29 January 2015

Gustav Nipe: Facing Technological Change [Pirate Visions]

Featured image with Gustav Nipe

Pirates need to get ready to help society prepare for a future where technology will replace workers. Gustav Nipe is the leader of the Young Pirates in Sweden and is prepared to run a pirate party marathon race. 

These articles are part of the weekly series ‘Pirate Visions’ from different prominent international pirates. We asked them to write as individuals and not in their official capacities in their party or organisation. We hope you would like to join us in discussing the future direction for pirates internationally by commenting on this article, sharing it and reflecting upon what the author is saying.


Being a pirate

I’ve been involved in the Pirate movement since 2006. Before that year I was an unorganized pirate, hanging around in different file-sharing communities. When the Swedish Pirate Party started off I didn’t foresee the amazing journey that my involvement would give me.

When I got engaged, I felt that the Pirate movement was on the edge of society. The questions around copyright and privacy come from the interaction between people and information technology. I quickly realized that the problems we had (and still have) in Sweden were the same in several other countries. The copyright-mob keeps on expanding their rights at the expense of the users. As far back as I can remember, me and my buddies always shared culture among us. It was natural to share. The copyright-laws are immoral.

I saw the Pirate movement as a hack. Society is like a computer, to fix it you need to get into the parliament and fix the bugs. I thought that the battle would only last for a short period of time but with more knowledge about domestic (and European) politics I am starting to believe that we need to stay for the long-term. Politics is like completing a marathon, you just need to keep on advancing during a very long time.

As with all organizations, we go through different stages. It takes time to mature. Just like everyone else we have had our ups and downs, but as long as we keep on improving we are on the right path.

International Pirates

The international Pirate community have been really inspiring for me. Knowing that there are pirates in many countries, that are in the same struggle as us, makes me feel much better. I’ve traveled around to different election parties throughout Europe. It’s really awesome to celebrate a success accomplished by Pirates, no matter where it is. A good party is always a good party.

I think that maybe the most important feature of the international Pirate community is to inspire Pirates in other countries, sharing their success stories with each other. Organizing meet-ups to exchange ideas and creating a strong community. Let people know that they are part of a much bigger community than just their local chapter. It is not enough to have a win in just one country. Our ideas need to be implemented on a global level. The Snowden files have shown us that enemies of privacy have an advanced international co-operation. That is why we need to stand together.

Technological Development

As technology keeps on developing, in an increasing pace, automation will change the labor market in depth. Do we all need to work in the future? And what should we work with? The line between work and leisure gets more blurred.

People participate in fantastic projects like Wikipedia and open-source software without getting a nickel. We all benefit from what they are doing. We want to encourage more people to work with those kinds of projects.

How do we use our global resources most efficiently? Pirates are rebels, we do not float like dead fish in the sea. We have a good understanding about how technology changes society, but the way technology is used is not predetermined. This is why values matter. The values within the Pirate movement are sharing knowledge and culture, letting people participate whilst respecting other peoples’ private lives. The future technology needs to be implemented with these values to ensure that the increasing automation will benefit all.

The growing peer-economy, that is based largely on different kinds of crowd-sourcing, also needs to be understood as a result of implementing new technology. This new type of economy is the bleeding edge of today (e.g. Airbnb, Taskrabbit and Lyft). Today there are a lot of regulations that make it difficult for the growing peer-economy to really take off.

One example is Lyft, a service that turns your private car into a cab or a transportation vehicle. If you, as a car owner, plan to go somewhere you can register it on a web page and bring an extra passenger along on the ride, but there are cab regulations that prohibit the person driving the car from receiving payment for the service. Today you can only donate money to the driver. This economy is really about using our existing resources in a much more efficient way.

The era of industrialization is over. The “8 to 5″ working days are not coming back. I want to see a future where robots and computers are working.

Last summer a Swedish research institute published a paper about jobs that will disappear within twenty years, as a result of technological development. The paper concluded that it’s not only jobs in manufacturing  that will disappear, the technological development will also affect qualified jobs like accountants and architects. A lot of day-trading at the stock exchanges is already done by robots. Machines are taking over many advanced tasks that required highly educated humans in the past.

The future of the Pirate movement is to develop answers to questions about how society as a whole will benefit from technological improvements, and in the meantime: how to navigate between privacy and transparency.


Gustav Nipe

Gustav Nipe

A pirate since 2006. I call myself a doer and believe that the pirate movement needs more activism.








Featured image:  CC BY-NC-SA, Pirate Times – modified from original CC BY-NC-SA, 
Daniela Hartmann and Carl Johan Rehbinder.

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Kommentera! (by Guest Author at 2015-01-29 19:42:15)

Open Letter to the World’s Governments in the Wake of Attack on Charlie Hebdo

La Quadrature du Net reposts here an co-signed letter by a number of European associations calling on world's political leaders to protect privacy and human rights in the aftermath of the Paris attacks.

Paris, 30 January 2015 – In the wake of the Charlie Hebdo tragedy, the undersigned call on our political world leaders to uphold international human rights. It is more important than ever that our governments work to protect journalists, activists and members of the public, without increasing the scope and scale of government intrusions into our private lives.

On January 11, 2015, millions of citizens and world leaders gathered in Paris to march in solidarity and show their support for free expression under the banner “je suis Charlie”. Now is the time for these world leaders to stand by their commitment to protect human rights. The rights to free expression and privacy are intimately linked, and one cannot thrive where the other is threatened. We urge governments around the world to avoid increasing government surveillance measures or violating human rights in the wake of this tragedy.

Moments like this need effective and considered responses and not unwise and restrictive increases in government and law enforcement powers. Already, governments from Canberra to Brussels to Washington have made moves to expand surveillance powers or enact new limitations on speech in the wake of this tragedy.

But more surveillance is not necessarily better surveillance, and increasing the scope and scale of government spying or interfering with freedom of expression is not the answer to all our security or societal problems. French officials have admitted they had prior intelligence, which suggests that neither did inadequate surveillance contribute to these horrific attacks, nor would heightened surveillance have prevented them.

As security failures have happened in spite of extensive surveillance expansion, this is not the time to enact new law enforcement measures. Instead, it is time to stand up for the importance of security that also protects, and does not undermine, human rights. We therefore call on you to:

  • Invite the French government to conduct a thorough evaluation of relevant policies, before enacting new laws and policies that can harm fundamental rights;
  • Ensure the protection and defence of national level human rights protections, particularly free expression and privacy online and offline;
  • Engage citizens and institutions in a public dialogue on targeted solutions that can help protect society while upholding human rights;
  • Defend a free and open society where human rights are not only protected, but celebrated, and where diverse viewpoints, including the satirical perspectives embraced by Charlie Hebdo, can be expressed online and offline.

There are no easy or quick solutions. In difficult moments like these, we must hold strong to the values of the society that we want to live in, or we risk undermining those values in the name of saving them. Join us in working toward a better world where free expression, privacy, and other human rights can thrive.


  • Access
  • Constitutional Alliance
  • Advocacy for Principled Action in Government
  • PEN International
  • IT-Political Association of Denmark
  • Digitalcourage
  • Vrijschrift
  • Article 19
  • Electronic Frontier Foundation
  • Asociatia pentru Tehnologie si Internet - ApTI
  • La Quadrature du Net
  • Panoptykon Foundation
  • PEN American Center
  • Initiative für Netzfreiheit
  • FITUG e.V.
  • European Digital Rights
  • Fundacion Karisma
  • Fundacion Via Libre
  • Alternative Informatics Association
  • Hiperderecho
  • Open Rights Group
  • Enjambre Digital
  • ContigenteMX

(by neurone130 at 2015-01-29 12:26:33)

28 January 2015

Astroturf: Att snacka om dataskydd är en sak. Men att göra det...

Nybloggat på HAX.5July.org:

I dag är det den internationella dataskyddsdagen (Data Protection Day / Data Privacy Day). Det är i vart fall vad man vill få oss att tro. Men om man kikar in bakom kulisserna på detta jippo – då kommer man att upptäcka något helt annat.

Kommentera! (by Henrik Alexandersson (noreply@blogger.com) at 2015-01-28 17:19:00)

This is our Last Chance to Reform PPI

Surgery with a doctor wearing and eye patch

This guest post is an opinion article and reflects the author’s ideas.

The upcoming online General Assembly (due for March 14) is in all likelihood the last chance we have to reform Pirate Parties International. We must take this opportunity to entirely overhaul the organisation and leave the negative culture of blame, misrepresentation, political intrigue and general disruption behind us.

Basic situation

There have been several problems with PPI over the years, the most pertinent are:

  • unclear direction and purpose
  • a consistently unstable governance model
  • finances have been mismanaged and some funds potentially lost due to poor oversight
  • unclear methods of communication (leading to collaboration between parties outside PPI organization)
  • significant distrust of the board and the way in which General Assemblies have been run and managed.

Almost all of the identified problems with PPI are structural. The statutes are poorly written, and any attempt to modify them is stifled by the statutes themselves or by how the General Assemblies have been arranged (stifling any ability to rationally consider reforms). The resulting organisation is one where politicking, in-fighting and slow and questionable bureaucracy reign supreme and actual collaboration is stifled.

