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Verizon Sees "Trade" Deal as the Next "Share Everything" Plan

Business  (tags: abuse, americans, business, consumers, corporate, corruption, cover-up, dishonesty, economy, ethics, finance, government, investing, investments, investors, law, lies, marketing, money, politics, society, usa, technology, world )

- 1802 days ago -
Today's "trade" agreements implicate daily facets of life from medicine prices to Internet freedom to food safety standards. This week Verizon added another sensitive area to that "trade"-implicated list: personal privacy.

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JL A (281)
Saturday June 15, 2013, 4:47 pm
Verizon Sees “Trade” Deal as the Next “Share Everything” Plan

We’ve often reported on the surprising array of “non-trade” issues tucked away in so-called “trade” deals. Today’s “trade” agreements implicate daily facets of life from medicine prices to Internet freedom to food safety standards. This week Verizon added another sensitive area to that “trade”-implicated list: personal privacy.

Corporate events in Washington have been abuzz with talk of two new “trade” agreements: the Trans-Atlantic Free Trade Agreement (TAFTA) between the U.S. and EU, and the Trade in Services Agreement (TISA) involving the U.S., EU and 20 other countries. Both deals aim to use World Trade Organization rules hatched in the deregulation-happy 1990s as the blueprint for restricting the regulation of service sectors such as telecommunications.

Why should we care about “trade” rules impacting telecommunications policies? In a word: privacy. Last week’s landmark leak from Edward Snowden revealed that the U.S. National Security Agency is indiscriminately spying on Verizon customers’ telephone records. This week, a Verizon representative speaking on a pro-TISA panel expressed the company’s hope that the “trade” deal can be used to keep privacy policies in check. (It was perhaps not the most couth timing for Verizon-produced criticism of privacy protections.)

Verizon Share everythingThe Verizon rep was probably most disgruntled about privacy policies in the EU, a negotiating member of TISA and TAFTA. The EU’s data privacy protections are significantly more rigorous than those in the U.S. in ensuring that private data can be kept private. And EU law requires U.S. corporations to meet seven privacy criteria before transferring Europeans’ phone, health, and financial records to the United States, in part due to (now confirmed) fears that the U.S. government could access the private data under the broad provisions of the Patriot Act. But it appears that Verizon would now like to place these EU cross-border data privacy protections in TISA’s crosshairs. During the TISA event, the Verizon rep stated that the deal should be used to “make sure that privacy rules do not undermine these seamless data flows” between other TISA countries and the U.S.

As much of the country criticizes the NSA for secretly collecting private phone records from everyone with a Verizon phone, Verizon itself is taking a different tack: naming “privacy rules” as excessive and “seamless data flows” as insufficient. They seem to have the diagnosis backwards.

But through TISA and TAFTA, Verizon clearly hopes to advance that diagnosis, using the deals as a second "Share Everything" plan: an opportunity to impose a ceiling on data privacy protections for the company’s convenience.

The NSA-Verizon scandal will not help their cause. U.S. trade officials acknowledged this week that the Verizon data handover, along with NSA’s PRISM spying program, is fueling criticism in Europe of the proposed “trade” deals. It turns out that the Europeans aren’t too anxious to “seamlessly” transfer their personal information to servers falling under blanket government surveillance. Having already unwittingly handed over our own information, that's a position those of us in the U.S. should understand.

Posted by Ben Beachy

Kit B (276)
Sunday June 16, 2013, 7:08 am

There is something afoot in these trade deals and following past trades, they will not bode well for the consumers. The only policies that have come from these deals have been to dump jobs in one country in favor of using near slave labor in another. Now they are using trade deals to limit our access and use of the Internet.

If Verizon or any company wants to "share" our personal information, I want to know how much incentive is coming from the Government.

Angelika R (143)
Sunday June 16, 2013, 7:31 am
All of these trade deals were in secret behind closed doors-for a reason. Especially the TPP will bring a whole lot more of severe disadvantages to ALL with its "standardized" regulations, meaning the very lowest level of any participating nation.
I do not see ANYTHING the normal people could do about it, we're all being screwed, simple as that. It would take a world revolution to break the spiral of oligarchy's evil.

Gene J (290)
Sunday June 16, 2013, 7:59 am
"They seem to have the diagnosis backwards. "

Verizon has a LOT backwards which is the reason I've never had, nor will, a Verizon phone. It is surprising, in a way, how "okay" most Americans (57% at least) seem to be with what our government is doing, but a similar number believe, and I am one of them, that briefing Congressional committees was not nearly enough. If you are going to collect data to protect the country, fine, but TELL us what you are doing and do in the light of day, not behind closed doors. Some of us take our right to privacy seriously. And more than a few politicians are about to find that out for themselves.

JL A (281)
Sunday June 16, 2013, 8:25 am
Excellent comments! Unfortunately I am out of stars for Kit, Angelika and Gene right now!

Theodore Shayne (56)
Sunday June 16, 2013, 11:35 am
More global control and more pork barrel spending by the fat piggies in 10K suits and 3K Gucci shoes. My apologies to the pig.

JL A (281)
Sunday June 16, 2013, 1:39 pm
You cannot currently send a star to Theodore because you have done so within the last day.

Holly Lawrence (430)
Sunday June 16, 2013, 2:01 pm
I did have Verizon for a short while a fe wyears back and had so many problems that it still makes me growl! The only way out was to pay a high fee to cancel the two-year contract! Of course Iknew that going in BUT di think Verizon would be okay -- man, was I ever wrong!

JL A (281)
Sunday June 16, 2013, 5:04 pm
You cannot currently send a star to Holly because you have done so within the last day.

Kathy B (106)
Sunday June 16, 2013, 6:35 pm
Free trade just isn't - unless you're among the 1%. It hurts the U.S.working class & poor for sure, but it hurts the underdeveloped countries and their labor force even more. I'm envisioning more land grabs and acres upon acres of mono-cropped GMOs and palm plantations.

And poor Verizon, whatever will they do if they have to abide by another nation's privacy laws, bummer
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