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    National Public Radio: In Sweden, ‘Pirates’ Make The Web A Political Cause

    NPR has a story about the Pirate Party in Sweden, which includes strong online privacy protection in its platform.

    The party now has a seat in the European parliament. In Germany, the party has gained some city council seats. Branches exist or are being set up in dozens of other countries.

    “I am in the party because I see a dangerous path that this country is following with its laws,” says Jonathan Rieder, a 21-year-old party member in Stockholm. He believes that civil liberties are under attack in Sweden.

    He objects to two laws in particular. One, passed last year, allows Swedish authorities to monitor phone, fax and e-mail traffic crossing the country’s borders. The other, a European Union directive adopted in April, allows copyright holders to find out the Internet addresses of file sharers. The same month, a court sentenced owners of the Swedish file-sharing site Pirate Bay to a year in jail and millions of dollars in fines. […]

    The Pirate Party wants to reform copyright law, abolish all patents and protect privacy on the Internet. Combining these issues has been a very successful formula.

    In June, Sweden held an election for deputies to the European parliament. It was the party’s first electoral test. It won a seat and took more than 7 percent of the vote. Its youth wing is now the biggest of any Swedish political party. […]

    Opponents predict the Pirate Party will disappear now that many establishment political parties are incorporating elements of its platform into their own.

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