We need to start fresh, and we need to start now, otherwise many parties are going to leave PPI and look for a better alternative. It goes without saying that repairing PPI is the least disruptive move we can undertake.

We need an organisation that is oriented towards collaboration instead of representation.

The current model of PPI creates the organization as a “king of kings”. The board of seven members is elected by delegates from each pirate party. The elected board is then expected to represent the diverse objectives of the organisation while simultaneously representing the diverse interests of the parties. Minimal structure has been developed to cope with such a large variety of responsibilities, while at the same time there has never been a strong appetite from the member parties to be delegating such responsibilities in the first place.

Proposed solution

We need to consider to rewrite the statutes, basing it on the principle of building an organisation truly for the purpose of collaboration. In rough terms, I propose the abolition of the current statutes in their entirety, and replacing it with the following:

  • Both the board and General Assembly is replaced by a Steering Committee made up of delegates from each member in order to handle issues such as membership and the creation of committees.
  • One statutory objective along the lines of: to promote and foster cooperation between Pirate Parties, and other interested parties, internationally.
  • All other objectives are determined by the members, and committees are created in order to pursue those objectives (for instance, a committee to stop TTIP, or to explore different party’s policies, or WIPO membership)
  • An administrative board would be created made of a subset of delegates of the Steering Committee (or another mechanism if so desired) in order to manage the processes of creating and announcing new committees, announcing meetings, etc.
  • The statutes would provide the structure for decision-making at its core without forcing any particular direction. It would define those committees that would be permanent (ie, Steering Committee and perhaps the Treasury Committee), the mechanisms for forming other committees, base admission requirements for members, necessary majorities, definitions and electoral processes that can be used, etc. The specifics will be worked on as part of the drafting process.

The proposal implies that such a Steering Committee would meet when it is necessary, and by the means necessary for the issue at hand. For many issues, such as admitting new members, this could be undertaken through an online vote. More detailed discussions, such as perhaps a procedure for handling new membership requirements, might require a meeting that culminates in an online vote toward a motion.

I envisage that conferences (which I strongly believe should still occur) should be handled by a committee specifically for that purpose, with those powers delegated by the Steering Committee or as an initiative of a member party.

The point is to provide the minimalism and flexibility necessary to actually face the issues we, as a democratic group, determine worthy of attention for our organisation. We don’t need 40 prescribed objectives and a board made of distant and out-of-touch bureaucrats to represent us. We can and should represent ourselves, and take responsibility for our collective international agenda.

Committees on issues unrelated to the statutes could be formed by any member who deems the existence of the committee necessary, getting rid of the bureaucratic bottleneck inherent to many statutory organisations. Committees can then be formed on an ad-hoc basis to solve a problem with interested participants coming and going as necessary, maximising their utility and minimising the churn.

The model I have proposed would, in my opinion, promote significantly stronger collaboration on issues, particularly around resource management. We’ve all faced deficits in our parties of volunteers on major areas such as website development, backend management, electoral material design, and other material issues. PPI in its current state can do nothing to solve these issues, yet these are the more pertinent issues facing us. My proposed structure lowers the barrier to organise cross-national resource management, and it also promotes a positive culture of working together. This is opposed to the negative culture that an overarching bureaucracy often provides.

Issues that are currently part of the PPI remit, that would still be needed whilst going forward, (such as the assistance in creation of new parties) these could and should be handled by a committee created for that very purpose. This allows us to democratically spread the load between our respective parties without the bottleneck we risk of a potentially overworked and under-enthused board.

The main argument I heard, that tries to justify the current model of PPI, is that we need it for representation in the international arena. My response: if we can’t even sort out these coordination issues, membership of WTO or WIPO become irrelevant because as an international movement we have not even agreed upon what such a representative would do (currently we don’t even have a reliable mechanism to democratically resolve this issue).

Moving forward

PPAU will actively seek input on a material draft proposal along the lines specified above as soon as possible. We are very excited to receive all your input and feedback on this proposal. We have three weeks to develop the base proposal for discussion, and another four weeks to do the necessary amendments. We expect there to be a variety of opinions, as is healthy and natural, and look forward to coming to as many compromises as necessary to move forward as a movement.

I think that this mature and experienced Pirate movement, now almost a decade old, will decide that we want to let go of the rushed messy organisation that a bunch of enthusiastic yet perhaps naive group of Pirates made when first formulating PPI, and build something better.

This online general assembly will give us an unprecedented opportunity to be equally represented and carefully consider the proposals for a reform. Let’s accept our mistakes, see the current model for what it is, and do what Pirates are best at:

innovate, and enthusiastically rebuild, in order to change the world for the better.



Brendan Molloy

Brendan Molloy

This is a guest post:
Brendan Molloy is the President of Pirate Party Australia. He is an information
freedom activist, and currently resides in Sweden.







Featured image: Modified from CC-BY, Army Medicine 

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Kommentera! (by Guest Author at 2015-01-28 17:14:29)

In 2015, More Than Ever, Fighting For Our Freedoms Is Our Mission

Paris, 28 January 2015 – On the occasion of the European Data Privacy Day, the Observatoire des Libertés et du Numérique (Freedoms and Digital Observatory) recalls on its first year's work and reminds us that privacy is more crucial now than ever. As the terrorist attacks on early January provide an excuse to give in to the temptation of mass surveillance, the OLN reasserts its commitment to contest a society turned against citizens' privacy and freedoms, based on mistrust and surveillance.

Joint communiqué from the Observatoire des Libertés et du Numérique (Freedoms and Digital Observatory)1

A year ago today, on 28 January 2014, the Observatoire des Libertés et du Numérique (Freedoms and Digital Observatory, OLN) was created by organisations and unions committed to putting the protection of civil freedoms back in the center of the political agenda, specially against the repeated assaults of state surveillance and private mass profiling, which have been presented as inevitable, and as such normalised, in the eyes of many citizens.

The past year 2014 has been no exception to this wayward trend, unfortunately. From the beginning, surveillance and the erosion of civil liberties were put front and centre in the political agenda – with the vote on the “loi de programmation militaire” (Defense Bill) –, and the Internet in particular was designated as chief troublemaker, if not directly accomplice in the worst atrocities. The collective space for debate kept being publicly shamed, while the new antiterrorist law was introduced before national representatives in a hurry. As a result, the criminal weaponry available to the state was once again expanded and corrupted, in a context of general public fear deprived of critical thinking, giving way instead to a repressive hivemind in order to favour preventive neutralisation. In a surge of generalised suspicion, the administration has thus seen its powers over the Internet and citizens massively increase.

The actions of the OLN and other organisations defending civil freedoms has helped shed light on many examples of deterioration of fundamental liberties. They have been denouncing, again and again, the lack of investigation of the French Constitutional Council of the law voted the 13 November 2014; the inertia of a government already condemned by the ECHR, twice, for its police files (FAED and STIC); the apathy regarding the Snowden revelations on the progressive development of generalised global surveillance; and the lack of action for the protection of whistleblowers.

The tragic events of early 2015 will not undermine the OLN's determination but rather, they invalidate the obsession with security which has shaped our world for over 20 years. The women and men who mobilized on the evening of the attacks against Charlie Hebdo, shouting their refusal of a French Patriot Act, are right for demanding more democracy in the face of terror.

On this day celebrating data protection, the OLN wants to believe it is possible to take a step back and avoid this public debate suspended by panic and fear, where calls are multiplying for more surveillance and more legal power for intelligence agencies.

The OLN challenges this vision of an infinitely elastic surveillance dragnet, which has now made the administrative censorship of websites a reality. Blocking websites is useless against those it aims to thwart (who will easily bypass it), but it harms everybody's freedoms. The OLN also disputes the enactment of a an API-PNR database to control the flight travels of all citizens, which holds very few guarantees. Unfortunately, soon enough this database project was announced to expand to the whole of Europe (who refused in 2011, in the name of civil liberties) and additionally, to give more administrative leeway and special police power to intelligence services. Such measures will greatly limit juridical and procedural guarantees for "terrorism" affairs.

The OLN will carry on its fight so terror does not corrupt democracy; to reiterate to citizens and decision-makers that surveillance is everybody's business, and not only those who "have something to hide"; that the Internet is, and must stay, a place of open debate that only a fair procedure can limit. The protection of liberties does not stop after the first shout for freedom of speech: we fight against the continuous shrinking of rights and liberties, today more than yesterday, so the battle against terrorism does not undermine the bases of democracy on the grounds of protecting it.

Organisations members of the OLN: the Cecil, Creis-Terminal, the Human Rights League, the Syndicat de la magistrature, the Syndicat des Avocats de France and La Quadrature du Net.

