CleanIT, the Pirates from within
The word is spreading fast, the new ACTA is here. Well sort of...
Let's get some facts first:
What is different between ACTA and CleanIT:
- ACTA was a closed group, not including civil society representatives. CleanIT invited a larger group of stakeholders including ERDI who refused.
- ACTA meetings were secret including all documents. CleanIT meetings are limited to the participants but not secret.
- ACTA was supposed to be included into national legislation using a bottom up approach. CleanIT is gathering partners around all stakeholders in order to find other ways within todays legal boundaries.
- ACTA was trying to fight against copyright, CleanIT is trying to fight terrorism.
ACTA failed to understand that any restriction on the flow of data on Internet will eventually be harmful for our online freedom. ACTA took the Internet as a source of the problem instead of a tool that amplifies the problem.
What do they have in common:
- They both fail to understand the power of the digital world (Well to be fair with ACTA, they couldn't imagine what would happen...) and both have no clue how to handle the situation.
- They both have a terrible name!
So CleanIT isn't a new ACTA...
Still CleanIT is focusing on one real problem. Internet and other technologies are tools used by terrorists to achieve massive online recruitment and deception and can even prepare more coordinated and deadly attacks such as the Bombay attacks. This project is leaded by counter-terrorism specialists that are not used to work in public and they definitely need external input.
As some have noticed, the Swiss Pirate Party is participating in the CleanIT debates. Pascal Gloor, VP of the Swiss Pirate Party was first invited as President of SwiNOG federation, and has been blogging about this from the start. He also informed the board of this. The whole Swiss board, including myself, is supporting this approach as we had an opportunity to make a difference from within.
Maybe this is a unique Swiss tradition, but here we are used to talk first. We believe this is how a democracy should work. Copyright collecting societies are inviting Pirates to discuss copyright reform, local Governments are inviting Pirates to review the evoting software, other parties do not mind supporting a Pirate against a very conservative right party and elect him as mayor. When CleanIT invites us to participate, we Swiss Pirates have a constructive approach. My little finger tells me that we will hear more about this in the coming days...
We are fighting for a free Internet, one that is helping the human being, not tracking him down. We have a deadly tool: freedom is hard-coded inside Internet genes and cannot be fought against it. We know it. Decision-makers do not know it, or are afraid of it. Before we become the decision-makers ourselves we will have to tell them, make them understand, and be part of all meetings.
Header photo: CC-BY flickr user karindalziel http://www.flickr.com/photos/nirak/