BRISBANE, 1st July 2023 – The Pirate Party Australia today voiced its concern over the newly proposed legislation which aims to combat misinformation online by imposing fines on tech platforms.
“Our view is that the best disinfectant for misinformation is sunlight,” said Pirate Party Australia President, Miles Whiticker. “Instead of burying misinformation, it needs to be brought to public scrutiny and systematically addressed. This way, the Australian public can make informed decisions based on open dialogue.”

The proposed bill, empowering the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) to impose penalties on tech companies for failing to combat misinformation, raises several concerns for the Pirate Party.
“We acknowledge the harm that can result from the spread of false information,” stated Whiticker. “But it is paramount that any measures taken don’t result in an unnecessary clampdown on the free expression of ideas or force misinformation further into the depths of the internet, creating echo chambers that are much harder to dispel.” The Pirate Party Australia also underscores the importance of moderation being a voluntary act. “Consumers should be able to choose communities that match their desired level of regulation,” Whiticker stated. “Many communities lack trust in public figures due to perceived bias against their interests.”

The party also cautions against the potential for government overreach in the new laws. “While we do not favour more regulation in general, we recognise that legal recourse may be necessary when misinformation leads to harmful consequences. It is important that such processes should be handled by the independent judicial system, thereby ensuring impartiality and preventing political misuse,” Whiticker added.

The Pirate Party encourages the government to focus on spreading correct and trustworthy information, with a strong emphasis on education to foster a more discerning and critically thinking population. “The ultimate power lies in an informed public,” Whiticker concluded.

The Pirate Party Australia invites its members and the public to engage in this important debate and provide feedback on the proposed bill before its public consultation stage concludes in August.

G’day Pirates,

Pirate Party Australia’s 2023 Annual National Congress is coming up, and you’re invited!

The National Congress is an opportunity for members to propose and debate new policies and constitutional amendments, hear nominations for Party Officials, and meet Pirates from around Australia.

It is the paramount decision-making body of Pirate Party Australia – what other associations would call an AGM.

Date: Saturday 22nd and Sunday 23rd of July, 2023

As befits a digital-rights party, Congress is held entirely online! You can attend from anywhere by video call and text chat.

I urge everyone – this means you – to consider running for National Council. As always – we’re a party for everyone and we want people from all walks of life in our leadership team.

Details of the National Congress, including the agenda, new policies, nominations, constitutional amendments and details on how to participate online are available on the Wiki:

The National Congress is followed by a seven day online voting period to ratify the substantive motions passed at Congress. This voting is open to all Full Members, who will be emailed ballot information.

Ensure your party membership is up-to-date!

There are a number of dates and deadlines and procedures to follow if you wish to submit items to the National Congress or declare candidacy for positions.

Constitutional Amendments:

  • The deadline for amendment proposals is Saturday 24th June 2023 09:00 am (AEST)
  • Email your proposals to [email protected]

Policies and Policy Amendments:

  • It would be appreciated if policy proposals could be submitted at least 10 days before National Congress so that they can be allowed for in the agenda.
  • Email your proposals to [email protected]


  • Positions up for election are all nine National Councillors, the Policy Development Officer, and one position on the Dispute Resolution Committee.
  • Nominations can be accepted up until the relevant agenda item at National Congress.
  • Nominations for electable positions can be made by following the instructions here:

We thank you for your continued support!

Please feel free to discuss National Congress or any other matters in our discussion forums at or on our Discord.

Yours sincerely,

Alex Jago
Pirate Party Australia

Pirate Party Australia, a political party dedicated to defending digital rights, personal privacy, and promoting government transparency, proudly announces its endorsement of the Brisbane Assange Campaign and the upcoming conference, “The Persecution of Truth.” The event will be held on 30 April 2023, at the State Library of Queensland Auditorium 1 in South Brisbane.

As a long-time advocate for free speech, press freedom, and government accountability, Pirate Party Australia recognises the importance of supporting the cause of Julian Assange, the founder of WikiLeaks. His work in exposing government wrongdoing and advocating for transparency aligns with the party’s core values and mission.

The conference, featuring an impressive line-up of speakers, including John Shipton, Julian Assange’s father, Afghan War whistleblower David McBride, and members of Assange’s legal team, will delve into Assange’s achievements, his ongoing persecution, and the role of journalism in modern society.

Pirate Party Australia encourages its members and supporters to attend “The Persecution of Truth” conference to demonstrate solidarity with Assange and raise awareness about the broader implications of his case for press freedom, individual liberties, and democracy. The event offers attendees a unique opportunity to engage in discussions and plan for future actions to support Assange and his cause.

Together, we can build a movement that challenges the status quo, supports press freedom, and fights for the rights of whistleblowers and truth-tellers.

