to hide." what do you do?

Going on a tangent here, if they also assume this stance - meaning, they'll tell you everyone else's salaries - it can be quite interesting.

I can't quite find where I first saw this, but googling a bit brings up a few interesting example. For instance, http://99u.com/articles/15527/the-age-of-salary-transparency

If you are playing to win, you tell them you currently make whatever salary you are seeking. When they ask you what sort of salary you need, say something along the lines of "Obviously, I want to take a step forward, but I am pretty flexible, so if you can at least match my current pay, then I would be open to accepting".

While this tactic does fall into the grey area of morality, it is quite effective.

Dont companies pay equifax and such for employee salary data? I'd be careful on this one.

This is where you say "my total compensation is around $x". To me, "total compensation" includes pay, benefits, bonuses, the dollar value I put on how short my commute is, rough cost of free food in the office, how nice my chair is, etc. etc.

I also don't think they'll be able to do an equifax/transunion lookup without your permission. And it's perfectly reasonable to say no to that, as credit checks are bad for your credit.

"Well, I guess Eqifax is not that accurate" and "Oops. Thanks for letting me know I don't want to work here" would both be reasonable responses. Most companies are not doing this.

You say, tell me how much all your current employees make. Don't negotiate with someone who holds all the cards.

With respect to government contracts: It would really hurt a company if their detail pricing scheme was released, as a competitor could easily undercut if they had access to that information.

With respect to court documents: It could result is someone getting hurt or a mis-trial due to outside influences (ie. Rob Ford video)

There are obviously many reasons...

    It would really hurt a company if their detail pricing
    scheme was released, as a competitor could easily
    undercut if they had access to that information
If every company's pricing were public, wouldn't we just have healthy competition?

We would have competition. How healthy it would be is less certain.

Government contracts are usually public information already. More than once I've been at a company that sold something to a government agency, and the agency first had to publish what exactly they were buying and give someone else the ability to put in a better bid.

Contracts are usually public. Each companies bid for the contract is not, and in fact there are laws against government contracting officers letting such information become public, at least while the contract negotiation phase is still ongoing.

I REALLY hope they keep my personal login credentials for various gov web sites secret. Along with any other personal information they have on file.

Unfortunately governments are obliged to reveal their 'secrets' despite any misgivings, since they are acting on our behalf. They know this, they don't like this and they have utterly failed us.

> Unfortunately governments are obliged to reveal their 'secrets' despite any misgivings

What if the electorate decides that a government should keep certain things secret from them? Directly at the ballot box or through their representatives?

I think in the US we have done so when we allow or congressmen to continue to renew the patriot act. For good or ill, the government keeping things secret for national security purposes is something we (through our votes, and through our congress) have asked them to do. Maybe we should stop doing so.

The electorate has done no such thing. The expansion of institutionalized secrecy in government by our representatives is an example the principal-agent problem. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Principal–agent_problem

The good thing here is that containment is the hard part and honor and integrity seems to be more on everyone's mind in today's world of egregious corruption within our 'democratic' governments.

I share your hope and support the leaks. It is an awkward position to be in for the next US administration, I'll be curious to see how it plays out during the all annoying campaign season.

Information wants to be free...

> Information wants to be free...

Just remember that for the next NSA-related story.

Secrets have existed since the dawn of man, your hopes of eradicating them are naive.

How would you propose that "culture" be contained within the sphere of government? It clearly could not, it would spread to corporate and private spheres of life (if it didn't start here). It sounds dangerously close to a 100% surveillance society. How lovely.

Don't you think that there are legitimate reasons for governments to keep certain things secret?

Nope I wanna know about ALIENS! Do they exist?

Careful! That got Gary McKinnon indicted by a federal grand jury in Virginia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gary_McKinnon ...

>"governments will become incapable of keeping anything a secret."

The fundamental problem with this is that a government isn't a single entity. It's comprised of thousands of people all working on their own specific piece. So by it's very nature, only a very few people will know the bigger picture. If "governments" start leaking information left, right and centre, what that means in reality is hundreds of workers start exposing all of their work without understanding the larger picture.

What if a worker reveals details of a program to track "innocent people". Only to find out after the leak they were actually all in witness protection and they're now in great danger.

When you're part of a huge machine like a government (particularly in Policing or security), most workers will not know the full extent of their work, and therefore cannot understand (or be answerable for) the wider impacts of their actions.

>> so strong that governments will become incapable...

Sounds like you expect governments to be ashamed of what they do once the plans become public.

It's not about shame. It's about the power to persist until the goal is reached.

The plebes have neither the goals nor the persistence - this is what makes them plebes, and they will stay this way with or without Wikileaks.

