Roughly Half of Secret TTIP Agreement Leaks

Roughly half of the entire TTIP (Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership) was recently leaked and published for all to see.

There’s been a major development in the controversy surrounding TTIP. Greenpeace Netherlands has leaked roughly half of the entire text of the agreement for all to see. the leak was published on TTIP-Leaks.org.

The agreement covers the United States and the European Union. The leak is spread over 16 PDF files and reportedly covers 13 chapters.

TTIP has been hugely controversial in many ways. One of the ways is the potential impact it may have on consumer privacy as it has been likened to the controversial and ill-fated Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA).

The leak has sparked questions over whether TTIP will even survive now that the veil of secrecy has been partially lifted. The Independent reports on these views:

“Now that we can see the actual texts, the EU negotiators have nowhere left to hide,” John Hilary, the executive director of War on Want, told The Independent. “The gloves are off, and they know they are in for a proper fight.”

“The TTIP negotiations will never survive this leak,” said John Hilary. “The only way that the European Commission has managed to keep the negotiations going so far is through complete secrecy as to the actual details of the deal under negotiation. Now we can see the details for ourselves, and they are truly shocking. This is surely the beginning of the end for this much hated deal.”

It’s debatable whether or not the leak could spell the end of this agreement. History is quite divided on whether a leak of a trade agreement can kill it off entirely. For those who want to point to examples of how leaks ultimately killed a controversial agreement, ACTA may serve as a shining example. The agreement was held in secrecy, but controversy was always brewing over its effects on the consumer. When the agreement was leaked, the text was analyzed by many at the time (myself included). The text only served to set off a powder keg of controversy. The results were massive protests both on the streets and political buildings. Ultimately, negotiators shelved the agreement after considerable pressure.

Meanwhile, for those who look at things pessimistically, they may point to the Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement (TPP). The agreement was leaked multiple times including a final version. Eventually, the agreement was released to the public officially. The storm of controversy caused massive protests in the streets from virtually every participating country. While momentum was on the citizens side, lawmakers from each country signed off on the agreement in New Zealand anyway, marking the final step before ratification. While there were efforts to ratify the agreement in some countries, the controversy persisted and some politicians even backed off of the ratification process for the time being. Still, the agreement is, in some cases, one signature away from becoming law. It is worth pointing out that, unlike ACTA, agreements like TPP and TTIP encompass large portions of a countries economy – far more than just intellectual property as seen in ACTA.

Whether this leak spells the beginning of the end of the agreement is unclear at this stage. Few would be willing to believe that the leak alone will be enough to stop this particular agreement, but will it develop into something bigger remains to be seen.

We here at Freezenet will be pouring over these documents to see if we can find anything in this agreement that affects digital rights and will update you if we find anything of interest.

Drew Wilson on Twitter: @icecube85 and Google+.



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