On June, 2nd, the Executive Council of the Italian Pirate Party decided to force all members to show that they are “really members”, after their proposals for making the contents of the old voting platform public were defeated several times by a vote of the majority of the Pirates.
The decision left most of the members perplexed, in particular following two considerations:
- the decisions to force members to send a receipt for their payments, which were later found to be alreadyavailable to the party, to have members email a copy of an ID, thus ignoring the guidelines of the Italian Authority for the protection of personal data, and to accept without question that their personal data would have been public on the new platform was seen as an abuse perpetrated by the internal “guarantor”. An abuse that no Pirate should be forced to endure.
- the revision of the members book at a time when the party leadership struggles to hold on to their consensus was seen as an excuse to disenfranchise those pirates which were seen as most dissenting. That, from a democratic standpoint, is even more abhorrent.
Unfortunately, the first effects of this “disagreement control” began to appear. In fact, for a week, neither thelegal responsible, nor the treasurer had been included in the new voting platform (presuming then that they were not correctly registered as party’s members); then some Pirates reluctantly accepted to sign the papers and look for the payment receipts.
What is even worse, two pirates already decided to abandon ship by officially resigning, and some more are probably thinking of doing the same.
On July, 30th, the following letter was sent to the leadership of the party:
Subject: Application for readmission to congresso.partito-pirata.itConcerning the requests involving the correct registration of the undersigned sent with Your email on July, 6th 2020, 23:23, with “Communication for integration/update of the members book”, the undersigned, already a member of the Italian Pirate Party since […] considering that:
- According to current laws, the Italian Data Protection Authority has made clear, in the 2005-10-27 deliberation(https://www.garanteprivacy.it/home/docweb/-/docweb-display/docweb/1189435)that it isn’t justifiable for a non-recognized association to ask and hold onto a copy of an identity document for the sole purpose of joining the association.
- According to the Statutes and Regulations of the Pirate Party of Italy, there is no obligation on the registering party to send an identity document.
- The registration procedure was correctly carried out in year [omissis] in accordance with Regulations at the time.
- Such registration procedure has been confirmed through allowing the member access to the agora.partito-pirata.it voting platform with full voting power since [omissis].
- with their email, sent July, 6th 2020, and with the follow-up email sent July, 22nd, the guarantor already presumed that the undersigned did not pay the annual fee.
- according to our rules of procedure, art. T.2.2 (All the content of the platform with the exception of the Pirates’ individual identification cards are public and can be published verbatim) the undersigned DOES NOT CONSENT the publication of his personal data, with the exception of the nickname already used on the previous instance and the party’s forum.
- in violation of the cited article, the information form sent out by the guarantor contains the following clause: “the personal data provided will not be published, with the exception of the ones inserted by default (first name, last name and nickname)“
- and, according to Regulations, there are no substantial differences between old and new registration procedures
- TO BE INCLUDED IN THE NEW PLATFORM AS SOON AS THIS LETTER IS RECEIVED
- THAT HE BE ALLOWED TO VOTE ON THE NEW PLATFORM
- THAT NO NEW VOTING INITIATIVES BE ACTIVATED BEFORE THE UNDERSIGNED CAN ACCESS IT
- TO BE INCLUDED IMMEDIATLY AND WITHOUT THE REQUIREMENT TO SIGN THE CURRENT “INFORMATION ON PERSONAL DATA” FORM AND WITHOUT THE REQUIREMENT OF SENDING A COPY OF HIS ID
- THAT A NEW VERSION OF THE “INFORMATION ON PERSONAL DATA” FORM BE SENT WITHOUT THE MENTIONED VESSATORY CLAUSES, SO THAT THE UNDERSIGNED CAN SIGN IT.
The main problem in all this painful event is how the pillars of the party are crumbling with this mindset. In particular:
- one of the most important reason to be for the Pirate Party is to defend every citizen’s right to their privacy, but how can the Italian Pirate Party achieve that if it is not able to defend the privacy of its members?
- if the Pirate Party asks to its members data that it already owns, how can it fight a battle against the vessatory bureaucracy that plagues the Italian Public Administration?
- if the leadership of the Pirate Party, that brought the theme of Liquid Democracy on the table of the general politcs, decides to demotivate its own members just to silence disagremments, what could it do if it arrives to hold important positions in a country?
- and also, if those who feel to be true Pirates do not react now, how can they be credible in front of the Pirate Movement?
- finally, could we use a part of the energy that we used to criticise the 5-Stars Movement to do some self-criticism?