back to article Wikileaks publishes TiSA: A secret trade pact between US, Europe and others for big biz pals

Fresh from offering $100,000 to anyone that leaks the still-secret parts of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), Wikileaks has published large chunks of the related Trade In Services Agreement (TiSA). TiSA is one of a triumvirate of trade treaties being negotiated across the world, except this one does not include the so- …

  1. Christoph Silver badge

    "No Party may prevent a service supplier of another Party from transferring, [accessing, processing or storing] information, including personal information, within or outside the Party’s territory, where such activity is carried out in connection with the conduct of the service supplier’s business."

    That seems to be saying not just that they can transfer information anywhere, but that they can use any information they want as long as it's somehow connected to their business.

    So if they could grab for instance your health records they could do whatever they wanted with them. They can use any data they have on you however they want, without limit. Including of course selling it to other businesses.

    1. elDog Silver badge

      @Cristoph - Re: Health Records

      I haven't read any of the lawyerese and I think that is probably part of the idea. But you bring up an excellent point. In the fine USofA we are struggling with how to protect health/patient records and I don't think we've reached the perfect solution.

      Would this mean that any TISA participant could possibly transfer HR to another country and therefore render the original country's privacy laws ineffectual? If so, then a quick round trip back to the origin will make everything very transparent.

    2. Voland's right hand Silver badge

      There is no way in hell to reconcile this with Eu Data protection

      There is simply no way in hell to reconcile this odious requirement with Eu Data protection. I do not see the German Parliament (and most other continental Eu legislatations in this form). In fact, I cannot see USA congress legislating it if someone explains to them what this really means from a reciprocal perspective. There will be a riot.

  2. Gordon 10 Silver badge

    Article 6 sounds shitty

    I worked at 1 company whose ass was saved by having a failed vendors code in escrow. Its less important when its the big boys, but its useful projection against SME's and potential cowboys.

    1. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge

      Re: Article 6 sounds shitty

      You can be sure that escrow will continue to be acceptable practice. Assholes refusing to conform will just suddenly have no customers. No code in the notary's safe? No deal!

      Indeed, in my book, we are now in the era where inspectable open source code (and not only "read after my death" escrow) is becoming necessary in quite a few business dealings.

  3. juul

    Missing

    Where is the part that forces a supplier to their services in ALL the county's that this applies to

  4. Gray
    Holmes

    Tools of convenience

    It's well and good to pore through the phrases of the treaty, but one should keep in mind the lessons of history: NAFTA is one such example. Nothing is enforced that will adversely impact the principal players. Thus, anything that can be seen as protections for workers, consumers, taxpayers, etc. goes largely unimplemented or unenforced, while the provisions favoring the major players are pushed to the limits.

    Just sayin' ... here in the US, much noise and chest-beating was made about including "job retraining" and "displaced worker assistance" in NAFTA. We all know how well that worked out.

    1. ecofeco Silver badge

      Re: Tools of convenience

      BOHICA

      1. Jack of Shadows Silver badge
        Pint

        Re: Tools of convenience

        That was our unofficial motto on my tincan (destroyer).

  5. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge
    Holmes

    The important part however is that without Wikileaks publishing this treaty no one outside government teams and large corporates would have any idea what was law until it was passed: something that rankles, especially in the era of the internet.

    There must be 10⁴ copies of this shit floating around on the devoces (mobile or otherwise) less-than-practically.skilled-in-IT political operators. How come nobody has dropped core onto the sidewalk yet?

  6. Graham Marsden
    Devil

    So this one...

    ... isn't actually very controversial at all, but, for some reason, our Lords and Masters seem to think that, even in this case, we can't be allowed to know what's being decided in our names just in case we get upset.

    "Now don't worry your pretty little heads about it, just keep watching the TV and we'll take care of everything..."

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Three words...

    "It is also a pretty logical decision given how the internet works. If you start breaking up data into locations, not only do you make it hugely more expensive for companies to offer their services but you also gain little or nothing from forcing artificial structures onto the internet via gateways."

    ...Content Distribution Network. Companies do go to great lengths to keep the data close to the users more likely to request it. That's how Akamai back in the day and now Amazon make millions.

    1. Dazed and Confused Silver badge

      Re: Three words...

