[Pirate Times Newsletter] The first edition.

A pirate newsletter with global news piratetimes at lists.pp-international.net
Wed Sep 26 21:42:38 CEST 2012

===== Edition 1 =====
vom September 26, 2012

Hello,  welcome to the Pirate Times Newsletter! You can also read the<br />
Pirate Times online at our blog [1] or for offline reading just<br />
download the PDF [2] version.<br />
<br />
Links:<br />
------<br />
[1] http://piratetimes.net<br />
[2] http://piratetimes.net/http://piratetimes.net/wp-uploads/news/2012/09/edition1.pdf<br />

>From “Paisios” to “Pastitsios” there’s a blasphemy
vom September 26, 2012 geschrieben von Stathis Leivaditis

A 27 year old was arrested by Greek police on charges of blasphemy,
because on his Facebook page he satirized a monk, well known as Elder
Paisios, paraphrasing his name to Elder Pastitsios, referring to the
famous Greek food “pastitsio”, macaroni pie with minced meat. Are
there limits to freedom of expression? Is there censorship in satire?
The answer depends on from which angle one sees things, but no one can
close his eyes when constitutional rights are being blatantly
violated. And in the case of the 27-year-old from Psahna Evia, his
inspiration was considered offensive, after seeing the police entering
his home, make seizure of his computer and waiver of confidentiality,
to open his account on Facebook, even for alleged blasphemy and
insults religion. This fact was discussed by the Pirate Party of
Greece on a press release entitled "Practicing in censorship", in
which they say it was unnecessary lifting of secrecy: 

  | "Although the adoption of ACTA wrecked in the European Parliament,
  | resident judges and prosecutors do not know. This offense is a
  | misdemeanor and not a felony, and in no way justifies downgrade
  | based on the law N.2225/1994 (as amended and in force), in
  | conjunction with Article 19 of the Constitution for "particularly
  | serious crimes" with effect of violating the privacy rights of
  | young users. We believe in respecting individual liberty, freedom
  | of expression, privacy and confidentiality of communications and
  | that the "lawful" actions of the authorities to refer the young
  | user was arbitrary and unlawful."

 The case originated from a question asked in Parliament by an MP of
 the far-right nationalist party Golden Dawn, previously known for its
 views on immigrants, people with disabilities and homosexuals,
 calling for the intervention of the Minister of Justice. The
 mobilization of digital community was immediate. Many groups in
 support of the 27-year-old were created, while the tag
 #FreeGeronPastitsio became an international topic and reached up to
 2nd place in world tweet trend, filling the internet with photos of
 macaroni pie. However, lawyers say that since the young man didn't
 challenge the symbols of orthodoxy, but a simple man who died in
 1994, there is no case that he insulted religion.

Inside the Clean-IT conflict
vom September 25, 2012 geschrieben von Paul Wardenga

CleanIT is a project by several European governments and private
stakeholders. The project officially aims to reduce the use (or abuse)
of the internet by terrorists. The list of the CleanIT goals reads, on
the surface, like it is motivated by the wish to protect children or
otherwise easily influenced persons from exposure to terrorist
content. This protection is motivated through a fear that these people
might become radicalised or otherwise harmed by seeing it.  After a
recent leak made public by European Digital Rights (EDRi), a
Non-Governmental-Organization (NGO), CleanIT has made rounds through
the blogosphere. The document has incited outrage because it contains
paragraphs about enforcing real names on websites as well as plans for
a filtering system against "terrorist content", without properly
defining the term "terrorist".  The Pirate Times talked with Pascal
Gloor, Vice-President of the Pirate Party of Switzerland. While at
first, in his function as a Pirate member, Mr. Gloor was not allowed
to join, he was later able to take part in the project's working
groups by virtue of being the President for the SwiNOG Federation, an
association representing small Swiss internet service providers
(ISPs).  Mr. Gloor is generally in favour of the project's aims,
because law enforcement officials made a good case for the
radicalisation and recruitment of young people over the internet
actually being a  problem. He told us that there were cases where
extremists used perfidious methods to induce hate in young people for
other groups of people (or the existing democratic system) through, at
first seemingly harmless online contacts. Of course, he does not agree
on any measures to solve this problem unconditionally..  This is a
point where opposition to the project begins. EDRi spokesperson Joe
McNamee, whom we also asked to comment on the issue, is not convinced
that there is a problem at all. He demands that CleanIT defines it
more clearly. He considers the whole project a carelessly and rashly
taken action with little substance following the motto _"someone
should do something, because terrorism isn't nice"_.  When asked about
his rationale for joining in on a project many Pirates and digital
activists categorically reject, Mr. Gloor told us:  

  | _"When you're taking part in the discussion you can change a lot
  | more in your favour than by merely rejecting it all together.
  | Pirates should seize such opportunities of participation beyond
  | parliamentary work."_

 Mr. Gloor explained that the heavily criticized paragraph about
 enforcing real names on the internet has been eradicated from the
 draft document, after he argued against it at the last CleanIT
 meeting a few weeks ago in Utrecht, Netherlands. Another example of
 what he tries to do from inside the working groups of CleanIT is
 giving input on the paragraph about "Semi-Auto-Detection" of critical
 content. He says that this part of the text is also undergoing strong
 revision in the current discussions. Arguments about the mere
 technical infeasibility of the amount of data processing this
 approach would cause have been raised. Another point about it is that
 it might be made impossible anyway by legal constraints for any
 measures that would go beyond simply googling for publicly available
 data.  Mr. Gloor was able to support some measures in good faith
 without changing much of their core ideas. One such measure is
 education and awareness at schools to make children less susceptible
 to hateful ideologies and the ways in which they are propagated.
 Another such point was the establishment of a help and info hotline
 for parents who are clueless about their children's internet usage.
 Mr. Gloor also said that he tries to advocate for more transparency
 within the group, on principle as well as for their own benefit, as
 he thinks most of the media coverage which followed the leak to be
 ill-informed. Whether a push for more transparency can be successful
 is unclear, as lobbyists and working-level officials participating in
 such projects "_are not used to this kind of new political culture"_,
 as Mr. Gloor notes. One example of non-transparency influencing
 coverage is that despite many news outlets reporting that CleanIT was
 an "EU project", the European Commission's funding of the project is
 restricted to paying travel costs to the meetings for the
 participants. Of course the Directorate General, which is paying out
 those funds is under the control of Commissioner Cecilia Malmström,
 who has a track record of political ideas that did not sit well with
 advocates of civil rights. Mr. McNamee therefore had previous
 negative experience on his side when he told us that he sees CleanIT
 as a deliberate attempt by the European Commission to push its own
 agenda onto private businesses. He considers this to be the reason
 behind the funding for this particular project. He also pointed out
 to us that because of this the Commission is most likely in conflict
 with Article 17 of the 2003 Interinstitutional Agreement on Better
 Lawmaking, where they agreed upon consistency of co-regulation and
 self-regulation proceedings with Community law as well as
 transparency rules for these proceedings.  Nonetheless, the actors
 "on the ground" are the governments and agencies listed on the
 project's website, who also mustered up the political will to start
 the project and likely would have paid for travel costs themselves,
 had the Commission not come along. After all, all member states
 involved in the founding of CleanIT, with the exception of Belgium,
 are currently governed by conservative parties who have floated
 comparable ideas before, all by themselves. Additionally, there is a
 long list of undisclosed private participants of NGOs, business
 associations and large internet companies.  The core, and probably
 most controversial part, of CleanIT is what the leaked document calls
 "End-User Controlled Filters". Contrary to what the name suggests,
 end-user controlled does not necessarily mean in the end-user's hand.
 _"It really is about parental controls"_, Mr. Gloor stated. Parents
 are supposed to be able to activate filters that are harder to
 circumvent than locally installed nanny software. On a very general
 level, even EDRi's Joe McNamee doesn't disagree: _"If parents want to
 implement user-level filters, they should have the freedom to do
 so."_  [caption id="attachment_2169" align="alignright" width="300"]
 [1] A protester against the Australian filter Cleanfeed picks up the
 "think about the children" line usually used by filter advocates.
 CC-BY-SA-NC Sally06[/caption]  However, CleanIT does not exclude the
 option that these filters might be applied at infrastructure-level,
 meaning through the ISPs. For many this goes beyond the end-user, and
 is extremely problematic from a civil rights perspective, as it is
 creating an infrastructure that might be abused for censorship. Also,
 according to Mr. McNamee, "_[n]etwork level filtering is less
 efficient, less configurable and less predictable than end-user
 filters_".  Mr. Gloor on the other hand could tolerate an
 implementation at infrastructure level, but only should it be done on
 a strictly _opt-in_ _basis. This means optional for the ISPs to
 implement, as well as optional for consumers to use it (should they
 have chosen an ISP who offers it). "This is the only version I would
 be willing to tolerate_" he told us, backed by concerns of both
 aspects of his double role - a Pirate, who doesn't want anyone to be
 subject to censorship or forced to use censorship-enabled
 infrastructure, and as the president of his business association, who
 wouldn't want to put the burden of an obligatory implementation on
 small ISPs.  "_All in all_", Mr. Gloor told us, "_the project is
 strictly constrained by the current legal situation in each
 participating country, data protection laws included._" He also gave
 an explanation for the much criticized non-legislative approach. The
 project's governments lack the political will to actually commit to
 any of the ideas far enough that they could move beyond what is
 covered by the current legal framework.  Because of this criticism
 gets directed at the nature of the current process itself. Public
 interest in this issue has grown to such high levels, that a quiet
 deal between ministries and industry associations, even one that
 merely explores the boundaries of current laws without changing them,
 might not be a feasible option any more. Mr. McNamee questioned how
 the project group got the legitimacy and technical competency to
 decide on any of these matters, outside of an orderly democratic
 process. He commented that the project is  

  | _"apparently based on an inexplicable belief that industry's
  | interests both today and forever into the future will perfectly
  | match those of society, without any need for democratic
  | oversight."_

  While this deeper look into the project shows that there is more to
  CleanIT than previous media coverage has taken note of, and some of
  it possibly not quite as bad as expected from the leak, this will
  certainly not appease digital rights advocates. Still, some red
  lines, which civil society and also international Pirate observers
  refuse to cross, might be seen to be in danger. One such line is the
  categorical opposition to even building an infrastructure fit for
  abuse as a censorship-device.  Child protection and civil rights,
  free speech in particular, have long been at odds. In discussions
  involving the topic of shielding children from harmful content, many
  participants state that it should be the parent's responsibility,
  not the government's or the service provider's. Should the final
  version of CleanIT not go beyond giving parents an optional tool to
  help them enforce restrictions on their own child's internet
  consumption, it might actually be a compromise worth discussing.
  Approaches like running the filter via modified home routers, which
  concerned parents can optionally request when they sign their
  telecommunications contract, might help. This would provide a more
  secure child protection than pure software, while it leaves
  consumers full control over their internet access, as they can
  always use a regular router instead. This would possibly keep the
  infrastructure beyond the WAN-port of those routers untainted in the
  eyes of digital rights and network neutrality advocates.  Another
  remaining controversial point is the practice of deciding
  regulations with high relevance for everyone in this manner, meaning
  as a closed-door deal between government officials and industry
  associations. Calls for increased democratic control will surely
  continue. Transparency is one way, and a crucial one, to improve
  relations with the public. Instead of relying on selectively
  publishing or  leaking draft documents, whether or not any ideas or
  planned provisions touch on civil rights could be subject to true
  public scrutiny.  This would begin with laying open any data on the
  problem CleanIT officially aims to tackle and continue with a more
  open meeting practice. It may be against the nature of working-level
  projects like CleanIT to provide transparency, but should they not
  warm up to the idea in this case, they will likely have to deal with
  public attention such working groups rarely get. Civil liberties are
  a sensitive issue, which might even prompt political factions beyond
  the Pirates to oppose something that includes even a hint of
  restrictions on them, as it is already happening with the European
  Greens. There have been faint attempts at increasing legitimisation
  otherwise, for example by now  listing Mr. Gloor as a Pirate,
  instead of the SwiNOG President, on the CleanIT web-page. Those
  attempts do fall short as the digital rights movement and the
  Pirates tend to answer questions of legitimacy in a much more basic
  democratic way and will demand direct insight into the processes. To
  expect that a conference, open only to invited stakeholders, however
  wisely selected across civil society they may be, will be seen as
  legitimate shows a grave misunderstanding of the principles and
  demands that the project's greatest critics have.  The next CleanIT
  meeting is scheduled for November in Vienna, Austria.   Header
  photo: CC-BY flickr user karindalziel
  http://www.flickr.com/photos/nirak/ [2] Photo of Protesters: CC
  BY-NC-SA flickr user Sally06
  http://www.flickr.com/photos/ocarr/with/3104746380/ [3]   

[1] http://piratetimes.net/inside-the-clean-it-conflict/cleanfeed-protester/
[2] http://www.flickr.com/photos/nirak/
[3] http://www.flickr.com/photos/ocarr/with/3104746380/

The Pirate Movement on Facebook and Twitter – September 2012
vom September 25, 2012 geschrieben von Josef Ohlsson Collentine

The pirate movement has grown with 7 138 followers on Facebook and 5
315 followers on Twitter. The aggregated amount of new followers is 12
453 during the last month. To see the statistics from last month you
can look here, these figures are from September 18th (1 month and 3
days after the last report). Last month there was an error in the
calculation of Facebook fans for Latvia (3587) the correct amount
should be 450 fans. This is why you can see a significant drop for
Latvia in this months' statistics and the number calculations are a
bit odd. This report about Facebook and Twitter followers is a
recurring statistical analysis which will become more interesting once
I have more history to compare with. This month I added the population
of countries and the followers per inhabitant written in scientific
notation (e.g. 5.15E-03 = 0.00515 followers / inhabitant in the
country). For now you will have to do with the following screenshots
of the data. But in the future I aim to make the raw data available to
whoever would like to dig deeper into it. *Facebook* The most
significant change can be seen in the 1 425 new followers that
Netherlands managed to gather. This coincided with their election and
campaigning. As we wrote earlier they did not get a seat but the
future is looking bright. The top countries seem to be steadily
adding followers, apart from Sweden who might have spammed away some
of their  followers by sending out up to six updates in a single day
(mostly three to four updates per day), another reason for the drop
might have been the controversial blog post [1] that Rick Falkvinge
had on his blog. The Czech Republic have regional elections coming up
for October 12-13 and we will hopefully see a significant jump in
their followers in the next month. Considering their per capita
followers they seem to be doing very good. In Israel a new pirate
party started and seems to be gaining a good amount of new followers
as well. Looking at followers per capita we see that Sweden is still
first by far despite being one of few countries losing followers this
month. They are followed by the Czech Republic and Luxembourg. The
significant drop of followers by Latvia, as mentioned above, is not a
real drop but a correction according the completely wrong amount of
followers reported for last month. The other significant loss is by
Poland who seems to have got their fan page deleted.  [2] * Twitter*
Germany keeps amassing followers and is far ahead of any other
country. They also have a second place as counted per capita. The
leader, when counted per capita followers, is Luxembourg who has a
small population of 511 800 citizens according to Wikipedia. In third
place we see Catalunya. The only major difference from last month is
the Netherlands who gained 1 186 new followers because of their
national election.  [3] _*Why only Facebook and Twitter and not
Google+, vk.com or others?_ - Mostly because it's hard to know what
other social networks to include. Only doing Facebook and Twitter
takes a lot of time as well, even though there are scripts to update
followers. The same reasoning goes for federated services such as
status.net as well since it's hard to gather useful statistics for
them. And on top of that Google announces that they will end this
service in November
2013. http://support.google.com/websearch/bin/answer.py?hl=en&answer=2664197
[4] _*Can I have access to the .csv file you used for these stats?_ -
Right now only if you have a very good reason and a set purpose with
them. I am working on updating contact information for different
pirate parties. The plan is to make everything accessible in a good
format with continuous updates. Giving out the information freely at
this stage would only cause several versions of the document being
around where some were badly updated. Featured image is CC BY Anton
Nordenfur. [5]

[1] http://falkvinge.net/2012/09/07/three-reasons-child-porn-must-be-re-legalized-in-the-coming-decade/
[2] http://piratetimes.net/?attachment_id=1624
[3] http://piratetimes.net/?attachment_id=1622
[4] http://support.google.com/websearch/bin/answer.py?hl=en&answer=2664197
[5] http://www.flickr.com/photos/nordenfur/8018740584/

Alex Arnold Becomes the First Elected Pirate Mayor!
vom September 24, 2012 geschrieben von Anton Nordenfur

[caption id="attachment_2030" align="alignright" width="160"] [1] Alex
Arnold, pirate mayor of Eichberg. CC BY PP Switzerland [2].[/caption]
The Swiss Pirate Party had a major victory Sunday, as 31-year-old Alex
Arnold was elected mayor of Eichberg [3], a municipality in North
Eastern Switzerland. He is not the first Pirate Mayor [4], but the
first pirate to be selected by an electoral process. The city of
Eichberg, were Alex Arnold was elected, has a population of 1,481
persons. The region's local Pirate Party is less than a year old, yet
Arnold managed to win the election with 60% of the votes, 349 votes
to 145 [5]. In office, he has vowed to focus on a policy of
transparency. Much like many pirates [6], he chooses to place himself
neither left nor right on the political spectrum. Thomas Bruderer,
president of the Swiss Pirate Party, said of the victory: 

  | These results are an important milestone for our young party.
  | Winning a majority vote shows that our members are not part of a
  | fringe phenomenon but are rooted in the midst of society.

