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

parminder parminder at itforchange.net
Wed Aug 9 21:34:07 PDT 2017

On Thursday 10 August 2017 09:13 AM, parminder wrote:
> On Wednesday 09 August 2017 02:09 PM, William Drake wrote:
>> Hi Parminder
>> Long time no talk, hope you’re well. 
> Hi Bill, thanks I am well. Hope you too are.
> Thanks for your references they provide useful background. However, my
> short answer to your response is; these agreements are decades old,
> and data economy is what 4-5 years in the making yet. Terms like
> information and data have taken very different meanings in what was
> negotiated at that time, and what is being talked about right now.
> Information in these earlier documents is largely private, uncontested
> about its ownership, and a subsidiary resource to whatever are the
> main businesses. Today, a big issue is data collected from people,
> whose ownership and protections are contested, and data (and the
> digital intelligence derived from it) is the almost the most important
> resource around. So, it is different now. Which is why there are
> currently big issues around the "free flow of data" part in global
> trade forums. You mentioned India's position, I think even they are
> ambivalent although their "global back-office" IT business and the
> emerging strength in "software as a service" sector requires that data
> flows are not required.

mistype:  ...requires that data flows are not "constrained".

> However, in all these cases the concerned data is clearly of the
> concerned principal enterprise (which either outsources IT based
> operations, or subscribed to SaaS services) which is a very different
> category form transporting public data collected over various
> platforms in the platform economy.
> Ok, let me quote from yesterday's newspaper. Patil was the official
> data scientist to the Obama's White House.
>         Mr. Patil responded by saying that there is a darker force, as
>         there are companies which are calculating and sitting on data
>         that one never gave them the right to capture. These include
>         satellite images, copying records of the court cases and they
>         are selling it to a creditor, or somebody else and one has no
>         recourse and ability to know that the data was moved, he said.
>         “This is where I would love to be a very strong policy. India
>         has a great opportunity to learn from things that we didn't do
>         correctly,” said Mr. Patil.
> In the same report, Nandan Nilekani, a founder of India's most famous
> IT company Infosys said;
>         Mr. Nilekani agreed with the need for policy and gave the
>         example of increasing amount of data and how it is being
>         aggregated in areas like platforms which is actually a big
>         risk. “You end up with data monopoly,” he said. “I am deeply
>         concerned that data is going to create a new set of monopolies
>         and whole new model of colonisation.”
> Does this look to you like talks about some straight forward free flow
> of information? Not to me. It is much more complex, and different from
> traditional notions of information flows.
> regards
> parminder
>> I gather this group will not be able to say anything on a consensus
>> basis regarding CBDF, so ok.  But I’d still like to understand how
>> you’re interpreting existing international law.
>>> On Aug 9, 2017, at 06:03, parminder <parminder at itforchange.net
>>> <mailto: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 GATS Telecom Annex commits all signatories as follows: "Each
>> Member shall ensure that service suppliers of any other Member may
>> use public telecommunications transport networks and services for
>> the movement of information within and across borders, including for
>> intra-corporate communications of such service suppliers, and for
>> access to information contained in data bases or otherwise stored in
>> machine-readable form in the territory of any Member.”  Moreover,
>> most countries made fairly unlimited commitments during the Uruguay
>> Round on Computer and Related Services (CPC 84) except on Mode 4.
>>  That includes e.g. software, programming, data processing, database
>> etc. services. (FWIW, in the Doha Round India has advocated full
>> market access and national treatment commitments in the sector,
>> including of course Mode 4). UR commitments were also pretty strong
>> on the relevant Telecom Services (CPC 75) including e.g. online
>> information and data base retrieval, on-line information and/or data
>> processing (incl. transaction processing), etc.   TPP 11 is of course
>> more expansive and specific, including re: data.  So what kinds of
>> “information” flow do you think is excluded from trade agreements?
>>> 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.
>> If you mean direct participation in decision making, I don’t think
>> you have anything to worry about there :-)
>>> Replace it is "multistakeholder participation" and we are fine...
>>> happy to discuss this further .... parminder
>> Thanks
>> Bill
>>> 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
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>> ***********************************************
>> William J. Drake
>> International Fellow & Lecturer
>>   Media Change & Innovation Division, IPMZ
>>   University of Zurich, Switzerland
>> william.drake at uzh.ch
>> <mailto:william.drake at uzh.ch> (direct), wjdrake at gmail.com
>> <mailto:wjdrake at gmail.com> (lists),
>>   www.williamdrake.org <http://www.williamdrake.org>
>> ************************************************
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