Press Hit

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

Cameron calls on web firms to drop encryption for spies' sake

Cameron wants security services to read your private chats on social media by getting tech firms to drop encryption. The former leader of the Pirate Party, Loz Kaye, thinks Cameron’s anti-encryption moves are ill-thought out, and could spell disaster.

Friday, 3 July, 2015 - 14:45

UK government outlines plans for supercharged surveillance powers

THE UK GOVERNMENT has announced the return of the Snoopers' Charter in the form of the Investigatory Powers Bill, which it describes as "new legislation to modernise the law on communications data".

Wednesday, 27 May, 2015 - 15:15

Pirate Party UK Leader on the UK Election Results

We’ve already seen that many within the UK tech scene seem relatively pleased about the results of the UK General Election, but most of them seemed concerned about how it would impact their business more than anything else. But what about people concerned with our online civil liberties? The Pirate Party’s raison d’etre is promoting online freedom, and with the Conservative government openly supporting GCHQ surveillance and tighter internet controls, how do they feel about the results? We talk to Pirate Party UK Leader Loz Kaye to find out.

Tuesday, 19 May, 2015 - 15:30

Labour lack ‘compelling alternative’ says Pirate Party leader Loz Kaye

Pirate Party leader Loz Kaye believes Ed Miliband’s Labour campaign has lacked a ‘compelling alternative’ as momentum appears to favour the Conservatives this morning.

The BBC’s exit poll suggested the Tories would fall just short of a majority, and as the votes trickle in, it appears David Cameron is in a strong position to remain as Prime Minister.

Kaye, who is running as candidate in Manchester Central, says Labour’s policies have failed to invigorate voters into making a change.

He said: “The exit poll has come as a big surprise. That does not tally with the polling we’ve been hearing up to this point.

“It’s another of those points where the Labour Party really didn’t have a compelling alternative.

Friday, 8 May, 2015 - 03:45

Election 2015: Fancy a space program in Manchester? Want to ban CCTV cameras? Believe Communism is the answer? These parties could be for you

You've had the leaflets, watched the debates and read the manifestos, but something isn't quite clicking - there has to be more choice out there right?

Well, have no fear - your ballot paper in Greater Manchester could just be bulging with off-beat boxes to put your 'X' in.

From Loony Johnny Disco, who has plans for a space program at Wythenshawe Airport (Manchester Airport to the rest of us), to the party campaigning for a 'none of the above' box on the ballot paper, to the Pirates promising to remove CCTV cameras from all public places - the voting options on the fringes of Manchester politics could be right up your street.

So, here's our guide to some of the parties you might not yet have considered.

Saturday, 2 May, 2015 - 22:00

Candidates find that faith and politics do mix

A CONSERVATIVE inspired by her dealings with the NHS, a Labour candidate who worries about where the next George Lansbury is, and a Pirate keen to debate Edward Snowden's revelations are among the Christians fighting for a seat in Parliament this year.

Friday, 24 April, 2015 - 10:30

Transport, Housing and Equality dominate Vauxhall election hustings held at Oval Farmer’s Market

Democracy in Vauxhall is ACE. And so is the good Vicar of St. Mark’s, Steve Coulson. We witnessed nine candidates all sharing the stage together, like a Vauxhall tribute to We Are the World.

Taking the top spot with the mic was Vicar Steve, rattling through a brisk and breezy outdoors hustings and making sure that every candidate had a fair chance.

The location was significant – this is where the Kennington gallows once stood. It was more about artisan bread on Saturday morning at the Oval. It was an inspired idea to combine the event with the popular Farmer’s Market. A crowd of around 300 folk listened to the politicians making their pitch.

Saturday, 18 April, 2015 - 21:15

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