 This is not the first victory from the Swiss Pirates - in 2010, they
 won their first seat [7] in the city of Winterthur, the sixth largest
 city of Switzerland. In the general elections of 2011, the pirates
 won 0.48 % of the votes, not enough to enter parliament but a good
 result for a young party. Featured image is CC BY-SA Schofför. [8]

[1] http://piratetimes.net/alex-arnold-becomes-the-first-elected-pirate-mayor/arnold_alex_450x3001-200x300/
[2] http://www.piratenpartei.ch/Die_Piraten_kapern_das_Rheintal
[3] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eichberg,_Switzerland
[4] http://www.welt.de/politik/deutschland/article106260063/Pirat-wird-Buergermeister-in-Vorpommern.html
[5] http://www.20min.ch/schweiz/ostschweiz/story/Erster-Pirat-wird-Gemeinde-Praesident-23152812
[6] http://piratetimes.net/neither-left-nor-right-an-essay-on-pirate-politics/
[7] http://www.tagesanzeiger.ch/zuerich/winterthur/Gruenliberale-und-Piratenpartei-gewinnen-in-Winterthur/story/11925544
[8] http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Eichberg_Kirche_sw.JPG

Interview with Dirk Poot, first candidate of the Dutch Pirate Party
vom September 21, 2012 geschrieben von Patrick Schiffer

[caption id="attachment_1484" align="alignright" width="300"] [1]
CC-BY Gregoire Verweijen[/caption] *Dirk Poot was the first candidate
of the Dutch Pirate Party for the past parliamentary elections on 12
September 2012. He is the press spokesperson and a member of the Board
of PPNL.*  Even though the Pirates did not make it into the
parliament the results improved significantly from the elections in
2010. Overall they tripled their number of voters from 10,471 in the
last election (2010) to about 30,000 votes this election. Many regions
saw a significant increase of voters and the best results were 0.7% in
Delft and 0.6% in Eindhoven, Groningen and Zandvoort. The future
success of the Pirates seems inevitable. Only in the past six months
their membership has grown from 372 to 1192 members. _Pirate
Times: Hello Dirk, I met you the first time at a benefit event for
the Maastricht Pirate Party where you spoke about copyright and
medical patents:_  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CqQWWuol8Yc [2] 
_This event was held about ten days before the parliamentary elections
in the Netherlands and it had the purpose of informing citizens about
the Pirate Party and its programme. __Tell us a bit about yourself -
your age, your profession, your role in the PPNL and other facts you
want to share._  *Dirk Poot: *I am 44 years old, currently I am
living close to Breda in the south of the Netherlands. I am
self-employed, working as a programmer. Mainly applications in the
medical field, but in the recent year I have been shifting my focus to
educational apps. I have been active in the Pirate Party since late
2009; in the 2010 elections I was #4 on the list and ever since that I
have been active in the press team and the blogging team. In 2011 I
was elected to the board and since December 2011 I have been
functioning as the press spokesperson for the board.    _*Pirate
Times:* Were you involved in other political or non-governmental
organizations, groups or teams before joining the PPNL?_   *Dirk
Poot: *When I was much younger I have been a member of the JOVD
(Jongerenorganisatie Vrijheid en Democratie), which was the liberal
youth organization of the, then liberal, VVD (Volkspartij voor
Vrijheid en Democratie: the main Dutch conservative party). Since 2005
I have been blogging actively, and when I read back on that blog, my
focus has been very much on democracy, privacy and medical issues. But
the PPNL was my first real political activity.    _*Pirate
Times: *When was your first contact with a Pirate Party and how?_   
*Dirk Poot: *It was at the end of 2009 through IRC, when I stumbled
upon the Dutch pirate party while blogging about ACTA and the loss of
the doctor-patient confidentially that would arise from the Dutch
government's proposal for an Electronic Patient File framework. 
[caption id="attachment_1485" align="alignleft" width="300"] CC-BY
Gregoire Verweijen[/caption]  _*Pirate Times: *What are the core
issues that motivate you to be a Pirate?_  *Dirk Poot: *I have been
using the internet in some form or other since the early 90's; the
recent efforts to turn the entire internet into a sort of
Compu$erve-like moderated forum and the inherent loss of freedom is
detrimental to our democratic and civilian rights.  My main motivation
is that I want my kids to grow up with the same freedoms that I had
the luxury of growing up with. Without censorship, with free access to
all information they require and without fear for being criminalized
for sharing their culture and music with their friends.    _*Pirate
Times: *If you were to be elected, what is the first thing you would
like to do or change at a political level?_   *Dirk Poot: *I would
have liked to kickstart, from within parliament, a broad discussion in
the Dutch society, bringing the need for copyright and patent reform
to the attention of other politicians and the general public and to
foster those discussions in the other European countries as well. The
aim would be to formulate a vision supported by a broad majority of
citizens to counter the one-sided policies that are being pushed by
copyright maximalists. As a more symbolic gesture, I would have liked
to request the new government to undo the recent name change of the
Justice Department, which is now officially called Department for
Security and Justice.   _*Pirate Times: *What is your opinion on the
state of civil rights in the Netherlands?_ *Dirk Poot: *Civil rights
are eroding in the Netherlands, probably faster than in Germany for
example. The Dutch citizens have very little regard for privacy and
very little people realize that the constitutional right to private
correspondence has been wilfully eroded in the transition from paper
letters to email. The Netherlands has the highest incidence of
phone-taps in the world, with 1/1000 phones being tapped. The
government actively monitors Facebook and Twitter for 'suspicious
activity' but refuses to give any details. The ultra conservative
right wing government, that has ruled Holland in recent years, is
trying to kill the very successful drug-policies we have had for over
30 years in favour of a faith-based war on drugs. The _wietpas_,
requiring citizens to register themselves if they want to patronize a
coffee shop, is another erosion of privacy as well as a threat to the
prevention of drug-abuse. The recent push to create a central
fingerprint database is also an example of a government that seems to
view each citizen as a potential suspect first. It goes beyond the
EU-requirement for 2 prints, and ignores the EU-directive that those
prints should not be centrally stored. By ignoring the fact that the
Dutch copyright law is outdated, and by allowing private lobby-clubs
to build a legal framework of jurisprudence upon those outdated laws,
the Dutch internet is quickly becoming one of the most censored parts
of the internet, with detrimental effects to freedom of speech and
freedom of information. Parliament has lost the initiative and the
citizens are paying the price. It seems the Dutch government is only
in favour of civil rights when they can be used as a propaganda-tool
against foreign governments, but has very little regard for protecting
these rights at home. The extremely tightly worded
'coalition-agreements' that the Netherlands have gravitated to, have
basically eroded the natural balance of power that should exist
between government and parliament, and has virtually ended
parliament's ability to control the government. And since Holland has
no concept of a 'Constitutional Court' the citizens have very little
recourse against the erosion of democratic and civil rights.  
_*Pirate Times:* What has been the reaction of the public to the
Pirate Party?_  *Dirk Poot: *In 2010 we were hardly taken seriously.
Our fight with BREIN (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/BREIN) [3] in
April and May this year has given us a lot of credibility. The
international success of the Pirate Parties has also helped a lot to
be taken more seriously in the political debate. As a result we had
much more opportunities to be heard during the last election campaign,
and we are seeing our points already being copy-pasted by other
political parties.  Dutch media however have turned the recent
elections into a three way battle between the largest parties, more
resembling a game-show like "Idols" than a serious election campaign,
so in the last weeks of the campaign the focus has been almost
exclusively on the old style political parties.    _*Pirate
Times: *Tell me a little bit about the Dutch pre-elections. What were
your best impressions and which problems did you have to confront?_ 
*Dirk Poot: *We were able to capitalize on the fact that the largest
parties waited a long time with their campaign. So in the summer we
were able to get quite a bit of media-attention. Since a new party has
to jump a lot of procedural hoops, our campaign has been much longer
than most of the existing parties. In July we were working hard to
gain enough signatures in order to enter the elections; this drive
proved a nice way to gain extra publicity.  The main problem we had to
confront is that Holland has no real impartial public broadcasting
system. What is called public media in the Netherlands is formed by
broadcast-associations, which are very closely aligned with existing
political parties. These ties go back to the days of radio, when Dutch
society was divided into different groups, based on faith or political
colour, in which each part of society had its own political party and
broadcast association. These old ties still form the basis and reason
of existence for the broadcasting associations, and during election
campaigns those ties are virtually impossible to break through.   
_*Pirate Times: *Was there support from other Pirate Parties? Are you
connected to other Pirate Parties worldwide?_   *Dirk
Poot: *Especially in the border regions we had a lot of help from
German pirates. We also had international support within the creative
team, and were able to copy-paste other Pirate Parties election
campaign materials. However our international connection is currently
contingent on one international coordinator, and we are trying to find
more volunteers to work on international coordination. Now that the
election race is over we must use the time to strengthen the party by
tapping into the huge member influx we experienced over the last
months, and also focus more on the international aspect, I think.   
_*Pirate Times: *The election results, 0.3 %, were sadly below the
expectations. What do you feel about the results in hindsight, and how
will this affect the party?_  *Dirk Poot: *It is disappointing that
we did not manage to gain a seat, but on the other hand we have
tripled our electoral support over the last 2 years; we went from 10K
votes in 2010 to 30K votes this year. 60K votes would have given us a
parliamentary seat. We have managed to quadruple our membership and
hopefully will be able to translate that into a more robust party
structure and a better equipped volunteer network. If we manage to
keep on developing the way we have, we should be able to finally gain
that seat during the next elections. It is also good to see that
patent-reform has been an election-issue this year and that other
parties seem to becoming aware of the risks and costs of patents in
general and medical patents in particular. Other parties have also
voiced concern about the power that the Dutch copyright law has given
to private organizations, enabling them to censor the internet.  We
have succeeded in making our issues more relevant and should use that
as a basis to keep on pushing these issues into the forefront of the
debate the coming years. It seems that other parties are also starting
to experiment with ways to implement Liquid Feedback into the
political process, which may help to bring some democratic reform to
the Netherlands.    _*Pirate Times: *When are the local elections in
the Netherlands?_   *Dirk Poot: *In 2014.    _*Pirate Times: *Will
the PPNL take part in the European elections in 2014?_   *Dirk
Poot: *Definitely.    _*Pirate Times: *Where do you think PPNL will
be in 5 years?_   *Dirk Poot: *In five years time we should have at
least 6000 members. Dutch elections are supposed to be held every 4
years, but the last 10 years we have had 5 elections, so around that
time we will have managed to gain that seat, maybe two, in the Dutch
parliament. Chances are that there will be Pirates in many other
national parliaments as well, giving us the chance to push our agenda
on a national level as well as on a European level.    _*Pirate
Times: *5 elections in 10 years? That's a lot. Probably the current
Dutch politicians are doing something wrong. In your opinion, what are
the causes for those frequently held elections?_  *Dirk Poot: *Dutch
politics seems to have become less about the greater good for the
country and all about the greater good of the party. The best analogy
I can think of would be a national soccer-team where the players are
so aware of the clubs that other players play for that they'd rather
loose the match than pass the ball to a player that normally plays for
a different team.  As a result of that, Dutch politics have become
extremely short term and is mainly guided by the opinion polls. Dutch
media are willing partners in the hype-of-the-day way of doing things,
so it has become of a self-amplifying system, from which it's very
hard to break free.  _*Pirate Times: *Thanks a lot for answering our
questions, Dirk!_   Additional Information about Dirk Poot:
https://nl.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dirk_Poot [4]
[5] http://www.joop.nl/opinies/bio/auteur/dirk_poot/ [6] 

[1] http://piratetimes.net/?attachment_id=1484
[2] http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CqQWWuol8Yc
[3] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/BREIN)
[4] https://nl.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dirk_Poot
[5] http://www.piratenpartij.nl/sites/piratenpartij.nl/files/sollicitanten-kieslijst-tk2012/cv-dirk-poot.pdf
[6] http://www.joop.nl/opinies/bio/auteur/dirk_poot/

Neither left nor right – an essay on Pirate politics
vom September 20, 2012 geschrieben von Zbigniew Łukasiak

"From each according to his ability, to each according to his need" is
one of the most well known Marxist slogans [1] and it is also how
Free and Open Source Software (FLOSS) is being used and produced.  Is
FLOSS communist? 

In FLOSS you choose what you want to do and you do it your own way and
you don't need to ask anyone to let you test your ideas, just like in
the free market you can test your business ideas without asking for
permission. Is FLOSS libertarian?

 FLOSS meets the goals of both communism and libertarianism without
 following the methods they propose.  There is no central planning,
 no government is dictating what everyone has to do, no
 state coercion forcing people to follow the plans.  But there are
 also no exclusive private rights over the use of the produced
 software, everyone can use it freely and people don't get money
 directly from selling their product. And it is not a kind of charity,
 there are people that participate out of pure altruism - but I
 suspect that more egoistic motivations are much more important: like
 proving your point, showing off, getting publicity or, especially in
 the case of companies, getting an edge in selling services related to
 the produced software.  Let me quote a recent blog post from a
 venture capitalist [2]: 

  | MongoDB is an open source data-store for web scale applications.
  | The first users were developers who wanted a simple, easy to get
  | started data-store. It was perfect for hackathons and such where
  | the developer needed to get something up quickly. This post I read
  | yesterday does a good job of explaining why MongoDB took off.
  | These developers became a network of users and contributors to the
  | open source project. Many of them worked in enterprises and
  | brought MongoDB into their teams. Soon enough 10gen started
  | getting calls from executives saying something like "I just
  | learned that we have 50 instances of MongoDB in production and I'm
  | eager to get a support contract".