      ...Content Distribution Network. Companies do go to great lengths to keep the data close to the users more likely to request it.

      That's only because they've been told they can't sue god over the latency problem.

      No matter how much to spend on buying bandwidth, it still takes best part of 100ms to cross the pond.

  8. Crazy Operations Guy Silver badge

    Wouldn't actually be all that expensive to keep data

    The rationalization that disallowing personal information to leave a country is expensive is idiotic... Sure it'll cost some money. Putting a couple servers in a datacenter isn't all that expensive and may be cheaper since you'd save a lot of money on network transit fees, plus your services will have a lot lower latency for the customer. It would also give a company a much better uptime if everything is distributed rather than in one or two bit barns on the other side of the planet.... Beside, isn't it much better to keep data near where it will be used?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Wouldn't actually be all that expensive to keep data

      DCs in every country of the EU? Unnecessary pain in the ass for the internet titans, and it means death for their future competitors. So no, no problem if you like corporate hegemony.

    2. Jack of Shadows Silver badge
      Mushroom

      Re: Wouldn't actually be all that expensive to keep data

      My latency here (Fresno, CA, US, bedroom community next door to Silicon Valley) to London is 176 ms, Southampton 161 ms, and Germany is 173 ms. In the US I have 23 ms to 160 ms and the 'net works just fine just as it does to the rest of the EU. So servers in each country (by the thousands actually) ain't going to give you much better performance while adding a hell of a lot of complexity which just by itself will lead to a significantly higher "cloud computing" failures. Things are bad enough as they already are with one incident in a completely different data center taking out the whole of a service provider and you want to make it more complex? Every sane engineer runs at the sight of overly complex "solutions." I'm not particularly sane (legally I most definitely aren't) but sheesh!

      [I'm totally ignoring cost, especially cost to prevent/alleviate data center to data center complexity. KISS especially applies to the internet. That's mostly why once we develop a protocol, we leave it the frag alone. No need to rip the flooring out from under someone's feet. ]

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Wouldn't actually be all that expensive to keep data

        > ain't going to give you much better performance

        CDNs are there for the benefit of the provider, not the end user (the later only benefits indirectly).

  9. aberglas

    The secrecy is odious and completely unnacceptable

    These international treaties are nasty. That is how we ended up with the mickey mouse copyright act in Australia. Many would not survive the light of public scrutiny.

    At least in the US they need to be ratified by the Senate (I believe). Here in Oz they are just rubber stamped by the executive.

    And who exactly "negotiates" them anyway. Anonymous and weak, greasy pole climbing public servants and aggressive, well funded lobbyists.

    1. JaitcH
      Unhappy

      Re: The secrecy is odious and completely unnacceptable

      At least in the US they need to be ratified by the Senate (I believe).

      The US is trying to renew 'fast track' voting, a binary Yes or No, to the whole deal.

      And I agree that any international agreement with so many participants is plain WRONG. Why aren't they using the WTO?

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "On the other side, it seems reasonable that countries can't demand the companies hand over their full source code to be allowed to be used in that country."

    No it doesn't seem reasonable at all. Especially when, as you point out, there might be security implications to consider.

  11. ecofeco Silver badge

    It seems everyone has missed the main point

    It seems everyone here has missed the main point: it further weakens national sovereignty and worker and citizen protections, which is what the fuss is all about regarding the entire treaty.

    In other words, it is nothing less than total global fascism which we already have too much of.

    Most people don't seem to know that the real motivation for the American Revolution wasn't taxes or lack of representation, although that was part of it, but a fight against what was then the largest global corporation of its time, the East India Trading Co. which was indistinguishable from the actual British government.

    Sound familiar?

    1. Mark 85 Silver badge

      Re: It seems everyone has missed the main point

      Well... you hit the nail.."protection'. The only "protection" wanted is corporate bottom line. A good example is the latest from Disney and their IT Staff. Canned about 150 or more IT types and brought in H-1B visa types. Seems the visa law has a loophole about not firing your staff to import cheap labor.

      So why should this be any different? "Protection" of the workers and citizens is a myth as this treaty, the hints about the upcoming one, the visa laws and as the Snowden revelations have shown regarding what's being collected on all of us.

