Cris Chesha

Leaders of the Online Revolution: Meet the Political Party Taking on UK Digital Rights

Chesha is the newly elected leader of the UK branch of the Pirate Party – which has just celebrated its sixth birthday as an official political party– and he, naturally, wants to mimic the Icelandic success with the growth of his party.

But the challenge ahead is a colossal one.

In the UK’s general election in May the party put up six candidates for election who received a total of 1,130 votes between them – Chesha himself received 181 votes in the Northern seat he stood in. You might think that with more awareness of digital rights and mass surveillance, post Snowden and WikiLeaks, the party would have had more candidates representing it than ever before, but the number dropped compared to the previous general election.

In 2010, nine candidates stood for Parliament, getting just over 1,300 votes between them. The party fared better in the European elections in 2014 where it polled 8,500 votes in the North West of the UK.

There is a long way to go to reach Icelandic levels of notoriety; however, Chesha says he hopes to dispel the belief that the party is just about fighting for Internet rights. “Just like, for example, the Green movement are about more than just ‘the environment’, the Pirate movement is so much more than just an Internet lobby group,” he says.

Monday, 31 August, 2015 - 13:00

Pirate Party UK celebrates sixth birthday, reminisces

Though Kim Dotcom’s Web Social gathering has been probably the most consideration grabbing, various celebration championing on-line freedoms in recent times, Europe’s numerous Pirate Events have been holding the fort for the higher a part of a decade. Within the UK in-reality, it’s simply celebrated its sixth birthday, at which era the top, Cris Chesha has taken a second to mirror on the challenges confronted in recent times and the brand new ones set to return.

Wednesday, 29 July, 2015 - 10:00

Cameron Announces Crackdown On Free Pornography

Friday, 31 July, 2015 - 17:00

For immediate release.

David Cameron has today announced a crackdown on free pornography sites. In a statement he says that free porn "could be shut down within months" and "I want to see age restrictions put into place or these websites will face being shut down".

Pirate Party UK Celebrates 6th Birthday

Thursday, 30 July, 2015 - 02:45

On 30th July 2009, Andrew Robinson registered Pirate Party UK as a political party for the first time. Today, we are proud to celebrate our 6th Birthday, and launch #WeArrSix, our Pirate Party campaign retrospective.

EU law that could make UK internet porn filters illegal is heading for a vote

For the past two years, the UK's internet service providers have been operating on an opt-in basis when it comes to certain adult content. Prime Minister David Cameron announced in July 2013 that pornography and gratuitous violence must be automatically blocked by ISPs whose customers then choose to opt-in to view it.

The new law would put an end to the UK "porn filter" as internet service providers would be barred from filtering such traffic from the start. Mobile phone operators in the UK have been using opt-in pornography filters for the past 10 years.

Yet the law may not be as wide ranging or clear cut as it seems, said Cris Chesha leader of the UK's Pirate Party. In the language of the law, "there are clear exceptions for court ordered IP blocks, and 'measures implementing this legislation such as a decision by public authorities', so there is no effect on either IP blocks or the government's objectionable content filters".

He called the new rules just "a small step in the right direction for consumers in that ISPs can no longer throttle connections" to allow preferred content to be delivered faster.

Chesha argued against the law's use of the phrase "net neutrality," stating the EU "should have no right to use the term". While these rules "claim to 'enshrine the principles of net neutrality into EU law'", he said: "That couldn't be further from the truth."

Monday, 13 July, 2015 - 19:00

The Democracy Interface: Time to upgrade?

Cris Chesha, Pirate Party UK leader and an IT industry veteran, believes that reshaping the core of digital technology itself can provide democratic emancipation. He explains that there is huge opportunity for technology to help address old problems that have, ironically, been accelerated by new technology: transparency, privacy, unequal ownership (of information) and inequality of access. One such opportunity, he says, is in developing the block chain, the encryption technology that is the basis of Bitcoin, the open-source currency. “The block chain is a means of storing information that cannot be hacked or altered,” says Chesha, “and because the information is decentralised and dispersed over a network, rather than accessed through one server, it is more robust.”

Friday, 10 July, 2015 - 12:00

Pirate Party UK announces appointments to the NEC, and Board of Governors

Tuesday, 7 July, 2015 - 13:30

Pirate Party UK is proud to announce the results of elections to its National Executive Committee held during June of 2015.

Cris Chesha has been elected as Party Leader to replace Loz Kaye, who formally stepped down after the 2015 UK General Election. Chesha stood in Manchester Gorton during the 2015 General Election and has gained a dedicated base of support in the party for his left-field campaigning style, and his fierce and uncompromising stance on core party issues such as government surveillance, digital liberty and radical democratic reform.

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