TiSA, or the Trade in Services Agreement, is a trade accord currently being negotiated by 23 member countries of the World Trade Organisation (WTO), including the EU, the U.S., Japan, Costa Rica, and Israel. TiSA aims to further open these markets up for trade in services, such as e-commerce, cross-border data flows, and technology transfer. The negotiations of this agreement were launched in 2013 and are taking place behind closed doors. They are not subject to public to the same pressure for transparency, as other infamous trade agreements have been in the past, including ACTA, the current TPP, and the TTIP. However, this trade deal could have a similar, if not bigger, impact on digital rights and particularly the rights to privacy, data protection and freedom of expression.
Since the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPP) was signed and its text released earlier this year, preventing the passage of that agreement through Congress during its upcoming lame duck session has become a top priority. But there's another secretive trade agreement lurking out of sight and out of mind, which is also scheduled for completion this year: the Trade in Services Agreement or TISA, which contains many provisions that are a virtual copy-and-paste out of the TPP's Electronic Commerce chapter.