WikiLeaks wants to raise US$100,000 to offer as a reward for whoever leaks the full text of the controversial free trade agreement, the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP).
The news leaks website launched a fund-raising campaign Tuesday to come up with the bounty money. The free trade agreement, involving the U.S., Japan, Canada, Australia and eight other countries, has been negotiated in secret, and just three of its 29 chapters have been leaked.
"The transparency clock has run out on the TPP," WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange said in a statement. "No more secrecy. No more excuses. Let's open the TPP once and for all."
With the TPP bounty, WikiLeaks also launched a new competition system that allows the public to pledge prizes towards each of the world's most wanted leaks.
Supporters of the TPP say the agreement will make it easier for companies to sell their products to the nations involved in the deal.
Opponents in the U.S. say the trade deal will make it easier for domestic companies to ship jobs to countries with much lower minimum wages and to set up manufacturing facilities in countries with looser environmental regulations.
In addition, leaks have shown that the U.S. and some other countries are pushing for signatory nations to adopt strong new intellectual property laws. The proposed intellectual property protections would require some signatory countries to rewrite their existing laws, criminalize noncommercial sharing of works protected by copyright, and, critics say, create new criminal penalties for whistleblowers and journalists who access computer systems without permission.
TPP is the first of three large trade deals that the U.S. is pushing for in the coming years. It's unclear when the nations will wrap up negotiations, although the U.S. Senate passed legislation in May that gives President Barack Obama's administration authority to negotiate the deal with limited input from Congress.
Grant Gross covers technology and telecom policy in the U.S. government for The IDG News Service. Follow Grant on Twitter at GrantGross. Grant's email address is firstname.lastname@example.org.
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