(by neurone130 at 2015-01-28 12:30:43)

Veckans Falkvinge

I dag är han väldigt på. Rekommenderas. | Youtube »

Kommentera! (by Henrik Alexandersson (noreply@blogger.com) at 2015-01-28 11:03:00)

Telia, Telenor och 3 säljer din IP-adress till copyright-utpressare

Se inslaget från TV4 (från 4:15 in i klippet)

Se inslaget från TV4 (från 4:15 in i klippet)

De stora telefonoperatörerna — Telia, Telenor och 3 — säljer uppgifter om din IP-adress till företag som vill tjäna pengar på att hota med stämningar för brott mot upphovsrätten. Det har framkommit i den stora utpressningshärva som nu har gått till åtal, och som TV4 rapporterar om idag (från 4:15 in i klippet). Men trots att telefonoperatörerna alldeles uppenbart har brutit mot både lagen om elektronisk kommunikation och personuppgiftslagen, har åklagaren inte väckt något åtal mot dem.

Uppgifter som gör att man kan koppla en IP-adress till en viss person är normalt hemliga. För att polis och åklagare ska få tillgång till dem krävs det ett domstolsbeslut, och att det finns misstanke om ett brott som ger fängelse. Men trots att det rör sig om så känsliga uppgifter att det krävs domstolsbeslut för att polisen ska få tillgång till dem, säljer telefonbolagen samma uppgifter till ett företag som agerar mellanhand, och som sedan säljer dem vidare till företag som vill spåra internetanvändare för att kunna pressa dem på pengar för upphovsrättsintrång.

På så sätt har utpressarna kunnat få en koppling från IP-adressen till ett visst mobiltelefonnummer. Därefter har de enkelt kunnat ta reda på namn och adress på den som har det mobiltelefonnumret, och skicka ut utpressningskrav. I det aktuella fallet rör det sig om flera tusen försök till utpressning som utförts med hjälp av uppgifterna från de stora teleoperatörerna.

I TV4-inslaget berättar åklagaren Bo Birgersson:

- Inledningsvis har vi tagit kontakt med alla de stora teleoperatörerna, alltså Telia, Telenor och 3, med flera, men vi fick faktiskt inget svar. Vi förstod inte hur det gick att identifiera mobiltelefonnumret i förhållande till den tjänst som man hade kopplat. Men det visade sig efter ett tag, och får jag nog säga lite motvilligt från operatörernas sida, att det finns ett mellanföretag som säljer tjänsten på nätet att om du som företag är beredd att betala, så kan du få en tjänst på nätet som innebär att du kan koppla ett mobiltelefonnummer till en viss IP-adress. Det är sådant som vi inom rättsväsendet normalt måste gå till domstol för att få tillstånd till, eftersom det är hemlig telefonövervakning. Men det går alltså att sälja och köpa den här tjänsten på nätet. Det kom nog som en överraskning för oss, i vart fall för mig, men också för utredarna i det här ärendet.

Varför har polisen inte utrett vad telefonoperatörerna sysslar med i skymundan? Den frågan gav TV4-inslaget inget svar på.

Men om du är kund till Telia, Telenor eller 3 (vilket vi ju nästan alla är), så ska du veta att din telefonoperatör tjänar pengar på att sälja hemliga uppgifter om vad du gjort på nätet till utpressningsföretag. Och så länge det sker i den heliga upphovsrättens namn verkar vare sig polis eller åklagare vara intresserade av att syna de stora telefonoperatörerna i kanten.

Se inslaget ”Krimkvarten” med Hasse Aro i TV4 (från 4:15 in i klippet)

Kommentera! (by Christian Engström at 2015-01-28 08:13:59)

27 January 2015

Att hacka politik

Nybloggat på HAX.5Juli.org:

Hur gör man egentligen för att påverka EU i nät-, övervaknings- och rättighetsfrågor? Är det enklare inifrån eller utifrån? Och om man är på insidan – vilken taktik skall man välja?

Kommentera! (by Henrik Alexandersson (noreply@blogger.com) at 2015-01-27 15:38:00)

"Det får aldrig hända igen!" Bara en tom fras?

I dag är det 70 år sedan Auschwitz befriades.

"Det får aldrig hända igen" heter det. Om det ändå vore så.

Under de senaste 70 åren har vi sett många exempel på folkmord, etnisk rensning och krigsförbrytelser. Vi har upprörts över detta. Men vi har som regel inte upprörts tillräckligt för att göra något åt saken. Så "det" händer igen. Och igen.

Du, jag, Sverige, EU, västvärlden... Vi kanske inte alltid kan gripa till vapen för att försvara människor som utsätts för övergrepp i fjärran länder. Då skulle vi inte ha något annat att göra.

Men vi kan städa framför egen dörr.

  • Vi kan kräva att vårt land slutar gulla med regimer som förtrycker människor.
  • Vi kan tala klarspråk när människovärde och frihet kränks – oavsett var det sker och vem som kränker.
  • Vi kan stå upp för de medborgerliga fri- och rättigheterna när de hotas.

Detta är din och min uppgift. Våra politiska ledare är för fega, principlösa – eller står helt enkelt på fel sida.

Kommentera! (by Henrik Alexandersson (noreply@blogger.com) at 2015-01-27 13:03:00)

An Interview from Brazil featuring Lexi Alexander

Lixi Alexander (viewing rushes?)

A while ago Hollywood director Lexi Alexander (@lexiAlex) shared with us her ideas about file sharing and was both stunned at the viciousness of the reaction from the film industry and the lack of interest expressed by the Pirate community. Despite this she has come out fighting and is gaining respect and her voice is being heard amongst movie makers and goers around the world. We are proud to be able to bring you this exclusive English language version of an interview by Thiago Cardim from the original on JUDÃO  titled “Lexi Alexander, a Girl not Popular at all in Hollywood”.

At 5′ 8″ (173cm), Lexi Alexander is the kind of woman who attracts attention. As beautiful today, at forty, as she was at 19, when she moved from Germany to California and had everything to become a star. A Champion in Karate, she moved to the USA with nothing but courage because she wanted to work in movies. As an actress, you should be thinking? No shit! But instead she preferred to work as stuntwoman in action movies, kicking some big guys asses, before she started making her own short movies. Bingo. She became a director.

Although her most recent movie is Lifted (not released in Brazil), a film about a boy who decides to become singer to try to overcome the fact that his reservist father was summoned to the conflicts in Afghanistan, she is best known by the powerful Hooligans, with Elijah Wood, which explores the violent world of football supporters in England. She was also responsible for a film with a Marvel character, the downtrodden Punisher: War Zone – in perhaps one of the most faithful visions of Frank Castle on the big screen (sorry, Thomas Jane) and had been listed as a strong contender to direct Wonder Woman.

But in recent months, the voice of Lexi has been widely heard in the world of movies because of her controversial opinions about file sharing.

“No, copying is not stealing,” she says determined at the opening of this exclusive chat with JUDÃO. Only this sentence would be enough to prevent her from being invited to the best parties in Hollywood but honestly, Lexi does not seem to care that she has positioned herself radically against most of her fellow filmmakers, who are openly in favor of the criminalization of piracy . “Hollywood can no longer deceive the public” she makes clear in a conversation about the power of the consumer in the new digital era, through the distribution of films in international territories, before she moves on to the state of women behind the camera in the land of the Seventh Art. “The situation is dire and is getting worse”, she says says.

Lexi standing next to a camera framing the shot with her hands

Thiago: First of all, let’s establish the limits here: for you, is there a difference between file sharing and piracy? In short: copying is the same as stealing?

Lexi: No, copying is not theft. Because when you steal something it means the other person doesn’t have it anymore. When you copy something, the other person never loses their possession. That’s why the US supreme court refers to the crime of downloading a movie without paying as “copy infringement” not theft. There is general confusion about the vocabulary. I don’t know how it came about that file sharers were called Pirates, but from what I understand, they decided to own the name in defiance. This makes things complicated, especially when people in the copyright movement suddenly insist that everybody should refer to the issue as “file sharing” during a debate, not pirating. Especially Americans get really confused when it is someone from the “Pirate Party” insisting on dropping the “piracy” term. I get where Pirates are coming from, but they certainly haven’t done themselves a favor by first owning the name and now trying to keep it out of the file sharing debates.

Thiago:  Are you the type who believes that sharing content directly affects the entertainment business profits? More people sharing necessarily mean less money circulating and more unemployment in the industry – or is this bullshit?

Lexi: It’s complete and utter bullshit. Listen, I am part of this system. I have done intensive investigations into the distribution of profits from intellectual property in the film business. File sharing is not what’s draining money from artists. Big studios are. But see, like all big businesses, they’re clever and they have money to brainwash each and everyone of us into thinking that our residual checks could be so much bigger if people wouldn’t be downloading our movies illegally. Never mind they’re saying this to us filmmakers as they’re in the middle of robbing us blind. The MPAA are the original Artful Dodgers.

Thiago:  File sharing has changed, in fact, the industry? In what ways?

