Words from President
Happy new year, Pirates!
The usual happened over the holiday break: the Government continued being dodgy, pushing forward with their agenda of instituting data retention as soon as possible, and requesting that network admins respond to a survey on Christmas Eve, which originally had a deadline of January 9, while many will still be on leave, or only having limited time to respond.
Clearly, they don’t want any engineers telling them just how stupid their plan is.
Do contact your federal MP and senators and inform them to not support the data retention legislation.
We have finally made progress in PPI over the holiday break. Our complaint to the Court of Arbitration regarding affiliation fees was upheld, and the board has agreed to a motion where we will assist in the formulation of an online general assembly.
While technically the conditions for withdrawing from PPI have already been met due to Masa being removed from the board, and the GA occurring after our deadline, the National Council has no intention of leaving PPI at this time.
Also a final reminder that I leave for Sweden on the 15th of January, and that this should have limited impact on my role in the Party.
Membership renewals begin at the end of the month if everything goes to plan.
Let’s make this year the most productive year yet!
Rundown of recent happenings
In the Party
- A review of our past year was published by the Pirate Times.
- As mentioned, our International Relations Team has been working with PPI on a range of reforms to improve the international organisation, namely in regard to support for hosting an online General Assembly and clarifications surrounding member fees and processes. PPAU members passed a motion at our the last congress stipulating a range of improvements we’d like to see occur within PPI to ensure our continued membership and this is a part of this process. Pirate Times have published a number of articles dealing with these matters:
- PPAU delivers application to PPI Court of Arbitration.
- Full text of the submitted application.
- PPI board cannot collect fees, says Court of Arbitration.
- Discussion topic on this matter.
- Mozart did a Radio Interview with EastSide FM on 17th December:
- The Pirate Times ran an article on our successful translation campaign.
- A couple of small protests concerning data retention were held at Federal MPs offices. While turnout was small this is attributable to a number of factors, namely time of year, the pushing back of the data retention bill to the new year and little promotion. As a trial run it was a useful exercise and may be worth doing again with a longer lead time for promotion and as the data retention debate hots up again closer to any future vote.
- We are working on submissions that are due soon in relation to the Data Retention bill and ALRC Freedoms inquiry.
- PPAU will be working with the Pirate Parties International board on an online general assembly.
In the World
- It was very sad to see a loss of life in Sydney at the end of the Martin Place hostage siege and our thoughts are with the families of the victims of this event and with all victims of violence everywhere, be it the scourge of Domestic Violence in Australia, to the tragedy of the massacre of well over 100 children by the Taliban in Pakistan we can see that humanity has a long way to go in ensuring that all people can live their lives peacefully.
- The #illridewithyou campaign in the aftermath of the siege was a testament to the better and saner aspects of Australian society and was an encouraging counter-balance to the reactions of the more bigoted elements of Australian society.
- Snowden revelations still continue with releases detailing information about Attacks on VPN, SSL, TLS, SSH, Tor see here & [here] (http://www.spiegel.de/international/germany/inside-the-nsa-s-war-on-internet-security-a-1010361.html) and here.
- Cabinet papers released on New Years Day showed that Bob Hawke as PM allowed for ASIO spying on Australians which just reaffirms that neither of the two major parties in Australia can be trusted to protect our privacy.
- Sony suffered from a crippling information security failure as hackers exposed the entirety of their network systems including the private information of employees. An event that then escalated into farce as sabres were rattled against North Korea over a Seth Rogan movie which saw Sony releasing the movie through online distributors, yet failing to account for potential viewers outside the USA.
- In an ironic twist, a musician is set to [sue Sony for pirating their music] (https://torrentfreak.com/sony-about-to-get-sued-for-pirating-music-in-the-interview-141227/) by including it in “The Interview” without permission:
- There was a police raid on servers hosting the Pirate Bay taking the Pirate Bay offline for a time.
- The recent blocking of a range of benign websites by the Indian government, including Pastebin, Github, imgur, the Internet Archive & others, shows just how risky any kind of blocking regime can be when wielded by politicians who fail to grasp the technology they are legislating on.
- Queensland state elections have been called for January 31.
- David Cameron wants to ban end-to-end encryption.
- Brandis wrote an article on metadata (apologies for the paywall) and Jon Lawrence (EFA) responded.
- Here’s a parrot getting into the christmas spirit:
- And here’s one enjoying a cool drink on a hot day:
- Our ongoing petition against three strikes and Internet censorship
- The nascent Stop the Spies campaign that the Party is supporting, please do get involved. Write to Labor members specifically to convince them to not support data retention legislation. It is still possible to get them to block this if there is significant public support for it being blocked as they have no firm stance on this matter at this time.
Minutes for all official meetings of the National Council and Party Committees are recorded on the wiki.
Note that NC meetings have now moved from Thursdays to Wednesdays.
Policy Development Committee
We’re a bit backlogged with minutes but they’ll appear on these pages:
- Working on a submission to PJCIS in relation to the Telecommunications (Interception and Access) Amendment (Data Retention) Bill 2014, Due 19 Jan 2015
- Working on a submission to ALRC Freedoms Inquiry, Due 27 Feb 2015
- As always past submissions by Pirate Party Australia are listed on our website
The Party is currently using Xero to manage our finances.
As of 7 Jan 2015:
- Transaction Account: $811.74
- Savings Account: incoming $7,146.45
We also finally closed our old Bendigo bank accounts and are only using the recently created ANZ accounts.
Groups seeking volunteers
- International Relations Team
- Party Constitution Review Committee
- Internet Engineering Committee
- Policy Development Committee
- Press Team
- Programming Team
- Social Media Team
- Design Team
If you feel that you would like to be involved in any of these groups, or have any questions, please contact us.
Upcoming events and meetings
All official meetings and events are listed in the Party Calendar.
If you have any comments or questions, feel free to reply to this post!