In December, the ITU “World Conference on International Telecommunications” was held in Dubai. The ITU (International Telecommunication Union) is a specialized agency of the United Nations, having over 190 states as members. Numerous controversial proposals find their way onto its desk.
The upcoming General Assembly of Pirate Party International (PPI) will be held in Kazan, Russia. So decided the PPI board on January 8 2013. The conference will be held in a weekend in April and will be the first one held outside of the European Union.
In a recent update to the firmware of its set-top box, the French ISP Free provides an add blocker. It is still in beta, but activated by default. By filtering advertisement without informing its users, it poses another threat to network neutrality. If this ad blocker is kept activated by default, the next step could be to make it mandatory, or to extend it to other contents and charge for its deactivation.
The first of January is also known as “Public Domain Day”. Due to the expiration of copyright protection terms on works produced by authors who died several decades earlier, thousands of works enter the public domain on this date. Although we Pirates think the current terms of copyright protection are exuberant, it’s still worth taking a look a some of these old works that now become a freely available part of our shared world heritage.
The Icelandic Pirate Party has confirmed its suspicions that Reykjavik City authorities are blocking access to one of the party’s collaboration platforms, namely PiratePad. The city uses content filtering software managed by the software giant Microsoft who have labelled it under the categories “hate-speech” and “computer crimes”. Libraries and schools are among institutions blocking access to PiratePad.
The English “Pirate” is derived from the Greek word “πειρατής” (peiratēs) and this in turn from the verb “πειράομαι” (peiráomai), “I attempt”, which is a derivative of the noun “πείρα” (peîra), “experience”. Pirate indicates the investigator, the tester, is a key word for humanity and characterizes our species. Basically, we are all Pirates, that’s what we do every day, we try for something new at all levels and thus we become more experienced.
On Saturday 22 December 2012 members of the Belgian Pirate Party met up for an extraordinary general assembly (EGA). This gathering was held in the Wallonian student city of Ottignies-Louvain-la-Neuve. This location was a symbolic choice, during the communal elections of 14 October the party reached 5.16%, its best result ever. Only 14 votes shy of our first city councillor.