Battles for Democracy. Week 23

Battles for Democracy. Week 23

This week citizens are counter-attacking harder than usual. The Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) between Europe and the United States leaked. Battles for Democracy in the Arab World and much more.

Citizens abused or killed, liberties and rights cut

According to documents disclosed this week, the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) between Europe and the United States will hinder the return of public services to public hands. According to the secret files published by Filtrala.org, an independent website for civil denunciation, TTIP also envisages restricting the power of governments to rule over key sectors like finance and energy.

European medicines agency unexpectedly waters down draft policy on sharing drug safety data. Despite that public-spirited risk-taking by volunteers, pharmaceutical companies are trying to claim the resulting data as “commercially confidential information” that belongs exclusively to them, not to society.

This month, Digital Citizen issue reports this month the abuses: in Algeria, Bahrain, Egypt, Tunisia, Libya, Syria, Palestine, Morocco, Kuwait, Lebanon, Sudan, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates.

Citizens unite, react and take action, institutions support them

Join PEN International’s #KeepingScore campaign! Tweet at government officials of the World Cup countries reminding them that freedom of expression is not a game.

Arrests and crackdowns in Brazil but anti-World Cup activists get their message across. Despite police raids on activists’ homes, protesters are gaining wide audiences with their calls for change in Brazil and beyond.

The lead up to the World Cup has prompted large scale demonstrations and public protests to which the police have responded with use of force, and in some cases “less lethal” weapons such as tear gas and rubber bullets. Amnesty International asks you to sign a petition to give Brazilian authorities a yellow card.

The King of Spain abdicated and many are fighting to get rid not only of the King but of the whole monarchy. The government doesn’t want to consult Spaniards about it and according to Spanish law any consultation, not explicitly allowed by the government, is illegal. ReferendumRealYa, however, is challeging this with a twofold strategy: a crowsourced referendum and an online voting platform.

Tesla Motors, in the spirit of the open source movement, releases its patents to the public for the advancement of electric vehicle technology.

Italians invited to whistle-blow on Expo 2015. A group of journalists have set up a website inviting people to blow the whistle on shady goings-on at Milan Expo 2015 in the wake of a corruption scandal.

Sign the petition to stop mass surveillance activities in Romania! Just one month after the European Court of Justice (ECJ) rejected the Data Retention Directive – a legal act that would give security agencies access to private information related to citizens’ telecommunications and internet use – Romania has continued to strengthen a legal culture of mass surveillance.

Canadian Supreme Court Says Government Needs To Get A Warrant To Get Your Internet Info
While many countries are still struggling with this stuff , the Canadian Supreme Court made a huge decision, saying that the government must get a warrant to demand your information from an internet provider

Tools For Democracy

Tools to either increase awareness of the threats to democracy, protect yourself against them or to leverage democracy to new levels.

[Spanish] Filtrala.org is a Spanish securedrop like initiative to allow whistle-blowers leak information to the public in a secure way. The last Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP)  draft was leaked through this platform this week.

Wasa2il is a participatory democracy software project. It is based around the core idea of polities – political entities – which users of the system can join or leave, make proposals in, alter existing proposals, and adopt laws to self-govern.

ifex, the global network defending and promoting free expression. ifex draws attention to stories and events that affect free expression

How to encrypt everything. A year ago, heavy duty encryption technology was something cybersecurity professionals, privacy nuts, and the odd investigative journalist cared about. Then the Snowden leaks happened. Suddenly, we were all acutely aware of how exposed our data is to the prying eyes of spies and black hat hackers alike. But it doesn’t have to be that way.

Lo and Behold!

Too big to comply? NSA says it’s too large and complex to comply with court order. In an era of too-big-to-fail banks, we should have known it was coming: An intelligence agency too big to rein in — and brazen enough to say so. In a remarkable legal filing on Friday afternoon, the NSA told a federal court that its spying operations are too massive and technically complex to comply with an order to preserve evidence. The NSA, in other words, now says that it cannot comply with the rules that apply to any other party before a court — the very rules that ensure legal accountability — because it is too big.

Pedro Gutierrez

About Pedro Gutierrez

The certainty that a World War on Democracy was going on and we, the people, were unaware of it was keeping me up at night. The fact, crystal clear now after Snowden's revelations, that the new battlefield is your mobile, your laptop, your data and so, that every citizen (i.e. you) is being considered a target was inconceivable for me. And it became worse when I realized that most people just didn't care about it: "I don't mind a bit of spying? I'm a good citizen I've nothing to hide". So when Pirate Times let me write about it in this blog I was happy to finally take action. But dear reader be warned because it may happen to you what already happened to me. Reporting week after week about the battles for democracy has changed my perception of the magnitude of this conflict. I already thought when I started that the situation was terrible and the conflict was not winding down but, no matter what, at the end of every week when I submit my post I realize again that I had underestimated it all.

All content is CC-BY if not mentioned otherwise. Please link back to us if using content.