Lexi: I think what has changed is that Hollywood can’t trick the general public into buying a ticket for a bad movie anymore. If the movie leaks (it always does eventually) and file sharers will find out it’s a total bomb, they will spread that word of mouth as fast as good word of mouth. So essentially, you can’t scam people as bad in the digital age because the curtain gets pulled up faster. Furthermore, the audience has little patience to wait for the release of a movie, if it has been released in other countries many months before . And rightly so. This bullshit about some countries enjoying premier screenings weeks before it hits the rest of the world is elitist and condescending, especially since they expect us to talk about their products on the internet. So we’re supposed to tell the Europeans and South Americans, etc. how great the movie is…while they have no chance to see it. It’s outrageous. It’s like a mean rich kid who waves his or her ice cream in front of the other kids faces, knowing that they couldn’t afford one or missed the ice cream truck. Frankly I refuse to participate in this elitism.

Thiago:  It seems to me that Hollywood has forgotten how to really talk with young people in their own terms. Do you agree with that?

Lexi: I absolutely agree. At the same time I am disappointed in young people who do not take that personal. You are the consumer, decide who you spend money on. I am against the criminalization of file sharing, which has cost me a lot of work in Hollywood, as it is an unpopular stance to take. Many other filmmakers will openly say that they believe everybody who downloads a movie should get at least 10 years in prison. So why are young people buying tickets for this director’s movie? The same guy who would throw them in prison (because let’s be honest, anybody under the age of 20 who can afford a computer has downloaded a movie. music track or TV show at some point.) So young people should investigate where the filmmaker stands on the issue of file sharing, before they spend money on them at all.

Thiago:  This position, which in fact is not the most popular, has earned you some kind of problem in this market after you turned it public?

Lexi: Yes, but it was worth it. I do not support the status quo just because it is expected of me. The whole idea of arresting file sharers is ridiculous and in 100 years from now there will be funny cartoons about the idiots who tried to criminalize technological progress. I don’t want to be in those cartoons and if that means that my peers will exclude me and blacklist me because of it…even better. The cartoons about them will be extra funny.

Lexi with actor  Elijah Wood

I also believe that we have a responsibility to make culture available for all people, not only those who can afford to go to the movies. I think many of my colleagues are blissfully unaware of the global percentage of people who cannot EVER go to a movie theater, let alone with an entire family. I do not want to make movies for the rich. It’s not why I became a filmmaker. I also don’t believe that less fortunate people should have to wait until a movie is released on public TV for free, while richer people get to see it months in advance. Think about it. Culture is important in almost all professions, so if two people go up for a job interview…one of them can talk about the current box office hit movie because he could afford to see it in the theater and the other person can’t talk about it because he simply can’t afford the ticket…then my industry — with its restrictions on distribution of our product — is directly contributing to economic inequality. I don’t want to be part of that. If my colleagues would stop for a minute to think about themselves and instead contemplate what a miracle file sharing is and how much good it could do…then we could really make a difference in the world. But see…when there isn’t any Paparazzi around…there aren’t a lot of philanthropists to find in Hollywood either.

Thiago:  How could the entertainment industry benefit from file sharing? How could they use this potentially in their favor?

Lexi: They are already doing it, but they won’t admit it. Many, many films have benefited from piracy word-of-mouth. The thing about the film industry is, they don’t want to work with file sharing…they want to control it. Just like what happened to Napster. You don’t hear Apple or Amazon complaining about digital tracks, do you?

Thiago:  What is the main aspect of piracy that does bother you? That stolen movies are getting leaked before they’re ready for example?

Lexi: Look, no filmmaker likes their films shown in an unfinished state. I get that it’s happening, but if you love film and have respect for the art…don’t watch illegal cam rips. I mean…really…people who watch cam rips are pathetic to me. Its like drinking incredible bad, bad beer that some amateur made and then stretched with water. It’s gross. You’re missing so much about the film that so many people have worked on. Framing and lighting may not seem important to you, but it is. You just don’t notice it as a single element. I can promise you though, by eliminating the proper framing and lighting…because some idiot is shooting a cinema screen with a handheld camera, you are cheating yourself out of the true experience of this movie. So what I am saying is, if you copy shit…copy it well and with the respect it deserves (FYI, this does not matter when it comes to porn.)

Thiago:  Getting away from this issue: I want to hear your opinion about the current presence of women in the film industry. Both in directing and in leading roles on superhero movies, for example. What is still missing to see a more egalitarian Hollywood?

Lexi: It is dire, dire, dire and it is getting worse. And by the way, people don’t understand that the MPAA’s fight against piracy and Hollywood’s stubborn exclusion of women and ethnic minorities are directly related. Rich, selfish assholes are rich,selfish assholes on pretty much any issue that effects the amount of money they make or could potentially lose.They’re not fond of sharing anything and they certainly won’t make room on the table for someone who is not like them. If you’re not a white man in Hollywood, you have to elbow yourself a seat and continue to keep your guard up at all times. The thing is…once you’re at the table you soon lose your appetite because who wants to eat in such company.

My hope is that digital technology will level things out more and that it will eventually eliminate favoritism. But technology cannot do it alone. The audience has to become more discriminating as well and not buy into every big tentpole movie because they have been brainwashed into thinking that’s the movie to see. I mean, we barely have any original films anymore. It’s all shit we’re serving you guys. Young people should discriminate, demand a better product, be selective, don’t just drink Coca Cola or Pepsi because that’s the only soda brand you can think of. Instead be mad that two brands have managed to occupy so much space in your mind which they have basically bought with millions of dollars in manipulative advertising. I really, really hope that the next generations cannot be fooled that easily. Hopefully while I’m still making films and TV shows.

 Thiago CardimThiago Cardim
Publicity and journalist. Convinced, crazy  nerd for cinema and TV. A vegetarian by choice and he is a father of two children.:)


All content CC BY-NC-SA Thiago Cardim and Lexi Alexander

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Kommentera! (by Guest Author at 2015-01-27 00:25:31)

26 January 2015

Last post, the FFII has a new blog

This is our last post on acta.ffii.org. The European Parliament rejected the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA), the commission withdrew the referral to the court, and only Japan ratified the agreement. We knew that elements of ACTA would pop up in other agreements, and they did:

Tentative remarks on leaked CETA IP chapter (still valid);
ACTA-plus damages in EU-Singapore Free Trade Agreement.

After ACTA, much attention went to the negotiations with the US, and investor-to-state dispute settlement (ISDS).

We will continue writing about these issues at the new FFII blog: http://blog.ffii.org/

You may like to update your bookmarks, generators are free to follow this new blog of course.

It has been quite an adventure, thanks!

Kommentera! (by Ante at 2015-01-26 14:02:23)

Bring Greenwald to Sweden

Glenn Greenwald

I början av mars arrangeras det unika eventet Internet freedom week. Det är en helg om frihet på internet som går av stapeln i Göteborg.

Journalisten Glenn Greenwald är inbjuden. Glenn, tillsammans med Laura Poitras, var journalisten som hjälpte Edward Snowden att avslöja hemligheterna om det globala övervakningskomplexet.

Det finns ett kickstarter-projekt för att finansiera eventet. Gör gärna som jag och bidra till den här crowdfunding-kampanjen. Donera precis så mycket som du själv vill. All hjälp mottages tacksamt!

Kommentera! (by Gustav at 2015-01-26 13:56:17)

Copyright Reform: The European Parliament Must Follow the Reda Report!

Paris, January 26, 2015 — Yesterday, MEP Julia Reda presented in the Committee on Legal Affairs (JURI) of the European Parliament a report on the harmonization of copyright in Europe. She tables modest but welcome proposals for a reform of copyright, several of which have been supported by La Quadrature du Net.

Julia Reda – 31c3
Julia Reda

Noting that many problems remain in the harmonization at European level, and the failure of the current Directive to address users' needs and practices, the German MEP Julia Reda (Greens/EFA) proposes to act on different levers to strengthen user rights. Her report especially encourages the promotion of the Public Domain, bringing down copyright term from 70 to 50 years after the author's death. She also asks for all exceptions to copyright contained in the current Directive to become mandatory, so that no EU citizen can be deprived of their benefit by a too restrictive national legislation.

To free up innovative uses, Julia Reda proposes to extend some of the existing exceptions. Regarding the right to remix, mashup and other transformative uses, she calls for making the exception of citation applicable in the audiovisual field, and to admit the parody exception for non-humorous creations. In the area of research and teaching, Julia Reda proposes to expand the currently existing educational exception and to introduce a new exception for data mining (Text and Data Mining). She also encourages libraries to make works available in digital form, as an extension of their traditional mission of providing access to culture.

On the contrary to what is already supported by the proponents of a maximalist view of copyright, these proposals do not aim to "destroy copyright." Instead, Julia Reda recalls in the preamble to her report the importance of recognizing protection for the benefit of creators, and the possibility for them to receive appropriate remuneration, even calling to strengthen their position against intermediaries like producers and publishers.

Soutenons La Quadrature du Net !

La Quadrature du Net welcomes these proposals, most of which are in the agenda of a positive reform of copyright defended by the association since the rejection of ACTA. However, it is very unfortunate that the issue of legalising non-commercial sharing between individuals was ignored. This is not only essential to the recognition of new rights of individuals over culture, but it also remains the best way to end the repressive spiral in which most EU countries are committed under the lobbying of cultural industries.

