Man looking through binoculars

Pirate News Digest. Week 2

This article is a summary of some of the main pirate news that happened during the week that we did not write about.

Towards a True Democracy

The Call for Innovative and Open Government. An OECD overview of Country Initiatives.

Around 40 national elections will take place in 2014, representing 42% of the world’s population and more than half of its GDP. It is a year filled with firsts. The first democratic parliamentary election in Fiji. The first directly elected president of Turkey. The first European Union (EU) election since 2009—before the full effects of the financial crisis and the growth of Eurosceptic parties.

United Nations General Assembly adopted by consensus Resolution A/RES/68/167, the ‘right to privacy in the digital age’ (see page 139 of document A/68/456/Add.2). This Resolution was initially introduced by Brazil and Germany and was subsequently supported by other countries.

This September 2013  a study which analyzed 843 protests (occurring between January 2006 and July 2013 in 87 countries covering over 90% of world population) was published. The paper focuses on:
(i) major grievances driving world protests
(ii) who  is demonstrating,  what protest methods  they use, and who are they opposed to
(iii) achievements and repression of social movements  in the short term
(iv) the main policy demands of world demonstrators. The paper calls for policy-makers to listen, whether messages are articulate or communicate only through frustration and violence.

Government Abuse

A bunch of former NSA and intelligence community insiders who later went on to become whistleblowers (many of whom were then attacked or even prosecuted for their whistleblowing) have written quite an astounding open letter to President Obama, requesting that he allow them to brief him on the problems of the NSA.

Transparency International publishes Infographics visualizing the Corruption perceptions index 2013

European Parliament Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs publishes DRAFT REPORT on the US NSA surveillance programme, surveillance bodies in various Member States:

  •  “[…] trust has been profoundly shaken: trust between the two transatlantic partners, trust among EU Member States, trust between citizens and their governments, trust in the respect of the rule of law, and trust in the security of IT services”
  • “It [is]very doubtful that data collection of such magnitude is only guided by the fight against terrorism, as it involves the collection of all possible data of all citizens”
  • “[…] deplores the fact that several Member States’ authorities have declined to cooperate with the inquiry the European Parliament has been conducting on behalf of citizens”

No Warrant, No Problem: How the Government Can Get Your Digital Data. A step by step guide on how American government can get citizens data without  a warrant from a judge.

Tools for Democracy

Liquidocracy is an easy way to create online polls. All the voting is done via Twitter. In the spirit of liquid (or delegative) democracy, voters can delegate their votes to other Twitter users.

Escaño 110  (article in Spanish) is a web platform that promotes citizen participation in the political life of Andalusia  It also increases communication between citizen movements and public administrators

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.