 This is not charity - there is a business case in doing that and
 there are others.  Just like in the case of the famous invisible
 hand of the free market, the system guides the individual egoistic
 actions towards a common goal.  FLOSS shows how technology changes
 economy and politics. Software is only a part of the whole creative
 economy, that includes music, films, literature, patents and all
 other human endeavors that, in the current economic dogma, should be
 supported by selling copies of the original works and rights to
 making such copies.  The idea is to reduce the creativity problem to
 the free market solution by granting state enforced monopolies to
 making copies. This  worked pretty well in the last century when
 making copies was an industrial process.  Unfortunately with the
 advent of Internet and other personal communication media (like
 exchanging data on memory sticks), this clean solution started to
 show cracks.  It now requires more and more
 state coercion supported by more and more totalitarian
 surveillance of citizens.  It is a paradox that it is advocated by
 the same people who were abhorred by the state coercion practiced
 by the late communist governments. I can only explain it by them
 being so in love with the simplicity of the free market solution that
 they became blind to the problems that arise when it is forced on
 problems that don't fit it.  It works great in theory, in a theory
 that does not take into account actual human nature, and in that it
 follows the very steps of communist regimes.  Isn't that ironic? The
 pirate movement started as a protest against that heavy handed state
 coercion that is the result of enforcing copyright monopolies in the
 Internet era.  It is neither left nor right - it is about pragmatic
 reevaluation of the policies proposed by the left or right.  Do they
 really work towards the intended goals? Featured Image: CC BY-SA
 Elena Olivo

[1] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/From_each_according_to_his_ability,_to_each_according_to_his_need
[2] http://www.avc.com/a_vc/2012/08/networks-and-the-enterprise.html

Julia Schramm and DMCA Takedowns – a Pirate and Her Copyright
vom September 19, 2012 geschrieben von Gefion

Julia Schramm, member of the national board of the Pirate Party
Germany, published a book which came out a few days ago. Since she is
a publicist, this should not have come as a surprise. Julia announced
the book well before she was elected into the board of the German
Pirate Party during April of 2012. Time passed by, and suddenly - one
gets the impression - there was a book! It was published this week
and promptly illegal downloads became available, which were taken down
by her publisher, a subsidiary of Random House. The publishing created
some discussions as well as accusations. According to rumours, Julia
received an advance payment of 100,000 € from the publisher. Julia
herself did not confirm these rumours, but we can guess that the
amount is close to the real amount according to her earlier
statements. In an interview with Welt online [1], she explained some
of the details from the contract. For example: she is not allowed to
discuss her payment and she will re-gain the intellectual property
rights for her book in ten years (when she plans to make it publicly
available). According to the same contract, no one who downloads the
book will be charged. They receive a warning (a "yellow card"), and
might be charged if they then download it again. Julia is already
since before a very controversial person [2] within the German Pirate
Party. She used to be part of the "Spackeria" and roused complaints
when she stated that "privacy is so Eighties". Later, she described
the term "intellectual property" as "disgusting". This description now
comes back to haunt her, whilst her publisher defends Julia's
intellectual property. [caption id="attachment_1663"
align="alignright" width="153"] [3] Julia Schramm at the last GA | 
Bastian Haas [4][/caption] However, it seems, signing the contract did
not turn out to be the best decision for Julia. Being part of the
Random House Group, the subsidiary 'Knaus Verlag' is sure to defend
the rights they bought no matter the cost. Soon after the book was
published, the first illegal download appeared - a Dropbox file,
linked from a website that was set up for this sole reason [5].
According to rumours, this website was set up by the German tabloid
'Bild', in order to get a nice story from the expected takedown
notice. Unfortunately it was not possible to confirm these rumours.
The illegal downloads did not occur solely on Dropbox: there was also
a copy uploaded to the German Pirate Party Wiki [6]. The publisher had
all these files taken down via a DMCA notice [7]. These takedowns then
obviously led to international media reporting that a prominent pirate
acts in contradiction to the party values. The German manifesto [8]

  | "We therefore demand that copying, providing access to, storing
  | and using  creative products for non-commercial purposes must not
  | just be legalized, but actively promoted to improve the public
  | availability of  information, knowledge and culture, because this
  | is a prerequisite for  the social, technological and economic
  | development of our society."

 One blog already suggested [9], that paying 100,000 € is not a
 large sum if the "content-mafia" wants to disable the Pirate Party.
 Having a well known Pirate Party member sign a contract that allows
 to violate the party values in her name is sure to damage the public
 opinion of the whole organization. [caption id="attachment_1664"
 align="alignleft" width="250"] [10] The DMCA Take Down Notice at
 Dropbox[/caption] What makes the situation strange is the fact, that
 the German Pirate Party officials did not issue any official
 statement concerning the issue and their and/or Julias position. On
 request, we were told [11] that "the discussion around the
 publication of the book "Klick Mich" shows impressively the big
 necessity to consider new solutions for copyright. The helpless
 actions of the publisher Random House, facing the leaked online
 versions, shows how much publishers lost control in the informational
 age. It is about time to discuss a reformation of the copyright laws.
 Julia could not have offered a better example than the publication of
 her book." This half-official statement is most likely not enough to
 calm the media and the outraged pirates. A strong statement by Julia,
 explaining her reasons and the situation with her publishing company,
 might work more effectively. Calls for Julia to step down can already
 be heard, unfortunately she was not available for a statement for
 Pirate Times.

[1] http://www.welt.de/politik/deutschland/article109312559/Mit-feindlicher-Netz-Reaktion-habe-ich-gerechnet.html
[2] http://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Julia_Schramm#Positionen
[3] http://piratetimes.net/julia-schramm-and-dmca-takedowns-a-pirate-and-her-copyright/julia-kopf/
[4] http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/deed.de
[5] http://klickmichdownload.tumblr.com/
[6] http://wiki.piratenpartei.de/Datei:Julia_schramm_klick_mich.pdf
[7] http://dl.dropbox.com/u/106065903/julia_schramm_klick_mich.pdf
[8] http://wiki.piratenpartei.de/Parteiprogramm/en#Copyright_and_non-commercial_reproduction
[9] http://faz-community.faz.net/blogs/deus/archive/2012/09/19/julia-schramm-ein-buchdebakel-als-sieg-fuer-bertelsmann.aspx
[10] http://piratetimes.net/julia-schramm-and-dmca-takedowns-a-pirate-and-her-copyright/bildschirmfoto-2012-09-19-um-21-36-56/
[11] https://service.piratenpartei.de/pipermail/sg-presse/2012-September/000647.html

PirateCon – the PPUK conference
vom September 19, 2012 geschrieben von Gefion

The Pirate Party UK had a lot on their plate for their conference last
weekend. On Saturday, around 15 pirates enjoyed a sightseeing tour
with lots of socialising and had the opportunity to visit a gig the
conference organizers arranged in South London, where pirates
celebrated into the morning hours. Nevertheless, most of them were up
early enough to join the discussions at the "PirateCon 2012". [caption
id="attachment_22174" align="alignleft" width="300"] [1] PirateCon
Logo[/caption] It was really interesting to visit this event as a
German pirate - it seems, not only can other parties learn from the
German party, but we also can learn a lot from our British sister -
especially some pragmatism. The organisational structure of the party,
with round about 600 members, is very different from the German (or
any other one I know). The National Executive Committee (NEC) is
responsible for all organisational tasks and running the day to day
business of the party. It is elected every two years and is authorized
to assign other pirates with specific jobs or tasks. The board of the
PPUK is more like a council: It is elected every five years and
oversees the administration, discipline and arbitration. The board
gave an overview of the State of the Party: During the last year, the
UK pirates were primarily busy with their statutes, getting them into
a form that allowed functioning processes. They also had several
internal elections for the NEC as well as several assignments. In May
2012, Party leader Loz Kaye won 5% in a local election in Manchester.
Unfortunately, in the UK system, at least 50% of votes are required,
so this didn't bring him into any parliament. [caption
id="attachment_22409" align="alignright" width="300"] [2] The board
reports | CC-BY Gefion Thürmer[/caption] *Internal elections happen
online and follow a structured process* Internal elections for the
board, the NEC or candidates are held in the online voting system of
the PPUK. Candidates can be selected for single elections or generally
for all elections in their region. The NEC defined several conditions
that need to be met before a candidate can be assigned: For example
support from two other pirates, fulfilment of legal requirements (like
a residency in the requested area). All pirates are eligible to vote
for their regional candidates. Also, if there are not enough pirates
in an area to vote for a candidate, the NEC can appoint one. This also
ensures, that candidates are suitable to speak for the Pirate Party
and agree with their values and policy. All candidates have to go
through a telephone interview and meeting with one of the NEC members.
The process was introduced by the NEC members Andy and Phil and can be
discussed and improved in the PPUK wiki. Overall, the process is
supposed to help find more candidates, who can then promote themselves
and the party in their region. PPUK members rarely have a political
background. Primarily, they come from a technical background and want
to fight for their common cause. What exactly they stand for was a
big part of the discussions in several panels on the conference. *A
policy is required* In a continuous process, the UK pirates want to
define their policy: What do they stand for? What do these positions
mean to voters in their lives? What do candidates have to say to their
voters? How can these positions be developed? Andy Halsall (NEC
Campaigns Manager) collected suggestions and ideas and drafted a
manifesto out of 3,000 submissions. This draft will now be discussed
and then hopefully accepted by the pirates. The platform is supposed
to be evolutionary, it will be changed or amended where required at
every point in time for the future. The focus is set on evidence-based
policy: Positions shall be right and verifiable. "We know we are
right. But for the people we have to proof that we are, so they can
see that - and why! - we are right." Based on the platform,
campaigns, flyers and whole election campaigns can be run, with
amendments, for local requirements. The UK pirates track exactly what
they do and which impact their activities have - regardless, if they
distribute flyers, set up local websites, update online content, visit
or run events. Every activity is tracked and success is measured, to
make future activities even more efficient. They now found many things
that do not work, which helps them decide what kind of activities they
spend their resources on in the future. [caption id="attachment_22411"
align="alignleft" width="224"] [3] Campaigns Manager Andy Halsall |
CC-BY Gefion Thürmer[/caption] What they lack is manpower to put all
the great ideas into action. Especially the IT and policy groups
urgently need support. The use of Liquid Feedback is being considered,
to support the policy process - but there's no one to take care of it
so far. Currently, the whole infrastructure (from members management
down to the frontend of their homepage) is dealt with by only two
people. *Candidates are hard to find* Apart from support for working
and organisational groups, candidates are also much sought-after - in
a very obvious contrast to the German pirates, who have the opposite
problem with too many applicants for too few positions. The UK pirates
struggle to find enough candidates to participate in all their local
elections. In a panel with several candidates they discussed what
makes the Pirates different from other parties. For example, Labour
candidates will hold the same speech for all events they visit,
regardless of the present target group. Finally, a candidate who stood
in three elections in Scotland and Glasgow, pointed out that it's
important to not become "one of those politicians". Politics should be
for everyone!" Everyone should be able to participate in politics,
therefore candidates have to be real human beings, who are not seen as
"those politicians" by the voters. Especially beyond election
campaigns it is important to show presence and participate in local
activities to generate awareness. Political work should be
concentrated on personal relationships rather than electoral
campaigning. "The more you talk to people, the more they like you!"
Laura - another candidate from Scotland - pointed out. [caption
id="attachment_22407" align="alignright" width="300"] [4] Some
candidates in a panel | CC-BY Gefion Thürmer[/caption] At the end of
the conference, party leader Loz Kaye held a speech about the success
story of the UK pirate party and their achievements over the last year
and what comes next. The UK pirates are no longer overshadowed by
their bigger sister parties but can be confident and stand up in their
own right. The next important date is the election in Manchester
mid-November, after which they are looking at the EU-election in 2014.
More than enough time to build up the platform, create structures and
recruit more active members and candidates. Loz concluded: "Let's get
to work!" - with a direct response from the audience: "Can we go to
the pub now?" - which we did, to finish off with the conference with
constructive discussions, food and drinks. _With kind permission by
the Flaschenpost [5]._

[1] http://flaschenpost.piratenpartei.de/files/2012/09/pirate_con.png
[2] http://flaschenpost.piratenpartei.de/files/2012/09/Board.png
[3] http://flaschenpost.piratenpartei.de/files/2012/09/IMG_0432.jpg
[4] http://flaschenpost.piratenpartei.de/files/2012/09/Kandidaten.png
[5] http://flaschenpost.piratenpartei.de/

What is #piratepartyusa?
vom September 18, 2012 geschrieben von Brad Hall

In the early hours of August 18, two images started making the rounds
on Facebook, Twitter, and other parts of the Internet.   [1]The two
images were both part of the same advertisement found in the
then-latest issue of Adbusters, a Canadian magazine and non-profit
organization that bills itself as, “a global network of artists,
activists, writers, pranksters, students, educators, and entrepreneurs
who want to advance the new social activist movement of the
information age.”  One side of the ad had a white background and
featured a blue Pepsi can with an image of an elephant on it (the
symbol of the Republican Party) and a red Coca-Cola can with an image
of a donkey on it (the symbol of the Democratic Party). Above the two
cans was the statement, “_Can you taste the difference?_” Below
the two cans was the statement, “_America's political system is
dominated by two brands and 99% of blind taste testers can't tell the
difference._”  Below this was the Twitter hashtag #piratepartyusa
[2].  The next page of the ad featured a blue background. At the top
of the page was the hashtag #piratepartyusa. Below it, under two
paragraphs of text, was a skull and crossbones, reminiscent of the
Jolly Roger flag.  The text reads:  

  | _Our skull & Crossbones will pop up everywhere... every Mitt and
  | Barack poster, every lawnsign will have a blackspot... our videos
  | will go viral and our 30-second mindbombs will detonate on CNN,
  | MTV, and FOX. Pirate mayhem will engulf both conventions._ 
  | _Between now and November, we will create a ruckus bigger than any
  | ruckus America has ever seen before. We will occupy this election
  | with our revolutionary third party meme. We will let America know
  | the Coke/Pepsi Challenge is over and 4 years from now there will
  | be a third choice. This is a mutiny for a new America. Will you
  | join us?_

  [3] Below this is a website link, to piratepartyusa.org [4]. Then,
  as now, this link takes a visitor to a separate link [5] which
  features nothing more than a list of Occupy Wall Street events. OWS
  was created by Adbusters.  As the chairman of the Florida Pirate
  Party, I was interested. One of the main worries I had was that
  laypeople might view their message and misinterpret it as our
  message. One of the last things I wanted was for the Department of
  Elections (and others) to knock on my door asking why it seemed as
  though we were trying to incite a hostile takeover of the country
  and possibly threatening to bomb several television stations (does
  anyone even watch MTV anymore?).  Naturally, myself, as well as
  several other people trying to kick start the Pirate Party in the
  United States were wary. What was Adbusters' ultimate goal?  To that
  end, I contacted Adbusters via several contact addresses on August
  18th. A few days later, on August 23rd, I received a reply from a
  person named Erin Flegg who said the following:  

  | _Adbusters' interest lies more in the concepts behind pirate
  | parties, primarily those of the original European organizations,
  | and bringing them together with ideas behind North American green
  | politics. The idea is to push for a unified, "Blue-Green" party.
  | I've included a link to a recent piece on our website that goes
  | into a little more detail._ _Glad to see the message is getting
  | out,_ _Erin Flegg_

 The linked blog post [6] did nothing to further explain this
 “Blue-Green” party. So on August 28th, I sent a reply stating
 that I did not fully understand. It is currently the middle of
 September and I have yet to receive a response, nor has anything else
 materialized on the Adbusters side of things. Fearful of losing the
 overall Pirate Party message to these interlopers, the New York
 Pirate Party, Florida Pirate Party, and others began trying to
 “hijack the hijack” and started using the #piratepartyusa hashtag
 to redirect those who had seen the Adbusters ad toward our cause. The
 main point of contention among Pirates in the US regarding this is
 the fact that we were left in the dark while an outsider organization
 decided to start a campaign using our name without even telling us
 first. Since it has been several weeks since Adbusters has started
 this campaign and has not moved forward with any kind of further
 material, have they abandoned this campaign? Lindsay-Anne Brunner,
 leader of the New York Pirate Party had this to say, “Two minutes
 of research on their part would have led them to our site and
 information; why were we not informed of this 'campaign' prior to
 launch? This appears to be nothing more than haphazard work on their
 end, or they don't care about results after they've launched their
 'meme campaigns.'” Is Adbusters trying to create their own Pirate
 Party in the United States? If so, why supersede all of the
 pre-existing US Pirate Parties? While the Florida and Massachusetts
 Pirate Parties are officially registered within their states, there
 are far more smaller Pirate Parties in the US that are working toward
 gaining traction. Wouldn't it be easier to link up with those who are
 already trying to gain traction in their respective states and also
 work toward initiating progress in the states that do not currently
 have a Pirate Party? Of course, there is a silver lining in all of
 this. Adbusters does have the ability to reach many people via their
 website and magazine. Nearly every day since these images started
 making the rounds, the #piratepartyusa hashtag has been seen, and
 shared, by many people and organizations. People have been following
 the various Pirate Party Twitter feeds and Facebook groups. Our
 numbers have been growing stronger with each passing day. So no
 matter what Adbusters' ultimate goal is, we have benefited; are still
 benefiting. And that's not a bad thing. All pictures by: Adbusters

[1] http://piratetimes.net/?attachment_id=703
[2] https://twitter.com/i/#!/search/?q=%23piratepartyusa
[3] http://piratetimes.net/?attachment_id=704
[4] http://www.piratepartyusa.org/
[5] http://www.adbusters.org/campaigns/piratepartyusa
[6] http://www.adbusters.org/blogs/adbusters-blog/political-powershift-canada.html
[7] http://www.adbusters.org/