Save the aforementioned hesitation, La Quadrature du Net invites citizens to support and comment on the proposals in the Reda report and call MEPs from the European Parliament committees to vote in the proposed direction. The debate before the Committee on Legal Affairs (JURI) will take place on February 23 and 24, 2015 and a final vote in the plenary session is scheduled on April 20, 2015. Citizens, professional and amateur authors and artists, entrepreneurs, researchers, teachers, librarians have an common interest in the adoption of such a positive reform!

"It is time to measure the scope of the new uses allowed by the digital tools and to adapt copyright accordingly. The proposals of the Reda report will have a positive economic impact on creativity, and will boost research, education and access to culture. They must be supported as the first step in a positive reform of the European copyright!" Said Lionel Maurel, member of the Strategic Orientation Council of La Quadrature du Net.

(by neurone130 at 2015-01-26 10:47:21)

New Measures Against Terrorism: No Doublespeaking On Liberties!

Paris, January 26, 2015 — After the attacks of 7 and 9 January, French Prime Minister Valls announced this morning a series of measures to "fight against terrorism". Given this long speech evoking increased information retention and surveillance, La Quadrature du Net recalls that many recent announcements prepare a further decline of civil liberties on the Internet, and calls for greater political and citizen alertness on the measures to be implemented.

Manuel Valls may see himself reassuring when he speaks of a better framework to monitor of communications, or when he makes a theoretical division between "exceptional measures" and the state of emergency. However, these rhetorical gestures can't hide the reality of institutionalized power that seeks to avoid any control of itself, and instead exploits the recent attacks to establish a most repressive legislative regime.1

While absurd and extremely severe sentences increase in the name of fighting against the glorification of terrorism; while the government continues to call for extra-judicial regulation of freedom of expression by lobbying web players on behalf of a "moral responsibility" on the propagation of recruitment radical speeches; while the Council of the EU is getting ready to challenge confidentiality and encryption of communications2 ; while even the facts contradict the role of the Internet concerning the radicalisation of the killers of Charlie Hebdo and Hypercacher... a further decline of civil liberties clearly lies ahead.

"As illustrated last year by the forceful approval of the Defense Bill and by the latest law against terrorism, being "within the law" is not a guarantee in itself: it often allows legitimisation of unacceptable breaches in fundamental rights. The future law on Intelligence will therefore be blameless on the control and perimeter surveillance of communications, with a real safeguard of individual and public freedoms. Citizens must keep being vigilant to ensure that the fondness for freedom and tolerance expressed during the marches of 11 January is not used as bail to yet another round of safe living." Said Benjamin Sonntag, co-founder of La Quadrature du Net.

  • 1. See the comparison of the existing legal framework in France with the Patriot Act applied to the United States: http://blogs.lexpress.fr/passe-droits/patriot-act/
  • 2. See the proposals of the European coordinator of the fight against terrorism in its preparatory note dated January 17: "Since the Snowden revelations, internet and telecommunications companies have started to use often de-centralized encryption which increasingly makes lawful interception by the relevant national authorities technically difficult or even impossible. The Commission should be invited to explore rules obliging internet and telecommunications companies operating in the EU to provide under certain conditions as set out in the relevant national laws and in full compliance with fundamental rights access of the relevant national authorities to communications (i.e. share encryption keys)."

(by neurone130 at 2015-01-26 10:00:27)

25 January 2015

Är EU på väg att ge Google monopol på nyhetslänkar?

Nybloggat på HAX.5July.org:

Länkkriget mellan Google och nyhetsmedia har nu tagit sig upp på EU-nivå. Vilket gör en dålig idé ännu sämre, eftersom EU-kommissionen tycks ha otur när den tänker.

Kommentera! (by Henrik Alexandersson (noreply@blogger.com) at 2015-01-25 22:40:00)

Why PP-GR is not running for the elections

Snap elections that are taking place in Greece on Sunday, 25 January 2015, find the Pirate Party out of the election battle. The initiative of the Greek Pirates to form a political “Trojan Horse” had not come to fruition. After a marathon of negotiating efforts with other parties that lasted for months, the expectations for the formation of a grand coalition proved unsuccessful. 
We contacted Thanasis Gounaris, Chairman of the Board of the Pirate Party of Greece to explain how we reached at this point.
 Pirate Times: What is the reason why PP-GR will not run for the elections?
Thanasis Gounaris: “There is not just one reason but many. As you know the Pirate Party of Greece had started a negotiating effort to create a grand coalition of parties that stay permanently outside Parliament because of the election threshold of 3% .The initiative to form a political “Trojan Horse” finally failed and this is a key reason why we are not running in the elections. Moreover, by focusing all of our resources in the effort to create the “Trojan Horse” we lack the attention of the possibility of our  running autonomously in the elections. Unfortunately our financial situation does not allow us to ensure our participation in elections and one thing that I truly regret is the disappointment to our voters that exceed 50,000 people. Personally I feel that our influence is bigger than 1%. In the end, it was our fault that we, for tactical reasons, allowed the non-disclosure of the whole project from our side. The Pirate Party insisted on a press conference with representatives of all parties and we proposed the idea to visit the President of the State to deliver a protest resolution on the exclusion of small parties from representation in parliament due to 3% hurdle and a call for the immediate introduction of proportional representation in elections. The representatives of other parties insisted the talks remain secret to maintain the unanimity with which the coalition was working, we didn’t veto. There are discussions about the possibility of our participation in the second round of elections, which is very likely to happen, but we still have not done anything except for planning on paper. We will wait for the results of the elections on Sunday and accordingly we will make our moves. We have received some suggestions and we are now working on various scenarios.”
Pirate Times:Why did the attempt to create the “Trojan Horse” fail?
Thanasis Gounaris: “From the beginning we knew the risks undertaken by starting discussions with parties from the traditional political landscape “left-center-right” that have their differences. So we suggested to agree in 2-3 principles that have to do with the electoral threshold. But it was not accepted and so we began a marathon of negotiations on joint positions, we had a “manifesto” but it was just before the announcement of elections and in the meantime we had lost valuable time. We remind you that the parties that participated in the initial phase of the “Trojan horse” represented 17% of the votes of the electorate, a very high percentage. We had (26?) meetings and at the end we were only 3-4 (?) Parties without any will to continue. There were many  undermining quarrels and disagreements staged by the central authority, aimed at eliminating the “Trojan horse”, as eventually happened. But we won the recognition by all parties and movements involved, in the way we communicate, work and cooperate. All the parties congratulated the Greeks Pirates for the organization and found the “Trojan Horse” project “genius”.”
Pirate Times:What would you recommend to PP-GR voters to do in this election?
Thanasis Gounaris: I can only tell you what PP-GR has already declared in a press release. Vote according to your conscience and take part in the voting!”
Part of the press release of PP-GR in which it explained the reasons of non running for the elections (you can find the whole press release in Greek here) :
…After seven months, although the Pirate Party of Greece began procedures and discussions with other democratic parties to form an electoral coalition, it did not succeed. We informed our fellow citizens that the Pirate Party of Greece will not participate in these elections mainly for economic reasons. From our side and driven by our principles for more democracy we tried to form a single electoral cooperation with the sole purpose of entering the Parliament, negotiating with other parties that got less than 3%, in a single, simple, non-ideological, cooperation. The talks began in July 2014 and until the last moment we tried to bring this project to fruition. Unfortunately for everyone, the uncooperative attitude prevented us from being able to achieve this goal in its simplest form. We believe that although it was not possible, all those involved in the process, got experience from it. We believe that the next time a similar effort will happen it will demonstrate the political maturity and responsibility to have more democracy and more parties in the parliament, that prohibited by the undemocratic limit of 3%. 
For these elections, as for all, we strongly urge everyone to vote according to their conscience and not abstinence. However, our work does not stop here. We believe that just because of the fragile or even the non-existent relations of the political forces in our country, soon the elctions will be followed by a second round (runoff), in which we intend to be present with our positions and proposals. For this purpose we have started a self-financing process and invite all our members and friends to help and make it possible, the autonomous electoral running of the Greek Pirates…”
If you want to donate PP-GR you can check the donation page 
Featured image: CC BY-SA PPGR

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Kommentera! (by Stathis Leivaditis at 2015-01-25 17:19:55)

EU Parliament EPP group in favour of ISDS

The European People’s Party (EPP), the biggest group in the European Parliament, is in favour of investor-to-state dispute settlement (ISDS). I will discuss their position and conclude it creates three risks.

First, it risks subjecting the EU to a corrupt adjudicative system. Second, it risks undermining the EU court’s exclusive jurisdiction over the definitive interpretation of EU law. Third, it risks crashing upcoming EU trade agreements.

Investor-to-state dispute settlement is a highly controversial arbitration mechanism. The EU commission wants to include it in trade agreements. Last year they launched a public consultation; on 13 January 2015 they published the results.

