When it comes to political allegiances I’ve never been swift to the forefront. To me character matters more than the policy as character will inevitable supersede any written policy. A man could have the best policy in the world but if he is a howling liar then the policy, no matter how good, is clatter. However, this time policy supersedes all as I have decided to become a member of Pirate Party UK.
They are a democratic party with no right or left wing agenda which is set out to stand for our digital rights. The party aims to ensure everyone has real freedom of speech, can participate by sharing with one another and is totally transparent with its communication.
Now that the internet has turned into a global village organisations are attempting to adapt as more of their information and products are shared digitally. If you own a CD then you have the right to copy it onto your .MP3 player, websites should not be blocked and the government must have a better understanding of intellectual copyright.
The Pirate Party UK manifesto sets out extremely clearly some of the key areas they are working on. A snippet of these views include:
- The Pirate Party wants a fair and balanced copyright law that is suitable for the 21st century. Copyright should give artists the first chance to make money from their work, however that needs to be balanced with the rights of society as a whole.
- We believe that patents exist to reward the inventors of truly outstanding ideas, not to allow big businesses to stifle competition with an ever-growing tide of trivial, incomprehensible, overreaching patents.
- We feel that citizens’ right to private and confidential communication is vital and is not being respected; therefore we will forbid third parties from intercepting or monitoring communication traffic (i.e. telephone calls, post, Internet traffic, emails), and require specific warrants to be issued by a court before the police are allowed to monitor traffic.
- We will introduce laws on the acceptable use of CCTV. While we recognise some arguments for CCTV, it should not be considered a replacement for police officers on the beat, and it must not be used as an excuse for unrestricted spying on the public.
- We pledge increased government transparency and accountability.
- We pledge that we will not allow censorship of the Internet for anything except for in the most extreme circumstances (such as in the case of military secrets or images of child abuse).
It strikes me that everything in their manifesto is founded upon an excellent knowledge of how the internet has changed society. At this stage I am only a party member but I have offered to provide advice on certain issues when available. A more intensive role, considering I have just started work in the PR industry, is not possible.
Technology should be embraced, not feared.