rabble blogs are the personal pages of some of Canada's most insightful progressive activists and commentators. All opinions belong to the writer; however, writers are expected to adhere to our guidelines. We welcome new bloggers -- contact us for details.

Thousands speak out to shape our digital future

Please chip in to support more articles like this. Support rabble.ca today for as little as $1 per month!

Speak out now at OpenMedia.org/DigitalFuture

What does your digital future look like? Thousands of citizens are speaking out right now to shape the future of our Internet. They’re taking action to help prevent radical new Internet censorship proposals that could drastically restrict how we share and collaborate online.

The extreme proposals are contained within the highly secretive Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) -- a deal currently being cooked up behind closed doors by old industry lobbyists and bureaucrats.

If Internet users knew of the drastic changes to free expression, Internet accessibility, and privacy proposed by the TPP, it would never pass. In fact, it’s only thanks to leaked secret drafts obtained by public interest groups that we have any insight into how the TPP would stifle online activity, invade our privacy, and cost us money.

That’s not all. Perhaps the most glaring aspect of the decision-making process behind the TPP is how it entirely shuts out the input of those that it would ultimately impact. Internet users stand to be severely penalized for activities as commonplace and well-intentioned as accidentally sharing a copyrighted recipe with family members online -- yet their voices go unheard at the TPP talks table.

That’s why this week the Fair Deal Coalition, an international group of public interest and business organizations including OpenMedia.org, is launching a participatory and crowd-sourced alternative to the closed and secretive TPP.  Our new Internet Voice tool seeks to challenge the restrictive nature of the TPP by inviting citizens, artists, business people, educators, parents, and people from all walks of life to have their say about what a fair digital future for all should look like.

To craft a fair digital future together, we’re encouraging participants to make suggestions based on their day-to-day digital experiences. Our Internet Voice initiative will collect opinions, images, stories, and suggestions directly from Internet users about how the TPP would seriously undermine the open and participatory culture of the Internet. Why not shape the future of the Internet by asking those who care the most -- ordinary Internet users?

The launch of our Internet Voice initiative was timed to coincide with the recent round of TPP negotiations in Malaysia. Throughout these closed-door talks, Fair Deal Coalition members were active on the ground and over the web, raising awareness and debating ongoing issues of digital openness. With negotiators aiming to wrap up TPP talks in the near future, building a visible and connected response to the TPP’s lack of transparency has never been more vital.

What do you think? Are you concerned about preserving the Internet’s ability to promote innovation and connectivity? Do you want to protect how you collaborate and share your ideas online? Do you agree that secrecy is not a good way to shape our digital future?

We’ll take your input and use it to shape a Fair Deal plan of our own -- a plan built by citizens across the globe, a plan that decision-makers cannot ignore.

The negotiators plotting the TPP think that by keeping their antics secret, they can trap countries into pushing through a damaging agreement without our approval. What they’re forgetting is that the Internet belongs to all of us -- not just 600 unelected lobbyists.

They need you to stay silent -- the Internet needs you to speak out and share your vision for your digital future. Don’t let a small cabal of bureaucrats decide the future of the Internet for you -- speak out now at OpenMedia.org/DigitalFuture

Thank you for reading this story…

More people are reading rabble.ca than ever and unlike many news organizations, we have never put up a paywall – at rabble we’ve always believed in making our reporting and analysis free to all, while striving to make it sustainable as well. Media isn’t free to produce. rabble’s total budget is likely less than what big corporate media spend on photocopying (we kid you not!) and we do not have any major foundation, sponsor or angel investor. Our main supporters are people and organizations -- like you. This is why we need your help. You are what keep us sustainable.

rabble.ca has staked its existence on you. We live or die on community support -- your support! We get hundreds of thousands of visitors and we believe in them. We believe in you. We believe people will put in what they can for the greater good. We call that sustainable.

So what is the easy answer for us? Depend on a community of visitors who care passionately about media that amplifies the voices of people struggling for change and justice. It really is that simple. When the people who visit rabble care enough to contribute a bit then it works for everyone.

And so we’re asking you if you could make a donation, right now, to help us carry forward on our mission. Make a donation today.

Comments

We welcome your comments! rabble.ca embraces a pro-human rights, pro-feminist, anti-racist, queer-positive, anti-imperialist and pro-labour stance, and encourages discussions which develop progressive thought. Our full comment policy can be found here. Learn more about Disqus on rabble.ca and your privacy here. Please keep in mind:

Do

  • Tell the truth and avoid rumours.
  • Add context and background.
  • Report typos and logical fallacies.
  • Be respectful.
  • Respect copyright - link to articles.
  • Stay focused. Bring in-depth commentary to our discussion forum, babble.

Don't

  • Use oppressive/offensive language.
  • Libel or defame.
  • Bully or troll.
  • Post spam.
  • Engage trolls. Flag suspect activity instead.