The Parliament Magazine collected statements from European Parliament spokespersons on the results of the ISDS consultation. I will discuss the EPP statement on ISDS; to avoid cherry picking, I will quote the whole statement. (INTA: international trade committee)

European People’s Party

“The chairperson of the EPP working group on the TTIP Godelieve Quisthoudt-Rowohl and the EPP group’s spokesperson in parliament’s INTA committee, Daniel Caspary made the following joint statement:

We welcome the final report and congratulate the European commission on the successful accomplishment of this huge logistical effort on the biggest public consultation ever. We call now for rapid and sound action by the commission to convert the results into concrete measures for the ongoing negotiations and standard EU-bilateral investment treaties texts. Our goal must be to find the right balance between protecting investors and safeguarding the EU’s right and ability to regulate.

The EPP group is in favour of an effective ISDS system that will protect our European investors by implementing a well-balanced approach to TTIP, providing for better transparency and clearer definitions/wording on the basis of the CETA text.”

ISDS does not respect the separation of powers, lacks institutional safeguards for independence and creates perverse incentives. This is true for the old style investment agreements, the EU – Canada (CETA) text, the consultation text (based on CETA) and the EU – Singapore text.

Better transparency and clearer definitions/wording on the basis of the CETA text do not fundamentally change the system: they do not separate powers, do not create institutional safeguards for independence, and do not take away perverse incentives. The EPP approach would fail to sufficiently reform the system.

Last summer over 110 scientists published their submission to the ISDS consultation, the Statement of Concern about Planned Provisions on Investment Protection and Investor-State Dispute Settlement (ISDS) in the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP). The statement shows the commission failed to solve a long list of serious issues. The commission’s reforms failed.

“We therefore await the commission’s conclusions and want to discuss them instead of refusing them outright as the S&D group and the Greens do. Their reaction is a false ideological one that leads to impasse and fear, and produces no alternative to meet the need to regulate global investment.”

Adjudicative processes have to be free of reasonably perceived bias.

As we saw above, the commission’s reforms failed and the EPP approach would fail. The commission never acknowledged the institutional issues: we can not expect the commission to solve them. No ISDS is the right approach now.

“One cannot reject a clause without checking all the consequences of such a decision. For example, there are no clear indications on how to ensure the non-discrimination of EU investors in the US market. We have studied this issue with the commission and do not have any indication that this can be achieved without ISDS.”

The commission and EPP must have overlooked the Statement of Concern published by over 110 scientists: “The consultation document comes up with one additional argument: that the rights each party grants to its own citizens and companies ‘are not always guaranteed to foreigners and foreign investors.’ The claim is unsubstantiated. Even if it is accepted, there is no obvious reason why the incorporation in TTIP of a simple norm of non discriminatory legal protection and equal access to domestic courts could not address the problem perfectly adequately.”


“Therefore, what we need to work on is whether there is a valid alternative to ISDS as a legal mechanism. If not, we should work for a reformed ISDS mechanism that can serve as a reference for the next investment agreements.”

This frames the issue in a wrong way. With this approach the EPP positions itself to reject alternatives. After that only reform of ISDS would be an option. We already saw that the EPP proposed reforms that would be insufficient. The end result would be a corrupt ISDS system.

The correct question is: how do we design adjudicative systems that are free of reasonably perceived bias. Never settle for less.

With the euro the EU settled for a broken system. We see the results. Broken systems lead to severe problems in the future.

“It is irresponsible to deny and oppose globalisation and the consequences it has on global trade and investment. Europe’s success in a multipolar world – that we would like to be competitive and fair – depends on clear, efficient, predictable legal mechanisms. Europe needs to attract investors and investment and European economic actors need legal certainty to operate globally.”

I make three remarks. First, broken systems harm our future. Second, the EU has a good legal system, more than sufficient to attract investors. Third, Europeans investing globally can choose which county to invest in, and local courts, state-to-state arbitration, insurance and contracts are alternatives to ISDS.

EU Treaties

The 18 December 2015 EU Court of Justice Opinion 2/13 suggests that ISDS is not compatible with the EU treaties. The EU court has exclusive jurisdiction over the definitive interpretation of European Union law. ISDS tribunals do not only interpret and apply provisions of investment agreements, but also interpret local laws. Nothing would stop them from interpreting and applying EU law. This would undermine the EU court’s exclusive jurisdiction.

Vrijschrift proposed that the Commission ascertain that adjudicative systems in trade agreements are compatible with the Treaties.

Three risks

The EPP approach on ISDS creates three risks. First, it risks subjecting the EU to a corrupt ISDS system. Second, it risks undermining the EU court’s exclusive jurisdiction over the definitive interpretation of EU law. Third, it risks crashing upcoming EU agreements by holding on to ISDS.

See also: EU liberals seem ready to sacrifice our democracy

Kommentera! (by Ante at 2015-01-25 16:18:36)

PNR: Staten vill ha ständig kontroll över var du befinner dig

EU-kommissionen och EU:s inrikesministrar vill ha registrering av våra flygresor, PNR (Passenger Name Record). Utöver resenärens namn skall även annan information registreras – som skulle kunna användas för allt från att dra slutsatser om en flygpassagerares religion till hennes politiska hemvist eller för att avslöja otrohet.

Till skillnad från datalagringen (där dina mobilpositioner plockas fram i efterhand) ger PNR staten möjlighet att hålla koll på var du befinner dig, i realtid. Därför är det inte förvånande att bland andra britterna vill att PNR i framtiden skall utökas med information om dina tågresor, bilhyror och hotellbokningar.

Från inrikesministrarnas sida är man ovanligt öppna med att PNR kommer att samköras med andra databaser och register. Målet är kontroll. Så gott som total kontroll.

På samma sätt som datalagringen bygger PNR på övervakning av människor som inte är misstänkta för något brottsligt. Därmed bör även PNR anses bryta mot de mänskliga rättigheterna, mot vår rätt till privatliv. Detta är en av de frågor som prövas rättsligt i EU just nu. Men ministrarna vill inte vänta på utslaget.

Frågan är hur EU:s medlemsstater kommer att hantera en PNR-databas. Hur kommer britterna, som ju delar det mesta med amerikanska NSA att göra? Kan man lita på att information inte kommer att läcka via polismyndigheter med korruptionsproblem, som den bulgariska? Kommer grekerna, italienarna och fransmännen att hantera denna information på ett ansvarsfullt och rättssäkert sätt?

(PNR-frågan har för övrigt en förfärande twist. Debatten handlar om vilken information staten skall få ta in, lagra och använda. All denna information finns dock redan i resebranschens PNR-system. Och där finns oändligt mycket mer detaljerad information om oss och våra resor. Denna information lagras i gamla stordatorsystem som saknar förmåga att logga slagningar och ur vilka information inte kan raderas. System som ligger i princip vidöppna för alla som vill snoka.)

Utvecklingen är skrämmande. Snart kommer väl icke registrerad fotvandring att betraktas som misstänkt beteende...

Kommentera! (by Henrik Alexandersson (noreply@blogger.com) at 2015-01-25 13:17:00)

24 January 2015

De goda nyheterna

BBC Newsnight från Davos, med Hans Rosling. Youtube »

Kommentera! (by Henrik Alexandersson (noreply@blogger.com) at 2015-01-24 18:20:00)

Exclusive: Illinois Law Allows Schools to Spy on Students & What the News Media Got Wrong

a password on a cell phone

Controversy erupted this week after an Illinois elementary school sent a letter home to parents. The letter claimed that the school had the legal authority to demand students’ passwords for social networking sites, such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, last.fm, and other popular websites. If the student was suspected of violating school procedures or disciplinary rules, the school could demand a student’s passwords.

A local news station originally reported that a new law aimed at combating cyberbullying allowed the school to demand student passwords. The information that the Fox News affiliate reported is incorrect.

The original Illinois state law, which allows schools to demand students’ passwords, was actually passed in 2013 and went into effect on January 1, 2014. The Right to Privacy in the School Setting Act (Public Act 098-0129) was originally intended to protect students’ privacy. Representative La Shawn K. Ford proposed the bill, which would have prohibited schools from demanding students’ passwords. Changes were made to the bill and enshrined into law, which allow schools to demand a student’s passwords, if there is a “reasonable cause to believe” a student’s social media accounts contain evidence that the student “has violated a school disciplinary rule or policy”. The language in the law is incredibly vague about what qualifies as “reasonable cause” to suspect a student of breaking the rules. Should dress code violators be forced to give up their Facebook and Twitter passwords for committing fashion crimes? The law’s vague language leaves it open to abuse. The letter sent by the Illinois elementary school to parents this week was a result of the 2013 law, not the new law aimed at combating cyberbullying.

“It’s unfortunate that what started out as a well-intentioned law to limit the ability of schools to pry into students’ off-campus personal lives is now being spun as a license for greater snooping”, said Frank D. LoMonte, Executive Director of the Student Press Law Center

Last year, Illinois did pass a new law aimed at combating cyberbullying (Public Act 098-0801). On Friday, I spoke with the anti-cyberbullying law’s co-sponsor, Representative Laura Fine. She was shocked by the news media’s inaccurate reporting on the anti-cyberbullying law. Representative Laura Fine stated that the new anti-cyberbullying law has nothing to do with schools demanding students’ passwords. Before the new anti-cyberbullying law was passed, schools did not have the authority to get involved in cyberbullying that happened outside of school. The new anti-cyberbullying law expands the schools’ authority to address cyberbullying happening anywhere and involving the schools’ students.

