Wikileaks, Pirate Party Shake Hands Over Servers
BY Nancy Scola | Wednesday, August 18 2010
From Europe, a land far ahead of the United States in making matters of technological freedom central to the political debate, comes word of an agreement between Wikileaks' founder Julian Assange and the Swedish Pirate Party. The latter has pledged to host several of the former's servers in an apparent bid to give Wikileaks some additional measure of security as it goes about releasing sensitive documents into the wild, like its recent release of tens of thousands of reports from the U.S.-led war in Afghanistan.
As a practical matter, the Wikileaks-Pirate accord seems a little dubious. The gist seems to be that should the Pirate Party gain seats in the upcoming parliamentary elections in Sweden, the suite of Wikileaks' servers could, then, be hosted inside the Swedish Parliament, with the protections that such an arrangement might provide. My knowledge of Swedish parliamentary IT procedures is a little spot, so perhaps that might fly, but it would set up an interesting dynamic -- a friendly government (Sweden) hosting the online resources of an international activist group (Wikileaks) that has targeted another government (namely the United States).
That said, there's considerable promotional value here for both Wikileaks and the Pirate Party. Wikileaks gets the institutional backing of a growing, and attention-getting, international political party, and the Pirate Party gets a high-profile chance to live out its principles. Here's a taste of those principles, from the Pirate Party website:
The Pirate Party wants to fundamentally reform copyright law, get rid of the patent system, and ensure that citizens' rights to privacy are respected. With this agenda, and only this, we are making a bid for representation in the European and Swedish parliaments.