Who Votes For Pirates?
vom September 17, 2012 geschrieben von Paul Wardenga

*German study on voting behaviour gives insights on Pirate**s'*
*target demographic*   Who is likely to vote Pirate? Previously, there
have been mostly educated guesses about the target demographic of the
Pirates, tending to name young technology affiniados. A recent
representative study, carried out by Prof. Elmar Brähler and Dr.
Oliver Decker from the University of Leipzig [1], examined all
political parties, including for the first time the Pirate Party of
Germany. It shows that the general assumptions about pirate voters
aren't completely wrong, but incomplete. There are several more
aspects as to what makes a voter of the PPDE.  Starting out with basic
socio-economic factors, the study finds that someone who votes Pirate
is generally not wealthy. 10.8% of Pirate voters have a low household
income of less than 1000 Euro, more than the followers of any other
democratic party. 30% have, what the study considers a high income,
2500 Euro or more. This value is a little less than the median.  Also,
many Pirate voters are highly educated. Almost a third of them have
gained _Abitur_, the highest diploma that German secondary education
can award. This quota is higher than for the followers of almost all
all other German parties, with only one political competitor having a
marginally higher number.  Unemployed people are not more likely to
vote for the Pirates than for most of the other parties (in fact, a
relative majority of them don't vote at all). When it comes to fear of
becoming unemployed, however, Pirate voters rank the highest. One
might speculate that the relatively low paid jobs they tend to have
are usually insecure or temporary jobs.  Not suprisingly, the average
age of the Pirate voter is the youngest across the board, and almost
10 years less than that of the next youngest group of party
supporters. Challenging the stereotype that Pirates are nerds and
therefore predominantly male is the fact that the voter base is split
almost equally between the sexes (55% male, 45% female).  When looking
for differences in voting behaviour between urban and rural areas, the
researchers found hardly any difference for voters of the Pirate
Party. There is, however, a marked difference when considering the
vote of Germans with foreign heritage. The German Pirate Party gets
more than three additional percentage points, when only considering
the voting preferences of this group. This is more than any other
party of the political spectrum, almost all of which tend to be
shunned by them in favour of not voting at all. A possible reason for
this might be, that the grass-roots democratic approach and
indiscriminatory rights of participation, which the Pirates propagate,
might be attractive for a group who is generally having a hard time to
gain ground in the traditional political elites made up by the other
parties. Pirate voters also have the most contact with foreigners in
their daily lives. Only 6.5% said that they did not have any
foreigners in their peer groups, be it family, friends, acquaintances,
neighbours or in the workplace.  Pirate voters tend to be unaffiliated
with any religion (33%), at least slightly more so than followers of
most other parties (right-wing extremists and socialists have a much
higher percentage). Still, more than 65% say that they are either
Catholic or Protestant. The reverse numbers show the same picture:
Non-denominational voters are more likely to vote Pirate than those
identifying as Catholic or Protestant.  Regarding subjective health
issues, the researchers found out that the Pirates' voters have the
highest subjective level of health. They are also the voter group with
the lowest tendency to feel depressed. In a related question about
general anxiousness or fearfulness, Pirate voters ended up in the
middle of the field, within very close range of most other parties. 
The study also asked about media usage. Here, followers of the Pirates
match their stereotype quite well. They have a slightly lower usage of
classical media, such as printed press, radio and television, than all
other voter groups. In turn, they have a much higher usage of new
media than the others, and also come out above all the others on
general online usage (gaming excluded), with an even clearer margin. 
The PPDE's election manifestos do of course, by now, cover issues that
are beyond the very central and core values that all Pirate Parties
share, including a social policy that has been interpreted, by some
media outlets, as leaning toward the left. Nonetheless, the common
core values are communicated often and loudly, and should weigh in
heavily on the voters' decision.  The overall results therefore do
include the young and tech-savvy, but also show much more. Some of the
results may be interpreted as interesting insights into who the
Pirates' voters are, and what motivates them. It can therefore be
concluded that while local differences might play a certain role,
overall the results of the study make up some of the most thorough and
comprehensive scientific research done on the target demographic for
Pirate values and aims to date.  [1]
[1] (German) 

[1] http://medpsy.uniklinikum-leipzig.de/red_tools/dl_document.php?PHPSESSID=fkg77jlhmtjbt40lucn274opc2&id=282

Plastic Pirates Putin to Prison
vom September 16, 2012 geschrieben von Auntie Underground

_One more attempt was made to get hold of the cat. The lasso was
thrown, it caught on one of the candles, the chandelier fell down.
(Mikhail Bulgakov, The Master and Margarita [1])_ [caption
id="attachment_1191" align="alignright" width="199"] [2] CC-BY
PPRU[/caption] We heard that after failing to arrest the cat the
Russian police turned to Margarita and some four plastic pirates.
Reason - unlawful assembly. On September 14th, 2012, Margarita
Bashilova from Kaliningrad, Russia, wanted to protest against
cessation of the publication of local government documents on the
Internet. She started her demo with setting up plastic copies of real
members of the Pirate Party from Kaliningrad. With the help of her
colleagues she assembled the four pirate copies near the Kaliningrad
Duma (Parliament) building. The eyewitnesses told us that the plastic
pirates remained calm and did not disturb the peace, silently
presenting boards with their protest slogans. They stood there for 7
minutes when the police approached Mrs Bashilova and accused her of
organizing unlawful assembly. (Mind you, an assembly occurs when four
or more people assemble together). She was detained on the spot.
Neither she nor the plastic pirates resisted arresting, but it might
be that the police force just outnumbered them. Mrs Bashilova was
released after an hour although she may face a heavy fine or 40 hours
mandatory labour. The plastic pirates may face much more serious
charges - could be burned at the stake, put into a shredder or send to
a labour camp together with Pussy Riot, as we learned off the record.
Meanwhile, they are still under arrest and a rumour says they refuse
to testify. No one knows how long they can remain silent under the
good old KGB methods. -Auntie Underground

[1] http://www.masterandmargarita.eu/estore/pdf/eben002_mastermargarita_pevear.pdf
[2] http://piratetimes.net/?attachment_id=1191

The Pirate spirit detouring around politicians and stereotypes
vom September 15, 2012 geschrieben von Stathis Leivaditis

“Greece, what is really happening?” was the subject of the meeting
of German and Greek Pirates, just 2 days before the German Chancellor
and the Greek Prime Minister met officially in Berlin. Detouring
politicians and stereotypes the German and Greek Pirates, full of
enthusiasm and curiosity gathered in Mumble, the Internet platform
that hosts most of the Pirate Parties of the world, to talk about the
crisis: when it began, how things are now and what the common future
will be like. The politics today should not be shaped the traditional
way and as Kai Gödde, activist and member of the economic committee
of the Pirate Party of Germany, put it: if you want information, you
have to go and talk directly to the person that has it. “A lot of
things aren’t mentioned on the media. For me it was a very
interesting evening, I learnt more about Greece’s position”, Kai
said. The unemployment problem and the illegal immigration make for an
explosive mixture and feed the xenophobia present. Everyday wages are
going down, there are more cuts in social expenses, such as health and
education and more taxes for the majority of the Greek people that
can’t see the light at the end of the tunnel. Greek Pirates
mentioned that most of the people feel they are at war, or living in a
scientific experiment where they are asked to live with little or no
money. Shops are closing down like dominoes, teachers see children in
schools starving. All the measures that have been taken by the Greek
governments, E.U. and I.M.F.,since 2009, have led and still lead to
greater depression and poverty of the social fabric of the country.
Austerity does not work. During the meeting, the participating pirates
expressed their feelings with messages they sent to the Mumble text
column, writing “Greece ought to lead our E.U. revolution! Kill
Capitalism” or “the banking system has to be abolished”. This is
what happens when people come together. They pull draw the curtain and
see each other in the eyes invoking common problems to emerge to the
surface. Aside from popular – but not always true - stereotypes that
exist for each country, problems of survival, the feeling of
insecurity and uncertainty, anxiety, oppression and violation of
vested rights are more or less the same for simple citizens in Germany
and Greece. This was the first of hopefully many Mumble conferences
and its success, about 80 Pirates participated, led to a second
meeting planned in September with the Italian Pirates. Where
politicians fail to find a solution, ordinary people make the
difference in digital meetings where everybody has a voice. That is
the spirit of the Pirates and that is today’s politics via
participatory governance. The Pirate Party of Germany, in its sixth
year, has a great experience in making modern politics. The Pirate
Party of Greece, in its 7th month, is the only pirate party in Europe
that has compiled an economic programme. Both sides agreed that it is
necessary for the Pirates to go with a common programme in the
elections for the European Parliament in 2014.

TrapWire – Big Business Brother Is Watching You
vom September 14, 2012 geschrieben von Felicitas Steinhoff

On 10 August 2012 operators of the notorious whisteblower site
Wikileaks reported that they had been hit by a cyber attack. 10GB of
data were supposedly fired at their servers in a pretty severe
DDoS-attack. One reason for the attack could have been the publishing
of a large number of files related to a project called „TrapWire“.
The German online news portal "Spiegel Online“ reported that New
York is in talks to test a new surveillance system that is capable of
tracking movement patterns as well as license plates. Internal
documents of the global intelligence company Stratfor, however, reveal
that it is not only New York that would be affected by such a new
surveillance system. The leaked files, that have so far not been
verified, are supposedly contents of internal Stratfor emails. Should
the files be verified, an American INDECT is all but already up and
running, without the population's consent or even awareness. *TrapWire
is a Sales Hit* [caption id="attachment_744" align="alignleft"
width="300"] [1] CC BY-NC-SA Tim Bradshaw[/caption] So what exactly is
Trapwire capable of? Its operational system is mainly made up of its
infrastructure, which can be connected to video cameras that are
already installed in many cities and public spaces. In essence, much
like INDECT, it operates as an intelligent system that automatically
identifies "suspicious behavior“ - whatever that might entail –
and pushes the proverbial panic button. In addition, it utilizes
radiation detectors, face recognition software, and license plate
scans that can keep track of everyone and everything 24/7. Especially
the face-recognition component is supposedly many times more accurate
than its predecessors. TrapWire Inc., a subsidiary of Abraxas, sells
different versions of this infrastructure. Version “TrapWire Law
Enforcement” provides, according to the company, the "ability to
gather, analyze and disseminate information about surveillance and
logistical activities occurring across an entire geographic region“.
This version also has the possibility to be connected to other
"packets“. The "proactive surveillance“ system, in which the
camera-systems and platforms to over which people can call in
suspicious behavior, can be synchronized, is another example. Aside
from New York, other private and public buyers for the
all-encompassing surveillance systems have been found. The leaked
documents reveal, for example, that the State of Texas has signed
contracts with "TrapWire“. In an email dated April 2010, it says
that “TrapWire“ will be installed the following Monday. Another
document (Feb. 2011) states that TrapWire has already been installed
in High Value Targets (HVTs), such as New York, Washington D.C.,
London, Ottawa and Los Angeles. The public was not informed about
this. *Every step you make, every bond you break – I´ll be watching
you* [caption id="attachment_739" align="alignright" width="300"] [2]
CC BY-NC-ND vividBreeze[/caption] In order to market TrapWire, Abraxas
has created a subsidiary company TrapWire Inc. Abraxas, on the other
hand, has close business ties to Stratfor. All these companies share
an exceptionally high staff-rate of former intelligence service
employees, police and military personnel. You are amongst friends, so
to speak. Fear sells: the released documents reveal, that in order to
market the product, references to terrorist attacks and social unrests
were made. What is especially troublesome, is the aggressive marketing
that is contained in the documents: "Regarding SF landmarks of
interest--they need something like Trapwire more for threats from
activists than from terror threats. Both are useful, but the activists
are ever present around here." The contract between Abraxas and
Stratfor clearly states that Stratfor was supposed to receive 8%
provision for the marketing of TrapWire. Another document states that
sales pitches to the US Army, the Pentagon and the Marines were
successful. In case of the US Army, this is was confirmed by a public
announcement regarding surveillance systems. According to the
documents, sales talks with the Navy were about to begin. This was in
2011. *Civil Rights Activists sound the Alarms* On Pastebin, Justin
Ferguson collected information about TrapWire, which resulted in an
increase of public awareness. On 10 August 2012 #TrapWire was a
trending topic on Twitter. So far, we do not know if the Stratfor
files are authentic. If they are, it is scandalous. For one, it is
terrifying to imagine that such an all-encompassing surveillance
system is managed by a private business. Secondly, the emails reveal
how large the number of former CIA employees within Abraxas is, how
often they meet for lunch and with whom, and how it is virtually
impossible to separate corruption and "revolving-door“ issues here.
Not to mention the fact that none of this has been made public. Last
week, I attended an interview and was asked if surveillance systems,
such as the one in the movie "Minority Report“, were possible. While
I had not seen the movie, I replied that by now face-recognition
software is available that can distinguish between identical twins. I
also replied that it would be unlikely that private businesses would
employ such surveillance methods, due to financial constraints. If I
was asked the same question again today, I would point to the TrapWire
website. This article can be found in its original German form on
www.kattascha.de, where it was published on 11 August 2012 (CC BY-SA)
Written by: Katharina Nocun [3] (CC BY-SA) Featured
Image: CC-BY Frédéric BISSON

[1] http://piratetimes.net/?attachment_id=744
[2] http://piratetimes.net/?attachment_id=739
[3] http://piratetimes.net/www.kattascha.de

PPNL Did Not Get a Seat But the Future is Looking Bright
vom September 13, 2012 geschrieben von Josef Ohlsson Collentine

_Update:_ PPNL just passed 30 000 votes and has now a total of 30 438
votes with four regions left to count. One of these "regions" left is
the postal votes. Pirate Times have been following [1] the Dutch
elections today. With the counting of the regions very close to
done: 411 Final Results (98.1%), 1 Partial results (0.2%) and 7
Waiting for results (1.7%) we can see that the Dutch Pirate Party
(PPNL) did not make it into the national parliament. They currently
stand on 0.3% with 29 930 votes [2], hopefully breaching 30 000 votes
with the last 8 districts being counted. To reach the parliament PPNL
needed about 63 000 votes to gain the necessary 0.67% for one seat.
Even though the Pirates did not make it into the parliament the
results improved significantly from the elections in 2010. Overall
they tripled their number of voters from 10 471 in the last election
(2010) to about 30 000 votes this election. Many regions saw a
significant increase of voters and the best results were 0.7% in
Delft and 0.6% in Eindhoven, Groningen and Zandvoort. 

  | "I will say this, I've not seen any area that has shown a
  | reduction in votes for the pirate party, and only a handful with
  | no growth at all" - Andrew "K'tetch" Norton, USPP / PPUK member
  | reporting live [3] about election

 The future success of the Pirates seems inevitable. Only in the past
 six months their membership has grown from 372 to 1192 members [4].
 Pirates have always had a higher support from the younger generation
 and they grow up fast. The school pre-elections, which were held a
 few days ago, gave the Pirates 10 773 votes (9.35%) which would have
 corresponded to 14 seats if it had been a real election. The next
 elections will happen in 2014 and will hopefully bring at least
 another tripling of results. 

  | "The pirate party is the largest party of those not yet
  | represented in parliament (except for 50Plus, which is [already]
  | represented in Senate). We at least tripled in size since 2010.
  | Even if we don't get a seat now, I am sure our popularity keeps
  | growing" - Gerrit "Antior" Sanders, PPNL

 The supporters of Pirate Parties is clearly growing, not only in the
 Netherlands or Europe but throughout the world. This election was
 the closest a pirate party has been to enter the national parliament.
 Next month will not bring any more national elections but several
 interesting regional ones, the first one being in Czech Republic on
 12-13 October followed by Belgium, Australia, Switzerland and

[1] http://piratetimes.net/dutch-election-today-first-national-seat-for-the-pirates/
[2] http://nl2012.election-maps.appspot.com/results/embed?hl=nl
[3] http://www.ktetch.co.uk/2012/09/live-2012-dutch-parliamentary-elections.html
[4] http://www.piraten-statistiken.de/2012/07/30-tage-vor-der-wahl-piratenpartei-niederlande-auf-wachstumskurs/

Flattr Appreciation During August
vom September 22, 2012 geschrieben von Josef Ohlsson Collentine

In the spirit of transparency here is our income report for August. We
received €6.02 through 47 flattrs by 9 unique users. This money will
go to covering our costs for web space and paying our domain name.
More importantly it gives motivation to us since you show that you
care enough about our work to support it with money. Flattr [1] is a
microdonation service that allows you to give a small amount of money
each month to content you would like to give support. It can be
compared to a "facebook super-like" with money attached. Users act
like patrons [2] of work or people they want to support and  "many
small streams" it adds up to something larger. Date: 2012-09-10 User:
Pirate_Times Name: Pirate Times Period: 201208  

*		Thing:
* *		Clicks:
* *		Revenue:

		You can participate in European politics [3]

		Introduction of the Pirate Party Croatia [4]

		How Sweden Found an Effective Way of Broadening their Politics [5]

		The Team [6]

		About Us [7]

		Introduction of the Norwegian Pirate Party [8]

		PP UK Sysadmin Wins OpenDNS Award [9]

		General elections in the Netherlands [10]

		The Life and Death of ACTA [11]

		A program for the EU Pirates [12]

		Pirate Times website [13]

		The Progress of the PPI Board After 122 Days of Work [14]

		The Pirate Movement on Facebook and Twitter – August 2012 [15]

		The CETA IPR-Chapter Controversy [16]

		Overview over the PP NDS convention [17]

		Pirate_Times on Flattr [18]

		Flattr fee 10%
 		 - €0.67

		*Total sum for 16 things flattred by 9 unique users

  Featured picture is CC BY-SA David Baron [19].

