On the bright side, none of the ceramics we bought as gifts seem to have broken in transit!
I called out of work and went back to bed, and spent the day reading fic. And, oh yeah, got my period for the first time since May. Coincidence? I think not.
Sigh. Time to restart the menopause clock.
*as opposed to the normal level of existential dread that I've been feeling every morning since last November, which is bad, but doesn't usually prevent me from getting out of bed most days
The third round of negotiations over the modernization of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) is underway right now in Ottawa, and EFF is there to represent you. It's been a frustrating few days so far. Before explaining why, we'll skip straight to what you probably want to know: how close are the parties to a deal, and what do we know about what's in it?
Canada Bucks U.S. Copyright and Patent Demands
In the case of the Intellectual Property (IP) chapter, they are pretty far apart. That's because the United States, despite President Trump's criticism of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), is nevertheless using it as a template for the draft IP chapter that it is presenting to its negotiating partners in this round. Canada, however, isn't down with that. That's because Canada joined the TPP late, after most of the text had already been locked down, and Canada was prohibited from revisiting that text.
Canada's own preferred starting point for negotiation over IP is the original NAFTA, augmented by some newer instruments that Canada has subsequently signed and ratified such as the WIPO Internet Treaties, and its trade agreement with with the EU, the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA). Although there are still elements of those agreements that we are unhappy with, some of which were also part of TPP (notably CETA's criminalization of camcording in movie theatres), Canada's approach would avoid some of the TPP's biggest flaws such as the extension of the copyright term by 20 years.
On Sunday night the Centre for International Governance Innovation (CIGI), an independent but Canadian government-supported think tank, launched a publication NAFTA 2.0 and Intellectual Property Rights to an audience that included EFF and U.S. trade negotiators. The document (which will be, but is not yet available online) makes a compelling case for Canada standing its ground on copyright and patent law, including this passage from Michael Geist:
As the country embarks on a new round of NAFTA talks, it should be recognized that Ottawa already meets its international obligations when it comes to respect for copyright and patents and has largely addressed long-standing U.S. demands regarding additional reforms.
At a broad level, the Canadian negotiating goal should be to retain an appropriate balance, one that fosters creativity and access while ensuring that there is room for Canadian-specific policies that sit within the flexibilities of the international IP framework.
Although we haven't seen the U.S. draft text, reports suggest that Hollywood has succeeded in encouraging the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) to omit a provision requiring the parties to have balanced copyright limitations and exceptions, such as fair use. That doesn't mean that the idea of such a provision is dead. Instead it will fall to Canada to pick up the slack and promote copyright balance in the agreement, as well as to advocate for similar balance in patent law, for example through provisions to address the problem of patent trolling.
Electronic Commerce is now Digital Trade
What had been called the "Electronic Commerce" chapter in the TPP is now called the "Digital Trade" chapter, although once again the U.S. text proposal is based heavily on the TPP's text. In this instance, Canada and the United States are not so far apart, as they share agreement on most of the chapter's key objectives, including fostering the free flow of data online, and prohibiting data localization measures such as mandates that data must be stored on local servers.
Where they differ is on the question of how these objectives can be reconciled with local privacy laws, which can have the effect of limiting flows of personal data online. Since the three NAFTA countries have such different domestic privacy regimes, it's unlikely that the agreement will include new substantive privacy rules, but we expect that it will instead simply incorporate reference to the APEC and OECD privacy frameworks, an existing "lowest common denominator" between the three countries.
Another provision from the TPP which remains on the table for NAFTA is a ban on requirements that the source code of imported products be made open to review. EFF has explained how a blanket ban on source code review may not offer countries sufficient flexibility to address the critically poor state of security in many digital products such as Internet of Things (IoT) devices and routers. In any case, the provision addresses a problem that does not exist between the NAFTA countries, as none of them has imposed a source code review mandate. Since the provision is in response to such mandates imposed by China, dealing with this issue bilaterally with China would be a more targeted approach.
One of the biggest areas of difference between the parties in the Digital Trade chapter will be over the ISP safe harbor language, based on CDA Section 230, which the U.S. previously proposed in the Trade in Services Agreement. Unlike the United States, Canada and Mexico do not have a statutory rule that protects internet intermediaries from liability for user content. Thus in those countries an Internet platform such as a web host or social media website risks becoming liable as the publisher of an allegedly defamatory article if they do not remove it in response to a takedown request from a third party. We can therefore expect to see the other parties suggest compromises to the U.S. language, if this provision survives at all.
Sliding Backwards in Stakeholder Consultation
As host of this round of negotiations, Canada has gone a little further to faciliate consultation between negotiators of the three countries and stakeholders. But when we say a little further, that's really what we mean. There is a room set aside in the negotiation venue, far away from the negotiations themselves, where stakeholders are provided with somewhere to sit, and with Wi-Fi access. They are not actually visited by any negotiators, nor do they receive any joint briefings.
