The Pirate Party of Iceland achieved something very impressive yesterday after acquiring three seats of parliament in the Icelandic national elections. In total, the Pirate Party grabbed 5.1% of the total vote – pretty impressive for a party that is only a few months old in Iceland. The Pirate Party’s success in Iceland also marks the first time that the Pirate Party has been elected into any national parliament. They have of course had other successes such as winning two seats in the European Parliament and winning 20 parliamentary seats in the North Rhine-Westphalia state election. However, this is by far the biggest achievement.
With 95% of the vote counted, the Pirate Party just scraped in with 5.1% of the vote. 5% is needed to get into national Icelandic parliament. Their success is not out of the blue as the Pirate Party were polling very well in the run up to the national elections and for those who can remember, the Pirate Bay just moved its domain to Iceland so we can clearly see the country has a lot of sympathy and support for the Pirate Bay cause.
Three three Pirate Party members elected to Iceland National Pariliament are:
Birgitta Jónsdóttir, WikiLeaks volunteer and former MP from 2009 – 2013
Jón Þór Ólafsson, business administration student at the University of Iceland
Helgi Hrafn Gunnarsson, programmer
With the Pirate Party’s success in Iceland despite being in its infancy, its popularity is expected to grow. We are definitely seeing a trend in European states of people becoming disillusioned with current systems of party politics and the Pirate Party has certainly been able to capitalise on this. The Pirate Party focuses on a wide range of issues including prevention of copyright abuse, political transparency, protection of freedom of speech and privacy and most importantly the protection of the internet.
Rick Falkvinge, founder of the first Pirate Party, had this to say about the election victory in Iceland:
“I’m delighted every time another country gets pirates elected. Some old media and obsolete industries have insisted we were just a flash in the pan. I love it when those stories are exposed as wishful thinking,”
What are your thoughts on the Pirate Party’s success in Iceland?
McAfee was able to patent a new technology which prevents an end user from accessing pirated content such as music, movies, games and softwares. This will be implemented in the existing SiteAdvisor tool which will now be used to detect and block websites where you can gain access to pirate material.
The patent is titled “Detect and prevent illegal consumption of content on the internet.” which shows a blocklist type systems which will either warns its customers, block the websites’ access or offers the legal option.
McAfee reason in doing so? It will help the consumer to stay away from unauthorized content and educating consumers on how to make the legal choices when they want to consume entertainment online, and helping from potentially facing a lawsuit from the content’s owners. But this will most likely please copyright holders since trying to convince search engine companies and internet service providers to stop from accessing such content didn’t go as they would hope. Whether this will work effectively or not, or if this would make not to use McAfee is entirely another issue.
McAfee has this solution embedded on SiteAdvisor Tool which will be for individual customers and for business clients. This works by detecting illegal content in search engines and puts up a warning label. But this also works in social networking sites such as facebook, basically the same way how browsers like Firefox respond to websites infected with malware or any malicious codes.
The company says,“One major reason for concern is a possible violation of an Intellectual Property right and the potential cost ramifications associated with such a violation. A second major concern could relate to potential threats cause by some unauthorized distributions. For example, it is not uncommon for an unauthorized distribution of material on the Internet to include malicious material.”
Microsoft is working very hard not only to match with Google’s existing offerings by planning to implement an 2-step authentication, but also have been directly attacking Google’s Gmail and Google Shopping services by saying that Google’s policy allows them to use the name, email addresses and neighborhood’s details who purchase and/or use apps made available on Google Play.
The company has been using the ‘Scroogle’ campaign for a while, and in many ways it shows how desperate Microsoft is to in some ways convince Google’s users to switch to their products. Its unclear if Microsoft’s fear mongering attempts are working or not, but Microsoft was the one who’ve launched Twitter’s #droidrage Anti-Google campaign in Twitter, the hashtag series of records highlighting malware issues. However, end-users have lashed out, creating #windowsrage twitter hashtag and doing the same.
This campaign points toward’s Google policy of providing basic information to developers, a step which has known to create a lot of concern among existing and new Google product users, including Android and Google Play consumers.
Microsoft added couple of anti-Google campaign video to strike fear within Google’s existing userbase in the hopes that it will be enough to convince them to switch over to Bing and Windows Phone over Google’s Android OS.
During the video clipping, the narrator says,”If you can’t trust their app store, maybe you can’t trust them for anything.” There is a very high risk that Microsoft is playing and in the process it may do more harm than good as it will alienate many developers who require such information to build/enhance/change their existing apps- or to build a new one. Still, Microsoft doesn’t seem to be slowing down the ‘Scroogle’ campaign.
Alma Whitten, Google’s first director of privacy who was hired back in 2010 is quitting her job, according to the report which indicated that she made the announcement within the company as she has plans to retire. Ms. Whitten is an engineer with Google, along with the expertise in computer security.
Whitten was hired in October 2010 after the series of privacy goof ups done by the company. Google once accidentally extracted information from the Wi-Fi networks whenever their Street View cars drove by.
Although Google explained that this was done by a rogue engineer, they were hit with $7 Million fine, had to do a public Wi-Fi safety campaign and to host annual privacy week to teach their employees not to do data mining with the Google products. There was also issue raised when Google’s Buzz, the social networking platform, which pre-populated people’s social network profile with people’s email contacts from Gmail. This led to a $8.5 Million settlement and another settlement with FTC where the company has to do bi-annual privacy audits.
She will be replaced by Lawrence You, another engineer who worked with Google for eight years and based in Moutain View. Looking at the new director’s location who is much closer to Google X Lab, this would be a good choice as one would be able to overview operations and newer products in terms of privacy check.
Google said in a statement: During her 10 years at Google, Alma has done so much to improve our products and protect our users. The privacy and security teams, and everyone else at Google, will continue this hard work to ensure that our users’ data is kept safe and secure.