Monday, June 8, 2009
Landmark Win for the Pirate Party
The Pirate Party won a seat in the European elections. That’s right your eyes are working just fine, they actually won a seat. For those of you not familiar with the party it the Pirate Party was started in Sweden in 2006 to promote online privacy and to fight Sweden’s file-sharing laws.
This is indeed a historic victory for an independent party in Europe and certainly for web-based communities everywhere. While I applaud the effort that the Pirate Party has put into its membership and its elections I think that a 49,000 member organization such as this one could use its online presence for bigger and better things than file-sharing.
How about if they used their online influence to try and challenge people to find ways to help countries whose governments block websites or limit internet access or help find ways around government monitoring of online activities without having to use the traditional proxies. It seems to me that there are bigger issues online than file-sharing (not that I don’t appreciate the free movies) there are a million things that an online group that size could do.
I know that if I could get together an online group of 49,000 people I would try and do some good with it. Around the world people are being jailed for blogging, others are being arrested for reading certain websites and people have to connect themselves at their own risk to send email to families. File-sharing will happen; it’s been happening for years, copyright laws or no copyright laws. But freedom online and freedom of expression and thought seem like something the Pirate Party could have promoted very effectively and it might have actually made an impact on the global political scene and on the lives of thousands of netizens.