[1] http://flattr.com/
[2] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Patronage
[3] http://piratetimes.net/You-can-participate-in-European-politics
[4] http://piratetimes.net/Introduction-of-the-Pirate-Party-Croatia
[5] http://piratetimes.net/How-Sweden-Found-an-Effective-Way-of-Broadening-their-Politics
[6] http://piratetimes.net/The-Team
[7] http://piratetimes.net/About-Us
[8] http://piratetimes.net/Introduction-of-the-Norwegian-Pirate-Party
[9] http://piratetimes.net/PP-UK-Sysadmin-Wins-OpenDNS-Award
[10] http://piratetimes.net/General-elections-in-the-Netherlands
[11] http://piratetimes.net/The-Life-and-Death-of-ACTA
[12] http://piratetimes.net/A-program-for-the-EU-Pirates
[13] http://piratetimes.net/Pirate-Times-website
[14] http://piratetimes.net/The-Progress-of-the-PPI-Board-After-122-Days-of-Work
[15] http://piratetimes.net/The-Pirate-Movement-on-Facebook-and-Twitter-August-2012
[16] http://piratetimes.net/The-CETA-IPR-Chapter-Controversy
[17] http://piratetimes.net/Overview-over-the-PP-NDS-convention
[18] https://flattr.com/profile/Pirate_Times
[19] http://www.flickr.com/photos/dbaron/2771996590/

Introduction of the Pirate Party of Catalonia
vom September 11, 2012 geschrieben von Daniel Ebbert

At the last General Assembly of the Pirate Parties International three
new parties received full membership status. One of them was the
Pirate Party of Catalonia [1], which we will introduce at this point.
For the Pirate Party of Catalonia Muriel Rovira Esteva answered our
questions. _*Pirate Times*: How is it possible that the Pirate Party
of Spain and the Pirate Party of Catalonia are members of the Pirate
Party International? Tell us also how you could rise from being an
observer membership to a full membership in the Pirate Party
International._ *Muriel:* Historically, Catalonia has been an
independent and self-governed territory like Bavaria in Germany and in
fact we have similar rights as German _Länder_ have nowadays. It is
common for non-separatist political parties in Spain to have an
independent brother party in Catalonia, since this is the only way to
be deemed as neutral by the voters in this regard, thus, the Pirate
Party of Catalonia is completely independent from the Pirate Party of
Spain. Additionally, both parties don't overlap during the elections,
because the Pirate Party of Catalonia does not run outside this
territory and the Pirate Party of Spain does not run inside it. PPI
statutes clearly say that there can be only one ordinary member per
country, however, as you can see in any dictionary, country doesn't
always mean sovereign state. Currently, Catalonia is considered a
country without being a sovereign state, so the Pirate Party of
Catalonia is running in one country and the Pirate Party of Spain is
running in a different one. _*Pirate Times*_: How is the relation of
the Pirate Party of Catalonia to the Pirate Party of Spain? [caption
id="attachment_713" align="alignright" width="231"] [2] CC BY 3.0
Marcbel[/caption] *Muriel:* As the pirate movement is still in
construction, there are three pirate parties established in Spain,
with the intention to confederate. There is wide communication between
the different Spanish territory pirates to bring this issue ahead. The
pirate parties in Spain do not compete for votes, but collaborate. We
carry out joint campaigns, and share material as well as contacts.
_*Pirate Times*_: Will the Pirate Party of Catalonia participate in
any upcoming elections? Please tell us about your expectations for the
next elections you will participate in. *Muriel:* There won't be any
elections in Catalonia until the European Parliament ones (as long as
there are no surprises and the elections for the Catalan Parliament
are not advanced). And we would like to run together with Piratas de
Galicia and Partido Pirata, as well as cooperate with the other
European pirate parties in order to have both a common campaign and
programme. _*Pirate Times*_: What are the core topics of the Pirate
Party of Catalonia? Are there topics that are unique to the Pirate
Party of Catalonia , something that distinguishes them from other
Pirate Parties? *Muriel:* This question gives us the possibility to
present our basic course of action summarized in what we have called
the Three Pirate Laws:  

  * First Law: A pirate representative will always vote in favour of
    The Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

  * Second Law: A pirate representative will always vote in favour of
    the Pirate ideology [3], except where such vote would conflict
    with the First Law.

  * Third Law: A pirate representative will always obey the decisions
    taken, through direct democracy, by the Assembly, as long as these
    decisions do not conflict with the First or the Second Laws.

  This allows us to prevent a hypothetical vote, from the Assembly,
  that might go against the basic rights of individuals to be passed
  on. _*Pirate Times*_: Tell us more about the inner structure of the
  Pirate Party of Catalonia. *Muriel:* On the one hand we have work
  groups (communication, international, legal...) and on the other
  hand we have also territorial structures. Each has a coordinator and
  uses mailing lists, pads, and Mumble. To take decisions we use an
  internet based tool, where any member can post proposals and then
  these are voted by all members. The voting results of the proposals
  are thereafter binding to the party. The General Assembly meets once
  every three months and the board once per month, and all meetings
  are open to participation physically or through Mumble. _*Pirate
  Times:* If you think 5 years ahead, what will be different compared
  to today's situation?_ *Muriel:* We will be well known! As we are
  learning and growing day by day, we will be involved in political
  responsibility. Due to the experience that the first elected pirates
  are gaining for us nowadays, we will be able to give better answers
  to important questions regarding policies in all issues.
  Additionally, also thanks to the pioneer efforts of the first
  pirates in governments, liquid democracy and open government will
  start to be seen by the general public not only as achievable
  down-to-earth objectives, but also as reasonable and necessary ones.
  _*Pirate Times*_: How do you manage to keep your financial balance?
  Do you have any special fund-raising methods? How can people support
  the Pirate Party of Catalonia? *Muriel:* The Pirate Party of
  Catalonia doesn't have any membership fee because we think that
  democracy should be for everyone and that participation in the party
  shouldn't be limited to those who have the financial resources.
  Besides, we reject owing money to any entity to prevent our
  decisions being influenced and to make sure we remain independent.
  Therefore, the funding comes solely from individual donations and
  merchandising. In the first year of existence, with three different
  elections, we managed to raise from 1,000 to 3,000 Euro per
  campaign. Right now we are preparing a system of optional membership
  fee, so that members can choose to donate a periodic amount and the
  available income of the party is more easily predicted, but without
  excluding any members for financial reasons. _*Pirate Times*_: How
  many members does the Pirate Party of Catalonia have at the moment?
  Can foreigners become members of the Pirate Party of Catalonia?
  *Muriel:* We have 800 members, and foreigners are welcome as long as
  they are residents, since they can vote in the local elections. In
  fact, at least 3% of us were born abroad (no official figures), 2%
  are foreigner residents, and 1% are German citizens. We abide by the
  human rights interpretation that no one is illegal and that everyone
  has the same rights, regardless of where were they born. _*Pirate
  Times*_: How long has the Pirate Party of Catalonia existed?
  *Muriel:* It got officially registration on the 4th of October of
  2010. However, we started working on our statutes in June 2010.
  _*Pirate Times*_: Something Else? *Muriel:* Salut i rom! This
  article is: CC BY-SA Flaschenpost [4] 

[1] http://pirata.cat/
[2] http://piratetimes.net/?attachment_id=713
[3] http://pirata.cat/ideari/
[4] http://flaschenpost.piratenpartei.de

Lower Saxony Pirates in a Turbulent Sea
vom September 6, 2012 geschrieben von Andrew Reitemeyer

 [caption id="attachment_439" align="alignright" width="300"] [1] CC
 BY Pirate Times[/caption] It took the Pirates of Lower Saxony in
 Germany three meetings and a lot of pain and anguish to select a list
 of candidates for their elections to the state parliament_, Landtag,_
 due in January 2013. A combination of factors led to a long torturous
 process to accomplish what most political parties can accomplish in a
 few hours. See Pirate Times article [2].   Dr. Meinhart Ramaswamy
 (the leading candidate for the coming elections), in a conversation
 with the author, identified some of the problems which stem from a
 variety of sources.  *Complexity* German laws are not consistent at
 federal, state and local levels. An EU citizen can vote in a local
 election but not in a state or federal one. The same is true for
 German citizens living in Lower Saxony, who are between 16 and 18
 years of age. Persons who are in the above categories but are non-EU
 citizens can become members of the Lower Saxony Pirate Party and can
 vote on elements of the manifesto but must not partake in any vote
 concerning candidates for elections. This means accreditation must be
 carefully controlled to avoid mix ups.  *Human error* The German
 Pirate Party members are volunteers who work long hours in their
 spare time and mistakes always possible if not probable.  *Trolls*
 Every organization has them with both good and evil but very
 definitely their own agendas. They will even subvert the democratic
 process to get their way.  *Time* A party that is based on open
 democracy will find time to get things done a valuable commodity. 
 The campaign will begin 22 September 2012 in the "constituency of the
 minister-president" David McAllister and the Lower Saxony Pirates are
 ready for a hard and piratic campaign.   [caption id="attachment_440"
 align="aligncenter" width="300"] [3] CC BY Pirate Times[/caption] 

*What can pirates around the world learn from all this?*

   *Think ahead* We pirates are human and we pirates are volunteers.
   We can and do make mistakes. Parties need to be mindful to set up
   systems to catch errors as they occur and to make provisions to be
   able to correct problems that, despite all the efforts to prevent
   them, slip through the net. We stand for transparency in politics
   but we are vulnerable when we practice the same. Our opponents will
   look for any excuse to criticize and ridicule so thicken that skin.
   If you are organizing a decision making meeting then:  *Think

  * Make sure you have a system for settling disputes that is agreed
    on before hand. If there is no Court of Arbitration or similar, in
    your parent organization, then create your own - have a minimum of
    3 people (always an odd number) elected to that office.

  * Create check lists for each step of the organization process.

  * Proof read all documents by at least two people who are not the

  * Have separate accreditation and identification,e.g. voting cards,
    if people are not allowed to partake in some votes.

  * Have printing facilities on hand in case documents are found to be
    falsely printed.

  * School all helpers in what they are expected to do before hand.
    Discuss what to do if something goes wrong and what to do if they
    discover a problem.

  * Ensure that critical helpers, such as election staff, are approved
    of by the delegates before the voting starts.

     *Take Time*   

  * Repeatedly ask delegates to point out any suspected problems.

  * Sort out problems as they occur. Even when it disrupts the

    Trolls will always be in our midst - they are annoying but they
    can provide a service. If they can find a weak point in your
    procedures then your political opponents will find them for sure.
    If you can identify them and put them to use identifying potential
    problems then do so. If you are a troll or have troll like
    tendencies then offer your services to the party before critical
    meetings and help the party to save time and money instead of
    disrupting everything afterward.  More generally: ask your local
    authorities to help you identify any pitfalls and traps in setting
    up your organization and preparing for elections. Read the wikis
    of other pirate parties and ask for advice in forums. They will
    not always apply to your situation but being aware is better. Get
    in contact with pirate parties in your near and share resources. 
    Share everything - it is a pirate principle.  
    http://www.piratenpartei-niedersachsen.de/ [4] (German)  Featured
    Image: CC BY Pirate Times

[1] http://piratetimes.net/lower-saxony-pirates-in-a-turbulent-sea/meinhard/
[2] http://piratetimes.net/overview-over-the-pp-nds-convention/
[3] http://piratetimes.net/lower-saxony-pirates-in-a-turbulent-sea/ppboat/
[4] http://www.piratenpartei-niedersachsen.de/

Do the Pirates stand a chance in the US?
vom September 5, 2012 geschrieben von Felicitas Steinhoff

Brad Hall's first encounter with the Pirate Party happened when he
happened across a post on Boingboing.net regarding the party.
Intrigued, Brad decided to ingratiate himself in the US movement,
aiming to become an embedded journalist. While supporting the cause,
he tried to distance himself from it. He failed and became one of its
top US members. Felicitas Steinhoff, whose first encounter with the
Pirate Party took place when she attended a meeting of the Pirate
Party Massachusetts in Boston this spring, quickly became an involved
member of the Pirate Party Germany after she moved to Hildesheim,
Lower Saxony. The two of them sat down to chat about the success of
the Pirate movement in Germany and the US Pirate Parties in general
with regards to their chances within the American political system.
_Felicitas:_ Although founded in Sweden in 2006, the Pirate Party
movement has seen its most successful rise to political power in
Germany, where it is now represented in three state parliaments and is
projected to pass the 5% hurdle in next September's national election.
In addition, all over Germany, Pirate Party members have been elected
into city and county councils, where they work hard to make
administrative processes more transparent and to enable citizens to
participate in direct democracy through Liquid Feedback Software. Now,
between our election campaign here, leading to the election of state
parliament in Lower Saxony this coming January, and the upcoming US
election, I want to ask: Do you see the US Pirate Parties capable of
achieving an equally large momentum? *Brad:* I believe it's possible.
The main problems facing the US party are that hardly anyone knows of
us, we're currently a small minority, and ballot access varies from
state to state. Contrary to popular thought, there isn't just one
Democratic Party, there's fifty individual state parties that join
together as the Democratic Party. In Florida, where I live, it's
relatively easy to establish a political party. Whereas somewhere like
Washington state, their laws seem to be written to exclude third
parties. In New York several thousand signatures must be gathered. You
live in Germany, how are political parties created and maintained
there? Do they have national parties or do they have the equivalent of
state parties? _Felicitas:_ Germany makes it easier for people to form
a party on a national, but also on a state level. There are a few
strictly state-level parties. Individual state and national elections
are stacked, just like in the US. The difficulty comes, much like in
the US, with the need to collect signatures, when you actually want to
stand for elections on any level - cities, state parliaments and
nationally. The biggest difference, I think, is that the Pirate Party
here was established as a national party first, which then worked on a
state level to create structures in order to to first get in state
parliaments or city councils. I think what really works in our favor
in Germany is the election system where any party that gets above 5%
of the vote will get seats in parliament, whether state, or national.
This made it easy for the Pirate Party to quickly translate its
popularity into political influence. In terms of the chicken-egg
metaphor: Over here, the chicken laid the eggs (we first had the
national Party, which organized itself due to the election cycle
primarily on a state level at first), whereas in the US you have the
eggs (the different state Pirate Parties) but have to wait for them to
hatch. I'm afraid US Pirates will have a much harder time and it will
take much longer. What I'm struggling with, in terms of the Pirate
movement in the US, is related to that: Do you think that there is
chance for you to go beyond the strictly local level within the
American two party system? *Brad:* There's always a chance. The
problem with the US Pirate Party's platform is that for them to really
be able to work, they would have to be implemented or at least started
from a high level, such as governor, senator, or even President. Of
course, there is plenty a Pirate can do in a local capacity as a mayor
or other county commissioner-type position. Being able to advocate
certain changes can go a long way to making those changes happen. In
order for change to happen, someone has to speak up. How does it go
over in Germany? From what I hear they have a President and a
Chancellor, how does that work? _Felicitas:_ Regardless of the people
very high up, such as the Chancellor or President, the fact that there
is that 5% hurdle that I mentioned before makes it easier for us to be
elected. What I find fascinating with regard to the US is that,
because of the Patriot Act and the increasing government surveillance
in the US, e.g. wiretapping, surveillance drones, you name it, the
Pirate Party could become such a strong voice in your country. In
Germany, people who are older are not yet as aware of these things as
in the US. I think that's a huge opportunity for the US Pirates. To be
provocative: I think the US Pirates will never stand Presidents, or
Senators or Governors, but if you get people into city councils or
even just into the streets with information and protests, as you have
been, you can really influence the discourse on these topics already.
I find that people in the US are much more easily motivated to
participate in such events. Maybe that's enough? What if the US
Pirates would focus on local issues and city councils and then also
stage large statewide protests and info-blasts on civil rights,
renewable energy, gay rights, etc? *Brad:* I think you're right in
that regard. Even if we never have a person in public office, just
making people aware of the situation would help sway public opinion
enough that the top two parties would have to make mention of our
aims. But, every political party, no matter how small, always wants to
win elections and eventually make their way to the White House.
_Felicitas:_ I think this sort of thinking is irrelevant, as far as
the political system in the US is concerned. It's, in my opinion, a
system that actively prohibits more than the major two parties from
participating. The Pirates in the US have the unique chance of
questioning this system from the outside, by adopting the
participatory structures the party uses in Europe. Would you agree
that this should be your main focus: To kick off a national debate
about the flawed political system? *Brad:* Absolutely. By shining
light on the inefficiencies of the current system, we can hope to be
able to introduce systems that would work better for this country.
_Felicitas:_ So, no run for the White House, but being the voice that
advocates an overhaul of the American political system as such?
*Brad:* Oh, we'll definitely run for the White House, when we're big
enough to be able to do that. _Felicitas:_ :) Spoken like a true
American;) Keep me posted! It was nice chatting with you! *Brad:*
Thank you, see you at the polls. Featured image: Original: CC BY-NC
[1] John Shao Adapted by Andrew Reitemeyer 

[1] https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/3.0/

Belgium Pirates struggled entering elections
vom September 4, 2012 geschrieben von Anouk Neeteson

 The new and small parties in Belgium are upset [1]. In a letter
addressed to Paul Furlan, Minister of Local Government and City
Policy, they complained about two procedural errors in organizing
provincial and local elections that hamper the preparation thereof. 
The first problem was that an application document for the
provincial elections necessary to gather signatures did not yet
exist. The other problem was that the official site [2] of
the ministry had two contradictory rules. On one page it was stated
that people could only register as a candidate in the constituency
where they were also resident. On another page it was clearly stated
that it was not obligatory to be registered in the voting
district concered. Meanwhile, this has been corrected with the help
of the community and protesting pirates. The twitter hashtag
: #hellopaul was used as a campaign [3] to get these necessities
fixed [4].   By the way, did you know that Belgium has six different
governments running their country?
The Federal government, the combined  Flanders and Dutch
speaking government,  the Wallonian government, the French
speaking government, the German speaking government and last but
not least the capital Brussels government.  

