[pp.int.general] Our ideology

Philip Hunt cabalamat at googlemail.com
Wed Jul 29 20:32:59 CEST 2009

2009/7/29 Philip Hunt <cabalamat at googlemail.com>:
> 1. our core ideology on digital rights
> 1.1. how computer software/hardware can facilitate this
> 2. our ideology on other matters
> This post is section (1).
> [...]
> Another way to illustrate the point might be to discuss Alice and Bob,
> who want to communicate with each other. They use electronics to do
> so, for convenience, but the same issues apply whatever method of
> communication is used.
> Alice and Bob should have privacy of communication -- the government
> mustn't know what they're saying, or be able to stop them
> communicating, or (preferably) even know that they're communicating.
> The Pirate Party's polices amount to everything that allows Alice and
> Bob to do this.

(This is section 1.1)

What are the implications of this? One is that the government (or any
other organisation) can't read Alice and Bob's mail. To ensure this,
they should be allowed to use strong encryption. This means they
mustn't be using locked-down hardware (such as the iPhone) where only
certain programs can run, and they've no way of knowing if there's a
trapdoor that compromises their privacy.

We also want to prevent the possibility of traffic analysis, which
means that technologies such as anonymity servers and onion routers
should be legal and available.

Obviously if the government shuts down the internet altogether, or
shuts down Alice or Bob's net access, they can't communicate. So
internet use must be a basic human right (no 3-strikes laws). Nor
should there be blocks on specific protocols (such as BitTorrent).

If the govmt (or a natural disaster) does shut down net access in a
city, it'd be nice if the computers could use wireless ad-hoc mesh
networking to talk to each other and the wider world.

It would be useful if political dissidents in places like Iran or
China had computers that did all this. Of course, if only the
dissidents had them, it would be highly incriminating to possess one.
So everyone should have them. They way to achieve this would be to
arrange that a typical PC sold in the west would have all these
capabilities out of the box, which could be done by a mixutre of
ogernmetn funding for the relevasnt hardware and software, and for
government to choose only to purchase machines that followed the

I've written about this on my blog at:


Philip Hunt, <cabalamat at googlemail.com>
Campaigns Officer / Press Officer, Pirate Party UK

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