Feeds

Shun ID cards and make homes for beetles

No need to go it alone

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Seven Steps to Software Security

mySociety, the people who brought you NotApathetic.com and WriteToThem.com are at it again, attempting to use the net for political purposes. We say good on them, because their latest idea is a very interesting one.

PledgeBank.com is a place you can go to make promises about things you want to do to make the world a better place. Nice idea. But the difference is that instead of going it alone, you are encouraging others to join your efforts. If no one does, you do nothing, if enough people sign up, your actions have more weight behind them and will make more of a difference.

Site-founder Tom Steinberg says that the site is "a direct attack on the age-old barrier to action that comes from the feeling that you can't achieve things when you're on our own. It lets users say 'I'll do something, but only if X other people will do the same'."

During the test phase, people have registered pledges such as: "I will write to my MP asking for free Wireless Internet access in the British Library but only if 20 other people will pledge to write to their MP to ask for it too", and "I will bury a bucket to create a home for stag beetles but only if 8 other people will too".

The site is UK based, which will probably affect who will sign up for some of the more specific political pledges. But we see no reason that georgraphy should prevent anyone concerned about the quality of homes available for stag beetles from getting involved. Presumably, nebraskan stag beetles need love too.

"Our goal is to get it used all over the shop - in local communities to form residents associations, within companies to help organise events, and online to help people build open source software etc. Anything which requires people who need reassurance that their involvement in an activity will be both safe and worthwhile," Steinberg explains.

Although the site is politically neutral, that doesn't mean the pledges registered on it have to be. For example, the No2ID team has pledged to refuse to register for ID cards, along with a small donation to a legal defence fund for other refusers. But 10,000 other people need to sign up to make this one happen.

Whether you feel like fighting the power, or just like you can make a comfortable home for stag beetles in your garden, take a look at the actions on offer here. ®

Related stories

Not voting? Tell the world you're notapathetic.com
Civil liberty group pans EU biometrics plans
Privacy 'Dark Ages' force activist rethink

The Power of One Infographic

More from The Register

next story
You! Pirate! Stop pirating, or we shall admonish you politely. Repeatedly, if necessary
And we shall go about telling people you smell. No, not really
Major problems beset UK ISP filth filters: But it's OK, nobody uses them
It's almost as though pr0n was actually rather popular
UK Parliament rubber-stamps EMERGENCY data grab 'n' keep bill
Just 49 MPs oppose Drip's rushed timetable
MPs wave through Blighty's 'EMERGENCY' surveillance laws
Only 49 politcos voted against DRIP bill
EU's top data cops to meet Google, Microsoft et al over 'right to be forgotten'
Plan to hammer out 'coherent' guidelines. Good luck chaps!
US judge: YES, cops or feds so can slurp an ENTIRE Gmail account
Crooks don't have folders labelled 'drug records', opines NY beak
Delaware pair nabbed for getting saucy atop Mexican eatery
Burrito meets soft taco in alleged rooftop romp outrage
prev story

Whitepapers

Reducing security risks from open source software
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Application security programs and practises
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Consolidation: the foundation for IT and business transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.