  12. veti Silver badge

    Slight correction

    Article 5, sadly, does not cover "spam". It covers "Unsolicited Commercial Electronic [Messages/Communications]".

    Noteworthy here is the word "commercial", which is wholly redundant if you really want to stop spam: the only reason to include it is to allow for political, religious, criminal and other morons to spam as much as they like. A better word would be "Bulk".

    I'm also disgusted, but not surprised, to see Australia is lobbying for a default "opt-out" spam regime, as opposed to the EU who, to their credit, are trying to mandate "opt-in".

  13. Brent Beach

    The article makes this offhand outrageous claim: "It is also a pretty logical decision given how the internet works. If you start breaking up data into locations, not only do you make it hugely more expensive for companies to offer their services but you also gain little or nothing from forcing artificial structures onto the internet via gateways."

    I don't think there is anything in this sentence that makes sense.

    First, the internet works by putting data near where it is used. Google has copies of its search DB all over the place. Companies make a business out of buffering data near users. So, the internet is an open architecture system that can do just about anything the law requires it to do. It can keep personal data in the country in which it is collected. If google cannot do it, someone will come along who can.

    Second, when the laws on data retention and data collection by national agencies differ country by country and some countries - notably the UK and the USA - have no ethics about taking other people's data, then there is a lot to gain by keeping the data away from servers in those countries.

    The internet is designed to be run for the convenience of the edges, not for the convenience of the big companies in the middle.

    Hard to imagine any more wrong headed claims than the article lays down as "pretty logical".

  14. Blofeld's Cat
    Big Brother

    Transparency...

    Does the section on transparency read: "Deny all knowledge of this treaty, except where essential for propaganda purposes"?

  15. Sirius Lee

    Thanks for publishing this summary

    When agreements are negotiated behind closed doors it creates a cause for concern. But based on your review, this agreement seems to acknowledge and codify reality. Presumably as a bulwark against those countries that are trying to use international bodies to constraint the internet.

    1. This post has been deleted by its author

    2. JaitcH
      WTF?

      Thanks for publishing this, WIKILEAKS

      Assange might get another 10 years for this.

  16. david hill 1

    Wikileaks have always been right to date and I would think that they will be right again. But don't you think that it is strange that the mainstream media has hardly let us know about the largest trade deal in history? That's a bit strange in itself. - Politicians are Allowing Corporations to Kill us - The TTIP (Trans-Atlantic Trade and Investment Partnership) is so evil that our political negotiators are now allowing 'Cancer' creating carcinogenic crop sprays to be used in the European Union' - http://worldinnovationfoundation.blogspot.co.uk/2015/05/politicians-are-allowing-corporations.html

    1. Gray
      Pirate

      Re: mainstream media

      It's helpful to remember that mainstream media (at least here in the U.S., is owned by multinational corporations. So ... you expected "fair & balanced" coverage?

      1. Mark 85 Silver badge

        Re: mainstream media

        Go a step further and you'll soon realize that they aren't pandering to those who are thoughtful, curious, and concerned readers. They pander to the lowest common denominator. IF they were to push stories such as this, they would still be ignored in favor of "celebrity circus" news. Ok.. and sports also.

  17. DavidEHSmith

    TPP & Global Treaties/'Arrangements’.

    TPP & Global Treaties/'Arrangements’.

    Teaching the Gordan Gekkos’ of Wall St., Congress, et al, some Humility & Integrity?

    2 Republican Senators Admit that They Have read the TPP.

    Should Congressmen & Parliamentarians Have to Sully Their ‘Beliefs’ & Sales Pitches with

    ‘Sordid’ Facts that Come from Actually Reading & Understanding Global Treaties/’Arrangements’?

    Congress; Deluded, or, Deluding; 'IGNORAMUS et IGNORABIMUS' (I do not know & I will Not Know)?

    If Not 'Treason', then, there are very compelling arguments for concluding that the corporations, whether they be, foreign, domestic, &/or, a blend, that do not respect the 'lesser' jurisdictions, ie. individual provinces, territories, &/or, states, or, municipalities, are not good corporate citizens of the host countries & thus, can be treated as 'persona non grata'.

