Tools And Services

So, a few days ago i opened a discussion on a facebook post from the party. it was related to data retention laws and the things people can do to protect themselves. I proposed that the party should construct, and provide tools/software/services to the general population to make it easy for them to setup privacy solutions. I have a number of ideas of how we could develop/package tools and i think it would also help to promote the party as doing something to help australians. wouldn’t it be great if we had millions of australians looking at the pirate party logo in their task bar every day, and going to the pools knowing that even before we have an elected candidate we are doing something to help everyday australians.

I would be willing to lend my own time to development (Although i don’t do graphic design) but would love to hear what others think about providing such things, if they would be keen to help, and if we would want to actually spend any money on it (because having a small VPS to facilitate some low cost server based components would be great.)


I think a curated list of acailable tools and some really simple videos on how to use would be a great step to this end.

Developing and maitaining software is a lot more effort and cost than most realise and as a party would be hard/ompossible to sustain.

Developing and maitaining software is a lot more effort and cost than most realise and as a party would be hard/ompossible to sustain.

Well yes and no, I am a software developer, and I would gladly maintain and manage the project.

Hi Christopher,

It’s great that you want to help with PPAU.

Could you give us some idea of which privacy problem(s) you want to address with your new tools and how these tools would solve those problems.

Security tools are a rather specialist niche in software engineering; it’s a continuously escalating arms race.
I’ve been a professional software engineer for over 30 years but do not consider myself qualified to write security tools that people should actually trust, so I’m wondering if you have a background in software security.

How would this be different than work that Electronic Frontiers Australia is doing? Or even places like PRISM Break?

What I think would be cool was if PPAU was to setup a completely logless VPN on pay as you want basis (same as membership) and then develop no-friction VPN apps for Android/Windows (iOS if possible?) same as certain commercial providers such as ExpressVPN.

This would achieve multiple things.

  • raise Pirates brand awareness through use of branded apps
  • put Pirate’s money (that is efforts) where their mouth is in combating data retention, filtering, copyright troll abuse and enforcing net-neutrality
  • serve as a recruiting tool if the user also opted to join the party (you could give free VPN access to members that pay membership dues or let non-members pay for VPN only, all pay as you want)
  • serve as an educational effort for the general public with volunteers offering technical support
  • if it was ever to turn a profit, it could help pay for the party costs
  • if it was ever to grow in user base substantially it could be used as an email promotional mailing list prior to elections

If PPAU was to become a noticeable privacy and freedom advocate VPN provider it could only be a good thing as far as I can see.

1 Like

Setting up and running a VPN is a great idea, but it’s a terrible idea for a political party.

Fastest way to discredit the party is to video and upload to youtube someone doing something illegal over it and then someone else ask why the party is not doing something about it, and to comment if it condones illegal activity.

Plus also takes focus and resources away from the point of the party… to be a political party.

Setup a separate organisation.

1 Like

That’s already the case. Mandatory data retention is framed as a counter-terrorism measure and if PPAU’s profile was higher open opposition against data retention would invoke the arguments of “So, do you support terrorism?”.

I don’t see how running a logless VPN would discredit a party that is founded on principles of privacy, freedom of speech and anti-copyright. You would have a solid point if this was some “traditional family won’t somebody think of the children” political party that wanted to setup logless VPN.

That being said, yes, it should be a separate legal entity so that if it gets sued into bankruptcy or shut down by legislation it would not bring down PPAU proper.

Or it could increase engagement as people see how PPAU is benefiting their day to day lives even before it was in power. Imagine what it could do if it was in power?

Do you think the party would rush to the VPN’s defense as soon as there is the slightest hint of controversy? A clearly ironic to make a point about freedom of speech graphic posted here containing every possible hate symbol including Bill Cosby photoshopped as Caitlyn Jenner, some stars of david, a swastika and a southern flag was taken down from this forum in a discussion about free speech because the swastika was offensive.

If you’re after online warriors that will take a stand on free speech and free access to information, this is not quite the bastion of libertarianism you might think it is. They will need governance and controls over it, and that costs time and money, neither of which the party has. Hence my suggestion to create a separate org.

I like the idea, just trying to give you a heads up.

I am very much pro this.

Initially I thought this is a good idea (of developing privacy-respecting software and distributing to the public for self-use).

Then it occured to me this could be a problem.

Imagine a scenario where members managed to hit a nerve with the Government / Corporate Entity / Family etc on a sensitive topic. In order to deflect attention, what would prevent actors working in the interests of the above mentioned entities to use the software / tools / applications deliberately for nefarious / unethical purposes and ‘accidentally’ be caught by the mainstream news?

Best to stick with what is currently out there and instead focus efforts on education purposes, NOT BY specifically advocating known applications / tools but by highlighting (for example):

  • How IP address and Internet browsing data can be captured by third parties
  • The importance of encryption over unsecure channels

And then linking these security-related and other data-mining issues to the Party position and Party policy.

We should let well-informed individuals / groups leave to do their own research on specific applications / tools to use for their own purposes after our educational part is over.