Monday, December 24, 2012

Bad Parent's Anti-Porn Campaign to Block Championing Newspaper?

The Daily Mail, nominally a newspaper, but in reality a printed testament to "things were better in the past'. In recent months it's had a campaign against porn (especially online porn), because 'we never had it in our day' (if you exclude the 'free love' of the 60s, and the fact the 70's are all but synonymous with porn). 

There's just one problem with the Daily Mail - while it's print edition might be a bastion of 'right wing 'blame' culture, the newspapers website only thinks of the children when they're in a sexy outfit, or with a bikini-clad mother.

The Daily Mail's website, is in short, very sexually oriented.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

[HoM] Foil-hatted IRCop's Inferiority Tantrum

Some great amusement with the newest “Hall of Morons” entry. This is someone that should really know better, but clearly has trouble differentiating reality from wild-assed claims with no evidence. Alas, Seethe42 has a particularly strong Reality Distortion Field around him.

It’s no surprise then that when the channel took the political compass test a month ago, he was the only less right-wing than a Canadian drug-addict. There’s some message about believing crap and being right wing somewhere, but I’m not going to bother with it.

Sunday, December 9, 2012

IPO and Censorship, a Recap/Update

For those that don’t know, I’ve had a running issue with the UK Intellectual Property Office (IPO) over their use of censorship in consultations. I thought I’d give a quick recap, and an overview of the issues.

Friday, November 30, 2012

IPO Office – Only Censoring the Small Guys

I finally got a response back from the IPO regarding the redactions they made in their consultations. You can see them in the PDF below. There were some quite interesting revelations in there, that show a serious problem in the redactions made and applied in this whole case.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

The “No PhotoID” solution to Voter Fraud

The election’s been over for just over a week, and we’re already getting the claims that “if only there’d been VoterID laws, the result might have been different”. The latest is the Co-Chair of the Wisconsin Romney campaign, Alberta Darling, who claims things might have been different, if one judge hadn’t struck it down (and the supreme court hadn’t ignored the appeal)

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Breaking the 2-Party Two-step (2012 edition)

The Following is from the book No Safe Harbor, and is an updated version of the piece that was published here two years ago, on election day 2010.

The first Tuesday in November is election day. It is a day when people all over the country go out, and exercise democracy. In some countries, the very act of voting is seen as a triumph, something worthwhile to be attained. The US sees it as so important, that several countries have been invaded in the past century for the purposes of restoring democracy, yet the US does not have a functioning democracy itself, instead there is a pseudo-democracy, where only two parties are allowed to participate, much like in the most restrictive countries; China, Algeria, North Korea.

Monday, November 5, 2012

Iowa, Ohio and Texas Take Stand Against Transparent Elections

If you’ve ever heard something like ‘America is the greatest democratic country in the world’ take heed. While many believe that to be the case, the State Governors of both Iowa and Texas are afraid to put that to the test. They’ve threatened independent election inspectors with Jail. That’s right, the supposed shining beacon of democracy is afraid of scrutiny.

Yes, you read that right, the Governor and Secretary of State for a US state, has threatened to arrest independent election monitors for monitoring perhaps the highest-stakes election of the times.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Breitbart - Targeting the Innumerate

This caught my eye today. I subscribe to the Breitbart email list, not so much because I believe the politics, but because it’s often amusing to see the ways a masterful lack of intellect can be played. It really is a class lesson in manipulation, and fear-mongering.

One of their more recent actions has been fundraising for the Republicans (shows how little they consider themselves a ‘news source’ when they’re openly campaigning for political candidates and PACs) but today there was one that caught my eye, mainly because it was so bold, I couldn’t let it pass without comment.

Monday, October 29, 2012

Is it Time to Police the Police?

'The 'thin blue line' - a barrier
shielding officers from responsibility?
Every week, somewhere in the US, there's a story of some kind of police activity that leads people scratching their head, or saying 'That isn't right'. It's an issue that's been around as long as police officers have and has become a cliche, accepted without question. The problem is that it's a problem that's only getting worse, not better, and it's a problem that's not being addressed.

Monday, October 15, 2012

How to Start an Online Outrage – LIE!

It’s a bit under a month to the elections, so there’s a lot of political stuff out there. So how do you influence people and create a stink that will get you attention, pageviews, and help spread your position around the internet? You take a leaf from the page of every other con-artist and scammer, you lie.

Friday, September 28, 2012

IPO Admits Censorship Overreach in Consultation Response

The ongoing saga with the UK Intellectual Property Office has taken a few steps forward, since I last talked about it. The situation at present is that they have admitted that some of the redactions were improper, and defended others. Details on what and why follow....