    The Global Treaties/’Arrangements’ with their Secret ‘Death-Star-Chamber’ Tribunals that The Global (non BRICS) Corporate Economy is in the Process of Secretly Passing will Finally Legitimize its Ability to secretly move money around, ie. ‘launder’ without Fear of Legal/government Regulation. It’s their Own Jurisdiction & they Insist that you Pay for & Not them.

    Will TPP be Okay if ‘US’ corporations can Prove that they Won't Benefit from Partnerships that Try to Disguise that Corporate USA is Circumventing Other ‘Lesser’ Jurisdictions (State/Municipal)?

    ie. Corporations Need Proof of Non Circumvention of 'Lesser' Jurisdictions, or else, 'Non Good Corporate Citizens', &/or, 'Persona Non Grata'

    What is Governors’ Rationale for not Defending Taxpayers; States Colluding with Feds?

    Corporate America’s Last Chance to Fleece the Little Guy (95% - 99% of U.S.) Before Tanking the Global (non BRICS) Economy? Exploitable ‘Vulnerabilities’, Holes & Back Doors to Close.

    Can ‘your’ Federal Representatives Willingly Answer ‘your’ Questions below If They haven’t Read the TPP & other Global Treaties? All You have to do is Ask them ‘For Your Record’ & then Share Their Inability with Others.

    Don’t Forget to Demand Your Money Back for ‘Supplementing’ Fed Rep’s Wages & Future Considerations at Incompetency Tribunals.

    How many ‘Preferred’ Shares are You Selling Your Right to Sue The Global Corporate Economy for?

    Will TPP be Okay if ‘US’ corporations can Prove that they Won't Benefit from Partnerships that Try to Disguise that Corporate USA is Circumventing Other ‘Lesser’ Jurisdictions (State/Municipal)?

    ie. Corporations Need Proof of Non Circumvention of 'Lesser' Jurisdictions, or else, 'Non Good Corporate Citizens', &/or, 'Persona Non Grata'

    TPP, TTIP, CETA & Global Treaties;

    Corp.’ U.S.’ Need to Fast Track TPP & Global Treaties.

    TPP & Global Treaties part of corp. US's attempt to Increase $17+ Trillion

    Debt 'Earning$' & to Legitimize Hidden Earning$ in Untouchable Foreign Banks.

    Time to REPATRIATE 'Earnings'; NO FOREIGN Accountants, Banks, Services, etc.

    NO Trickle Down from Hiding ‘Earnings’ in Secret Off-Shore Accounts.

    Global Treaties Not about How Much Trade, but, How to & Who to Trade with to 'Undermine' AIIB.

    Shifting Costs to harmless Non Shareholders to Inflate ‘Profits & Dividends’.

    Is it Time to Cool off the 'Stockbrokers' again; Buy Gold?

    'Schadenfreude' & the Public; Too 'Unenlightened' to Figure out 'The Global Sleight of Mind' Illusion.

    - David 'Copper' Smith

    Will Individual States Jump at Opportunity to: Refuse, or, 'Over Charge' Business Licenses, Raise Targeting State Taxes, 'Road' Taxes, etc. to Recoup Global Treaties' Suits (plus Earn Lucrative 'Punitive Damages') from Non Good Corporate Citizens (non-Compliant of State laws), Associated/Support Corps., Securities Exchanges, et al?

    Are TPP & Global Corporate Treaties/’Arrangements more about Tort ‘Abolishment’ than Tort ‘Reform’?

    But, Do YOU know the various different ways to Make the leaders of TPP, Shareholders, et al, 'Persona non Grata'; Shareholders' Meetings I.D. Toxic Neighbors, In-laws, et al?

    But, If Not PUTIN; 'The WHITE KNIGHT', then Who Do YOU Want to Bankroll the Saving of the harmless NON shareholders of the World from Fast Tracking TPP's, CETA's (TTIP) Secret 'Death-Star-Chamber' Tribunal Penalties? Will China, Iran, the Muslim World, et al, Support Putin in Suits?

    How about Warren Buffett, &/or, the 'coveted' Hong Kong investor, et al?

    ***

    FULL Article, see; davidehsmith.wordpress.com

    ***

    Please consider sharing the enclosed information & questions with 10 friends who will share it with 10 others...

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