News that the Federal Government’s financial regulator, ASIC, has started forcing Australian ISPs to block websites it suspects of providing fraudulent financial opportunities has set off warning bells for Pirate Party Australia.
The Party has long been a critic of the imposition of filtering regimes on Australian Internet users, taking particular objection to the lack of oversight and competency involved. The ASIC incident has proven to be no exception: 1,200 websites were wrongly and inadvertently blocked as a result of a single request. The IP address used by the fraudulent site was shared with several others, including the independent learning organisation Melbourne Free University.
ASIC’s order to block the website relied upon section 313 of the Telecommunications Act to justify the block, appearing to be the second time ASIC has attempted to have a website blocked.
Pirate Party Australia is pleased to formally announce that the Party has decided on candidates in four states. The Party met last month to hear presentations from members seeking candidacy for the Senate this year. Nominations came from New South Wales, Victoria, Queensland, and Tasmania.
Brendan Molloy and David Campbell, Secretary and President of the Party respectfully, will be competing in the election in New South Wales.
“Australia needs strong representatives that actually stand for principles. I intend to be that representative, pushing back on the encroaching surveillance state of data retention and Internet censorship, while offering positive and much needed reform for copyright, digital liberties and civil liberties,” said Brendan Molloy, lead candidate for New South Wales.
“For too long the electorate has been treated poorly by the incumbents, assuming that the voter will only choose between the big two parties. We offer Australians a real option for political change. I look forward to the public discourse, and hope everyone will join us in creating a better future for Australia.”
Pirate Party Australia congratulates Pirate Party Iceland on its success in the Party’s maiden elections last weekend. Pirate Party Iceland was founded by Birgitta Jónsdóttir, an Icelandic parliamentarian, and other prominent Internet activists in late 2012.
In its first elections, the Party polled well, taking more than 5% of the vote, which in Iceland’s proportional electoral system equates to three Members of Parliament. This marks the first time a Pirate Party has entered a national parliament. Worldwide, however, Pirates have been elected to many state and local positions, as well as the European Parliament.
“We are very proud of the hard work the Icelandic Pirates put into this election campaign,” said David W. Campbell, President of Pirate Party Australia. “Critics who suggest the Pirate movement is a fad should make room for some humble pie. This is an historic day for the Movement and for a new generation of politics. Waves are being made around the world to give a alternative voice on issues that have traditionally been the domain of corporate interests and career politicians.”
The results of Pirate Party Australia’s recent Policy and Preselection Meeting are in!
Pirate Party Australia held a meeting on April 6–7 in Sydney for the purposes of amending and adopting policies, and deciding preselection nominees for the 2013 Federal Election. The results of the now concluded week-long voting period can now be announced.
The results of the motions relating to policy are as follows:
- Motion 1: Copyright policy — passed with 100% in favour
- Motion 2: Patents policy — passed with 98.81% in favour
- Motion 3: Digital liberties policy — passed with 99.61% in favour.
- Motion 4: Energy policy — passed with 88.02% in favour.
- Motion 5: Coal seam gas policy — passed with 88.65% in favour.
- Motion 6: Taxation policy — passed with 90% in favour.
- Motion 7: Transfer payments (welfare) policy — passed with 89.61% in favour.
- Motion 8: Drug policy — passed with 92.08% in favour.
- Motion 9: Marriage policy — passed with 92.18% in favour.
- Motion 10: Bill of rights policy — passed with 93.52% in favour.
- Motion 11: Improving electoral participation — passed with 97.54% in favour.
All preselection nominees passed the approval vote by the members in their state, and will appear on the ballot in the order listed.
New South Wales
- Brendan Molloy
- David W. Campbell
- Melanie Thomas
- Liam Pomfret
A third nominee, George Shannon, achieved majority support from the Queensland members but was unfortunately the least preferred candidate and so will not appear on the ballot.
- Thomas Randle
As Thomas was the only nominee from Tasmania, a running mate is needed for him to ensure that Pirate Party Australia has its own grouping on the ballot. Please consider nominating yourself if you can support him as a “warm body” candidate.
- Joseph Miles
- Geoffrey Hammett
Additional nominees as well as further policy amendments will be discussed at the Party’s National Congress, details of which will be announced four weeks before the event.
“Pirate Party Australia is delighted to see the Communications Minister, Stephen Conroy and Shadow Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull embrace the Pirate ethos yesterday with both openly defying copyright laws more boldly than we could hope for,” said Pirate Party Deputy President, Simon Frew. “We try to change copyright policy by campaigning for changes in the law and running candidates for Parliament, while they have both decided to openly defy the law and breach copyright on social media platforms.”
Malcolm Turnbull posted a clip of the Coalition NBN launch from ABC News24 on his YouTube page today and Stephen Conroy opened his Twitter account using a Dalek as his avatar. The use of a Dalek by Senator Conroy is a minor breach and most likely of no concern to the BBC who aren’t known for suing fans over minor infringements of copyright. The news clip posted by Malcolm Turnbull is a larger breach of copyright: when users post clips of sports broadcasts or news segments, broadcasters often issue take-down notices to enforce their right.
“Perhaps it is an attempt to chase the file-sharer vote,” Mr Frew continued. “Taking statistics from anti-piracy groups, approximately a quarter of Australian Internet users engage in illegal fiesharing. While we view these reports with a healthy degree of skepticism, perhaps both major parties have decided to stop treating Internet users like criminals and have started to chase the ‘pirate vote’. Maybe they’re concerned about the possibility of Pirate Party Australia’s election campaign being successful.”