As long as there is quasifood in the supermarkets and quasientertainment on the TV, the masses will not give a damn about what or how the government is doing. Human nature has not changed for thousands of years.

Here's a simple manual for running a country that has been working like a charm ever since the emperor Septimius Severus: "Enrich the soldiers and damn the rest".

it will only work in governments where fear of terminal retribution is minimal. Put another way, some governments have no qualms about keeping secrets through fear. There are numerous examples where they round up whole families and disappear them

What if I told you your government knows what you masterbate to?

The end game is, if they couldn't keep things like this secret, people would demand they stop storing this information in the first place.

Oh no! I'm so ashamed of my sexuality that someone else knowing my porn habits is going to make me sing a tragic operatic solo!

This revelation proves Wikileaks is stil alive and relevant. I hope they see a renewed jolt of donations and interest. This is the organization of heroes that helped get Snowden to safety.

Also, I'm getting sick and tired of our "leaders" attempting to legislate free speech and intellectual property in secret through anti-democratic means. It's disgusting.

Edit: second paragraph

The problem with these kinds of things is that the document might be watermarked to obviate who leaked it. It follows the same vein as "spying on allies" which -- until recently -- was tin-foil-hat conspiracy territory.

The political fallout will not be minimal, and it will not be kept secret.

It follows the same vein as "spying on allies" which -- until recently -- was tin-foil-hat conspiracy territory.

Not at all. Nations have been spying on their allies since there have been nations and spies. Anyone "shocked" by those revelations is either putting on a show or rather naive.

You are correct, perhaps spying on allies was a poor choice of word.

Evaluating allies would probably fit better.

I doubt it. We had plans about how to invade Canada prior to WWII.

People freaked out when they first heard about that, but it had nothing to do with Canada in particular, and everything to do with the Department of War having plans for effectively everybody that had any major military capability that could theoretically harm the U.S., just like Batman has plans to defeat every other superhero in the Justice League (just in case...).

Until the days of unilateral world government (when nations won't have to act in their own best interest), allies should evaluate each other, at least at a high level. That doesn't have to mean sinister things though. Just ask Batman.

Sorry to be pedantic here, but I don't think that "obviate" is at all what you meant here. Judging from the context, it seems you believe the definition is "to make obvious", but it actually has nothing to do with that.

> spying on allies" which -- until recently -- was tin-foil-hat conspiracy territory.

What? Nations have been spying on each other, including allies, since the invention of spying.

> The political fallout will not be minimal

The fallout will be so minimal as to be non-existent. Nations already know allies spy on them, it's not in any way surprising.

It also doesn't really bother them. They have to protect against all spying, if an ally can, so can an enemy. So finding out an ally spied really just means an enemy did too - so it's actually useful information.

I'm not talking about fallout from spying, but from finger-pointing. The US will find out who leaked the document, and they will act accordingly.

The Collateral Murder video was most likely watermarked. I think the low quality of the video is because the quality had to be degraded so the watermarks can't be seen/scanned.


Do you have a reference for this hypothesis?

The contention over Wikileaks has never been about relevancy, but their methods, e.g. editorializing when they claim to merely be leaking.

The content isn't interesting[1] because bilateral free trade agreements are public[0], and having the USA force partners into accepting patent enforcement, copyright laws like the DMCA etc. are well known

What is a little interesting is the negotiations and diplomacy at work. You can see how each country is trying to further its own position and interest. Looking at this version of the document, it is impossible to see how a compromise will be reached since there are so many areas that are at complete opposite viewpoints - but you know that in a few weeks time an agreement will be announced as one side or another gives way (guess which!), and the public are nonethewiser.

Some are really good at watering things down, eg.

> The Parties shall endeavour to [US/SG propose: cooperate] [US oppose: establish a framework for cooperation] among their respective patent offices to facilitate

You can see already that they don't intend to cooperate. Establishing a framework? what the hell does that even mean ..

You can now see that Australia, Singapore and Mexico are on Team USA when it comes to copyright terms (Australia opposed it during the FTA negotiations), everybody else opposes, but they will eventually have to come around on this:

> [NZ/BN/MY/VN/CA/JP propose; US/AU/SG/MX oppose: The term of protection of a work, performance or phonogram shall be determined according to each Party's domestic law and the international agreements to which each Party is a party.]

[0] Here is USA - Australia: http://www.ustr.gov/trade-agreements/free-trade-agreements/a...

Here is NAFTA - https://www.nafta-sec-alena.org/Default.aspx?tabid=97&langua...