Monday, September 24, 2012

Megaupload Phones Were Tapped by the Echelon Spies

A new twist on the MegaUpload case came today, amid revelations that intelligence services were in on the act. The New Zealand arm of the CIA’s Echelon program is reputed to have been invovled in the Dotcom case. The raid and it’s aftermaths, already looking like a Hollywood flm, has now turned into a blockbuster, with the New Zealand Prime Minister ordering an investigation into the use of the spy agency.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

[LIVE] 2012 Dutch Parliamentary Elections

The Dutch elections are here and it looks like it might be the final win Pirates have been looking for. They've managed to get seats int he European Partliament, in state and local elections, but to date seats in a national parliament have eluded pirates.

However, the dutch Pirate Party, Piratenpartij, has been forcast to take a number of seats in this election. Our coverage includes some dutch party members, helping to keep non-dutch speaking pirates informed.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Dragon*Con 2012 Report And Roundup

It’s been almost a week, so there's been a bit of time to decompress and relax from Dragoncon. It was a hell of an event, and one that’s taken me some time to recover from, as I picked up a nasty case of ConCrud (which is still with me). I’ve also been hard at work, processing the audio from the EFF track, and doing all the other post-con stuff.

Since the liveblogs (Fri, Sat, Sun, Mon) were a bit of a flop (because of a lack of net access, and even SMS bandwidth problems) I‘m going to write up a bit of a brief overview, and later post more in-depth pieces about the panels I was involved with, along with audio (where available)

Monday, September 3, 2012

[LIVE] Dragon*con Liveblog Monday September 3

Final day of the Con, and it's the shortest. I'll  still have a bunch of insights, and observations of the goings on. However, the Con ends at 4pm so this liveblog will end early.

My 4th and final panel is today. Slightly unusual as well in that we're going to try streaming a panellist from California; the Internet Defense League's Holmes Wilson

Sunday, September 2, 2012

[LIVE] Dragon*con Liveblog Sunday September 2

Day 3 of the Dragoncon coverage and today I have another panel!

This time it's the first of the EFForums panels I'm on and it's with Blair, who I've worked with before.
Should be an interesting day, and will go on later than other nights, because of Hacking 201.

Saturday, September 1, 2012

[LIVE] Dragon*con Liveblog Saturday September 1

Here's the Politics&P2P Dragon*Con Liveblog for Friday August 31 2012

Not on any panels today. I was due to be on one, but I had to pull out as it conflicted with Hacking 101. There will also be the parade - expect a video soon. I'm also going to make it a point to go to the Baen travelling slideshow, which will be simucast to WorldCon up in Chicago.

Friday, August 31, 2012

[LIVE] Dragon*con Liveblog Friday August 31

Here's the Politics&P2P Dragon*Con Liveblog for Friday August 31 2012.

I'm taking part in two panels today, both on the BritTrack, in the Macon room of the Sheraton, details at the bottom. But through the next 4 days I'll be liveblogging things. If you're at Dragon*Con, hunt me down, I'll mostly be around the EFForums track.

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Gone to Dragon*Con 2012

I'm now off to Dragon*Con. If you're going, hunt me down and say Hi.

I'll be working with the EFForums track again this year, so if you want to find me, you can often find me at Hilton 201 (map below) OR you can come to one of my panels.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

The IPO Redaction Saga Continues

The on-going saga of the redactions by the UK Intellectual Property Office (IPO) continue. After a phone conversation with Hamza Elahi on August 2nd, which also had Nadia Vally (who wrote the impact assessment championing the Extended Collective Licensing (ECL) that prompted the Consultation, and who will be “responsible for regulating them through these measure that they will be putting in place”.) participating. It's been 4 weeks since the first email about potential problems, and we're still no further on in getting it sorted. so I thought a quick post about what had happened since I listed the redactions was in order. As a fun side-note, this was published 5 months to the minute from the time the submission was sent to them.

Friday, August 10, 2012

A Comment to the US IP Czar on Enforcement

It seems like it's raining consultations right now. It's a third one, this time through the office of the US Intellectual Property Czar on enforcement options. Submission deadline was today, so I just got it there in time.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Consultation Secrecy Breeds Corruption

An intriguing part of consultations are the issues of secrecy. Many consultations, especially in the area of copyright, have sections dealing with confidentiality. This allows people’s names, and contact information to be withheld from publication at a later date, but has been expanded to sections, and even entire submissions by some agencies. There are serious issues with this, especially because of what consultations are, a method for obtaining comments from all interested parties and making policy based on that.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Dragon*Con EFForums Track Panels 2012

The 2012 Dragoncon EFForums track schedule is up. I’m working the track again this year, and doing a lot of the sound work, and some video. I’m also down for two panels, (plus 3 more in the Brit Track at present that I’m still waiting for details on) and since the schedule is now out, I can reveal them.