[1] http://www.lavenir.net/article/detail.aspx?articleid=DMF20120717_00182757
[2] https://pouvoirslocaux.wallonie.be/jahia/Jahia/
[3] http://geeko.lesoir.be/2012/07/19/hellopaul-un-appel-a-leveil-du-parti-pirate-en-belgique/
[4] http://dreamsandmoods.blogspot.be/2012/07/belgium-and-lack-of-democracy.html

PPEU Conference Barcelona
vom September 1, 2012 geschrieben von Justus Römeth

On this weekend there will be an international pirate conference [1]
in Barcelona. Apart from the final discussion and drafting of statutes
for founding of a European Pirate Party [2] there is also a panel
planned on broader, more general topics [3]. Pirate Times was able to
ask Muriel Rovira Esteva, international coordinator from the
Catalonian Pirate Party [4], a few questions. _*Pirate Times:* Muriel,
thank you for your time. After the drafting of the conference text at
the last PPI conference in Prague, and the meetings in Aarau and
Potsdam the upcoming conference is taking place in Barcelona. What was
the motivation of the Catalan Pirates for volunteering for hosting
such a conference?_ 

*Muriel:* When we were preparing for the PPI General Assembly, and
knowing that the European Pirates would be one of the important issues
to be covered in that meeting, we set up a poll asking our members
whether they wanted Pirates de Catalunya to have an active role in
this project, participating and getting involved in the work groups.
As you can see, the answer [5] was unanimous.

This is quite remarkable. If you take a look at other poll in our
participation system, you'll notice that it's very rare that all
voters agree on something in such a way.

The following vote concerning the ratification of the Prague
declaration was also remarkably categorical with only a single
"indifferent" vote [6].

Taking into account that there won't be any elections in Catalonia
until the European Elections (unless there's a surprise call for
regular elections), and what we knew our members thought, it just made
all the sense to commit to the project and help carrying it out.

Therefore, when the statutes work group in Aarau started discussing
the need for an additional conference before the founding one, I got
in touch with the rest of the party to confirm they thought it was a
good idea, too. And so we offered ourselves to host the event.

Of course, an event like this is very good to draw media attention, so
we also thought it would be a very nice way to promote the pirate
ideas among the citizens, which is one of our main objectives.

 _*Pirate Times:* Hosting such a conference certainly is no easy task.
 Could you tell us how many pirates were involved with the logistics
 behind it, and maybe give a short sketch of the planning process?_ 

*Muriel:* During the first weeks we were just a few from the most
active group of pirates but, as we needed help on this or that, we
asked our members and the conference work group has been steadily
growing. Right now there are roughly 40 volunteers covering the
different aspects of the conference.

First and most important was finding the right venue, which was
especially difficult due to the fact that we don't have that many
funds and that we had August in the middle, a month when everything
stops here. Then, we had a meeting to determine what would be needed
and sent a call for help to the members in our periodic newsletter.
We've been assigning tasks since then to the volunteers that have been
showing up, and in the last days we have divided ourselves in several
specialised teams, so that we can work independently and everyone
knows what to do.

Apart from that, the regular work groups and the board have also been
lending a hand. For instance, Communication has helped with some
translations and Creatives with design work.

 _*Pirate Times:* Brigitta Jónsdóttir, Aleks Lessmann and Josep
 Jover are very interesting guests for a panel. How did the decision
 to go beyond PPEU as a topic come about?_ 

*Muriel:* On the one hand, we knew that it's very difficult for a
large number of the international delegates to stay until late on
Sunday, because they have to return to their countries, so we wanted
to avoid having working sessions after a certain time to respect that.

And on the other hand, we wanted to motivate the general public to get
involved in the pirate movement and convey to them the importance of
funding the European Parties to coordinate our efforts at an European

That's why we thought of a series of talks as the closing session. The
three speakers will be talking about important issues which have an
international dimension, but in particular which are interesting for
citizens Europe-wide:

  * Many countries are facing now the same problems that Iceland faced
    a few years ago, something that is affecting all EU countries. The
    solutions they applied, which have proven quite successful,
    involved many pirate ideas which are now being disregarded by
    other governments, and that should be put forward for

  * The vision of Europe of the German Pirate Party, which is the
    party with the potential to get more MEP seats in the coming
    European Parliament Elections, will certainly play an important
    role in the following years, influencing future European policies.

  * Fighting law abuses carried out by some countries, through the
    coordination of European Pirate Parties, can be a very powerful
    tool to defend citizens rights.

  _*Pirate Times:* The conference is not meant to be the founding
  conference for PPEU (even though some Pirates disagree). Can you
  tell us a little bit more concerning the future of PPEU?_ 

*Muriel:* I think (and hope) that bringing together such large number
of official delegates to discuss the European Pirates Statutes will
give a definitive momentum to the project. Hopefully, it will
encourage European Pirate Parties to push this issue to higher
positions of their agendas so that the European Pirates will be ready
when the time comes.

After these work sessions we will be able to deliver these draft
statutes to all the involved Pirate Parties, so they will have some
months to review them and we'll be able to reach a high consensus
before the foundational assembly.

With the pirate movement growing internationally, the list of reasons
to coordinate our efforts grows with it. My dream is that the European
Pirates will draw pirates from different countries together to make
them stronger and more effective in our fight to change society.

 _*Pirate Times:* Are there any other upcoming conferences for
 internationally interested Pirates in Europe?_ 

*Muriel:* There is a conference planned in Rome the 17th and 18th of
November to start coordinating the election campaigns for the European
Parliament between the different parties. And there will also be the
big event of the European Pirates founding conference, once the
parties grass roots have had time to thoroughly discuss the draft
statutes . The founding conference will most likely take place early
next year and will probably be held in Luxembourg. Although we'll have
to wait a bit to know for sure the date and place.

 _*Pirate Times:* Muriel, thank you very much for the interview!_

[1] http://wiki.ppeu.net/doku.php?id=statutes:barcelona2012:overview
[2] http://ppeu.net/
[3] http://pirata.cat/congres2012/#english
[4] http://pirata.cat
[5] https://xifrat.pirata.cat/ideatorrent/idea/169/
[6] https://xifrat.pirata.cat/ideatorrent/idea/171/

Overview over the PP NDS convention
vom August 31, 2012 geschrieben von Justus Römeth

After the successes the German pirates had in the state elections in
Berlin, Saarland, Schleswig-Holstein and North-Rhine-Westfalia, it has
become a bit quieter, resulting in them dropping back to 6% in recent
election polls [1]. A lot hinges therefore on the Pirate Party of
Lower Saxony [2], which will ring in the 2013 election year on January
20th. Later in 2013 we will have elections in Bavaria and for the
German Bundestag, the national parliament. A success [3] in Lower
Saxony (last polls: 7%) would help tremendously to make 2013 an
overall success. On the weekend of 25th and 26th of August this year
the Lower Saxony Pirates met in the town of Delmenhorst (near Bremen)
to finalize the order of their candidates for the 2013 Lower Saxony
Parliament elections and to start working on their election program.
This was a big deviation from the original plan, where the candidates
were supposed to be elected in Nienburg on April 21 and 22, and the
following conventions in Wolfenbüttel (July 21 and 22), Delmenhorst
(August 25 and 26) and Celle (probably October 27 and 28) were
supposed to be used for broad discussions on the election programme.
This would have mirrored the slogan Themen statt Köpfe (Topics
instead of faces/heads). So the question is: What went wrong? A number
of members announced that they would fight against the Nienburg
results in court, and it turned out that two EU-citizens living in
Lower Saxony voted on the candidates as well. While German law is
pretty lenient on parties developing their program, and, subsequently,
the German Pirate Party allows non-Germans with residency (you can't
become a member of a German political party without either German
citizenship or residency in Germany) to vote on the programme as well
as to occupy internal positions, for example on the boards. However,
parties have to abide to stricter rules when putting forward
candidates for an actual election. German law states clearly that you
need to have the right to vote on election day (ie be 18 or older and
hold German citizenship for state and federal parliament elections) in
order to vote for candidates, and it seems that this was overlooked by
the accreditation team in Nienburg and two non-German members of
Piratenpartei Niedersachsen (Lower Saxony Pirate Party). [caption
id="attachment_397" align="alignright" width="210"] [4] CC BY [5]
Pirate Times[/caption] As a result, in Wolfenbüttel, the first day of
the weekend-long convention was used to discuss the voting system,
resulting in the pirates first selecting 30 candidates to be on the
list and then voting on their order afterwards. At midday on Sunday
however it turned out that two party members had been accredited that
would not have reached the age of 18 by January 20. In the hours left,
it was only possible to vote for the 30 candidates, but it was no
longer possible to also vote on their order due to the time
restraints. The result reached in Delmenhorst is not vastly different
from the one reached in Nienburg (also the numbers of votes reached by
the candidates in Wolfenbüttel is very similar). This supports what
Meinhard Ramaswamy, who topped the list both in Nienburg and
Wolfenbüttel said: "This is not the result of the Lower Saxon pirates
only fighting with each other, but the result of 20 pirates making
life hard for the rest of the Lower Saxony Pirates." Pirate Times will
publish an article giving tips on how to avoid unnecessary commotion
like this in the future later this week. This is to make sure that not
only the Lower Saxony Pirates can learn from their mistakes, but that
this knowledge can be shared with all Pirates out there.

[1] http://www.wahlrecht.de/umfragen/index.htm
[2] http://www.piraten-nds.de/
[3] http://www.wahlrecht.de/umfragen/landtage/niedersachsen.htm
[4] http://piratetimes.net/overview-over-the-pp-nds-convention/del_outside_ppnds/
[5] https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/

The CETA IPR-Chapter Controversy
vom August 29, 2012 geschrieben von Paul Wardenga

When discussing the aftermath of ACTA, another acronym tends to pop
up: CETA. CETA stands for 'Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement'
and it is a bilateral international contract, in the making since
2008, between Canada and the European Union. These types of bilateral
agreements, to foster trade and economic ties between the EU and other
countries, are a rather typical thing in EU foreign relations. It is
also not unprecedented that these trade agreements contain provisions
for issues not directly related to their primary goals of reciprocally
increasing economic benefits through free trade. A more recent example
was the European Union - South Korea Free Trade Agreement from 2009
which, among others, included provisions concerning worker's rights,
environmental protection and intellectual property rights (IPR). 
[caption id="attachment_334" align="alignright" width="300"] [1] At
it's core, CETA is a bilateral free trade agreement. However, it is
suspected to include controversial IPR provisions comparable to ACTA.
Photo: CC-BY-NC-ND Gord McKenna[/caption]  What makes CETA stand out
are certain details coming from a leak of the draft agreement dated
February 2012, which was widely publicised and criticised by Canadian
law professor Michael Geist[1]. Several IPR related articles of CETA
bear a striking resemblance to the corresponding articles in ACTA,
including the much criticized involvement of private businesses in the
copyright enforcement process. Another example is the "digital lock"
rule, which aims to effectively make backup copies of legally bought
CDs or the act of copying tracks to an mp3 player illegal. An
additional concern, that is frequently voiced by Canadian CETA
critics, is the potential increase of drug prices due to patent law
harmonisation, an issue which also played a minor role in the
anti-ACTA protests.The European Commission has since commented that
the current draft of CETA is significantly different from the leaked
version and supposedly takes the rejection of ACTA into account. It
might, however, prove problematic for the Commission to convince the
public of this without publishing the current draft, which it thus far
has refused to do. It is true that a draft publication would be
uncommon for an international negotiation of this kind. Democratic
control in such cases is generally warranted solely by parliamentary
approval as well as democratic legitimisation through elected
governments of the participating countries. Due to the overwhelming
public concern with these issues, the process is nonetheless perceived
as lacking transparency. Furthermore, the appeasing statements from
the European Commission concentrated on the inclusion of businesses in
copyright enforcement, but made no mention of other subjects of
criticism, such as digital locks, which further fuels suspicions about
the controversial passages remaining in the text. It is therefore not
surprising that arguments against CETA are being voiced by many
prominent anti-ACTA protesters. One example being the French net
freedom organisation _La Quadrature Du Net_ going as far as calling
for a complete cancellation of CETA, or at the very least an exclusion
of the controversial chapters from the treaty text.[2] The German NGO
_Digitale Gesellschaft_has released a statement in the same spirit,
including an appeal to the European Parliament to stand strong on its
previous opposition to the corresponding ACTA articles.[3] These
organisations can probably count on the support of all concerned
Pirate Parties, on both sides of the Atlantic, for their protests.
Without a solution for these issues, it is likely that CETA will face
a similar fate to ACTA. As with all international agreements the EU
negotiates, CETA has to be approved by the European Parliament. If it,
at that point, still contains phrases that were core reasons for
rejecting ACTA, a ratification is unlikely to happen. The Members of
the European Parliament will certainly not approve of being once again
served the same paragraphs that they just rejected and which net
activists and Pirate Parties will be sure to remind them of in the
coming months. If it actually comes to this depends on the Canadian
government and the European Commission. One option would be that they
are willing to risk a failure of the whole agreement over provisions
which were not even part of its original core intentions.
Alternatively, they might consider the facilitation of trade a
superior goal over affirming the status quo of the international
copyright regime, which is drawing criticism from a growing number of
people. After ACTA, which was also primarily aimed at preventing the
counterfeiting of tangible goods, the danger of an otherwise
relatively uncontroversial (apart from the drug price issue)
international agreement failing completely, because of highly
controversial internet and IPR chapters, will definitely seem very
real.  [1] http://www.michaelgeist.ca/content/view/6580/135/ [2] [2]
[3] [3] https://digitalegesellschaft.de/2012/07/nach-acta-kommt-ceta/
[4] (German) 

[1] http://piratetimes.net/the-ceta-ipr-chapter-controversy/vancouver_port/
[2] http://www.michaelgeist.ca/content/view/6580/135/
[3] http://www.laquadrature.net/en/ceta-the-zombie-acta-must-face-the-same-fate
[4] https://digitalegesellschaft.de/2012/07/nach-acta-kommt-ceta/

General elections in the Netherlands
vom August 24, 2012 geschrieben von Anouk Neeteson

You may have missed it, but Holland is slowly but surely being gripped
by election fever as election night creeps closer. It is still a while
away though, as they're being held on 12th of September. Yet the
electioneering battle has already started [1], still low key, as the
various parties position themselves.  The Dutch 'Piratenpartij'
recently entered the political arena in a multi-party system, meaning
it is difficult to get noticed. A recent poll [2] still puts them at
2/150 seats at the house of representatives.  With another three weeks
before elections take place to get noticed even more this is a
promising election [3] for the pirate movement.  [caption
id="attachment_292" align="alignnone" width="540"] [4] Copyright for
this picture: Sandra de Haan [5][/caption]  

[1] http://cloggie.org/wissewords2/tag/piratenpartij/
[2] http://www.powned.tv/nieuws/politiek/2012/07/twee_zetels_voor_piratenpartij.html
[3] http://falkvinge.net/2012/06/26/dutch-pirate-party-now-at-the-door-to-parliament/
[4] http://piratetimes.net/general-elections-in-the-netherlands/piratenpartij-540/
[5] http://www.sandradehaan.nl/

Introduction of the Norwegian Pirate Party
vom August 21, 2012 geschrieben von Anton Nordenfur

_Piratpartiet_, the Norwegian Pirate Party, started up this July,
after years as an inofficial group. They have already released a
political platform, and are getting ready for next year's national
election. The Pirate Times had a sit-down with party spokesman Sturla
Ellingvåg. We discussed the challenges so far, the future, and
thoughts about broadening their Pirate Party platform. *_Pirate
Times:_*_ What are the most important topics for the Norwegian Pirate
Party? What __do you focus on, and where do you find you are most

*Sturla Ellingvåg: *We only started up this July and for now we have
drafted eleven topics close to our core values. I say it's a draft,
because we are currently only a few pirates and it is important for us
that many are able to take part in the democratic process of
establishing our program. (_editor's note: the draft can be read in
Norwegian here [1]_) At the moment, we are building our organisation
and it is going very good. It's great to be a part of it!