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Pirate Party Australia is a political party committed to defending digital rights, privacy, and internet freedom. The Party is deeply concerned about the government’s push for mandatory online age verification and advocates for a more balanced and privacy-respecting approach. Miles Whiticker, President of Pirate Party Australia, asserts “While we recognise the need to safeguard children in the digital realm, we must not compromise the privacy and autonomy of all users in pursuit of this goal.”

The implementation of a digital identity scheme for age verification raises serious concerns regarding data privacy and security, as it could expose users to identity theft, privacy breaches, and unauthorised surveillance. Additionally, this approach may disproportionately affect marginalised communities, who are more vulnerable to the repercussions of such privacy intrusions. Mr Whiticker’s passionate stance underlines the urgent need for a more balanced and privacy-conscious solution to protect children online, without sacrificing the rights and freedoms of internet users.

Pirate Party Australia advocates for a comprehensive strategy that encompasses the reform of classification and classification review boards, the introduction of a co-regulatory classification model, and generalising this model to cover online safety. As we move toward a future where the distinctions between various media become increasingly blurred, it is essential to establish a versatile classification system capable of managing all types of media.

The proposed co-regulatory classification model calls for the industry to take responsibility for classifying their own content while working in conjunction with the government to establish classification ratings. This approach, inspired by the European PEGI model and the American ESRB model of voluntary classification for media, would be expanded to include websites. Websites would opt in to display clear visual labels and incorporate metadata tags for easy identification. This would enable parents to effortlessly block access to websites that have not opted in, or not been labelled at the desired classification, at the device level, offering a flexible and efficient solution for safeguarding children from age-inappropriate content.

It is important to consider that this approach is likely to inadvertently block websites that are appropriate for children but have not opted into the system as we saw with the Kevin Rudd’s 2009 attempt at a “Great Australian Firewall”. While these websites can be individually whitelisted by parents, we would encourage the government to coordinate with international partners to ensure that this system can be widely adopted globally. The Party believes that this universal approach will effectively safeguard children online while upholding the privacy and autonomy of all internet users.

In addition, the Party encourages open communication between parents and children, as well as digital literacy programs and online safety education to support a secure online environment for children.

The Pirate Party is concerned about the ongoing attempts by Australian state and federal government to centralise and make available the private health data of ordinary Victorians as seen in the recent Health Legislation (Information Sharing) Bill 2023 (Vic).

Quote by Miles Whiticker, Pirate Party Australia National President:

“The current form of the bill is a significant threat to Victorians’ right to privacy. By not allowing patients to opt out of the scheme, we are creating a dangerous precedent that undermines the autonomy and privacy of every individual in the public health system.”

In 2018 the Pirate Party participated in the national campaign to encourage an individual opt out of MyHealthRecord[1], raising concerns about privacy and data security. We recognise the same issues re-emerging with this information sharing bill, particularly regarding the lack of an opt-out option and the implicitly increased risk of such a centralised data repository.

Quote by Simon Gnieslaw, spokesperson for the Pirate Party in Victoria:

“The Optus, Medibank and Latitude Financial data breaches are just the tip of the iceberg. Well before that, Medicare was compromised too. Data security in this country is an absolute joke, governments don’t even pay bug bounties – leaving no incentive for the “good guys” to find the problems first. This is not a question of “if”, but “when” this data will be hacked, or even be abused by the Government itself.

WorkSafe Victoria[2] started a legal battle in 2021 to get access to contact tracing data to investigate a workplace safety issue, despite assurances that this data would only be used for contact tracing. The Victorian Government’s response to this was to attempt to suppress the fact that WorkSafe were requesting the data, instead of blocking the request. Had they been successful, we wouldn’t even have known that this data was being abused. How are we meant to trust government with our data?

The risk of our personal health information falling into the wrong hands, aside from being ‘none of their business’, is that if that data gets into the hands of private health insurers, they could essentially cheat the system by jacking up the premiums for people who they know are high-risk to unaffordable levels, which defeats the whole purpose of what insurance is for.”

The Pirate Party joins with Liberty Victoria [3], the Law Institute of Victoria [4], Australian Doctors Federation [4], Australian Privacy Foundation [4], , and Digital Rights Watch [5] in voicing concerns over the lack of patient privacy protections in the proposed bill. In particular we support the proposal of Liberty Victoria by calling for best practices in data protection, minimising data collection, requiring an opt-in for data sharing and supporting an explicit right to privacy.

Whiticker added, “At Pirate Party Australia, we have always stood for the protection of digital rights and privacy. This bill, in its current form, goes against our core values. We urge the Victorian Government to reconsider the bill and implement stronger privacy safeguards, including the ability for patients to opt out of the system.”

“We understand the need to improve efficiency and coordination within the healthcare system but this cannot come at the cost of sacrificing the privacy of Victorians. We must find a balanced solution that protects both the welfare of patients and their personal information.”

[3], accessed 2/4/2023
[4], accessed 2/4/2023
[5], accessed 2/4/2023