Posts tagged ‘Politics and Ideology’

TorrentFreak: Dotcom’s ‘Internet Party’ Aims to Shake Up Politics

This post was syndicated from: TorrentFreak and was written by: Andy. Original post: at TorrentFreak

dotcom-laptopAgainst what seemed like insurmountable odds following a 2012 armed raid on his impressive home, Kim Dotcom not only recovered with a new file-sharing venture the following year but also began to win the hearts of minds of the general public.

Although his popularity found few borders due to the nature of the Internet, residents of New Zealand welcomed him with unrivaled enthusiasm, particularly during his many media and public appearances. Buoyed by this warm reception, Dotcom set his eyes on shaping the future.

On September 1 2013, Dotcom told TorrentFreak that he was preparing to become the president of a new political party.

“I have created a draft political program and I am in the early stages of meeting potential candidates to join me,” he said.

Just over four months have passed since that first announcement but it’s now clear that the political preparations have been underway for some time. Yesterday the Mega.co.nz founder stepped forward with an eagerly awaited piece of information – his party’s name.

“My new political party won’t be named Mega Party,” said Dotcom, quashing speculation that the party would follow the trend set by his former companies.

“We are the Internet Party,” he revealed. “Here’s our logo for the first time.”

InternetParty

‘Mega’ speculation aside, the choice of ‘Internet Party’ comes as little surprise given Dotcom’s history and his stated aim of making New Zealand a significant Internet economy player. His mission, to take Kiwis into the technological future, a place that the current government “doesn’t know much about”, is clearly still high on the agenda.

Since he is not a New Zealand citizen Dotcom will not be able to stand for election himself. However, he will overcome that limitation by taking up the role of president when the Internet Party is officially launched on January 20, two years to the day since the authorities descended on his Coatesville mansion.

While Dotcom’s popularity is already at an all time high, he isn’t expecting an easy ride, warning over the weekend that his rivals will be out in force, ready to inflict “low blows and smears” against both him and the party.

“My attackers are worried. They should be. We will get more than 5 percent. My political party will activate non-voters, the youth, the Internet electorate,” he warned.

Just as Dotcom predicted, attacks didn’t take long to surface. Earlier today Cameron Slater of the Whale Oil blog continued his long-standing anti-Dotcom rhetoric alongside the publication of a document said to reveal the Internet Party’s strategy.

In the meantime, a spokesman for the Electoral Commission told 3 News that the Internet Party is yet to be officially registered although a domain name already appears to be in the bag.

InternetParty.co.nz was registered last December by Alastair Thompson, a former editor of Scoop.co.nz. The Parliamentary Press Gallery journalist stepped down from his position a few hours ago when the extent of his involvement with the Internet Party was made public. He insists that while he is indeed a consultant, he is yet to be offered an official position.

According to the leaked document (which Thompson is describing as “an early draft of a proposal”) the party is aiming to secure places for three MPs. Knowing Dotcom’s determination and tenacity, one can’t rule that out.

Source: TorrentFreak, for the latest info on copyright, file-sharing and VPN services.

TorrentFreak: Russia Orders Pirate Party to Drop ‘Pirate’ From Its Name

This post was syndicated from: TorrentFreak and was written by: Andy. Original post: at TorrentFreak

Due to diversities in culture, words that are acceptable in one country can sometimes be unacceptable in another. For example, sitting on a bum is something done every day by people in the UK but doing so in the United States would be an entirely different and controversial matter.

In Russia a battle over what a particular word means came to a close yesterday, with disappointment for a growing group with political ambitions. The contested word was ‘pirate’, a particular important one when you’re the Pirate Party of Russia, a group founded in 2009 on the heels of the Swedish Pirate Party’s successes.

The dispute dates back to 2011 when the Ministry of Justice told the party that it viewed the word ‘pirate’ not as a political ideology, but as a description of a crime. Not the copying or distribution of copyrighted material though, but the attacking and robbing of ships at sea.

The Russian Government’s political party naming directive seems to have the reasonable aim of stopping undesirables from showboating offensive campaigns, but its refusal to recognize that word that has multiple meanings resulted in the Pirate Party taking legal action. But in July 2011 a judge sided with the Government and the party was told to find a new name.

They refused, but in 2012 a change in the law convinced the party to reapply. Yet again a rejection was forthcoming, this time for various administrative issues alongside using the word ‘pirate’ in a way that did not “conform to the party’s goals and objectives.”

With one last throw of the dice, the party reapplied for registration in September 2013. Yesterday the government delivered its verdict.

“Piracy is a criminal act and is a crime against public safety. a political party and its structural units must comply with the Constitution of the Russian Federation, federal constitutional laws, federal laws and other normative legal acts of the Russian Federation,” the Ministry of Justice announced.

This refusal to accept that ‘pirate’ has more than one meaning is a huge disappointment to the party.