When both the 2013 law dealing with student passwords (Public Act 098-0129) and the new anti-cyberbullying law (Public Act 98-0801) are combined, there are unintended consequences. Now that both laws are enacted, taken together the laws would allow a school to demand students’ passwords in a cyberbullying case, since schools now have authority to deal with cyberbullying, even if it occurs outside of school.

The real danger comes from the old 2013 law, The Right to Privacy in the School Setting Act (Public Act 098-0129). Without any kind of warrant or due process, the law allows schools to demand students’ passwords to their private social media accounts. If school officials ever did access a student’s social media account, it would likely violate many social media websites’ terms of service and several federal laws. While the original law was aimed at protecting student privacy; instead, the law is likely to prepare young children for a lifetime of surveillance.


Guest Author: Rachael Tackett
Rachel comes from the Occupy Movement and and is an expert in Freedom of Information Requests.

Letter sent to elementary school parents
Bill Analysis for Right to Privacy in the School Setting Act
The Right to Privacy in the School Setting Act (Public Act 098-0129)
Student Press Law Center Statement on Illinois Public Act 098-0129
Representative Laura Fine’s statement on new anti-cyberbullying law

Featured image: CC BY-SA Pieter Ouwerkerk

This article has been edited(24/01/15): missing links added and references to the local news station, a Fox-branded channel, as “Fox News” were deleted to avoid being confused with the Fox News Channel, a cable television channel.


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Kommentera! (by Guest Author at 2015-01-24 03:26:17)

23 January 2015

Net Neutrality: the Member States and Commission about to turn their back on the Parliament's Vote!

Paris, 23 January 2015 – On January 20th, La Quadrature du Net along with other European organisations co-signed an open letter [pdf] calling once more the EU's Member States to adopt clear and strict rules to protect Net Neutrality. However, a negociation document shows that at the same moment, Member States were one towards the end of a free Internet. It is time for the European Parliament to get back to work on this issue and defend a real protection of Net Neutrality, against oligopolistic strategies of the large Internet actors backed by governments.

Just as civil society was calling the Council of the European Union to protect Net Neutrality, the latter was studying a negociation document showing it is about to allow unacceptable violations of this founding principle of the Internet, casting away once and for all the European Parliament's vote of April 2014.

network neutrality

This vote in the Parliament had been a strong sign in favour of the rights of European citizens and their interests in Net neutrality. It suggested a balanced compromise based on a precise and strict definition of Net neutrality. The adopted dispositions also allowed operators to develop innovative access offers (“specialised services”) while maintaining the non-discrimination principle in order to simultaneously protect users' freedom of choice, competition among access and applications providers and innovations newcomers may bring.

The short term interests of large telco operators and Internet giants must not dictate public policy. Today, in light of the national governments and European Commissioner Günther Oettinger's maneuvers, it is time for the European Parliament elected in last May to take the matters in its own hands and prove it is determined to defend last spring's positive development.

As an unprecedented citizen movement in favor of Net neutrality is taking place in the USA and Barack Obama recently called for a determined protection of this principle, Members of the European Parliament must play their part in the international debate and ensure Europe leads the way with a legislation that protects a Free Internet.

La Quadrature du Net calls on all Members of the European Parliament to urgently take part in the ongoing debate and reaffirm their attachment to last spring's agreement, refusing Internet giants and large operators' oligopolistic leanings as well as the Commission and the Member States guilty complicity.

(by neurone130 at 2015-01-23 16:55:01)

Sahlins utspel om terapi för terrorister öppnar för nya maktmedel

Sovjetunionen hade mycket generösa regler för vad som vid behov kunde klassas som psykisk sjukdom. Till exempel fixering vid sanning och rättvisa.

I västvärlden diskuteras i dag om en viss grad av ifrågasättande och olydnad skulle kunna vara tecken på psykisk ohälsa. I svensk litteratur nämns bland annat att en känsla av att vara övervakad kan vara tecken på psykos. Hur man nu vet det i dessa tider av massövervakning.

Vad som definieras som psykiska problem kan uppenbarligen vara förhandlingsbart.

Detta som bakgrund till Mona Sahlins utspel om att återvändande IS-terrorister skall erbjudas samtal med polis, socialarbetare och psykologer. Och terapi.

Terapi är något man erbjuder människor som har psykiska problem. Visserligen skulle man, i dagligt tal, kunna säga att IS-krigare inte är riktigt kloka. Men det är knappast någon klinisk definition.

I den mån det går att utreda vad före detta IS-terrorister har haft för sig – då skall de ställas inför rätta för krigsbrott och brott mot mänskligheten, enligt internationell lagstiftning.

Men det intressanta här är den större principen: Tanken på att erbjuda en viss grad av psykiatrisk vård för den som gör saker som staten ogillar.

Det skulle kunna vara en bekväm lösning när våra makthavare ställs inför människor som de inte kan hantera. (Det vore till exempel det enkla sättet för staten att hantera konstnären Dan Park.)

Det är ingen ovanlig tanke att det är individen det är fel på när hon inte passar in i statens mallar. Och det är uppenbart att vi går från en syn på människor som fria medborgare till undersåtar.

I dessa tider av inskränkt yttrandefrihet, bristande rättssäkerhet, en allt mer militariserad polisstat, nyspråk och urholkade fri- och rättigheter kan det vara en god idé att hålla ett öga på denna utveckling.

Att stigmatisera människor som psykiskt störda eller att spärra in dem på psykiatriska institutioner är ett klassiskt grepp för totalitära stater. För att lära oss älska Storebror.

Länk: Jihadister i terapi »

Kommentera! (by Henrik Alexandersson (noreply@blogger.com) at 2015-01-23 15:19:00)

Basinkomst — kostnad 134 miljarder, finansierat med 200 miljarder (video)

Se videon (62 min)

Se videon (62 min)

Garanterad basinkomst för alla i arbetsför ålder går att finansiera inom statsbudgeten. I den här filmen (62 min) presenterar jag ett förslag till basinkomst som skulle kosta 134 miljarder att införa. Jag presenterar också ett förslag till finansiering av reformen som är på 200 miljarder, och alltså täcker kostnaden med god marginal.

Själva förslaget till basinkomst ser ut så här:

  • 8333 kronor i månaden…
  • …till alla i arbetsför ålder (20-65)…
  • …som bor i Sverige…
  • …och inte har några andra inkomster

Beloppet 8333:- per månad motsvarar 100.000 per person och år (vilket är lätt att räkna med). Det ska täcka hyra och nödvändiga levnadsomkostnader. Den här nivån ligger i linje med vad som redan gäller idag i olika system som till exempel det kommunala försörjningsstödet (socialbidrag), normen för existensminimum, folkpension och studiemedel. Jag uppfattar det också som att de flesta i  Facebook-gruppen Medborgarlön istället för basinkomst är ganska överens om att en nivå på runt 8-9000 är rimligt.

Kostnaden för det här förslaget går jag i filmen igenom hur man kan uppskatta genom att utgå från statistik över hur inkomsterna för vuxna i Sverige är fördelade på hundra grupper, från 0 i inkomst till de allra högsta. Den här beräkningen visar att basinkomst enligt förslaget (högt räknat) skulle kosta 134 miljarder.

Finansieringen består för det första i att basinkomsten ersätter det kommunala försörjningsstödet (11 miljarder), studiemedlen (22 miljarder) och arbetsförmedling och a-kassa (67 miljarder). Det blir 100 miljarder i rena besparingar.

För det andra föreslår jag att man återinför enhetlig moms på 25%, alltså höjer mat- och bokmomsen till samma nivå som gäller för allting annat. Det skulle ge bortåt 100 miljarder i ökade skatteintäkter.

Tillsammans blir det 200 miljarder i finansiering, vilket mer än väl täcker kostnaden på 134 miljarder.

Se föredraget Basinkomst – Ett realistisk möjlighet? (62 min)


Tack till Simon och övriga i Kungsholmens Politiska Förening på Kungsholmens Gymnasium, som arrangerade evenemanget!

Kalkylbladet med beräkningar (.xls) som ligger till grund för uppskattningen 134 miljarder
Mina presentationsbilder (.ppt)

Konstruktiv och bra diskussion om förslaget på Facebook

Kommentera! (by Christian Engström at 2015-01-23 14:20:34)

Nu trappar EU upp kriget mot terrorismen

New on HAX.5July.org:

Nästa torsdag händer det. Då samlas EU:s justitie- och inrikesministrar till ett "informellt" ministerrådsmöte om kampen mot terrorismen. Bakom stängda dörrar.

Kommentera! (by Henrik Alexandersson (noreply@blogger.com) at 2015-01-23 12:12:00)

22 January 2015

USA: Journalisten Barrett Brown döms till 63 månaders fängelse

New on HAX.5July.org:

I dag meddelades straff i rättegången mot den amerikanske journalisten Barret Brown. Han döms till totalt 63 månader i fängelse – i ett fall som började med att han copypastade en länk, i ett undersökande journalistiskt projekt som handlar om outsourcing av amerikansk underrättelseverksamhet.

