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Thursday, June 7, 2012

Pirate Party Met in Czech

The 3rd Pirate Party International meeting took place in the Czech capital last week. 25 Pirate Parties from across the globe brought the black flag to Prague. Their goal is to abolish anti-piracy legislation like ACTA (Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement), which threatens the very foundations of what democracy is, by depriving people of privacy and freedom of online speech.

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According to Ivan Bartos, the head of the Czech Pirate Party, it’s the Orwellian underside of laws like ACTA that threatens the future of the web freedom. He points out that it is more a fight for control of the web, as once ACTA is enforced, the authorities will be able to control almost anything that is going on there. The Pirate Party has to keep this freedom, since nobody can buy the web.

Everything started as a protest against Sweden’s attempts to block access to the worlds’ largest tracker The Pirate Bay, but nobody could imagine that this can grow into a huge political movement which would spread across the world. However, during 2009’s European Parliament elections, Sweden’s Pirate Party won 7% of the votes and now has two MEPs. Recently, an Austrian Pirate Party candidate was also elected to Innsbruck’s local council. In addition, German Pirate Party is also now controlling fifteen out of 149 seats in the capital’s state parliament.

Rick Falkvinge, the founder of the Swedish Pirate Party, explained that they are actually fighting for civil liberties that their parents enjoyed, trying to carry them over to the next generation of their children in the digital world. In real world, if you send a letter, you can choose either to identify yourself as the sender on the envelope, on inside in the letter, or not at all. In other words, no one has the right to track your communications. As such, no one has the right to open someone else’s letters just to check for contraband instructions.

The Czech Pirate Party is not to be disregarded from this political “takedown”, because it has gained 0.8% of the votes in parliamentary elections two years ago. This isn’t a huge number, but the Pirates came 11th out of 26 parties.

Now, the future is full expectations for the Pirates who are going to start a Pirate Party movement in the European Parliament. Perhaps, we’ll see a single pan-European Pirate Party, organizing protests against laws such as ACTA and SOPA

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