[1] It might not be interesting because we have seen a lot of this in completed deals previously, but it is very important. The USA enforces its business interest laws such as patent and copyright terms onto recipients of "free trade" agreements, in exchange for getting access to the non-protected part of their domestic market. This is why US laws are so important to the rest of the world, because we end up having to adopt them (this is what modern imperialism looks like).

> The content isn't interesting[1] because bilateral free trade agreements are public[0]

That's like saying that weather forecasts aren't interestings because the weather is public. The point is that we want to have a public discussion on these agreements before they are signed.

So far I have seen no mention of Article QQ.G.10, on TPM.

"The US wants this separate cause of action to extend even to cases where there is no copyrighted works" [1]

Even the DMCA only protects copyrighted works. The provisions of QQ.G.10 for example would make it illegal in enough countries to distribute dvdcss that linux would not play my DVDs.

Once implemented, this will have a significant impact on linux users.

[1] http://keionline.org/node/1825

My understanding is that the TPP is not public (yet?), and parties involved are not allowed to discuss it for 4 years.


How is that possible, when there were rumors they intend to pass it by the end of the year?

Why would Congress pass legislation saying that it's not allowed to amend trade agreements? Why don't they just not amend trade agreements?

Because it makes it very easy for individual members to hold their hands up and say "there was nothing I could do" about things they would like to pass but know might prove unpopular. And it minimizes the window for the public to mobilize opposition.

We're talking about the several-hundred-member body of people whose very job is to argue with each other? The one whose membership is up for modification every few years? The one whose purpose it is to create rules that persist across changes in membership?

That Congress?

But the new Congress can just as easily pass legislation to invalidate the previous legislation.

Yes, just like judicial precedent doesn't exist whatsoever because any judge can overturn any decision when given the opportunity.

Also, we rewrite the Constitution because Amendments allow us to. It's just that we do it so fast and then change it back that you don't even notice.

Congress now != congress in 2 years, remember.

Yes, Congress now is only ~90% of what congress will be in 2 years.

its hard for me to think of an answer to this question that doesn't somehow devolve into an area of 'conspiracy'-type BS.

I really do not know.

Why are alternatives to the current mainstream stories have to be 'devolving' into anything?

In this situation its probably a matter of 'don't attribute to malice what you can attribute to stupidity'?

OTOH - the mainstream media is not reporting on this at all. Doing a search for 'trans pacific partnership' on CNN - the first result is a story about the G-20 Summit on Jul. 15th.

The more you look at, investigate and try and understand this story the crazier you may seem to other people.

Has no one been paying attention? This has been fairly widely reported in the press I follow. Of course, in the "mainstream" press, nada on this point.

This is a model that the Administration (Obama, and Bush before him) have been following for several recent trade agreements. They are being negotiated in a very selective and biased secrecy.

In the U.S.:

- Favored lobbyists have fairly unfettered access. From one account, I understand that they can sign on to a site from their own computer and view the whole shebang -- I don't have this specifically confirmed, but the thorough access has been repeatedly confirmed. They attend and undoubtedly influence the negotiations; in fact, there have been strong hints that they are directly writing major portions of these agreements.

- Your own Congressman -- Senator or Representative -- can only access the agreement by appointment to go to a specific, physical room in D.C. where they can view it. They can't bring their staff for consultation and research. They can't take the draft agreement or portions thereof away with them.

- The public -- as opposed to favored, moneyed private interests within said public -- has no access to the draft agreement nor any substantive part of the negotiations. In fact, at at least one point, public access was specifically qualified as a "national security risk". For a trade agreement that will, once passed, then be public and under which we must all live.

Regarding that last point: Substantial arguments have been made that these agreements are being used to essentially legislate while making an end run around the legislative process. They contain language stating that individual countries' laws must be "harmonized" to the terms of the agreement. In effect, you have this trade agreement dictating the country's law.

And in the U.S., our legislators have repeated agreed to "fast track" the approval. Essentially handing over to the Executive, in the form of the Administration and its appointed trade negotiators, the power to enact the trade agreement and thereby the "harmonizing" language (i.e. commitment to change law, i.e. "create" law). And this additionally ahead of the drafting, agreement to and codification of the specific terms and language that will be enacted.

In essence, the Legislative branch has (illegally, many argue) abrogated its duty and responsibility to draft, negotiate, and enact law, to the Executive.

Amazing, how... "compliant" they suddenly get, when there's real money involved for them. And how conveniently they sweep all this up, including the avoidance of the need to specifically, individually go "on the record" e.g. with a vote, under this abused rubric of a "trade agreement".

Not only do the lobbyists and partners get to influence the negotiations, they are under a 4 year gag order from discussing it.

