This week two delegates from the Pirate Party UK attended the Eighth Annual Parliament and Internet Conference on 31st October. The event, held by the Parliamentary Internet, Communications and Technology Forum (PICTFOR) which is the leading all-party group in the technology sector in the Houses of Parliament, was attended by parliamentarians, regulators, delegates from technology industries, public interest groups and many more.
Several topics of discussion were debated upon, including "Are we privatizing morality?", "Communications data, surveillance and privacy", 'Cyber security in the business" and several keynote speakers including Hon Ed Vaizey MP, Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Culture, Communications and Creative Media, Department of Culture, Media and Sport and Ed Richards, CEO of Ofcom.
Pirate Party UK's Stephen Ogden said:
"Vaizey claims that the Internet remains at the heart of UK economic growth strategy. It may indeed do, and the Government would be right to keep it there, but while they allow web censorship by private companies, are obsessed with 'default on' broadband filters, are trying to ram the snoopers' charter down our throats, and do nothing to moderate the DEAct you have to worry if they have any credibility in delivering on this."
"When 'cyber security' experts warn how woefully under-prepared many SME's are to protect our data and with revelations from Snowden destroying faith in many commercial security products we are faced with a stark reality that security forces who claim to be working in our interest have instead left us weak and vulnerable. When will those responsible for this assault on our privacy and our safety be held to account?"
Pirate Party UK's Harley Faggetter added:
"It stuns me that Coalition MPs are persisting on blundering on with this ridiculous filtering proposal, when pretty much everyone we met at the conference this Thursday said it was unnecessary, and that the primary concern should be about educating not only young people better about sexual relationships, but parents too about looking after their children online and, more importantly, empowering them to discuss their children's concerns on issues like sexual health, relationships, and even orientation or sexual desires, without relying on crutches like "the birds and the bees"."
"This conference did little to address the important issue of internet governance, or even identify concerns beyond a meta-discussion about conferences discussing internet governance. What are the UK's plans for the future of ICANN and IANA? From the report on the IGF, I perceived only a great lack of interest in anyone actually taking responsibility. Internet governance must be through an open, international, and democratic body. The internet belongs to all of us and anyone should be able to take part in its governance."
Stephen Ogden and Harley Faggetter are members of the Board of Governor for the Pirate Party UK.