Did you know the Pirate Party is the sixth largest in Germany? Neither did we, but the German authorities certainly know who they are, and where they keep their servers. In the early morning today, German police confiscated servers belonging to the Pirate Party. The timing couldn't be worse. The group is slated to participate in elections in Bremen, Germany this Sunday.
Whistle-blower site Wikileaks is no doubt a target of US authorities after the recent leak of classified military wires from the Afghanistan war. Multiple news outlets are running stories culled from the documents, and the whole affair has been embarrassing to those in power. Wikileaks founder Julian Assange has even revealed he was nearly charged with conspiracy to commit espionage.
The Swedish Pirate Party has a history of stepping in to protect controversial sites, and now after becoming the host for The Pirate Bay, they are offering the same deal to Wikileaks. The site currently secures itself against server takedowns by distributing mirrors all over the world. The main host is currently PRQ, which is run by the Pirate Bay founders in Sweden, but a server under the protection of the Pirate Party couldn't hurt as a backup.
The Pirate Party expects if Wikileaks takes them up on the deal, they would face US pressure to shut down their servers. Anna Troberg of the Pirate Party says of that, “The Pirate Party will under no circumstances give in to pressure."
The Swedish Pirate party announced back in May that they would be providing hosting for torrent site The Pirate Bay. Now they are taking things a step further and are expected to run the site's business from within the Swedish Parliament. The Swedish Constitution, they say, would protect this endeavor with its guarantee of legal immunity for actions undertaken as part of a party's political mandate.
The Pirate Party stresses the issues of government transparency, privacy, free speech, and copyright reform. An election is coming up soon, so much of this could just be political bluster. Still, they sound pretty serious. "We can never accept the copyright industry’s way of systematically and legally harassing anyone who tries to build next-generation industries," said Pirate Party leader Rick Falkvinge.
It seems The Pirate Bay just won't die, no matter how many battles they lose. There's always someone to clean things up and fill in the missing pieces.