An earlier version was leaked in 2011.

> [NZ/BN/MY/VN/CA/JP propose; US/AU/SG/MX oppose: The term of protection of a work, performance or phonogram shall be determined according to each Party's domestic law and the international agreements to which each Party is a party.]

On a sidenote, wouldn't it be great if we could at least get unified copyright law? From the draft it seems like the US is pushing more towards that

Not when its coupled with things like Corporations being able to sue governments for 'loss of potential future profits' for policy decisions. That is incredibly dangerous.

Not on US terms, it wouldn't be.

The US copyright system is broken.

>this is what modern imperialism looks like

Well that is a pretty tepid imperialism. If a country isn't willing to put their money where their mouth is then maybe they should be quiet.

I think it's absurd that these negotiations were shrouded in such secrecy in the first place. These rules, if implemented, will have a massive impact on how the global economy will work. Yet, the public, who will end up living under the yoke of these rules, not only has very little direct input into the process but didn't (until today) even have a clear view of what rules were being considered.

I don't see how one can have a modern democracy if rules are made in what was (before the leak) a black box.

Hopefully this will lead to more transparency for these types of negotiations in the future. Leaking/spreading this leaked information should help show those with political power that this type of closed door process is not going to be palatable to a connected and informed public.

These types of international agreements tend to stick around for a long time once they are implemented. So, expending energy on the front end to get a more balanced agreement that works for everyone impacted, not just those with an invitation to sit at the table, will save a lot of trouble later on.

>[US propose; AU/NZ/VN/BN/CL/PE/MY/SG/CA/MX oppose: shall make patents available for inventions for the following] [NZ/CL/PE/MY/AU/VN/BN/SG/CA/MX propose: may also exclude from patentability]:

Made me laugh. You're on your own there, USA.

I wonder why this "USA" there is supposed to represent the whole USA. Who decides? USTR isn't even democratically elected, yet it got some weird authority to draft far reaching regulations which affect everyone.

Note how some propose more proper approach of not applying anticircumvention restrictions on non infringing usage, while others oppose it. It's good that Wikileaks now published this with demonstrating opinions of the participants as well.

> [CA oppose: noninfringing uses [SG oppose: of a work, performance, or phonogram] in a particular class of works, [SG oppose: performances, or phonograms] when an actual or likely adverse impact on those noninfringing uses [CL propose: or exceptions or limitations to copyright or related rights with respect to users] is [PE oppose: credibly demonstrated] [PE propose: found] [CL propose: demonstrated or recognized] in a legislative or administrative review or proceeding [SG oppose: by substantial evidence]; provided that [AU/PE oppose: any limitation or exception adopted in reliance upon this clause shall have effect for a renewable period of not more than three [SG propose: four] years] [AU/PE propose: any such review or proceeding is conducted at least once every four years] from the date of conclusion of such review or proceeding.]

The bottom line, they want to create some kind of DMCA 1201 clone as was expected. Now hopefully there will be more chances to stop this beast.

The title is slightly misleading. They've only released the IP chapter - presumably because they figure the content will annoy hacktivists. I personally want to know about the whole thing, since agricultural tariffs, labor conditions, visa rules and the like seem to me at least as important as IP matters.

The AU government has previously stayed neutral/supportive of our high court ruling that ISPs are included under 'safe harbour' clauses and that they carry common-carrier status, in that they provide a service but do not have to police what that service is used for. In specific, they are not the police when it comes to online piracy and do not have to block websites, disconnect users, etc. iiNet won a hard-fought legal battle to get that ruling and it was used as precedence to basically stop the US IP lobby groups exerting pressure on AU businesses to conform to something our laws didn't even support.

Now it's become apparent from this that the government wants to throw all of that under the bus and is supporting transcontinental IP laws that are almost entirely in US interests and serve to screw over our citizens and go against high court rulings. All to be a lap dog to the US and appease their taskmasters.

I have nothing but hatred for our government for conducting themselves in such a miserable, self-serving sense.

Oddly, given the same exact title, this newer one is around 2x as successful (comments & votes) as the older one.

Well I was watching it (I made the mistake, of posting the link with a anchor in it to the start of the document).

It gained some fast early upvotes, without having comments, it reached #2 on the frontpage, gained its first comment, while my submission had about 4 - 5 comments and was trailing some 5 - 6 places behind on the frontpage.

But ok, it gained traction faster, so it is quite ok with me. And, for me the information counts, not who submitted it.

So please, everybody: put your comments on the winning thread, as there will be much more interaction going on there.

It's fun seeing how important lil' old words can be!