“The Ministry of Justice said that piracy is a crime against public safety, specifically covered by Article 227 of the Criminal Code, i.e sea ​​robbery. Why they continue to persist with this obvious stupidity is unclear,” the party said in a statement.

“In our manifesto it is clearly written that we advocate the expansion of civil rights, freedom on the Internet, copyright reform and direct e-democracy. This is what we seek. That the Ministry of Justice continues to deny reality, claiming that we are sea pirates, is a violation of our legitimate right to association, to form a political party and to participate in the life of the country in a legal manner.”

While the Pirate Party has its stance the Ministry of Justice sees things a little differently, commenting earlier on its suspicions that the party’s position is “not to abide by the rules” set for everyone else.

“Perhaps the party is so innovative, so far out of touch with our reality, that it is quite difficult for them to perform primitive tasks,” the Ministry said.

With the government refusing to register the party with its current name but the party still refusing to change it, the road ahead is unclear.

Source: TorrentFreak, for the latest info on copyright, file-sharing and VPN services.

TorrentFreak: Pirate Party Gets Observer Status at World Trade Organization

This post was syndicated from: TorrentFreak and was written by: Ernesto. Original post: at TorrentFreak

ppi-logoFollowing the launch of the first Pirate Party in Sweden the “Pirate” movement quickly spread all over the world, and not without success.

During the German elections earlier this year nearly a million people voted for the local Pirate Party, in Iceland the national Parliament has three Pirate MPs, and the Swedish branch of the Pirates currently has two seats at the European Parliament.

To coordinate the international agenda Pirate Parties International (PPI) was founded in 2010. The organization currently represents the interests of 43 parties worldwide, from China to Chile.

One of the goals of the umbrella organization is to facilitate international operation with other global organizations, to monitor and influence the political agenda. This week PPI took a big step towards this goal when it was granted observer status for the upcoming meeting of the World Trade Organization (WTO) in Bali.

The WTO Secretariat approved the application of the international Pirate organization, which means that it can participate in WTO conferences and related meetings. Observer status also allows PPI to submit papers to be circulated among WTO members.

Previously PPI was denied observing member status at the World intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO) after several member states, including the United States, objected to its application.

Gregory Engels, Co-Chairman of PPI, says they have already sent a new application to WIPO, and he hopes that the recent developments will help the group to get accepted there as well.

“One of WIPO’s points of critique was that they were not aware of any existing cooperations between UN bodies and international political organizations. By being admitted to the WTO meeting we have created such a precedent. This is definitely a door opener for us,” Engels tells TorrentFreak.

In addition to WTO and WIPO, Pirate Parties International hopes to join various other UN organizations to raise their profile. The status as WTO observer is definitely a breakthrough, but also just the beginning.

“Overall I think that we need more connections with other international global players – NGOs and academia. By being admitted to Bali we have the chance to deepen those relationships and gain visibility,” Engels says.

“I consider the WTO conference an accolade for us in the field of international lobbying, and a door opener to more international participation,” he concludes.

Source: TorrentFreak, for the latest info on copyright, file-sharing and VPN services.

TorrentFreak: Pirate Party Crashes Spy Drone in Front of German Chancellor Angela Merkel

This post was syndicated from: TorrentFreak and was written by: Andy. Original post: at TorrentFreak

piratedroneWith less than a week to go until the national elections on September 22, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and her team are working hard to maintain their lead in the polls and extend her current eight years in power.

But despite the world’s most powerful female politician reportedly hating campaign politics, the 59-year-old still managed to raise a smile following a surprise entrance during a Christian Democratic Union (CDU) event in the city of Dresden.

Some political parties are awash with money and can afford to go on campaign trails with few expenses spared. But for the parties who are happy with votes in single percentage figures – the Pirate Party for one – getting exposure requires more creative thinking.

As Merkel and members of her team stood on stage, a small object could be seen in the sky. After hovering around for a while onlookers could see that the UFO was in fact a small drone. It proceeded to swoop down just a few feet in front of Merkel, apparently taking photos and recording video of the event.

Merkeldrone

Seconds later with its Pirate Party operator apparently having been approached by the police, the drone crash-landed into the stage and was taken away by an official. While Merkel seemed to be amused, Germany’s defense minister in the dark suit and red tie to her right looked rather less impressed.

The party later confirmed that the stunt was a protest against the EU’s use of surveillance drones.

“The objective of the mission was to convey to the Chancellor and Minister of Defence Thomas de Maizière what it’s like to be suddenly observed from a drone,” said Markus Barenhoff, vice chairman of the German Pirate Party.

The party said it also wanted to draw attention to a scrapped drone project which had already cost Germany upwards of half a billion euros before it was closed down earlier this year.

