At the start of 2012 I began a series of posts about the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement - ACTA. These took the form of updates on how ACTA was developing. I did this because I had a sense of how quickly things were moving, and how complicated the issues were, and I wanted to try to track those as they happened.
To make that easier, Computerworld UK brought those updates together on a single page. It turned out to be an extremely exciting ride as opposition to ACTA grew across Europe, culminating in the rejection by the European Parliament on 4 July last year.
However, one thing we have learned is that those behind unbalanced laws like SOPA and treaties like ACTA, never give up. If they fail with one, they just try again with another. And so it turns out in the wake of ACTA's demise. We are now witnessing exactly the same secretive approach being applied to TTIP - the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership - originally known as TAFTA, the Transatlantic Free Trade Agreement.
Although TTIP only began a few months ago, it is becoming increasingly controversial as more people begin to realise what is at stake. As I explain in several updates below, one of the key problems is the presence of "investor-state dispute settlement" - ISDS - which I predict will prove to be the most contentious part of TTIP.
Indeed, I think it is likely that ISDS will generate so much resistance among the European public that ultimately it will be removed from TTIP completely in order to give other parts more chance of being passed by the European Parliament, which must approve the agreement once it has been negotiated. What follows is my attempt to track the twists and turns of the journey to that final, fateful vote.
On Open Enterprise blog.