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Wikipedia Founder Wales Backs Internet Party

May 7, 2014

Wikipedia Founder Wales Backs Internet Party

One of the world’s leading advocates of free speech and a free Internet has voiced his support for New Zealand’s Internet Party.

Speaking on Twitter, Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales said the New Zealand party’s name and approach to politics added invaluable legitimacy to what was a growing worldwide digital movement.

“Look at the Internet Party in NZ. Every ‘pirate party’ around the world should change their name to be taken seriously,” Wales tweeted this morning. “’Internet Party’ can specify two important things: core values on Internet issues + modern approach to party agenda.”

Wales said associations people made with “pirate parties” worldwide – despite mainstream misunderstanding of the usage of the term “pirate” in a modern, digital context – would “forever put people off” because of concerns with illegal activity.

Pirate parties were “never getting elected to anything important, nor impacting policy.”

Internet Party chief executive Vikram Kumar said Wales’ views highlighted the progress the party was making, not just in New Zealand but globally as well.

“There is an incorrect perception that the Internet Party is only interested in Internet issues. To us the Internet embodies the digital generation, and our approach to everything is about connecting with and advocating for that generation.

“We have a modern, technology-based approach to the issues facing New Zealand and, indeed, the world. Naturally we have a strong interest in Internet-related issues such as privacy, freedom and connectivity. But, equally, we’re interested in how technology can make democracy stronger, improve education and health, address environmental concerns and boost the economy.

“Our full policy platform, based on our Action Agenda, will address all of these areas.”

ENDS

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