Some stakeholders (including EFF) have been able to organize informal bilateral meetings with negotiators from the U.S. and Canadian delegations (though no one has met with the Mexican delegation that we are aware of). In both of the meetings that EFF attended, it was made clear that the meeting was off the record, and that if we reported back names or sensitive details of what we were told, there would be no future such meetings. Since this stricture runs directly counter to EFF's mission to bring light to these secretive negotiations, it is a highly unsatisfactory state of affairs.
Despite our request that the organizers include some official stakeholder events on the agenda, the only such events that have taken place in this round were self-organized by stakeholders, at their own expense. This included a wine and cheese event on Saturday night (that was attended by none of the IP or Digital Trade negotiators), and a seminar that we held on Friday jointly with the Canadian Internet Policy and Public Interest Clinic (CIPPIC), American University’s Program on Information Justice and Intellectual Property (PIJIP), OpenMedia, Public Citizen, and Public Knowledge.
If this continues, the only opportunity for us to expose this agreement to sunlight and to openly debate the proposals it contains will be if the draft text of the agreement is leaked. With nine fewer countries as part of these negotiations than the TPP negotiations, the prospects of such leaks emerging are much lower than before. We stand by our demands that the NAFTA countries should each release their individual text proposals at the same time as they are delivered to the other parties, they should release the draft consolidated text of the agreement after every negotiating round, and they should provide the public with an opportunity to be heard about these provisions.
At this third round of negotiations in Ottawa, the negotiators had a lot to do to convince us that the IP chapter of the agreement would adequately balance the demands of copyright and patent holders with the rights of the public, and that the Digital Trade chapter would leave countries adequate policy space to protect their citizens' privacy and security. For now, we haven't seen enough to convince us of either of these things, and unless there is a dramatic improvement in the transparency of the negotiations, it may be that we never will.
And on that note I report that we are now sitting in the Toronto airport, waiting for our last flight home! I still have a couple of days in Tokyo to discuss, but right now all I want to do is fall into my own shower and my own bed forever...
Workouts -- her interview with Robin Williams (I think 1989).
The symbol of all we possess -- the Miss America pageant, 1949.
Come in, Lassie -- Hollywood and the House UnAmerican Activities Committee (1948)
The shit-kickers of Madison Avenue. (1995)
The strange techtonic coincidences of the recent Mexican earthquakes.
The closing of the Dictionary of American Regional English.
The dying art of disagreement.
How many times does it need to be said? Puerto Rico is American. Now can we get going and fix things up for six million Americans dealing with water, low on food and without electricity for the foreseeable future? And here's how you can help. If you need to explain how badly the island was hit by Hurricane Maria, quote from this.
Lessons from Rolling Stone.
Throw the little old lady down the stairs! An interview with John Huston. (1952)
How did women fare in China's Communist revolution?
Will Mark Zuckerberg 'like' this column? Facebook, social media, Russians and the election.
How did marriage become a mark of privilege?
3 ways the Republican anti-health bill differs from previous anti-health efforts.
Remember Anthony Weiner, who not only couldn't keep it in his pants but felt he *had* to send phone photos of it to underage girls? He's going to prison for 21 months. An ignoble end to what once was a very promising political career.
Women need to rewrite/update the New York state constitution. Were women involved in writing the state constitution in your state? Or wherever you are?
The world is on fire; Endellion was good-but-not-great; autumn in New York is almost as good as spring in New York; Chuck Schumer and his staff ignore their phones 100% of the time (Kirsten Gillibrand's staff is at least available sometimes, and my representative's staff ALWAYS talks to me); I made apple hand pies this weekend; the seminar I am taking is not as interesting as I was hoping but I will soldier on; the fact that no one has cut together the Elizabeth-Swann-relevant scenes from Pirates of the Caribbean 5 is an abomination; my office moved across campus and while there are some serious downsides, the fact that I no longer work in a dungeon is a net positive.
I cannot believe it is already almost Yom Kippur.
In case anyone around me was considering buying a house sometime soon and was also flailing over numbers.
Though thinking of my house we've got a new house being built across the street and another house was recently refurbed and sold some doors down, so I ended up looking up what our house is going for on places like Zillow, and even accounting for Zilloflation holy fucking shit.
The housing market, man. I don't even know what the hell people are thinking.
I did not get nearly enough sleep for the work day I'm having. We had three freight shipments this morning, usually we get that many in a week, some of which we needed for orders, we had backorders coming in that had to be logisticked out into shipped orders, and by now my head is spinning with guilt at not being able to write the things that people want me to work on or the things that I feel I should work on and at best I can do flash card like things with my brain. At worst I'm good for direct responses to questiosn and that's about it.
I need naps. Multiple. All of them. I just tried to drink from my water bottle before I opened it. I keep staring at work-related word things and it takes me a second to make them make sense. I mean on the plus side this is one hectic day at work plus some crappy sleeping? On the other hand dear god I hate not being functional and this is pissing me off and feels never-ending. Not to mention I just remembered how chaotic last week was and argh.
