In 2012, as a member of the Senate Finance Committee, Senator Ron Wyden was a strong advocate for providing the public with access to the TPP negotiating text. Now, as Chairman, the Senator has been silent on the public’s right to the text. This is an example of Wyden in 2012. Has his position changed?
Timestamp and notes on Wyden comments on need for transparency in TPP:
0:41 Have been contacted by a lot of people saying that you need permission from the administration, clearance to see the documents relating to the TPP. The public feels shut out of this, there’s no opportunity for debate on internet freedom issues.
1:17 Availability of information/text in TPP process doesn’t seem to be in line with president’s commitment to transparency and open government.
5:05 Members of the public call and tell me that there are requirements for them to have security clearance to see TPP text and documents on internet freedom. “What is wrong with letting the public see the text in real time, at least in terms of what your office is proposing, as it relates to internet freedom?”
6:15 Let’s resolve it by putting the text in real time, of what the proposals are that can touch on internet freedom. What would be wrong with putting that online and putting this issue to bed?
8:38 I’m on the intelligence committee, so every day I see where the lines are drawn between security clearances and what matters can be classified and what matters deserve national security considerations. American public does not want to be locked out of debates, the public wants the chance to participate in policy discussion. What I hope to we’ll do, is to make clear how important it is that you throw open the doors to USTR for the public to be heard on the internet freedom issues in TPP.
11:25 I feel very strongly with respect to TPP about getting the proposals, from a policy standpoint, not the classified matters, that you’re looking at, at getting them online and giving the public a chance to be heard on this.
14:45 That’s how it used to work, but we’ve got to do better. Take away that you’ve got a direct request to put portions of the text (not classified information) but to put text on the website and make it available for the public.