 *_Pirate Times:_*_ What has been the greatest challenge so far? Has
 the beginning been __easy enough or have you had to face any big

*Sturla Ellingvåg:* Our first challenge now is to gather 5 000
signatures in order to be  registered in the general elections next
year. This has to be done by 1 January 2013 and we are making good
progress. We have been fortunate to get many resourceful and good
people aboard up until now. But we do need more people who can help in
gathering signatures around the country, so this is a challenge that
we are working on at the moment.

 *_Pirate Times: _*_What is the next big challenge for the party?_ 

*Sturla Ellingvåg: *The election next year will be a thriller. The
red-green coalition, headed by the Labour Party for the past seven
years, has been under much criticism but it will be a close race and
hopefully Piratpartiet will play a part.

 *_Pirate Times: _*_What do you realistically think lies in your
 future? Where will the party be in five years?_ 

*Sturla Ellingvåg: *We are aiming for the elections next year and
are working hard on building a party at the moment. It is of course
difficult to predict the future, so we're comfortable aiming for these
two goals at the moment. However, it is clear that Norway  really
needs a party like Piratpartiet, and there are many, many voters all
around Norway who are very tired of our political "establishment". So
if chance favours us and we work good and hard together, well then we
might just end up giving Norway and Norwegians a much brighter future.

 *_Pirate Times: _*_While most Pirate Parties started out with only a
 handful of issues to tackle, several - including the German
 Piratenpartei and the Swedish Piratpartiet - have started broadening
 their platforms. Are there any plans in the Norwegian party to do the
 same? What are the thoughts within the party?_ 

*Sturla Ellingvåg:* We have discussed this issue quite much and I
for one believe we will  follow Sweden and Germany here. But we are a
flat organisation with full transparency, so this is certainly not
only up to me.

 *_Pirate Times: _*_How do you manage economically? Are you getting
 any state support, are __you accepting donations? How can any
 interested readers help you?_ 

*Sturla Ellingvåg: *We are in need of more financial support. So far
we have received some support from good helpers, which has been
important. For those interested in helping, contact us at
post at piratpartietnorge.org

 Featured picture: Screenshot of piratpartietnorge.org [2].

[1] http://piratpartietnorge.org/kjerneprogram/kjerneprogram.html
[2] http://www.piratpartietnorge.org

PP UK Sysadmin Wins OpenDNS Award
vom August 19, 2012 geschrieben von Anton Nordenfur

The OpenDNS SysAdmin Awards were just handed out [1]. The awards are
annually given out to: "elite network managers who persevere great
challenges, oversee epic rollouts, hack creative work-arounds and
manage limited budgets“ all without much appreciation. The winner
this year, in the prestigious "Flying Solo" category, is the UK Pirate
Party [2]'s system administrator Steve Wilson. The SysAdmin Awards of
2012 are the sixth annual, and according to OpenDNS this year they
received more than triple last year's entries. Wilson and the other
winners in respective categories are receiving custom made awards
[3] with built-in LCD screens a worthy sysadmin should be able to
change through their network. Wilson became the sole administrator of
the PP UK's complicated and undocumented Django implementation. He
managed to fix it with many improvements in only 18 months, all this
as an unpaid volunteer whilst working full-time for his normal job.
The network is today serving an estimated 10 000 users a day. Before
Wilson took over the IT role, the party website wasn't near any top
million website rankings. Today it ranks in the global top 11 000, and
it is the 300th most visited website in the UK. 

  | "When [Wilson] took on [our] systems they would buckle if mass
  | mail was sent or if visitor numbers increased unexpectedly. It
  | would fall over randomly whenever changes were made, even if those
  | changes were cosmetic. I think I am right in saying that backups
  | existed, but restoring from them was something that involved a
  | number of chants and rituals involving candles." - Andy Halsall,
  | PPUK campaign manager

 Not only did Wilson fix the existing system, he also implemented the
 UK\'s proxy for the Pirate Bay [4]. The proxy quickly became the
 country's most used, with millions of users. According to Wilson,
 however, it's not all good - the popularity has also led to two
 separate denial of service attacks in as many months. These problems
 and others have been dealt with in a calm and professional manner
 from Wilson who keeps handling every problem the PPUK has thrown at
 him. The definition of the "Flying Solo" category is "a (true) story
 of the heroic SysAdmin who saved the world (or did something awesome)
 to save the day (or company) all by his or herself". This certainly
 fits Steve Wilson and his work like a glove. His work as SysAdmin for
 PPUK has inspired several other members to join their IT team. It
 seems like Wilson will have to run for another award next year now
 that he has gotten some help with the IT. Featured image: CC BY-NC-SA
 [5] Anton Nordenfur [6], CC BY-NC-SA [7] Pirate Party UK [8]

[1] https://www.opendns.com/sysadmin-awards/winners
[2] http://pirateparty.org.uk
[3] http://blog.opendns.com/2012/07/23/sysadmin-awards-coolest-trophy-ever/
[4] http://www.pirateparty.org.uk/Pirate_Bay_Proxy
[5] http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0/
[6] http://www.flickr.com/photos/nordenfur/7806992320/in/photostream/
[7] http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0/
[8] http://pirateparty.org.uk

The Progress of the PPI Board After 122 Days of Work
vom August 18, 2012 geschrieben von Josef Ohlsson Collentine

The PPI board has now served one third of their elected time and it is
a good time to summarize what they have accomplished. This might also
be a good opportunity to give the board praise for accomplished tasks
as well as point on things they are still behind on. With two thirds
of their time left, the future reports from the board will hopefully
indicate further improvements and progress made. The current Board was
elected April 15th 2012 at the PPI Conference in Prague. The board has
held eleven board meetings [1]  up until now (latest one being on
August 14th). The attendance of the board at the meetings have been
high, most people having only two to three meetings that they have not
been able to attend and therefore been excused from. The two people
that stand out are Nuno (who hasn't missed a single meeting) and
Jelena who only managed to attend less than half of the eleven
meetings. Important to remember is that these numbers only account for
excuses made at the time of writing the protocol, urgencies and
excuses made afterwards are not accounted for in the following meeting
statistics of the board: 

10/11 (1 excused) Co-Chairman - Gregory Engels / PP-DE 8/11 (2
excused) Co-Chairman - Lola Voronina /PP-RU 7/11 (3 excused) Chief
Administrative Officer - Travis McCrea / PP-CA 8/11 (3 excused)
Treasurer - Ed Geraghty / PP-UK 5/11 (2 excused) Board Member - Jelena
Jovanovic / PP-RS 8/11 (2 excused) Board Member - Denis Simonet /
PP-CH 11/11 (0 missed) Board Member - Nuno Cardoso / PP-PT

 One of the main tasks for PPI is to help new pirate parties to form
 and get started. During the time of this PPI board there have been
 registration attempts in Hungary, Iceland and Israel (there were also
 two attempts in Poland - the papers have been filed in the court for
 Polska Partia Piratów on 23rd of July, and for Partia Piratów on
 24th of July, but this is not exactly something to brag about). There
 has also been contact with people interested in trying to start up
 their own pirate parties in the following countries: Andorra,
 Armenia, Dominican Republic, FYR Macedonia, India, Iraq, Mali,
 Mauritius, Mongolia, Nepal, Nicaragua, Qatar, Thailand, and Uganda.
 Hopefully we will be able to cover these countries with an article
 once they get organized enough to start up pirate parties. The main
 problem the PPI board has had in this term is that they still, after
 one third of their term, have not been able to gain access to the
 assets in their bank account. The failure of this task can be
 explained in three parts. The first is a badly prepared hand-over
 from the previous board, making the task of getting access a slow and
 ardous proccess. The second part of the failure lies in difficulties
 in communicating with the bank, the current account has been closed
 (not explained why in board protocols) and the current treasurer has
 no legal proof that he is indeed the treasurer of PPI (the board
 mentions that they might have to wait until PPI gets a headquarter to
 solve this). The last part of the blame for this fail lies with the
 current board who have acted upon this task very slowly. A treasurer
 was not elected until the second meeting (1 May) where Ed Geraghty
 volunteered as a last resort. The next mention of the bank account
 happens at the meeting a month later (29 May) "Still waiting to talk
 with previous treasurer, when he gets back from holiday" -Ed. The
 first contact with the previous treasurer is mentioned in the meeting
 that took place two months after the board was elected (19 June) but
 there is still a lot of information missing. The next mention is at
 end of July (31 July) where some troubles with the bank are
 disclosed. The issue was mentioned again in this last meeting (14
 August) and seems to be prioritized now but not being closer than
 they are to get access to their own account is a failure of this
 board. Besides this, the board has progressed and accomplished a lot
 of other tasks during this first part of their elected time. Gregory
 does a good job summarizing everything in a nice report quoted below.
 The only additional points to mention are that the possibilities of
 an Internet GA(General Assembly) is being worked on and that the
 calls for arranging the GA 2013 are worked on but delayed (the board
 originally agreed to ask for applications for the beginning of June
 [2]. *A good summary of the other progress the PPI board has made can
 be found in the report that Gregory sent out a few days ago.* _Photo
 Credits: Mike Herbst_

[1] http://wiki.pp-international.net/PPI_Board
[2] http://wiki.pp-international.net/PPI_Board_Minutes_2012-05-29#11_-_Upcoming_PPI_Assemblies

The Life and Death of ACTA
vom August 17, 2012 geschrieben von Anton Nordenfur

In early 2012, the Internet was becoming an increasingly dark place.
The word had started to spread *ACTA*, a dark monster looming in the
darkest corner of the net, and then both SOPA [1] and PIPA [2] were
revealed , even more creatures of the night accompanying ACTA. For
vast numbers of internet activists and regular users, these beasts
seemed impossible to beat. Yet only six months later, ACTA, SOPA and
PIPA were all effectively dead. On January 20, US representatives
decided to postpone SOPA and PIPA. And on July 4, the European Union
voted against ACTA with a decapitating 92 percent majority, marking it
globally dead. How could this sudden change happen? How could a few
Internet activists lead a movement defeating ACTA? And is ACTA truly
dead? [caption id="attachment_201" align="alignleft" width="177"] [3]
Anti-ACTA poster from the Swiss Pirate Party (CC-BY).[/caption] 

! The Rise Of ACTA !

 ACTA, the Anti-Conterfeiting Trade Agreement, was a multinational
 treaty with its foundation laid in 2006 by politicians in Japan and
 the United States. Its aim was to fight conterfeiting and copyright
 infringments, both in the physical world - fake bags, clothes, et
 cetera - as well as online - illegal downloads of music, films et
 cetera. ACTA came before the public eye in May of 2008, when
 WikiLeaks uploaded a discussion paper [4] on the previously unknown
 agreement. During this time both Canada and the European Union had
 joined the discussion. Australia, Mexico, Morocco, New Zealand, South
 Korea and Singapore would join when the negotiations officially began
 in June of 2008. From the very start, ACTA was severely criticised on
 a number of points. One of these points was that it had been kept
 secret for too long, consciously excluding the citizens of the
 negotiating states, and denying the European Parliament access to
 documents that was granted to the United States. Concerning its
 content, ACTA was criticised as being too broad. It covered both
 physical conterfeit and digital file sharing under a single treaty.
 Many of the actual suggestions of ACTA were also criticised. One
 example being the original version of ACTA, that proposed a
 three-strike system where Internet service providers would be given
 police-like rights to shut off users from the Internet without a fair
 trial. In an open letter [5] from the Free Knowledge Institute, it
 was argued that "the current draft of ACTA would profoundly restrict
 the fundamental rights and freedoms of European citizens, most
 notably the freedom of expression and communication privacy." 

! The Fight Against ACTA !

 Six months before the European Parliamentarians would vote on ACTA,
 large groups of protesters started to rally throughout Europe. Before
 the rallies became large more immediate threats emerged that needed
 to be defeated first. Huge protests erupted simultaneously, both
 online and offline, against SOPA and PIPA (two other treaties that
 would greatly harm Internet freedom). On January 18, several thousand
 websites, including Google and Wikipedia, collaborated in the largest
 Internet protest to this date by temporarily blacking out their
 websites. This effectively showed what the Internet would look like
 if the treaties were passed. As a result of these protests SOPA was
 officially postponed on January 20, allowing energy to be focused on
 protesting ACTA again. [caption id="attachment_204"
 align="alignright" width="302"] [6] ACTA protests in Frankfurt,
 Germany on February 11. 
CC-BY Robert Skibicki.[/caption] In late January, the Polish
Parliament signed the ACTA treaty. This spurred protests both in the
streets and in the parliament, where even politicians wore Guy Fawkes
masks in protest [7]. As information about this spread on the
internet, the protests grew further. Several large protests got
planned throughout Europe for February. On February 4, many protest
rallies occurred throughout Europe, including several thousands taking
to the streets in Sweden [8]. On February 11, protests had been
scheduled throughout most of Europe. The protests took place
simultaneously in over 200 cities located in Germany, Sweden, Finland,
Denmark, the United Kingdom, Spain, Portugal, Greece, Denmark, Poland,
France, Italy and several other countries. [caption
id="attachment_207" align="alignleft" width="290"] [9] Protests
throughout Europe on February 11.
Public domain by Stanqo.[/caption] On February 22, the European
Commission asked [10] for the European Court of Justice to analyse
whether ACTA was compatible with fundamental human rights. This
delayed the European Parliament's ratification vote further. Even with
this doubt about ACTA maybe breaking fundamental human rights the
International Trade Commitee decided to hold the vote in early July as
planned, choosing to not wait for the Court's ruling. The decision has
been despised and cheered by both promoters and critics of ACTA. When
the treaty had started facing more and more criticism, it had been
argued that a delayed vote could have led to ACTA passing unnoticed
after mass media had tired of the "spectacle". The activist group _La
Quadrature du Net_were among those welcoming the early vote [11],
arguing that "the door remains open to a swift rejection of ACTA". At
the same time, a court ruling against ACTA would clearly have hindered
the treaty's passing, while a ruling for ACTA might have helped it

! The Death Of ACTA !

 With the European vote of ACTA coming closer, political commentators
 argued that a defeat in the parliament would lead to its very death.
 Many states participated in the negotiations, but the European Union
 was clearly one of the most important potential signers of the
 treaty, alongside the United States and Canda. It was therefore
 essential that the European Union signed the ACTA treaty if it was to
 have an effect. In June, original Pirate Party founder Rick Falkvinge
 called the July 4 vote "where ACTA lives or dies [12]". On July 4,
 the European Union voted against ACTA [13] with a decapitating 92
 percent majority, 478 votes against and 39 for the treaty. In Europe,
 as well as most other negotiating countries voting against ACTA, the
 treaty is now effectively dead. 

! Or Is ACTA Really Dead? !