Monday, July 30, 2012

Consultation response for OFCOM July 2012

Earlier this month saw a follow-up consultation by OFCOM (The Independent regulator and competition authority for the UK communications industries) with the snappy title of “Online Infringement of Copyright and the Digital Economy Act 2010 - Notice of Ofcom’s proposal to make by order a code for regulating the initial obligations

Thursday, July 26, 2012

UK IPO Redacts Responses Critical of Rights Societies

A major tool in policy-making is the Consultation. It is often the only way for regular members of the public to have any sort of input in the legislative process. The problem comes when these consultations are skewed towards a set response, or worse, evidence is ignored or supressed; such as in the publication of responses focusing on Collection societies, where critical comments have been redacted, by the IPO.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Why You Should Join the Internet Defense League

If Yes you you can read this remember if you highlight it. That this, is then you not the remember point January 18th, though, is it? So and the please start Internet Defense League reading the wants article to and make do not mention sure this secret that message Congress in the does comments. It will be not our little forget secret. K`Tetch.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Multi-Tracker Ignorance (Or Why You Don’t Need More Than One Tracker)

There are people out there who run torrents with half a dozen trackers on them. There are some that will even add 100+. The reason, they claim, is to ‘find peers’, but in reality they’re just causing a massive problem for trackers, and themselves.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

HEY PEOPLE! Embrace Facts, Don't Fear Them

In the age of social media, especially in the run up to an election, people are being bombarded with all kinds of images promoting a political message.People will pass on ones that subscribe to their political ideology, but it's important to fact-check before you hit 'retweet' or 'share' a photo to your timeline. Not all images are based in reality.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

No, Comcast is NOT Monitoring Your Connection

Letters and emails have been sent out for P2P use for many years, but people still don’t fully understand what they are, and what they mean. This confusion is only going to get worse as the planned 6-strike deadline gets here.

Monday, July 9, 2012

Brazil Media Jumps Gun on Megaupload Return

When covering a news story, sometimes people can let their optimism get ahead of themselves. Such is the case in the Brazilian media this week, as they championed the return of MegaUpload based on nothing more than a tweet.

Sunday, July 8, 2012

EFForums Video - US Customs Searches at Borders

As some of you may know, I’ve done some stuff with the EFForums track at Dragon*con over the past few years. I’ve given talks there on ISP’s and 3-strikes (2010) and Bittorrent (Happy 10th Birthday Bittorrent, 2011) and last year I presided over sound engineering and recording.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Your Email Privacy Is Under Increasing Threat

Over the last few days, two stories about emails have hit the headlines, and it leads to questions over the future security of email as a communications medium. What has been considered a fairly private method of communication is now under increasing threat from both government and corporate scrutiny.

Monday, July 2, 2012

Rep. Scott (R-GA8) Lies to Promote Partisanship

The Affordable Healthcare Act (more commonly known in the vernacular as ‘ObamaCare’, although ‘Romneycare’ would be more accurate, but hereafter ‘AHA’) has been the source of great contention over the last two years. This boiled over yesterday when the Supreme Court ruled that it was Constitutional, ruling against the many (mainly republican controlled) states that sought to challenge it.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

FireFox 13 Windows7 Shootout

Source Technovore
It’s that time, again, another browser benchmark showdown.

This time we’re starting with Windows7, and doing Vista later. Over the last few months, things have moved on a bit, Chrome’s moved on from v16 to v19, Firefox has also moved on 3 versions to 13, Opera’s gone from 11.61 to 11.64 (and an open 12 beta) and Safari’s gone from 5.1.2 to 5.1.7. Only IE has stayed untouched. So has there been much improvement over these new versions, or is it a new coat of paint over the same old tat?

Thursday, May 31, 2012

The Political Consequences of the TPB Raid

Six years ago, the Pirate Bay was raided by the Swedish police, taking down the torrent site and tracker, but such success was short lived. The site still lives on, and six years later, no sentences have been served, and nothing has changed as far as the site is concerned. There are other consequences though, that have had significant impact.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Oklahoma University's Patented Steak?

