Words from President
Hey there! Sorry about the lateness and the lack of a brief last month. Much of the National Council was either ill or unavailable, making the last two months very trying, but we’ve survived, and here’s the brief for the last two months!
We successfully had the Dutch Pirate Bay takedown trial translated into English, and we have released it into the public domain (using the Creative Commons Zero license). How timely given the news that the Government is moving forward with the futile policy of website blocking.
It is disturbing to see the Government press forward with SOPA-style policies given the lack of impact it will have, as the issues of access and affordability have not been dealt with. We will keep you up to date with campaigns that appear to counter this as they come to hand.
For those who have been wondering, membership renewals will begin some time at the end of January or early February. We will also (hopefully) accept Bitcoin for donations and membership payments at the same time, and members will have the ability to securely update their details at any time.
I will be heading to Sweden in the middle of January, and where physical appearances are necessary, Simon Frew (Deputy President) and Daniel Judge (Secretary) will take up the presentation duties. Both of them are very strong and experienced public speakers, and I trust that they will do an excellent job.
As I will be in a timezone 7-9 hours ago for Australians, we will be the only Party in Australia with 24 hours per day support services! There are benefits to a president-in-exile.
We’ve made more submissions in the last 12 months than in the entire existence of the Party, so I thank everybody who has contributed to those submissions.
Thanks for your support during this extremely trying year. We could also do with a contribution to help us along with our projects.
I would also greatly appreciate it if anybody was capable of writing some easy-to-read blog posts on our core issues when they have the time to do so to let me know. We are always looking to extend our reach, and the easiest way is to make easy to consume content for those who aren’t just journalists, which is the target audience of our press releases.
Rundown of recent happenings
In the Party
- Brendan was interviewed on ABC News Radio following the presentation of the Data Retention Bill. The relevant submission is due on the 19th of January
- The Queensland branch has been making solid progress.
- Plans for an online General Assembly for PPI have fallen through.
- PPCZ received significant success in their local elections.
- The National Council chose to disband the Congress Review Committee due to a lack of interest.
- The General Tuesday meeting has become redundant due to the success of Discourse. Therefore it will be re-purposed to be a live, in-depth discussion rather than just updates.
- The crowdfunded translation of the Pirate Bay vs BREIN appeal has been completed.
- Public and member interest in Pirate representation in state elections is increasing. However, before this can be achieved we need more complete state platforms. Platforms will be mostly consistent, but specific policies may vary. Progress on this is underway.
- The NSW Coordinator position is being handed over to Daniel Judge because Brendan will be overseas.
- Daniel and Brendan gave a presentation on mass surveillance and encryption to a group in Sydney
- Simon gave a presentation on data retention to the Whistleblowers Australia Annual National Conference
In the World
- Further documents from Edward Snowden reveal that ASIO, and to a greater extent other Five Eyes members, have been subverting cryptographic measures.
- Personal backups of CDs/DVDs legalised in the UK.
- Luxembourg Pirate Party politician Sven Clement is on trial.
- A PUP MP has resigned.
- The AFP are accessing data internationally without going through official channels.
- Coal is good for humanity.
- Attempts to review the EasyCount source continue with Michael Cordover [being found to not be vexatious] (http://www.theregister.co.uk/2014/10/20/oz_info_commish_senate_count_foi_requests_arent_vexatious/) by the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner.
- Scott Morrison has personally blocked claims for asylum.
- iiNet is back in court fighting rightsholders.
- 24 hour courts will be in place for G20.
- Facebook is now on Tor.
- America and China have signed a climate deal.
- A United Nations committee has queried Australia on the ongoing Royal Commission into abuse.
- The Abbott Government told the United Nations Committee Against Torture that violence against women didn’t count.
- Dallas Buyers Club began sending generic infringement notices to ISPs before the relevant content was even online.
- Palmer United Senator Jacqui Lambie’s chief of staff was removed from his position by the party.
- Jacqui Lambie left PUP.
- A Swedish ISP is now offering free VPNs to help battle data retention.
- The Senate Standing Committee for the Scrutiny of Bills and The Parliamentary Joint Committee on Human Rights have both released reports against the current data retention bill.
- A scientific journal is going open-access.
- Nick Xenophon is forming a new party.
- The Australian Government has decided to go ahead with a SOPA style copyright enforcement scheme.
One intelligent parrot this month:
See something in the world that you think should be listed here? Email
email@example.com with your ideas and we might just add them.
- 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.
- 16 October, 2014
- 30 October, 2014
- 13 November, 2014 - cancelled due to illness of several NC members
- 27 November, 2014
- 11 December, 2014
Policy Development Committee
We’re a bit backlogged with minutes but they’ll appear on these pages:
- Inquiry into the Freedom of Information Amendment (New Arrangements) Bill 2014
- Marrakesh Treaty Implementation Consultation
If you see anything you think we should be making a submission to, please let us know.
- Trans-Pacific Partnership to threaten global health
- Foreign Fighters bill goes well beyond fighting ‘terrorism’
- Secret Trans-Pacific Partnership text hits Sydney — Pirate Party demands transparency
- Data retention legislation destroys any semblance of a free society
- What can data retention tell you? Everything!
- Pirate Party welcomes Human Rights Committee findings against Data Retention Bill
- Website blocking ineffective and disproportionate says translated Dutch court judgment
- Pirate Party denounces attempt to introduce beginning of Australian SOPA-style regime
The Party is currently using Xero to manage our finances.
As of December 11, 2014:
- Transaction Account: $946.64
- Savings Account: incoming $6,453.74
We are still in the process of opening a second transactions account for the purposes of safely paying for services such as our web hosting with a debit card linked to an account that will only have the bare minimum cash placed in it for these services.
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.
- General Meetings are now held once a month on the second Tuesday of that month. The next meeting is January 13 in #ppau on IRC.
- The next National Council meeting will be on 29 December in #ppau-nc on IRC.
- The next Policy Development Committee meeting will be December 17 in #ppau-pdc.
- SA Pirates:
- Tas Pirates
Keep your eyes peeled for meeting announcements for other states.
If you have any comments or questions, feel free to reply to this post!