 Before the final EU vote, Canada and the European Union started
 drafting a new treaty. The treaty was called CETA, Comprehensive
 Economic and Trade Agreement, and compared to ACTA it covers very
 similar grounds [14] when it comes to copyright. CETA could very
 well become the next big threat to an open and free Internet. Still,
 as commentators are careful to point out, the alarm bells concerning
 CETA are probably premature [15]. The latest leaked CETA documents
 are from February, a time when ACTA was expected to pass without any
 problems. CETA was constructed not as a replacement for ACTA, but as
 a separate treaty. This assumed that ACTA would already be in effect
 when CETA was to be voted on. Since ACTA was met with such enormous
 criticism and was ultimately voted against, it is still unclear how
 this will affect the outcomes and creation of CETA. It is possible
 that it might be rewritten to exclude the criticised sections, or
 CETA might simply be voted against by the same crowd opposing ACTA.
 Regardless of the ultimate outcome, politics is a complex game
 without easy answers. For now, let us continue celebrating the global
 and eternal death of ACTA, and the rise of human freedom. Featured
 Image: Stop ACTA [16] Screenshot | CC BY-NC-SA Anonymous

[1] http://americancensorship.org/infographic.html
[2] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/PROTECT_IP_Act
[3] http://piratetimes.net/the-life-and-death-of-acta/stop_acta_octupus/
[4] http://wikileaks.org/wiki/Proposed_US_ACTA_multi-lateral_intellectual_property_trade_agreement_%282007%29
[5] http://freeknowledge.eu/acta-a-global-threat-to-freedoms-open-letter
[6] http://piratetimes.net/the-life-and-death-of-acta/actafrankfurt/
[7] http://www.webcitation.org/64zkMch6h
[8] http://www.thelocal.se/38920/20120204/
[9] http://piratetimes.net/the-life-and-death-of-acta/antiacta_11012012/
[10] http://europa.eu/rapid/pressReleasesAction.do?reference=MEMO/12/128
[11] http://www.zdnet.com/acta-to-see-euro-vote-in-june-as-delay-averted-3040154905/
[12] http://torrentfreak.com/why-acta-lives-or-dies-with-the-vote-in-the-european-parliament-120603/
[13] http://falkvinge.net/2012/07/04/victory-acta-suffers-final-humiliating-defeat-in-european-parliament/
[14] http://www.michaelgeist.ca/content/view/6580/135/
[15] http://falkvinge.net/2012/07/10/alarm-over-ceta-appears-premature/
[16] http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-POCDQYBSFw

Introduction of the Pirate Party Croatia
vom August 16, 2012 geschrieben von Daniel Ebbert

At the last General Assembly of the Pirate Parties International three
new parties received full membership status. One of them was the
Pirate Party of Croatia, which we will introduce at this point. For
the Pirate Party of Croatia Ivan Voras answered our questions.
_Interviewer: Will the Pirate Party of Croatia participate in any
upcoming elections? Please tell us about your expectations for the
next elections you will participate in._ 

*Ivan Voras:* The next elections in Croatia will be local elections in
about a year from now. We will be present in the areas where we can
muster a sizable and effective local branch. We expect a mild success,
but hope to profit greatly from the publicity the elections will
generate for us.

 _Interviewer: What are the core topics of the Pirate Party of
 Croatia? Are there topics that are unique to the Pirate Party of
 Croatia, something that distinguishes them from other Pirate

*Ivan Voras:* Probably not unique, but surely with
differently-weighted emphasis. In Croatia, the main points of our
platform will be on introducing more transparency into all aspects of
the government - from politics to daily operation, and on expanding
the use of modern technologies into politics and the society at large.
There are still areas in Croatia with poor or no broadband access,
which needs to be addressed, as well as the question of metro-wide
free WiFi access.

 _Interviewer: Tell us more about the inner structure of the Pirate
 Party of Croatia._ 

*Ivan Voras:* The current structure is mostly ad-hoc and based on the
contributions of individual members, with little formal structure
(except that required by the government for all political parties). We
are planning to implement a decentralized structure based on strong
local branches, composed of members which can perform actual useful
work for the branch and are currently successfuly beginning this

 _Interviewer: If you think 5 years ahead, what will be different
 compared to today's situation?_ [caption id="" align="alignright"
 width="205"] [1] CC BY-SA [2] Juraj Fleiss [3][/caption]  

*Ivan Voras:* We must be realistic - the success of the German Pirate
party will be hard to

duplicate in an underdeveloped country like Croatia, but we hope to
gain popularity with students and the educated layers of population,
as well as with disgruntled but progressive-thinking population, who
are aware of the potential which can be realized from better
integration of technology and the society.

Though we hope that we could have some seats in local and (eventually)
state-level offices, we would actually also be happy if the problems
we point out get solved in any way possible. If we can force our
traditional political competitors, with our existence or actions, to
solve these problems, we would also be happy with the outcome.

We intend to be a party which focuses on results which can be achieved
either within or without government positions, not on promises and

 _Interviewer: How do you manage to keep your financial balance? Do
 you have any special fund-raising methods? How can people support the
 Pirate Party of Croatia?_ 

*Ivan Voras:* At the time of the writing of this text we have been
officially registered as a political party for less than a month. Our
current assets have exclusively come from donations of enthusiastic
members, and we are hoping to rely on the donations for some time in
the future. Our donations are transparent and targeted for specific,
published purposes, and we hope that this will be a real reflection of
our popularity.

 _Interviewer: How many members does the Pirate Party of Croatia have
 at the moment? Can foreigners become members of the Pirate Party of

*Ivan Voras:* We currently only accept members willing to invest time
in working on specific tasks which are needed to establish a real,
functional political party. This means that there are relatively few
official and active members - around 40, but there are also around 200
potential members "in waiting" and whom we will probably have join as
"inactive" supporters once we are ready for such a thing. We have a
couple of thousand people following our Facebook and Twitter pages,
whom we consider sympathizers.Due to constrains in Croatian law on
political parties, foreigners can be engaged as active observers,
supporters, or honorary members while being engaged in specific
activities, such as open-source initiatives.

 _Interviewer: How long does has the Pirate Party of Croatia existed?_

*Ivan Voras:* We consider that the birthday of our Party was on the
13th of April, so we are really young. Even so, it is always
surprising to watch how much support and interest we have collected in
this short amount of time.

 For this article: CC BY-SA Flaschenpost Featured Image: CC BY-SA
 [4]  Juraj Fleiss [5]  

[1] http://piratetimes.net/introduction-of-the-pirate-party-croatia/piratenpartei-kroatien-herz-jpg-205x300/
[2] https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/
[3] http://jurajfleiss.com/
[4] https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/
[5] http://jurajfleiss.com/

The Pirate Movement on Facebook and Twitter – August 2012
vom August 15, 2012 geschrieben von Josef Ohlsson Collentine

The pirate movement has a total of 536.794 followers on facebook +
twitter today! This is a very impressive number and shows that it is
indeed a movement that is here to stay. Important to remember is that
it's not only the number of followers that counts but more importantly
the level of interaction and impact the posts might have on followers.
This is harder to measure than just focusing on the numbers of
followers. Inspired by what Piraten-Statistiken [1] (_Pirate's
Statistics_) used to do, we will be reporting monthly about facebook
and twitter followers for different pirate parties. These numbers
become interesting when you start looking at the changes and analyze
why there was a decrease or increase. Another aspect that will be
interesting to follow is which pirate parties pass others in follower
count. Adjusted to the country population it can give an indication
about which country is doing good or getting a lot of exposure during
that period of time. The first month it is hard to do comparative
analysis since the old data that exists is indeed very old. Therefore,
for now, we will only present the two following charts and let you
make your own observations. What we can observe is that most pirate
parties have a good following on facebook making it an important
communication channel. What would you like to see next month when we
will do more number crunching and comparisons? followers/capita,
percentage-changes, top-climber, others?  [2]  [3]

[1] http://www.piraten-statistiken.de/2010/06/twitter-wachstum-der-internationalen-piraten-mai/
[2] http://piratetimes.net/the-pirate-movement-on-facebook-and-twitter-august-2012/pirate_movement_facebook_15aug2012/
[3] http://piratetimes.net/the-pirate-movement-on-facebook-and-twitter-august-2012/pirate_movement_twitter_15aug2012/

A program for the EU Pirates
vom August 14, 2012 geschrieben von Loïc Grobol

The idea of a Pirate Party for Europe and the European Union has been
underway for some time. And even though its organisation and agenda
have yet to be determined, the work to create it has already been
started [1]. The main issue is, of course, the diversity of Pirate
Parties in this geographical area and the coordination of their
respective agendas.  The next European Parliament Elections will be
held in 2014. A common program for all the national PPs, or at least a
coordination between their individual programs, would greatly improve
our chances to be a force on our own in the European Parliament. So we
need a program that is acceptable for every European PP. Hence, the
PP-EU Programs working group is now compiling and translating the
programs of the European Pirate Parties. The work in progress [2] is
available and a detailed status overview [3] can also be found. PP-DE
and PP-CAT have already translated their programs, but translations
are still to be done for the others PPs. When this documentation work
is completed, a common program will be written that all the
participating parties will review and vote on. For more insights on
the European PPs programs, see:
http://wiki.ppeu.net/doku.php?id=programme:sources [4] For further
information on the PP-EU process, see: http://ppeu.net/ [5] and
http://wiki.ppeu.net [6] Featured Image: European Parliament,
Bruxelles | CC-BY-NC-ND [7] John & Mel Kots [8]

[1] http://wiki.ppeu.net
[2] https://eu.piratenpad.de/ppeu-programme
[3] http://wiki.ppeu.net/doku.php?id=programme:minutes:minutes20120710
[4] http://wiki.ppeu.net/doku.php?id=programme:sources
[5] http://ppeu.net/
[6] http://wiki.ppeu.net
[7] http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/2.0/
[8] http://www.flickr.com/photos/melanieandjohn/

You can participate in European politics
vom August 13, 2012 geschrieben von Daniel Ebbert

In the last week of June, a group of 20 young pirates from Germany
traveled to Brussels for a visit to the European Parliament and the
European Commission. The group had many meetings with lobbyists and
representatives of different organizations during their stay in
Brussels.  One of the meetings was an hour of discussion with Joachim
Ott, who is responsible for citizen participation in the European
Commission. He opened with the statement, "If you see the European
Union as more democratic at the end of the hour than now, I won". The
meeting contained a presentation about the structure of the European
Union as well as the ways in which citizens and NGOs can participate
in the legislative process. After this presentation the discussion
started. It soon turned out that the most participation from outside
the Commission is done by NGOs and not citizens. After pointing this
out, there was a discussion on how the citizens can be included in a
better way. It was agreed that one of the main issues is the lack of
information about how everyone of us can already join in the process.
Mr. Ott asked us to spread the information about the consultations for
the European Commission [1]. These consultations are surveys the
European Commission publishes to get feedback on topics they're
working on at the moment. One example of a current consultation is: "A
clean and open Internet [2]".  I'm pretty sure many of you want to
give feedback on this issue. ;) The group of young pirates also had a
meeting with Joe McNamee from EDRi (European Digital Rights) who works
as a lobbyist in Brussels to fight for our civil rights in the digital
age. EDRi is an association of civil right organizations from all over
Europe and non-European countries, such as Bits of Freedom (The
Netherlands), Digitale Gesellschaft (Germany), Electronic Frontier
Foundation (USA) and many others. Some people in the European
Commission actually try to push for an improvement in digital rights,
but they will have a hard time doing this if nobody is speaking for
the people's interest in the consultation. According to Joe McNamee,
the problem with lobbying in the European Union are not the closed
doors but "too many open doors". Lobbyists have plenty of
possibilities to talk with MEPs, Commission Members and other actors
in the European Union. There's a structural disadvantage for smaller
lobby groups such as EDRi (who can't rely on the industry to finance
them) to reach all of these "open doors". If you want to help EDRi,
you can donate [3] some money [4] to them or help them with publicity
for their actions. With EDRi-gram [5] there is a newsletter about
their work.  It's a good news source for everyone interested in
digital rights on the European level. _Article written by:Florian
Stascheck_ Featured Image: JuPis, Bingen (Germany) | CC-BY-SA [6]:
Tobias M. Eckrich

[1] http://ec.europa.eu/yourvoice/consultations/index_en.htm
[2] http://ec.europa.eu/internal_market/consultations/2012/clean-and-open-internet_en.htm
[3] http://www.edri.org/about/sponsoring
[4] http://www.de.pledgebank.com/support-edri
[5] http://edri.org/edrigram
[6] http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/de/

How Sweden Found an Effective Way of Broadening their Politics
vom August 13, 2012 geschrieben von Anton Nordenfur

In less than two years the Swedish Pirate Party has grown from a
single-issue movement to an all-encompassing party with a growing
political platform. All of this was achieved through a democratic
process of crowdsourcing, mostly thanks to the party's new official
"broadening blog".  The Swedish Pirate Party started out in 2006 as a
single-issue political party, focusing on only a handful of issues
concerning copyright, patents and privacy. In the early years, most
members agreed that this was the way to go - they would sail into
parliament, change the world and leave content. After the national
election in 2010, in which the party only increased its votes [1] by
0.02 %, more and more members realised that for the party to succeed
in the long term, it would have to encompass a broader spectrum of
political issues. In 2011 the party board started on a new declaration
of principles, which was accepted by members in the spring meeting of
2012. The spring meeting also saw the first new decisions outside of
the original focus areas. In the wake of the spring meeting, party
leader Anna Troberg alongside board member Henrik Brändén launched
a WordPress blog [2] with the heading of "Nu breddar vi Piratpartiet!"
- "Let's broaden the Pirate Party!". The blog was opened up for anyone
interested - party member or not - to send in posts with suggestions
for further political decisions, no matter the relevance to previous
positions. The idea was to collect and showcase as many ideas as
possible, allowing for discussion in the comments. [caption
id="attachment_114" align="alignright" width="300"] [3] Swedish party
leader Anna Troberg. 
Photo by: Michelle Dunbar[/caption] According to Troberg, the choice
of a WordPress blog has helped in letting anyone join in the
conversation. "It's very simple and yes, sometimes you wish you had
something more tailor made for the task, but the brilliant thing is
that everybody can use it. No one is left to view the discussions from
the sidelines. Sometimes the perfect tool is not the most fancy one,
but the one people feel comfortable using." Members or non-members
with political suggestions are free to e-mail these to the
administrators, who cue them up for posting. The blog was met with a
hugely positive response, and immediately started updating on a daily
basis, with comments per post ranging from just a few to several
hundred. A few months in, over a hundred posts and several thousands
comments had been posted on the blog. The contributors vary, from our
party's representative in the European Parliament Amelia Andersdotter,
to party board members, blogger activists and just regular members or
supporters who wish to discuss their idea. All they have in common is
a shared will to change the party for the better. "To my surprise,
most submissions to the blog have come from pirates that usually do
not make themselves heard", says Troberg. "I think that's great. It
shows that we have much more brain power than we thought we had." As
would be expected, the content of the posts themselves can be of
varied quality, and vary in the amount of support they receive. Posts
such as one asking to throw foreign criminals out of the country [4]
because "you don't commit crimes if you risk having to return to a
potential war zone" were heavily criticised but were, nonetheless,
kept by the moderators as they wished to let all opinions breathe,
good or bad, and let the members sort controversies out
democratically. Other posts, such as one on legalising the use of
cannabis [5], divided commentators and bloggers, becoming the blog's
most commented post with over 200 comments. According to Troberg, no
texts have been rejected and no comments have been deleted: "You can
express any view you like, as long as you express it nicely. Sometimes
we have to tell people to be a little bit nicer to each other, but so
far that has been enough. No comment has been deleted and no
commentator banned. I'm very happy about this as I feel it's very
important that our new, broader political platform is born out of
positivity and agreement and not out of anger and fighting." The first
results of the blog in the party's platform are likely to showcase in
the member meeting in October, where new political decisions can be
suggested and voted on by members. Featured Image: Pirates Sweden | CC
BY-SA 3.0 [6] Kent Holmblad

[1] http://www.val.se/val/val2010/slutresultat/R/rike/index.html
[2] http://breddning.piratpartiet.se/
[3] http://piratetimes.net/how-sweden-found-an-effective-way-of-broadening-their-politics/anna/
[4] http://breddning.piratpartiet.se/2012/05/08/hardare-tag-mot-brottslingar/
[5] http://breddning.piratpartiet.se/2012/05/15/ska-cannabis-vara-regeringens-business/
[6] http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/


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