8th June 2013 21:30 by Andy Halsall
Andy Halsall - Campaigns Officer
It seems that every other week we have a whistleblower to thank for making us more aware of what is being done on our behalf and apparently for our own good. The most recent revelations
give us a far better idea of the sorts of wide spread, in depth monitoring and surveillance that governments feel they can subject their citizens to.
Most recently, the US government has been shamed into acknowledging the existence a programme that allows it access to data held by US companies. This programme, code-namedPRISM, is an in-depth surveillance programme snooping on communications and stored information. The data available to US intelligence agencies includes email, chat, video, photos, file transfers, social networking details and more. Everything a government might want to put together a very personal picture of anyone from their activities on-line.
PRISM remains a classified programme, even now, and most of the details regarding the system and its use are still unclear. We don't know, for example, what this system has been used for, the nature of the access available or the full extent of who has access.
8th June 2013 20:26 by Loz Kaye
Loz Kaye - Party Leader
I know that many of you are as concerned as I am about the reports of the US surveillance programme 'PRISM' and that British intelligence has had access to it. The revelations have been truly shocking. The potential is for an unprecedented reach of snooping. Collecting of every type of data. Coverage of the technology giants that most people use for the Internet and computing. While the details remain unclear, we do know that PRISM exists. It's vital we get clarity.
As we have always said in the Pirate Party blanket surveillance undermines our freedoms. Freedoms that both the coalition and the Labour party are all too willing to sacrifice.
8th June 2013 19:25 by BlogEditor
If like us, you oppose mass surveillance, we would encourage you to write to your MP to make your position clear and ask them to act.
The letter below is an outline that you should customise so that it reflects what you believe. You can find out who your MP is here and if you do send your letter or an email, please let us know by dropping us a quick email to email@example.com.
Please remember that MPs receive a lot of mail so keep it succinct. To get a result, be polite. Don't be afraid to make a follow up phone call, you will almost certainly get to speak to one of their staff- but every little piece of pressure will help.
6th June 2013 17:07 by Andy Halsall
Andy Halsall - Campaigns Officer
In a week where there has been a lot of argument about what Internet service providers and search engines should do to protect children and adults from harmful content online, we seem to have lost sight of what we want to achieve. The government, it seems, wants to teach children how to use technology and the internet, but at the same time presents a view of the internet as a medium where grave danger exists around every digital corner. This sends a contradictory message to parents about their responsibilities and does nothing to provide the resources needed to meet them.
As a parent, I know that the internet can't be treated like television. It may seem like a silly statement, but it's one that happens to be accurate and is important to determine how the internet is used and managed in the home. You can't turn the internet on and switch to a children’s channel. Sure there are sandboxes for children to play in on-line, but they are easy to get out of and metaphorically walk away from.
21st May 2013 19:37 by Ed Geraghty
Ed Geraghty - Pirate Party Member
There are some people who will tell you that technology is "morally neutral"; they will tell you that it's only what we do with the technology which has a moral impact.
This is not necessarily true.
It is not only naive but verging on irresponsible to assume that all technology is a purely positive force - technology does not exist in a vacuum, it is not the result of spontaneous generation. All technology is designed, and it is designed with the biases of those who design it.
10th April 2013 23:19 by Loz Kaye
Loz Kaye - Party Leader
It's certainly never a dull moment as PP-UK Leader. Since my last update I have been busy advocating for our politics, including a lecture at the London School of Economics, meetings at the House of Commons, attending events about open data and taking part at the international "Rethinking the Internet" conference in Venice.
Equally, I have been working on the ground for residents in Manchester- whether it's helping to run a community consultation on possible new uses for an derelict building in Bradford ward where I stood last year, or pressing for regeneration in the East of the city. I also had an amazing visit to community projects in the Liverpool district of Toxteth. Great to see real transformation, it doesn't have to be all doom and gloom. I like this combination of the visionary and the practical, that's what politics is about for me.
7th April 2013 19:52 by BlogEditor
Nicholas Foden Supporter Pirate Party Manchester
Online privacy is something I feel very strongly about, and when I heard about the current government's plans to opt out of new EU social media laws, I decided enough was enough and it was time to take bigger stand. I won’t get into the depths of my views in this post but here is a brief idea of the situation.
The EU is proposing laws which would give users the right to delete any information online entities held about them, in its entirety. These laws would have wide reaching implications for safety and privacy online and would act to safeguard against information being stored, shared and sold online by companies such as Facebook and Twitter. Companies whose revenue streams are based on analysing and selling personal information.
7th April 2013 02:05 by Andy Halsall
The Party is coming out of a fairly hectic period, we have a new treasurer, a new press officer, many new board members and we have been working hard to deal with the transitions as well as all the correspondence and ideas that have come in from members and non-members alike. So, for the last month or so much of our focus has been internal and it is about time we turned back to the work that actually gets our ideas out to people in the UK.
So, over the next few days we will be going over out what the campaigns team has and will be working on in the next few months. If you have any suggestions or want to get involved in any way, let us know.
This post also talks about Local Organisation, a Candidates Call, European Elections, another call for board candidates and more..
4th April 2013 15:37 by Andrew Norton
Andrew Norton - Pirate Party Member
The current furore over the Work and Pensions Minister, Ian Duncan Smith, is highlighting not just the glibness of modern politicians when speaking to the media, but also that much of the media is focused on partisan bickering rather than on the reporting of news. There are two main aspects to this story. The first is the promise made by Ian Duncan Smith, and the second is the response to it.
So let's start with the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions.
Earlier this week he said he could live on £53 a week, in response to one man's complaint of the Governments cuts. 'If I had to I would' he said on BBC Radio 4. This was swiftly followed by calls to put his money where his mouth is, or, perhaps more accurately, try to feed his mouth with the money he offers.
3rd April 2013 01:24 by Loz Kaye
Loz Kaye - Party Leader
There is a joke from where I come from: A man is out lost wandering on Dartmoor desperately trying to get home. Eventually he comes across a farm. He asks the farmer “how do you get to Plymouth from here?” The farmer replies “I wouldn't start from here if I were you.”
I didn't say it was a good joke. But it is good advice for rethinking the Internet.
All too often the future of the Internet has been framed as how to serve outmoded business models, clamping down on sharing of information for a whole host of reasons, and who will be key industry players. If you will forgive me for conflating the net and the web, as is in fact the reality now, we shouldn't start from here. Because the web didn't start from here.