Press Hit

Leaders of the Online Revolution: Meet the Political Party Taking on UK Digital Rights

Chesha is the newly elected leader of the UK branch of the Pirate Party – which has just celebrated its sixth birthday as an official political party– and he, naturally, wants to mimic the Icelandic success with the growth of his party.

But the challenge ahead is a colossal one.

In the UK’s general election in May the party put up six candidates for election who received a total of 1,130 votes between them – Chesha himself received 181 votes in the Northern seat he stood in. You might think that with more awareness of digital rights and mass surveillance, post Snowden and WikiLeaks, the party would have had more candidates representing it than ever before, but the number dropped compared to the previous general election.

In 2010, nine candidates stood for Parliament, getting just over 1,300 votes between them. The party fared better in the European elections in 2014 where it polled 8,500 votes in the North West of the UK.

There is a long way to go to reach Icelandic levels of notoriety; however, Chesha says he hopes to dispel the belief that the party is just about fighting for Internet rights. “Just like, for example, the Green movement are about more than just ‘the environment’, the Pirate movement is so much more than just an Internet lobby group,” he says.

Monday, 31 August, 2015 - 13:00

CMU Podcast: Apple Music, Universal, SFX Entertainment, Dr Dre

CMU's Andy Malt and Chris Cooke review the week in music and the music business, including facts, figures, rumours and deals at Apple Music, Universal's new playlist marketing boss Jay Frank, the latest on Robert Sillerman's attempts to buy back SFX Entertainment and the knock on effects for Beatport, plus the surprise new album from Dr Dre. The CMU Podcast is sponsored by 7digital.

Includes a mention of PPUK's 6th birthday.

Sunday, 9 August, 2015 - 14:15

SNP celebrates by-election successes

At South Lanarkshire, Hamilton South, the SNP held the seat vacated by Angela Crawley MP. First-preference voting was: SNP 1,881, Labour 1,396, Conservative 349, Green 127, Christian 77, Ukip 43, Lib Dem 32, Pirate 13. Swing from Labour to SNP was 16%, and turnout 26.8%.

Friday, 7 August, 2015 - 20:45

iTunes is Illegal: Why Copyright Laws Need a Drastic Overhaul

The simple truth is that ‘big content’ lobbies are wrong in claiming that they are the sole voice of artists and the creative industries. Big corporations have unfortunately appropriated Intellectual Property laws as a kneejerk reaction to seeing their profits threatened time after time by innovators outside the industry (think Napster, Pirate Bay) – whose interests lie beyond financial gain – rather than helping artists and creators, as they are originally intended to serve.

Friday, 7 August, 2015 - 19:45

Pirate Party UK celebrates sixth birthday, reminiscesKitguru -

“Throughout the whole time, Pirate Party UK have stood strong and fought for what is right. We’ve stood candidates in Local, General, Scottish and EU elections, and brought our message to millions of UK voters,” he said.

This was backed up by David Elston, PPUK’s deputy leader, who pointed out that just a few years ago talking about mass surveillance and government oversight was seen as a taboo topic that no one was particularly interested in. In contrast, today it’s a hot one that has engaged many people.

Thursday, 30 July, 2015 - 11:00

Pirate Party UK celebrates sixth birthday, reminisces

Though Kim Dotcom’s Web Social gathering has been probably the most consideration grabbing, various celebration championing on-line freedoms in recent times, Europe’s numerous Pirate Events have been holding the fort for the higher a part of a decade. Within the UK in-reality, it’s simply celebrated its sixth birthday, at which era the top, Cris Chesha has taken a second to mirror on the challenges confronted in recent times and the brand new ones set to return.

Wednesday, 29 July, 2015 - 10:00

The madness begins: Lambeth bans everything in legal high crack-down

Because none of the major parties have the bravery or the sense to oppose this comically illiberal nonsense, it's up to smaller fringe ones like the Pirate party to issue statements criticising it. Here's Mark Chapman of its Lambeth division doing what the major parties should be doing if they retained any basic comprehension or conviction:

Friday, 31 July, 2015 - 18:45

EU law that could make UK internet porn filters illegal is heading for a vote

For the past two years, the UK's internet service providers have been operating on an opt-in basis when it comes to certain adult content. Prime Minister David Cameron announced in July 2013 that pornography and gratuitous violence must be automatically blocked by ISPs whose customers then choose to opt-in to view it.

The new law would put an end to the UK "porn filter" as internet service providers would be barred from filtering such traffic from the start. Mobile phone operators in the UK have been using opt-in pornography filters for the past 10 years.

Yet the law may not be as wide ranging or clear cut as it seems, said Cris Chesha leader of the UK's Pirate Party. In the language of the law, "there are clear exceptions for court ordered IP blocks, and 'measures implementing this legislation such as a decision by public authorities', so there is no effect on either IP blocks or the government's objectionable content filters".

He called the new rules just "a small step in the right direction for consumers in that ISPs can no longer throttle connections" to allow preferred content to be delivered faster.

Chesha argued against the law's use of the phrase "net neutrality," stating the EU "should have no right to use the term". While these rules "claim to 'enshrine the principles of net neutrality into EU law'", he said: "That couldn't be further from the truth."

Monday, 13 July, 2015 - 19:00

The Democracy Interface: Time to upgrade?

Cris Chesha, Pirate Party UK leader and an IT industry veteran, believes that reshaping the core of digital technology itself can provide democratic emancipation. He explains that there is huge opportunity for technology to help address old problems that have, ironically, been accelerated by new technology: transparency, privacy, unequal ownership (of information) and inequality of access. One such opportunity, he says, is in developing the block chain, the encryption technology that is the basis of Bitcoin, the open-source currency. “The block chain is a means of storing information that cannot be hacked or altered,” says Chesha, “and because the information is decentralised and dispersed over a network, rather than accessed through one server, it is more robust.”

Friday, 10 July, 2015 - 12:00

Cameron calls on web firms to drop encryption for spies' sake

Cameron wants security services to read your private chats on social media by getting tech firms to drop encryption. The former leader of the Pirate Party, Loz Kaye, thinks Cameron’s anti-encryption moves are ill-thought out, and could spell disaster.

Friday, 3 July, 2015 - 14:45

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