*sighs* Flash cards it is. I have the rest of a day at work, some grocery shopping, and then maybe I can either nap or read and fake napping enough to get my daily quota of words written so I can go to bed without THAT guilt too. On the plus side yesterday's sneezing fit seems to have been allergies because I'm not feeling it today at work in my nice concrete office/store building at all. So if it comes back next week, just start off with the anti-allergies and it should be fine. I hope. Did I mention I'm tired of being tired.
In April 2017, Terry Spears shared his story with San Diego’s local public media station KPBS on what it’s like to be listed in the CalGang database. Even though Mr. Spears says he has never been in a gang, it hasn’t stopped law enforcement from harassing him, and he once had his car seized for two weeks, disrupting his livelihood. He’s not the only one. California has several shared gang databases, the biggest of which is CalGang, and they are in desperate need of reform.
Fortunately, Governor Brown can sign a bill today, A.B. 90, that will go far in solving these problems.
As we explained in our earlier blogpost about A.B. 90, a 2016 California State Auditor’s report on California’s gang database was damning. It detailed how the CalGang database is riddled with errors and unsubstantiated information. It contains records on individuals that should never have been included in the database as well as records that should have long since been purged. And the system lacks basic oversight safeguards. The report went as far as saying that due to the inaccurate information in the database, it’s crime-fighting value was “diminished.”
With the engagement of a broad coalition of civil liberties organizations—such as Youth Justice Coalition, National Immigration Law Center, Urban Peace Institute, among others—much needed reform was passed last year. However, that bill (A.B. 2298) was written prior to the California Auditor publishing its findings and therefore did not anticipate many of the important problems identified by the audit. Therefore, further work is needed to ensure that the reforms passed last year are followed through by law enforcement agencies, and that we build on them to prevent future abuses.
A.B. 90 has passed the California Senate and Assembly and is currently awaiting Gov. Jerry Brown’s signature. As we argued in our letter to Gov. Brown:
A.B. 90 enhances accountability of the CalGang and similar databases by codifying new standards and regulations for operating a shared gang database, including audits for accuracy and proper use. The bill would also create a new technical advisory committee comprised of all stakeholders—including criminal defense representatives, civil rights and immigration experts, gang-intervention specialist, and a person personally impacted because of being labeled as a gang member—as opposed to just representatives from law enforcement.
Further, the legislation would ensure that CalGang database administration is supported by empirical research findings in developing criteria for including Californians in the database and to ensure that the information is not retained indefinitely.
A.B. 90 builds-upon and brings additional common-sense reforms to ensure that Californians can hold law enforcement accountable when they are unfairly targeted and listed in opaque databases.
Let's See What Happens (The False Destiny Remix) (1205 words) by celli
Fandom: Vorkosigan Saga - Lois McMaster Bujold
Rating: Teen And Up Audiences
Warnings: No Archive Warnings Apply
Relationships: Gregor Vorbarra/Laisa Toscane Vorbarra
Characters: Gregor Vorbarra, Cordelia Naismith Vorkosigan, Laisa Toscane Vorbarra, Alys Vorpatril
She didn’t know what shoes had to do with anything, but her superiors had been firm: anything was a possible lever with the Emperor, track and report it all.
* Coursera Style week 4 story (600/600)
* Coursera Setting week 1 story (308/300)
* Coursera Setting week 2 story (0/500)
* PODSA bedsharing/glasses fic (76/whatever)
* PODSA election night 2008 fic (863/whatever) (DON'T @ ME)
* PODSA gift story (1069/whatever)
* basic income contest story (124/5000) (I may drop this...the Coursera classes are taking up a lot of my writing time.)
* PODSA mpreg (2062/whatever)
* Star Wars auction fic, two scenes left (704/1000+)
* AIRPF AU with rajkumari905 (3316/whatever)
* AIRPF auction fic (0/1000+)
I am having a not splendid start to the week - was sickly all weekend (vague aches and pains, sleeping too much, and a round of "my stomach and intestines hate me" saturday night) which resulted in not doing a lot of the things I wanted to do, like unpack and mow the yard. Bleagh.
Woke up this morning at 1am with unidentified "something is wrong" which morphed into "fuck, sinus migraine headache from HELL" once I was awake enough to figure out where the pain was. Got to work, by which point my eyes were watering from the internal pressure in my head, but couldn't take anything because they were supposed to do a fasting blood draw on me this morning. So I put up with the pain, drink all the water, go in... and they can barely get half a vial out of me because I'm freezing cold. So I got stuck with a needle for no reason, and had to reschedule for friday, and NOW I finally get to take the sinus meds and drink the coffee to try to get this headache under control. Argh. GRRR.
On the upside, I still managed to make words on the morning train commute, so go me! But omg I just want to crawl back into bed and not move. >_<