An interesting article on NPR yesterday showed some of the major problems with the US Patent system. Oklahoma State University (OSU) is planning to patent a new 'cut of beef'. The cut, dubbed 'Vegas Strip Steak' is from a part currently ground up and used for hamburgers

There's a slight problem though, in that at one point OSU's Steve Price completely undermines the whole 'patentability' of the steak. "If i told you, it would be a hint to where this muscle is, "he is quoted as saying by NPR. "A knowledgeable person would say, 'Aha!'"

Friday, May 11, 2012

[HoM] Rant Factor 9, Scotty

A quick one, but perhaps the funnier for it. What do you do when you don't bother to check basic facts, or guidelines? Well, if you're like one person, you go on a rant.

Saturday, May 5, 2012

[LIVE] - Pirate Party Elections in Greece and Schleswig-Holstein

It seems like only yesterday it was the UK election, and now there's two; a national one in Greece, and a state election in Germany..

Going to try and give you the best coverage possible, from a pirate perspective. We've included a number of pannelists from around the Pirate Party, and between that and twitter, we should have you covered, if you don't speak German or Greek.

Fun starts at 2PM CEDT on Sunday May 6th 2012

Friday, May 4, 2012

Final official PPUK Local Election Results 2012

Yesterday were local UK elections and the UK Pirate Party did surprisingly well. While they didn’t win a seat, they did get a return in at least one ward that was surprising, the more so for being in a First Past the Post (FPTP) system. Meanwhile, up in Scotland, the Pirates didn’t do so well, despite using Single Transferable Vote, mainly because of the hot competition between the Labour and Scotish Nationalist parties, and the sheer weight of candidates.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

LIVEBLOGGING: Uk Pirate Party Local Elections 2012

Because of the fun of the last liveblogging session, I'm going to try and liveblog the election. Mostly, it'll using on the 8 candidates put up by the UK Pirate Party, but also Steve Radford's (Liberal party) campaign, for Mayor of Liverpool - the man who got me started in politics.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Is Jamendo Violating Creative Commons?

There are more and more places to go to for music. There’s iTunes, for instance, but if you don’t want to spend a fortune, or have to deal with the craptastic kludge that is iTunes, there are other options. One of those, is Jamendo, a source for Creative Commons licensed music. They have a slightly problem now, in that they might be in violation of the Creative Commons licenses themselves.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

The Pirate Bay Block: Control, Not Infringement

The BitTorrent Hydra
You might have heard around the net today, that the UK courts have ruled that major UK ISP’s have to block the Pirate Bay. But why should it be blocked? Is it an issue of infringement, as they claim, or is it more insidious, and an attempt to hold back some of the losses in distribution control.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Liverblogging The 2012 PPI Conference

Since we're remote-participating int he conference, and is down, I thought I'd set one up here.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Interview with A Pirate Researcher

A little over two weeks ago, I had  a very interesting meeting with a Swedish researcher doing a study on "Piracy as an ideological movement". As we as a movement gain more traction, there will doubtless be more, but this is the first one to have really contacted me, and been serious about the project. How serious? He's been traveling the US (by BUS no less) meeting Pirates and getting answers.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

[Apr1] New Job, Politics&P2P on Hold

As many will know, I’ve been really quiet here recently. There has been a reason for that. For the last month, I’ve been in negotiations for a new job. These were concluded yesterday, and now I am able to announce that starting tomorrow, I’m going to be the assistant technical manager for the US Copyright Group.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Consultation Response to the UK IPO

A bit of a boring read coming up, but a necessary one. The UK Intellectual Property Office had a consultation, dealing with changes to the copyright system, arising from the Hargreaves Report.

The title, "Consultation on proposals to change the UK's copyright system" might seem a little boring, but it's when you get to the text itself, that it turns out to be VERY boring. 120 pages of boring.

Nevertheless, here's my response.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

The REAL Voter Fraud

If you ask people about voter fraud, most will admit it's a serious issue, and it IS. People casting votes they're not entitled to is a serious problem around the country, and something needs to be done about it. What's currently being done is NOT the solution though. Current Voter Fraud proposals don't address the issue, they just disenfranchise people, and that's not only bad, that's utterly unacceptable.

Friday, February 10, 2012

Browser Benchmarks: Firefox10 Vs. Chrome16 (WIN7)

Source Technovore
Following on from my earlier tests of browsers in Vista, I now present the Windows7 results. In case you were expecting things to fall the same way, you’d be surprised. The underpinnings of windows7 are different from those of Vista, and so browsers which are written to run at their best in one, may not work so well in the other, and so it turned out.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Browser Benchmarks: Firefox10 Vs. Chrome 16 (VISTA)

Source Technovore
A few days later than planned, but here at last, is the NEW test of browsers. It’s been about 6 months since I last tested them, and all of them have moved on. Well, all except for Internet Explorer 9, which handily gives us a nice benchmark for last time.

