Jeremy Malcolm's blog
Jeremy Malcolm, fresh from the 15th round of negotiations of the Trans-Pacific Partnership in Auckland, New Zealand, answers some questions about the progress of the negotiations, the rising tide of opposition to their secrecy, and how they could affect Internet freedoms.
Q: As the Auckland round wraps up, what is the public feeling about the TPP negotiations?
Between 2009 and 2012, all of the major Web browser applications added a “Do Not Track” (DNT) preference setting. If this setting is turned on, whenever the user loads a page, or a piece of content on a page, the provider of that page or content is notified that the user does not want to be “tracked” – whatever that means. But the problem is, at this point, there is still no agreed standard on what it does mean, so the setting is presently ineffective.
My name is Romain Houéhou, from the African ICT Consumer Network, and also representing Consumers International today. Consumers International is the worldwide federation of consumer groups with 220 members in 115 countries.
Consumers International's IP Watchlist 2012 is our annual global survey revealing how fair the world's intellectual property laws and enforcement practices are for consumers. This year, thirty countries from around the world are rated, with neighbours Israel and Jordan placing respectively top and bottom. The best-rated countries tend to be those with the broadest copyright limitations, that allow enough room for innovative reuse of content, and the free use of IP goods within a close circle of family and friends.
Consumers International is pleased to announce a new programme of research to support the amendments that we have developed to update the UN Guidelines for Consumer Protection for the digital age and to promote access to knowledge. This research, funded by a grant from IDRC, will establish a sound evidence base to help support advocacy for the adoption of the amendments, whilst also increasing the capacity of the global consumer movement, particularly in the global South, to engage in research-based advocacy to support policy changes at an international level.
Consumers International will be represented at a multitude of meetings and workshops at this year's Internet Governance Forum in Nairobi later this month. Check out the list below, and please mark your diary to attend either in person, or remotely using the remote participation facilities available at the IGF's official and community websites.
Following a three month open public comment period, which in turn followed on from almost five months of drafting by a member working group, Consumers International has finalised the text of its proposed revisions to the United Nations Guidelines for Consumer Protection, covering access to knowledge issues.
A new international instrument on Access to Knowledge (A2K) could be in the wings, with the first public release of a draft set of proposed amendments to the United Nations Guidelines for Consumer Protection. These forward-looking A2K provisions are the culmination of months of online and face-to-face collaboration by Consumers International members from around the world.
The draft A2K amendments are now officially open for broader public comment at http://A2Knetwork.org/guidelines.