The drone’s 23-year-old pilot was briefly detained and later released, having successfully grabbed the headlines and attention of voters across Germany. It is doubtful that the U.S. Pirate Party will emulate their european counterparts with a similar stunt on home soil – life is just too precious.


Germany: Pirate Party behind drone stunt at… by euronews-en

Source: Pirate Party Crashes Spy Drone in Front of German Chancellor Angela Merkel

TorrentFreak: Kim Dotcom Prepares for Presidency of New Political Party

This post was syndicated from: TorrentFreak and was written by: Andy. Original post: at TorrentFreak

Subjected to police raids, the closure of his Megaupload empire and the confiscation of his considerable assets, things could hardly have been worse for Kim Dotcom in January 2012.

But now, just 20 months later, the Internet entrepreneur is showing what can be done with hard work and determination. His Mega.co.nz file-hosting service is doing well and his popularity continues to rise, both online and locally with New Zealanders.

With TV appearances now becoming a regular thing, Kiwis are becoming more and more comfortable with the German-born businessman. It therefore comes as no surprise that he intends to make best use of that valuable asset.

Earlier today Dotcom published a tweet suggesting that he plans to enter the political arena.

DotcomTweet

The photograph of the magazine suggests that Dotcom might become PM, but speaking with TorrentFreak today the Mega founder told us that at least for now, that won’t be possible.

“I’m not a citizen of New Zealand and therefore I can’t be elected into Parliament myself but I can be the president of a new party,” Dotcom explained.

So, with an eye on his presidency, work is already underway to form a brand new party.

“I have created a draft political program and I am in the early stages of meeting potential candidates to join me,” Dotcom added.

The elections being eyed take place in November 2014 and Dotcom told us that leaves plenty of time to get the party registered and the program finalized. He’s hoping to attract quality candidates during the new few months.

“I’m excited about the party and I’m confident that I can help make New Zealand a significant Internet economy player. Someone needs to lead New Zealand into the future. Unfortunately the current government doesn’t know what the future looks like,” Dotcom concludes.

Significant support for Dotcom in New Zealand will be an interesting thing to behold, particularly in light of the United States’ plans for the Megaupload founder. Definitely one to watch.

Source: Kim Dotcom Prepares for Presidency of New Political Party

TorrentFreak: Pirate Party Reports IT Minister to the Police for Copyright Infringement

This post was syndicated from: TorrentFreak and was written by: Andy. Original post: at TorrentFreak

HattThe downloading of movies and TV shows is a daily topic of conversation online, as is the unauthorized distribution of music, games and software.

It is this type of copyright infringement that receives the most attention, largely due to the complaints made by the big corporations that produce and distribute this content. Their influence causes those in power around the world to sit up and listen, which often leads to a tightening of legislation.

Despite all the efforts, however, this year the world’s most infamous torrent site, The Pirate Bay, celebrates its ten-year anniversary. But while it carries on business as usual, Internet users are being subjected to increasingly tough copyright regimes, such as $150,000 fines for sharing a single song in the United States through to the increasing likelihood of arrest for those sharing more than personal-use levels of content in Sweden.

Sweden’s local Pirate Party has battled these developments for years and today, marking a decade of The Pirate Bay, they’ve demonstrated that copyright infringement is not restricted to the sharing of music and movies and that anyone – even those charged with running the country – can easily break the law at the click of a button.

The party has been doing some research on the online activities of Sweden’s IT Minister, Anna-Karin Hatt, and have discovered that the 40-year-old has not been 100% successful when it comes to absolute respect for copyright law.

Singling out Hatt’s Instagram account as an example, the party notes that the minister has posted copyrighted Calvin and Hobbes cartoons plus the artwork for several motion pictures including The Lord of the Rings, The Da Vinci Code, and Monty Python and the Holy Grail.

Quick, send the police, it’s a non-commercial infringement of copyright

KATTCalvin

“When not even the Swedish IT Minister complies with copyright law online, one can hardly expect ordinary Internet users to feel compelled to follow such an outdated law,” says party legislative spokesperson Torbjörn Wester.

To underline their point that breaking copyright law is extremely simple these days, the Pirate Party have today reported Minister Hatt to the police, just as music and movie studios do when they find people infringing their copyrights. Wester doesn’t believe anything will come of the complaint.

“Resourceful companies and prominent politicians have not much to fear [when breaking copyright] while the police are chasing down file-sharing adolescents,” Wester says.

But of course, the Pirate Party do not want Hatt or indeed anyone else prosecuted for such a ridiculously small ‘crime’. They want to decriminalize all non-commercial sharing of “culture and knowledge”, so that citizens – Hatt included – can share a music file or indeed a Calvin and Hobbes cartoon online without fear of repercussions.

“The government and Parliament have made it impossible to live a modern life and be active on the Internet without being a criminal,” Wester concludes.

Source: Pirate Party Reports IT Minister to the Police for Copyright Infringement