2011 May 25
Privacy law in the UK is fairly simple but its application is confusing, and this confusion has not been helped by recent events. Over the last few weeks we have seen intense criticism of the law, and its application by the judiciary, coming from politicians, the media and even the Prime Minister. Not everything being reported by any of these groups is entirely accurate. While this post will attempt to clarify the law to some degree, for a more complete picture, the recent European Court of Human Rights judgment in Mosley v The United Kingdom has a thorough outline of the law, and the Committee on Super-Injunctions produced a very thorough report on the current situation.
2011 May 24
In response to the raid on the German Pirate Party's servers on Friday 20th May, the following letter was delivered to the German ambassador to the UK this morning.
2011 May 21
I would like to add my condemnation to that of Sebastian Nerz and Rick Falkvinge, amongst others on yesterday's police raid of German Pirate Party IT Assets.
A French investigation into an attack on the IT infrastructure of the energy group EDF resulted in German authorities disconnecting and then confiscating the German Pirate Party's servers. This had the effect of partially crippling the party two days ahead of state elections in Bremen.
2011 May 20
After much planning the relaunch of the new IRC (internet relay chat) network used by the Pirate Party UK as well as other international Pirate Parties will be taking place in a couple of days.
If you are new to IRC, just connect using the webchat and join in! Party officials and members are regularly available for in-depth discussions.
2011 May 18
Today the Supreme Court gave a long-awaited ruling on the subject of DNA databases and the ability of the police to store DNA samples of innocent people indefinitely. In a majority judgment (with two of the seven judges disagreeing) the Court ruled that the police practices were unlawful. Due to changes in the law being discussed by Parliament the judges did not go as far as ordering the police to change their practices within a certain time-frame or awarding compensation. It was, however, suggested that if changes were not made soon, further cases could be brought which were likely to succeed.
While this ruling does not mark the end of excessive police profiling, or of the police DNA databases, it is clearly a step towards a more balanced and proportionate system, and should be welcomed by all those who seek a fair and just policing system
2011 May 18
As you may be already aware, today the Government published the long-awaited Hargreaves Review of Intellectual Property and Growth. As we had made clear in our submission to the review, copyright and patents should 'make not break markets', and the rights of innovators and artists must be balanced with those of the public to enjoy such work.
2011 May 16
Gavin Meredith has been elected as the new Party Treasurer.
2011 May 10
Format-shifting, space-shifting and time-shifting are curious oddities of copyright law. Two of these three are currently illegal in the UK, all are routinely done by thousands, if not millions of people across the country. While many of these people are merely unaware what they are doing it illegal, very few view it as wrong.
2011 May 07
Nominations for the role of Campaigns Officer are now open, and will close at midnight on 21st May 2011.
This time a year ago we were celebrating the first ever Pirate candidates in a UK general election. In May 2010, we stood candidates in nine Westminster constituencies, and received an average of 0.4% of the vote.
Although many of us were disappointed that the numbers weren't higher, it provided a good benchmark to judge our success in future elections. Over the last year, there've been quite a few of them!
2011 May 06
On behalf of the Pirate Party, I would like to thank the voters that turned out to cast their ballots in the national referendum on whether to change the electoral system to the Alternative Vote. The outcome is not what The UK Pirate Party or I had hoped for, even if it is what we had come to expect over recent weeks.
Our failure, both as a party and as individual campaigners, was to properly inform voters of the choice in front of them, or indeed why it mattered at all. The same criticism applies equally to the No campaign. On 5th May I was still explaining to people on the doorstep that they were going to be asked to vote in a referendum in addition to casting their council ballots. It is a sad day when, after months of campaigning on an issue as vital as electoral reform, voters were still unprepared to answer a simple yes/no question at the ballot box.
2011 May 02