Friday, 18 September 2009

Britain a lost cause...

Rick Falkvinge, leader of the Swedish Piratpartiet made a throw away comment on the state of affairs in Great Britain in a reply to a comment on his blog. "Det är kört". The race is run, it's finished... a lost cause.

The UK government continues to push the boundaries for state surveillance at the cost of individuals privacy, and the chance to reform copyright to meet the needs of the digital age is being squandered in legislating to defend outmoded ideas on how culture should be created, distributed and shared. Big business has the ear of the government, and Big Brother is alive and well in the corridors of Westminister.

But government is not the people. The number of people filesharing shows that there are many people that don't share establishment views on copyright, and privacy issues are a genuine concern for many.. Topics like the introduction of identity cards, and repeated incidents of loss of private data on millions of people have created an awareness that privacy matters and that blanket surveillance is not a good thing.

It's the people's job to watch the government, not the other way round... though governments it seems have a habit of forgetting that. Our best service is to continue to raise the awareness of the issues and make people aware of where the country is heading - and just as importantly that there are alternatives - that we can build an open, trusting creative society fit for the twenty-first century.

Awareness comes from the press, from advocacy groups like the excellent  Open Rights Group, from industry, - and now of course from The Pirate Party.  Britain is not lost.. just in dire need of a new map and a new direction....

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