Party Blog

Don't Disconnect Us - Brightdancing Test

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This is a test post to see if youtube works.

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Sign the petition, and Talk Talk like a Pirate!

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Recently we've seen a wide array of campaigns and discussion forums about pirate politics. Billy Bragg has started a discussion blog, the Open Rights Group have done a lot of good work to raise awareness and talk sense about disconnection, and of course they have been a lot of petitions set up on the Number 10 website aimed at pointing out how wrong the government are to wage war on their own citizens over file sharing.

Now, a new player has entered the field of pirate politics, with a campaign against disconnection. Andrew Heany's petition against disconnections is different in one major way from all the others because it has the backing of the company he works for. Since he's Executive Director of strategy and Regulation at Talk Talk, this means we now have one of Britain's biggest ISPs actively supporting pirate policies.

McKinnon, Laws that Cross Borders, and Pirates

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Thanks to everyone who responded to the recent call for feedback on how the party should respond to Gary McKinnon's campaign and the wider issues it raises.  It looks like the bulk of answers are in, so here is my analysis of the steer from the party.

  • The party's membership is generally very supportive of Gary as an individual, but some are understandably reluctant for assistance to be Gary to be overly politicized or for the party to adopt an official line on one specific case. I interpret that to mean that individuals (including officers) can use party resources (primarily the website) to disseminate information about how to support Gary's campaign but that party will take no position on Gary's case as a party. Individuals give support to Gary in their own name and not the party's. There is also no expectation that anybody must or should be active in campaigning for Gary, and hence it is down to a personal choice. The party's role will just be to facilitate the sharing of information on how to support Gary.

Mandy confirms he'll cut off filesharers

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Lord Mandelson, the business secretary, has confirmed that the UK government is planning to cut off filesharers from the internet:

The UK government will take steps that will exclude persistent downloaders of content from connecting to the internet, it confirmed today.

The UK business secretary, Lord Peter Mandelson said that the UK would pass legislation to cut off people as a last resort. Before cut off, individuals would receive warnings that their activities had been detected and warned to cease and desist.

Support for Gary McKinnon

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I am not going to make an argument for supporting hacker Gary McKinnon in his bid to overturn the decision to extradite him to the US.  If even the Daily Mail believes he should be tried in an English court, then I find it hard to believe that the average Pirate is not well aware of Gary's situation.  Most of you will have strong feelings about it too.  I admit that I do.  The goal of this post is not to argue for my opinion - policy should never be made on the fly - but to ask for your help in deciding if, and how, the party should support Gary.

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