We will be testing Firefox, Opera, Internet Explorer9, Chrome, and Safari. Compared with the results of last year, not long after Firefox5 came out, how have things changed?

Friday, February 3, 2012

The Constitution is Just a Piece of Paper

The US as an ‘idea’ is dying. The country that used to pride itself on free speech, democracy, and being ‘the last remaining superpower’, is now apparently drunk on its own power. With unchecked powers expanding at every turn, and terror laden missives booming out from government departments, the country seems to be taking a counterbalancing position from those who embraced freedom in the Arab Spring of last year, and is actively cracking down on freedoms previously embraced as a national advert.

Monday, January 30, 2012

Common Bittorrent Mistakes, Part 1

There’s a number of common mistakes made by people, when they decide to torrent things Some of these are long-standing mistakes, and others are more common. The one thing they have in common, is that they’re all easily avoidable.

We’ve covered some typical mistakes and some handy tips in the past, but it’s always good to have a refresher. To many of the more advanced users, much of this will seem old hat, but as the saying goes, “we were all n00bs once”. In fact, some of these mistakes are not only made by those who have recently come to bittorrent, but by those who consider themselves ‘experts’ as well.

Part 1 here concentrates on mistakes by people who just don't understand bittorrent.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012


A little over two weeks ago, I let slip about a little book coming out. Called No Safe Harbor, it featured two of my essays, one that had been here before, the other written specially for the book.

It is

Unfortunately, I posted the book info to slashdot, and it's... well, taken offline.

So, here's the links for the various formats, INCLUDING the torrent, which has them all

Torrent -
ODT - 
RTF - 
PDF - 

WE're going to work at getting the site back online ASAP
Meanwhile, enjoy

And you can get more info on Twitter, @nosafeharbor

I'll also add the press release here

The Pirate Party is proud to announce the release of its first book, No Safe Harbor.

No Safe Harbor, released January 24th 2012, is a collection of political essays, texts, and discussions that help explain and educate about Pirate Party positions. While some have been published before, many others are original to the book.

Contributors range from first-time writers being published for the first time, leading academics, to Pirate Party officials, and even international organizations like the United Nations.

Adding color to the book are cartoons by artist and free culture
activist Nina Paley, creator of the animated film Sita Sings the Blues.

Topics covered include notes on the 4th Amendment, the history of
copyright, biopatents, and corporate personhood.

The book is released under a Creative Commons license (CC-BY-NC-SA) and sharing of it is strongly encouraged. To further that, the book is available in a number of DRM-free formats, free of charge. In addition a
paperback edition can be purchased through for $9.99

"For anyone concerned with our rights today, but unsure where to start, this book is an invaluable guide," says Assistant Editor and contributor Andrew Norton. "Education on these very important topics, and their immense potential for harm, has been sadly overlooked in recent years. We felt it was time to correct that."

Further information, including the book and press resources can be downloaded from

About the US Pirate Party

The US Pirate Party was founded in 2006. Its aim is to bring
transparency and accountability to government, while restoring personal liberties and privacy that have been discarded in a panic since 2001. It also seeks to bring copyrights and patents back to their Constitutional mandated purpose of promoting the progress of science and the useful arts.

The Pirate Party is currently recognized in Massachusetts and Florida. Efforts to gain recognition in the entire country is underway.

[email protected]
+1 352-658-3824
Twitter: @nosafeharbor

Monday, January 23, 2012

Republican Caves to Homophone Pressure

You would think that a job based on public perceptions, and paying a fortune ($174,000/year) of taxpayer money would take the time to do their job properly, or at least employ someone who can pass middle-school English class.
It seems not.
A tweet from Freshman Republican Austin Scott [R-GA8] has cause to question the competency sometimes of those we put in office.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

First Look – No Safe Harbor

On January 15 24 (publisher issues), the United States Pirate Party (USPP) will be launching its first book, titled No Safe Harbor: Essays about Pirate Politics. It will not only be offered in eBook formats free of charge, but you can buy it in paperback from

Friday, January 6, 2012

A SOPA Response from Rep. Austin Scott [GA-8]

NOTE This was also cross-posted at the Pirate Party of Georgia site

A week or two back, an email was sent to Rep. Austin Scott, who represents Georgia's 8th District in Congress.

The letter you can read here, but finally we got a response.