Pirate Party gets elected in Berlin

Just in time for the International Talk Like a Pirate Day, the Pirate Party in Germany has made its legislative debut at the state level in Berlin.

And not too soon, if I may be so bold.

Why?

Because the vast majority of legislators ‘out there’ are woefully ignorant on digital issues.  What is worse – they are not only ignorant, they are not interested in educating themselves on the basic issues concerning it.  This makes them easy targets for well organized, amply funded lobbyists for industries intent on profiting fromone-sided digital policies…and from unscrupulous civil servants who want to play Big Brother – or just snoop on their neighbours!

In Canada, a whole slew of questionable digital policies are set to be rammed through the legislature this fall.  These policies will permit the police complete access to all your online communication – without a warrant!!!  And, for those of us who make our phone calls via the internet (our house phone, for example, uses voip), this DOES mean that the police would not need a warrant to listen to our phone calls…

 

In related news, the National Intelligence Service in South Korea has admitted to ‘packet tapping’ to monitor gmail communications (gmail had previously been considered to be more secure means of online communication that other systems, like Outlook, which are known to have ‘back doors’ built into them to facilitate government surveilance of private communication).  If these laws are passed in Canada, this type of outrageous government behaviour will not be a scandal – it will be ‘the law of the land’!

Too  bad that the Pirate Party of Canada seems so incompetent, and that there is not a peep from them during this Ontario election. Their wiki page does not even note the Ontario election’s existence…

I am looking for a place to park my vote – and not one of the leading candidates in my riding deserves it. It is not surprising that the voter turnout is so low!

 

5 Responses to “Pirate Party gets elected in Berlin”

  1. SUZANNE Says:

    My beef with them is that they favour the legalization of online pedophilia. At least they did when I last checked them out.

    Xan says:

    That is problematic. The Liberals, on the other hand, have been lowering the age of consent to the point of actual, rather that virtual, pedophilia.

    There is a need for balance. If the Pirate Party had not power, but a few seats, they might be useful without the ability to damage.

    UPDATE: please, see in comments below the clarification from the Pirate Party (with referefnces): the Pirate Party does not condone any illegal activities, including electronic distribution of child pornography.

    • psema4 Says:

      I’m not sure what your source is, but I can assure you this is not a position supported by the Pirate Party of Canada. We do not condone illegal activities. For more information, please see our official website at https://www.pirateparty.ca/about

      Xan says:

      Thank you for clarifying up this point!

      It is a terrible assertion and I am very glad that you were able to refute it so quickly and clearly.

  2. psema4 Says:

    “Too bad that the Pirate Party of Canada seems so incompetent, and that there is not a peep from them during this Ontario election. Their wiki page does not even note the Ontario election’s existence…”

    Because we’re a federal party and these are federal (not provincial) issues. There are provincial parties forming in British Columbia and Quebec. I wouldn’t be surprised to see an Ontario party in the near future either.

    We encourage every Canadian to learn more about how to protect their anonymity; see for example https://www.pirateparty.ca/uncategorized/lawful-access-and-the-privacy-of-canadians-2

    Xan says:

    You are quite correct, these are federal matters. Still, you guys would be the front runners for my vote.

    IF you were running in the Ontario election – and had a candidate in my riding. Please, forgive the frustration…

  3. CodeSlinger Says:

    Xanthippa:

    What I find frustrating is that the trivial and incidental idea of legality has replaced the universal and profound concept of morality in conversations like this one.

    When people blithely proclaim, “we do not condone illegal activities,” it shows they haven’t thought deeply enough about things to be trusted to run a country.

    Do they mean to say that they would condone pedophilia if it were legalized? Do they mean that they would cease to condone online anonymity if it were prohibited by law?

    I certainly hope not.

    Sex with children is wrong whether it is legal or not. And children cease to be children when they reach sexual maturity, irrespective of their age in years.

    Fraud, theft, coercion and murder are wrong whether or not they are done in a way that cleverly avoids contravening the letter of some law.

    The rights to life, liberty, property, privacy, self-expression and self-defence are inherent in every individual, whether they are recognized by the state or not.

    The Pirate Party is groping in generally the right direction. But they need to take a more cogent and principled stance on the issues before they get my vote.

    Xan says:
    I agree with what you said, but I would say there is even more to it than that. Please, bear with me…

    Pirate Party Canada is perhaps less mature than the mother party, but a while back I posted a lecture by the global founder and he said a lot of the things you did.

    But that is not my only point.

    My other point is that the direction of the Pirate Party is aiming is the very direction that we need to nudge our government in. I do not think there is a hope for them to win a seat in the next few years in Canada – but if they start bleeding off some of the undecided voters, their core issues will become more mainstream.

    And THAT, I suspect, would be a good thing!
    (Especially with what I am reading about OnStar now – am in the process of writing it up…)

  4. CodeSlinger Says:

    Xanthippa:

    The closest thing I can find to a party platform is European Pirate Platform 2009, which nicely illustrates my point – its focus is narrow, its penetration is shallow, and it’s filled with troubling undertones.

    In it, we find:

    “Copyright only regulates commercial activity. … Non-commercial activity is never regulated by copyright law.”

    Well put.

    “Pharmaceutical patents raise many ethical concerns … Patents on life (including patents on seeds and on genes) and software patents should not be allowed.”

    Yes, good.

    “A democratic society needs a transparent state and non-transparent citizens.”

    Fine.

    “EU and its member states should adhere to the highest standards of democracy. … The EU has an important role to play in shining a light on violations against civil rights in member states.”

    OOPS.

    Individual rights are not civil!

    Here again surfaces the subtle, unspoken presupposition that the state is the ultimate source of individual rights. Nothing could be further from the truth!

    Individual rights are inherent and inalienable!

    Reverence for inalienable individual rights is the cornerstone of a free and just society. With that essential foundation, democracy is beneficial but not strictly necessary; without it, democracy is nothing but mob rule in disguise.

    “A right is not what someone gives you, it’s what no one can take away from you.”

    — Ramsey Clark, U.S. Attorney General, 1967-1969

    Taking the document as a whole, we see that the Pirate Party is concerned about intellectual property, personal privacy and public sector transparency, and not much else. These are important issues, but they are surface features of a much deeper question.

    The really profound issue – perhaps the crucial issue of our time – is to define the proper roles of individuals and collectives, up to and including the state, and to structure civil society accordingly.

    Until we do that, any position one takes on the surface issues is bound to be unstable, because it does not rest on any substantial moral and rational foundation. Once we lay that foundation, the proper resolution of the issues becomes trivially obvious.

    The Pirate Party platform is conspicuously silent on the deep issue. But, reading between the lines, noting the UN-like logo and the EU-centric perspective, we find an implicit acceptance of globalization, statism and the ascendancy of the collective over the individual.

    In addition to this, we recall that public opinion is most effectively moulded by judicious selection of the issues which are not discussed, and we must wonder:

    Where do these guys get their money?


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