Jailbreaking or unlocking your iPhone would illegal if the Trans-Pacific Partnership Treaty is ratified.
The treaty is a proposed free trade agreement under negotiation by Australia, Brunei, Chile, Canada, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, the United States, and Vietnam. It is being called the complete opposite of ‘free trade’, giving the executive branch a means of negating and pre-empting important legislation by elected representatives.
The public has been locked out of negotiations, with meetings held behind closed doors and the text kept secret. There has been no public discussion and no Congressional involvement in creating the treaty. Little information was known about it until WikiLeaks leaked the draft text last week, and it was worse than expected.
The Electronic Frontier Foundation warns that with TPP, the United States is trying to export the worst parts of its intellectual property law without bringing any of the protections for fair use, statutory exemptions, and other important checks and balances.
Slate notes that while the Obama Administration was speaking out for the right to unlock iPhones and other devices, it was secretly negotiating an agreement that would keep it illegal.
The leaked treaty draft shows that while the White House was championing restoring free market principles to phones, the U.S. proposed that the TPP lock in the process that allowed the Librarian of Congress to rule this technology as illegal through international law. This would make potential reforms like H.R. 1892 impossible.* It should be noted that Canada did submit an amendment proposal that could allow unlocking, but neither the United States nor any other country supported it. But the TPP draft doesn’t stop there. It would ban numerous other technologies that have beneficial uses. In particular, the legislation would ensure that jailbreaking—which is installing a different operating system on your phone, tablet, or e-reader—is illegal. It’s already on precarious ground in the United States, but under TPP it would be illegal in all circumstances. What type of nation would arrest 23 million people for installing a different operating system on their own device?
Check out the infographic from the EFF below and click here to take action against the treaty.
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