    Each party shall provide [VN: oppose adequate and effective]
    [VN propose: appropriate] remedies against the registration trafficking

Am I the only one who is bothered by the fact that wikileaks isn't actually a wiki?

I'm sure it used to be, back in the pre-Collateral Murder days. I remember being able to search through the pages and see people comment on the authenticity or not of publicly uploaded documents.


> Ward Cunningham, the developer of the first wiki software, WikiWikiWeb, originally described it as "the simplest online database that could possibly work". "Wiki" (pronounced [ˈwiti] or [ˈviti]) is a Hawaiian word meaning "fast" or "quick".

Great, now I'm bothered by the fact that everybody pronounces "wiki" wrong :D

Or the fact that they keep half of their leaked material secret from us.

I'm still waiting for the WikiLeaks major leaks about Moscow that we were all promised. At least, promised until Assange got his TV show on Russia Today.

I was personally more interested in the Bank of America files, but I think they're gone now too.

I had heard DDB had erased those before he left. Never heard why though, unless it was supposed to be one last 'fuck you' to Assange before he got booted out.

But it actually is... or at least it uses the Wikimedia software:


but the conceptual framework is not there. (I.E. most visitors cant edit anything)

Wiki conceptual framework is about how stuff should be kept/edited in a community, but it's not saying anything about if that ability should be granted only to 'blessed contributors' any or random visitors; i.e., if you are considered part of that editor community.

It started as a wiki. It didn't work. They kept the name.

No, every time I think about them this comes up in the back of my mind and I get a little confused

Wikileaks again messing up the world's economy and putting lives at risk. Won't somebody shut them down?

On a more serious note, wasn't there a reward if they got their hands on this leak?

Also, as a mexican, it sucks that we're part of this treaty. So far Mexico has been a lawless wild west with regards to copyright enforcement.

What the hell is going on? Secret negotiations about trading policies? What is the legitimation for doing this in secrecy? When did the people lose their right to know what their government is doing?

I'm actually more interested in the US-EU negotiations, I wonder how long that one's going to take :)

Any good overviews of this leak yet?

The EFF will definitely be issuing some manner of condemnation and praise, especially since a variety of nation's stances are made clear.

Skimming through it, it's entertaining to see "CA/CL/AU/NZ/JP/ETC oppose; US/BLAH propose" strewn about. One has to wonder where the line is drawn between self-interest and political favors.

Here is the section that might interest you, on ISP liability:


A small part of me feels like some party attributions may not be written by representatives of their respective country, and that there is some political/corporate hand-wringing influencing/forcing party attributions. To avoid political fallout, these party attributions must be kept secret (lest they contradict prior established stances).

I just skimmed the whole thing. If you've paid attention at all to news related to IP issues in the last 10 years, none of the content of this agreement would come as a surprise. I don't see any radically different provisions here compared to current laws.

The portions on 'genetic resources' were most interesting I thought, only because everything was so vaguely defined that I worried how countries would interpret it.

There's a lot of information there... probably take a few days.

I hope someone will post tl;dr indeed. This is like reading licenses. No wonder there's people who just blindly accepts everything without reading. I love when there's a blog post and they put tl;dr on head.

On the other hand, by sticking to the tl;dr you accept the version the non-lazy guy will give you.

Almost anywhere you live, it's your government. If you want your government to make clear and simple rules, vote in people you think might make that happen.

> On the other hand, by sticking to the tl;dr you accept the version the non-lazy guy will give you.

This isn't even the main problem. The main problem is the people who say they've read through the thing and openly lie about what's in it. (speaking generally)

Here's an explanation for some of the more dangerous stuff in it:


By the way, they intend to maintain unlocking phones or other devices illegal with TPP. It's just that now it will extend to a lot more countries.

Seems to me this may have just been given to Wikileaks directly from the government. The language seems a bit simpler than most trade agreements I have read (though to be fair I have only read 3 or 4).

The negotiation of this has been known for some time. I submitted an objection to the Wikimedia ethics board when I found out that at the same time this agreement was under negotiation, Wikimedia Indonesia was hosting an event in the US embassy sponsored 'American Cultural Center' (or similar) in Jakarta.

As a long term Wikimedia contributor, I expected at least a response. I received nothing.

Would be great if someone to summarize this bloat of gibberish in human readable bullet-points format...

The President...shall have Power, by and with the Advice and Consent of the Senate, to make Treaties, provided two thirds of the Senators present concur... Constitution of the United States, Art. II, Sec. 2

That's an accurate quote and all. Of course no treaty has been signed yet so I'm not sure what your point is.

interesting search: "[US propose".

At last.

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