Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | News Video | Crime | Employers | Housing | Immigration | Legal | Local Govt. | Maori | Welfare | Unions | Youth | Search

 

NZ Joins Breakaway Push for WTO E-Commerce Rules

NZ Joins Breakaway Push for WTO E-Commerce Rules that Protect Google etc from Regulation

“New Zealand has joined a breakaway group of around 70 countries who affirmed their intention to launch plurilateral negotiations on electronic commerce at the World Trade Organization (WTO), despite the last WTO ministerial conference refusing to give them a mandate”, according to Auckland University law professor Jane Kelsey.

The declaration was issued on the side-lines of the elite World Economic Forum meeting in Davos on Friday.

The new e-commerce template first appeared in the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA) and remains unaltered in the revised CPTPP. It literally codifies a wish-list of rules written by the US Big Tech industry - the likes of Google, Amazon, facebook and Apple (GAFA) - to protect them from regulation. The EU’s proposal for the EU New Zealand free trade deal mirrors the TPPA, aside from more protection for privacy.

Professor Kelsey says that “documents I’ve obtained under the Official Information Act, although heavily redacted, show our government really has no idea of the implications.”

“Despite the label ‘electronic commerce’ or ‘digital trade’ these rules are not simply about trade. They restrict governments’ ability to regulate data, source codes and algorithms, digital networks and platforms, online marketplaces, payment systems, etc.”

The International Trade Union Congress, to which the New Zealand Council of Trade Unions is an affiliate, points out this is as much about workers’ rights, as it is about trade:



Algorithmic bias, workplace surveillance, electronic union blacklisting are realities and workers need their governments to protect them. We must not allow for a future in which working people’s ability to hold the giants of the digital economy accountable is limited by trade agreements. Our governments must have full power to regulate.”

The move was also condemned by civil society groups internationally, who warn that “threats to economic sovereignty … will be greatly amplified if the rapidly evolving digital economic space is governed by rules that were developed by transnational corporations (TNCs) for their own profit-making around the world… .”
“Given the turbulence engulfing the digital domain, from tax evasion and abuse of monopolies to unfair labour practices and political interference in democratic elections, the last thing we need is a set of global rules that prevent governments from regulating Big Tech’s activities in New Zealand and globally,” Kelsey said.

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

PM Announces Royal Commission Into Christchurch Attacks

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has announced that there will be a Royal Commission of Inquiry into security agencies following the Christchurch terrorist attacks... The inquiry will look at what could or should have been done to prevent the attack, Ms Ardern said. More>>

Gordon Campbell: On Ridding The Net Of White Supremacist Propaganda

Although it won’t be a walk in the park, gun law reform will be an easier job than neutralising the Internet hate content that (a) recruited the Christchurch shooter, and (b) confirmed him in his beliefs. More>>

Friday: National Remembrance Service

A National Remembrance Service for the victims of the Christchurch mosques terrorist attack, and all those affected by it, will be held at 10am on Friday 29 March, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced. More>>

SCOOP COVERAGE: CHRISTCHURCH MOSQUES TERROR ATTACK
For the Latest: Scoop Search - Christchurch
 

Gordon Campbell: On The School Climate Strike

Locally, the school strike has won a ton of support for bringing climate change to the fore. Yet the strikers don't want mere expressions of support. They want action. More>>

ALSO:

"Grabbed And Struck In The Face": Greens Co-Leader Attacked While Walking To Work

Green Party co-leader James Shaw was the victim of an unprovoked attack when he was walking to work in Wellington. More>>

ALSO:

████████ ████ ███: Latest OIA Statistics Released

The latest statistics cover 110 agencies that collectively completed 18,106 official information requests between July and December 2018, a 16.4% increase on the 15,551 requests for the previous six months. More>>

ALSO:

'Hit And Run' Inquiry: New Legal Action Over Secrecy

The lawyer representing the Afghan villagers in the inquiry into Operation Burnham has launched legal proceedings calling for a judicial review in the investigation. More>>

ALSO:

From Hydro Plan To...: Mokihinui River Land To Join Kahurangi National Park

A total of 64,400 hectares of conservation land in the Mokihinui River catchment on the West Coast north of Westport, including 15 km of riverbed, is being added to Kahurangi National Park. “Adding this area, roughly half the size of Auckland City, to Kahurangi is the largest addition of land to an existing national park in New Zealand’s history,” Eugenie Sage said. More>>

ALSO:

 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 
 

InfoPages News Channels