[DC-Trade] Proposal for Dynamic Coalition document on trade transparency

Norbert Bollow nb at bollow.ch
Wed Aug 9 01:14:24 PDT 2017

I agree with Parminder's points, and I would add that IMO we should
explicitly oppose rather than adopt the "free flow of" framing in
regard to data. Data does not move out of its own volition. It also
does not move under the influence of natural laws like water flowing
according to the laws of physics. On the contrary, data is transferred
by someone, in this context typically by an international corporation.
If treaties are made to the effect that any restrictions on such
transfers are reduced or prevented, while at the same no measures are
taken to protect individuals and small businesses from negative effects
of data-based power grabs by international corporations, then in effect
power is transferred from individuals and small businesses to
international corporations. I propose that we should adopt language
which reflects these facts, or which at least does not actively hide
it like the "free flow of" framing does.

For example, a framing that would explicitly state the problem would be
to speak about "proposed trade treaties that effectively hand global
data powers to international corporations".

An example of a wording which does not explicitly state the problem,
but which also does not hide it like the "free flow of" wording does
would be to speak of "unrestricted international data transfers".

The main differences are:
1) When speaking of "data transfers", that does not attempt to hide the
fact some entity is actively transferring that data, and that that is
done with some goal in mind.
2) The word "free" is replaced by another word, in this example
"unrestricted". That is important for the following reason: In human
rights contexts, we speak of freedoms to emphasize that in that
context, any restrictions must be the exception rather than the rule.
When dealing with a corporate demands which aim at shifting power away
from the people to the corporations, it is important to avoid, as much
as we can, parallels to that human rights framing.


On Wed, 9 Aug 2017 09:33:30 +0530
parminder <parminder at itforchange.net> wrote:

> Thanks for this Jeremy
> Can we work on the doc without the preamble part, with which my
> organisation may have many issues?
> There are two main ones. One with the sentence "*International trade
> agreements that support the free flow of information across the
> Internet...... **can assist member countries to harness the potential
> of the Internet to promote social and economic development for all."*
> I am sure you know the problem that trade justice activists have with
> this.... Trade agreements do not deal with "free flow of information",
> if anything they deal with "free flow of data". The two are not
> identical .... Free flow of information globally may perhaps be a
> subject dealt in frameworks like New World Information and
> Communication Order (NWICO, that piece of history!), it could be
> about media, even about social media and networks, but that is not at
> the core of digital issues at trade talks. The latter deal not with
> information flows but with data flows-- as an economic resource, as
> one of the most important economic resources. And speaking about,
> rather promoting, "free global flow of data" in an unqualified manner
> is not acceptable. It speaks to a certain political economy of data
> and digital economy... you sure know this stuff.
> Second issue is with promotion of so called "multi-stakeholder
> governance" for global trade negotiations. We have really never been
> able to understand what exactly this term means, and you know this
> well too, have issues with how many people and groups employ it in
> the IG space. We do not look forward, for instance, to promote models
> in trade negotiations where big business has a veto. Replace it is
> "multistakeholder participation" and we are fine...
> happy to discuss this further .... parminder
> On Wednesday 09 August 2017 03:31 AM, Jeremy Malcolm wrote:
> > As we look forward to the upcoming IGF in December, I am following
> > up (finally) about one of the outputs that we agreed to work
> > towards for presentation at the inaugural meeting of the Dynamic
> > Coalition on Trade and the Internet.  As explained in my original
> > message, a small working group has put together a document, which
> > is now ready for comments from this broader group.  You can find it
> > below:
> >
> > https://docs.google.com/document/d/1Cu2p-gUdAUbPJrHysjWAFQ0SM-CKWabf22D6PGXAgxo/edit#
> >
> > It remains just a draft, and I would like to invite all of you to
> > express any comments that you may have on it, either by adding them
> > in the text, or by following up to this message.  Ideally, this
> > should be a document that all participants in the Dynamic Coalition
> > can endorse—and I don't think anyone should have trouble in doing
> > so, since it restates principles that I suspect we all share, and
> > references many familiar sources.
> >
> > Please review the document this month so that, if possible, we can
> > iron out any wrinkles and have a near-final document ready for
> > presentation as an output of our Dynamic Coalition at its inaugural
> > meeting in December.
> >
> > On 15/5/17 12:21 pm, Jeremy Malcolm wrote:
> >> Dear all,
> >>
> >> Today my organization the EFF has launched an advertising campaign
> >> around trade transparency reforms, which I would like to propose
> >> as a starting point for a document that this Dynamic Coalition
> >> could produce as an output this year.
> >>
> >> The advertisements can be seen in POLITICO's Morning Trade
> >> newsletter at
> >> http://www.politico.com/tipsheets/morning-trade/2017/05/nafta-notification-whats-happening-and-when-220315
> >> (you might need to disable your ad blocker to see the banners, but
> >> there are also text messages in the middle and at the end of the
> >> newsletter).  The ads link to this page on EFF's website which
> >> summarizes five recommendations, and the rationales for these:
> >> https://www.eff.org/trade.
> >>
> >> The campaign is targetted at U.S. trade policymakers and is hence
> >> very U.S.-centric (even to the point of sounding a little
> >> jingoistic), and a couple of the recommendations are specific to
> >> the U.S. trade advisory process.  Nevertheless, I believe that the
> >> core concepts should find broad agreement amongst members of this
> >> Dynamic Coalition and that we ought to be able to fashion a
> >> consensus document that at least finds inspiration from the five
> >> recommendations made here.
> >>
> >> I won't repeat the complete rationales for the recommendations here
> >> because you can read them for yourselves at
> >> https://www.eff.org/trade, but the headlines are:
> >>
> >>  1. Publish U.S. textual proposals on rules in ongoing
> >> international trade negotiations
> >>  2. Publish consolidated texts after each round of ongoing
> >> negotiations 3. Appoint a "transparency officer" who does not have
> >> structural conflicts of interest in promoting transparency at the
> >> agency 4. Open up textual proposals to a notice and comment and
> >> public hearing process
> >>  5. Make Trade Advisory Committees more broadly inclusive
> >>
> >> One of the items in this Dynamic Coalition's 2017 action plan is
> >> "To develop a multi-stakeholder approach to facilitating the
> >> transparency and inclusiveness in international trade negotiations
> >> and the domestic consultation processes".  Although that's
> >> open-ended, it could include the development of a consensus
> >> document containing a set of principles that generalises from the
> >> above five recommendations, and that's what I'm proposing.  At
> >> this point, I am asking for your feedback on the idea.
> >>
> >> If there is broad agreement on the idea, the next step would be to
> >> form a drafting subcommittee that would propose a strawman text for
> >> further discussion by the full Dynamic Coalition.  If you support
> >> the idea of us developing such a document, are you also interested
> >> in being part of the drafting subcommittee?
> >>
> >> Thanks and I look forward to hearing your thoughts on the above.
> >> -- 
> >> Jeremy Malcolm
> >> Senior Global Policy Analyst
> >> Electronic Frontier Foundation
> >> https://eff.org
> >> jmalcolm at eff.org
> >>
> >> Tel: 415.436.9333 ext 161
> >>
> >> :: Defending Your Rights in the Digital World ::
> >>
> >> Public key: https://www.eff.org/files/2016/11/27/key_jmalcolm.txt
> >> PGP fingerprint: 75D2 4C0D 35EA EA2F 8CA8 8F79 4911 EC4A EDDF 1122
> >
> > -- 
> > Jeremy Malcolm
> > Senior Global Policy Analyst
> > Electronic Frontier Foundation
> > https://eff.org
> > jmalcolm at eff.org
> >
> > Tel: 415.436.9333 ext 161
> >
> > :: Defending Your Rights in the Digital World ::
> >
> > Public key: https://www.eff.org/files/2016/11/27/key_jmalcolm.txt
> > PGP fingerprint: 75D2 4C0D 35EA EA2F 8CA8 8F79 4911 EC4A EDDF 1122
> >
> >
> > _______________________________________________
> > DC-Trade mailing list
> > DC-Trade at opendigital.trade
> > http://opendigital.trade/mailman/listinfo/dc-trade

More information about the Dc-trade mailing list