Russian Pirates Battle Piracy Laws
While Europe and the US are still coming to terms with the implications of Edward Snowden’s revelations, we should not forget that it is not only in the West that hard-won freedoms are being attacked by authoritarian governments. In Russia, “anti-piracy” laws are being introduced on 1 August 2013. These laws are a direct attack on internet freedom according to the Russian Pirate Party, who are organising a series of actions, together with allied activists, with four main tactics.
The first is a protest meeting-concert that will be held on 28 July 2013 in Moscow featuring copyright-free music. There will also be workshops in the use of Tor, VPN and similar privacy ensuring technologies. Initially, the authorities of Moscow denied them permission to hold a meeting in the proposed place, Triumphalnaya Square, but after some work a compromise was reached. Similar meetings will be held in St. Petersburg and Tomsk, as well as other cities.
The second action planned is a web strike on 1 August. On this day, a large number of popular websites and portals will be turned off for a while and internet users will be encouraged to put a black square in place of their avatars – more than 1,600 users have already indicated they will be taking part.
The third arm of the party’s strategy is to organise a petition for the abolition of the anti-piracy law; they have already collected over 45,000 signatures – almost half of the required 100,000. On reaching 100,000 the initiative should be included for consideration in the Parliament of Russia.
Among other things, at the end of July activists will launch a Pirate VPN service and will start to teach users how to avoid the “anti-piracy” law.
More information, in Russian, can be obtained from the campaign web site.
Featured Image: PPRU CC BY-SA