Kommentera! (by Henrik Alexandersson (noreply@blogger.com) at 2015-01-22 20:20:00)

Christian Engström: Political Activism [Pirate Visions]


The first Pirate to be elected as a representative anywhere in the world is the guest author of this post which talks about political activism. Christian Engström was elected to the European Parliament in 2009 and made a big impact in the international pirate community. 

These articles are part of the weekly series ‘Pirate Visions‘ from various prominent international pirates. We asked them to write as individuals and not in their official capacities in their party or organisation. We hope you would like to join us in discussing the future direction for Pirates internationally by commenting on this article, sharing it and reflecting upon what the author is saying.


The Pirate Party movement is born out of political activism. Before Rick Falkvinge started the first Pirate Party in 2006, there had already been many activists and activist groups, fighting for freedom on the Internet in various ways.

Myself, I became an Internet activist in 2004, working with the activist organisation FFII to defeat an EU directive that would have legalised software patents (which would have been bad for both competition and freedom on the internet). Others have their roots in other organisations, and other issues related to preserving freedom on the Internet and in society. Yet others have started out as activists within a Pirate Party. But we are all activists at heart.

As political parties in our respective countries, we take part in elections with the aim of gaining representation in parliaments and other democratically elected bodies. But whether we win or lose in elections, the core of our day-to-day work is the issue driven activism.

When we have managed to get representatives elected to a parliament or other body, this is a great help, since an election victory means both tangible resources and better access to decision makers. But when we have not been successful in elections, the task is still the same: to develop sensible policies for our society in the Information Age, and to spread our ideas to other politicians and political actors, in order to patiently build political majorities.

Political activism is part of our DNA, and we know that we can win victories that way. The FFII won the battle over the Software Patents Directive in 2005, through one of the first truly pan-European Internet based political grass roots campaigns. And when the European Parliament rejected the controversial ACTA trade agreement in July 2012, it was because hundreds of thousands of activists had taken to the streets all over Europe to protest against it. This provided the outside pressure that made it possible to create the required majority inside the parliament to win.

This term in the European Parliament, we have Julia Reda (@Senficon) elected as a representative for the German Pirate Party. But she will need help from activists all over Europe to be successful. For the majority of politicians from the old political parties, they start paying real attention to an issue only when they feel that there is genuine public interest in it, and that they might risk losing votes if they get on the wrong side of the debate. But when that happens, thanks to political activism on the outside, we can win.

In the near future, there are a number of very important Pirate issues that we know will appear on the political agenda. We know that the European Parliament will work on copyright reform, but if it will be for the better or worse, will to a large extent depend on the level of activism among European citizens. The same is true for data protection, which is on the table right now, and where we need strong EU legislation to protect our private lives from both Big Data multinationals and our own governments. We need to stop the proposed TTIP trade agreement, which is ACTA on acid. Blanket data retention, which European Court of Justice has declared illegal and in breach of fundamental rights, must stop.

And we must make sure that opportunistic politicians do not succeed in turning the terrorist attack on Charlie Hebdo into a government attack on free speech, as they are already trying to. Terrorists can never seriously threaten free speech, but governments can. Unfortunately, it is up to us ordinary citizens to make sure that they don’t.

These are just a few of the burning Pirate issues that are on the table right now, and more will appear with time. This is something we know for certain. The Internet and the new information technology is the biggest thing that has happened to mankind since the Printing Press. It is perfectly natural that this results in new political issues that need to be resolved. The Pirate Party is the only political party that has this insight as its starting point.

We see the risk that the new technology leads us into a dystopian surveillance society that nobody wants. But we also see the fantastic opportunities for creativity and new solutions that the new technology offers. Never before have there been such fantastic tools for spreading culture, knowledge, and democracy, and for bringing people together.

Our job is to make sure that it is this positive vision of the future that becomes reality, and not the other one. Although the prospects sometimes may look bleak, we know from first-hand experience that by working together as citizens and activists, we can produce miracles and win political victories. We shall continue to do so. We Pirates believe in the future.




Portratit of Christian Engström

Christian Engström

Christian was born in Stockholm, Sweden 9 February 1960. He is a programmer, activist and politician. He worked for the  Foundation for a Free Information Infrastructure (FFII) where he was an activist fighting against software patents. He was elected a Member of the European Parliament in 7 June 2009 and  served until 30 June 2014. He was deputy leader of the Pirate Party of Sweden from 2008 to 2009.







Featured image:  CC BY-NC-SA, Pirate Times – modified from original CC BY-NC-SA, Daniela Hartmann

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Kommentera! (by Andrew Reitemeyer at 2015-01-22 18:03:42)

21 January 2015

Pirate Visions: A new series of Guest Articles

A word could with a pirate logo covered planet erath and a sketching model

As we  approach the Pirate Parties International General Assembly to be held in Warsaw in July there is tension in the international movement. The reasons for this are varied but some of the reasons might be:

  • The disappointing election results in various countries, although this is contrasted by the stunning win in Croatia.
  • The internal strife in some of the larger parties, such as Germany and Sweden
  • Tension between the PPI board and some members, most noticeably with Australia over fees and the running of the organisation
  • The loss of some national parties and the lack of  establishment of new Parties.

The Pirate Times would like to start a discussion in the Pirate movement about the future direction for Pirates internationally. We asked some of the world’s leading Pirates (and some others that have been active on an international level) to write articles on how they see the future of the movement. We asked them to write as individuals and not in their official capacities of their party or organisation.

This upcoming article series about Pirate Visions for the international movement will be published each Thursday on Pirate Times. The first contribution will come from the first Pirate to be elected in any capacity and also the first Pirate Member of the European Parliament. We hope that you want to contribute in this discussion around the future of the pirate movement. Comment, share, think about and discuss the articles as they are published.


Featured image:  CC BY-NC-SA from a work by Daniela Hartmann

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Kommentera! (by Andrew Reitemeyer at 2015-01-21 23:02:04)

Kalkylark kan bli olagliga

Det skulle då kunna ge 2 års fängelse att t.ex. skriva ett eget kalkylark med lite avancerande funktioner. De är faktiskt att jämställa med ett datorprogram och skulle om åklagaren får rätt bli olagliga att göra. T.ex. om du gör ett sådant för att då hålla koll på hur mycket tid då ägnar dig åt olika arbetsuppgifter så du kan tidsredovisa.

Det skulle då även kunna vara olagligt att då ladda ner en webbsida med en flash-program eller liknande.

Vi får hoppas det inte blir så. Hovrätten kom dock till en sansad uppfattning:

Enligt vad som framkommit i utredningen påverkas en dators fil- och registersystem så snart ett program installeras på datorn. Detta gäller oavsett vilket operativsystem som är installerat på datorn. Om begreppet ”register” ges en vid tolkning skulle följaktligen alla programinstallationer som sker olovligen vara kriminaliserade.

Ändamålet med straffbestämmelsen är emellertid att skydda datalagrat material. LK:s åtgärd att enbart installera ett dataprogram som endast påverkar sådana system i datorn som är betingade av dess funktion bör således falla utanför vad som utgör ett ”införande av uppgift i register” i den aktuella straffbestämmelsens mening. En annan sak är att en sådan åtgärd kan strida mot interna förskrifter om användningen av datorer hos en arbetsgivare.

Mot denna bakgrund ska åtalet mot LK för dataintrång ogillas. Tingsrättens dom ska alltså ändras i denna del.

Nu vill åklagaren överklaga det hela till högsta domstolen.


Kommentera! (by Anders S Lindbäck at 2015-01-21 20:48:37)

Kallelse till årsmöte för PP Örebro den femte februari


Vänner! Medborgare! Pirater!

Det är återigen dags att årsmöta. Det vill säga, det är dags att ta sikte på framtiden, stirra den i vitögat och formulera den i en verksamhetsplan. Inga om, inga men, bara strukturerat engagemang.

När: 18:30 torsdagen den femte februari (5/2)

Var: Café Deed (Järnvägsgatan 8)

Hur: strukturerat och engagerat


1. Mötets öppnande
2. Fastställande av röstlängd
3. Mötets behörighet
4. Val av mötets ordförande, sekreterare och två justerare
5. Godkännande av dagordningen
6. Styrelsens verksamhetsberättelse för föregående år
7. Styrelsens ekonomiska berättelse för föregående år
8. Revisionsberättelse för det föregående året
9. Ansvarsfrihet för den avgående styrelsen
10. Inkomna motioner
11. Årets verksamhetsplan och budget samt andra propositioner från styrelsen
12. Val av årets styrelse:
(a) Val av ordförande (b) Val av sekreterare (c) Val av kassör (d) Fastställande av antal övriga ledamöter till ett antal mellan två och tio (e) Val av dessa ledamöter
13. Val av årets revisor och ersättare för denna
14. Val av årets valberedning (en till fem personer)
15. Övriga frågor
16. Mötets avslutande
Denna kallelse kommer även att gå ut via epost.

Kommentera! (by Johanna Drott at 2015-01-21 14:05:57)