Iceland has become the latest country to formally adopt Internet freedom as a political priority, electing three members of the Pirate Party to Parliament in a landmark election Saturday.
Notably, Wikileaks advocate Birgitta Jónsdóttir, a member of the previous Parliament as a member of the Citizens’ Movement party, is now a federal pirate. She’s joined by Jón Þór Ólafsson, a student, and Helgi Hrafn Gunnarsson, a computer programmer, according to Ars Technica.
The exact form of Pirate Parties varies dramatically from country to country, though all support principles like Internet freedom and copyright reform. In countries like the U.S. and U.K., they’re little more than activist movements, but Pirates are elected to significant political office in some continental European countries. Swedish Pirate Amelia Andersdotter, for example, elected to the European Union Parliament, played a key role in overturning the infamous Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA).
Iceland’s Pirate Party is a new phenomenon, having only been founded at the tail end of 2012. But they organized quickly enough to win 5.1% of the national election share.
“Legislation on digital freedom has not kept pace with the reality of personal information and the Internet playing an increasingly larger role in the lives of each individual. It is important that the protection of human rights in the online and real world coincide,” the party states on its website (translated with Google translate.)
Iceland has of late become something of a hotbed for Internet freedom. The Pirate Bay (no direct connection to the Party), the largest search engine for peer-to-peer torrents on the Internet—and thus one of the most persecuted sites in the world—has finally found refuge there, as the country refuses to seize its domain name without a court order. And Iceland’s Supreme Court ruled Thursday that a MasterCard affiliate had illegally terminated its relationship with WikiLeaks.
“Tonight, we party and salute our glasses of rum to our Icelandic brothers and sisters in the movement,” Pirate Party founder Rick Falkvinge wrote on his site. “Heartfelt congratulations. Achievement unlocked.”
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