Pirate Party Vindicated By Highest EU Court, Killing Mass Surveillance Law. Oldmedia Reacts By Writing Cat Story.

Cat face

The Swedish Pirate Party’s political work has been consistently ignored by Swedish media from our setting foot in the European Parliament in general, and in this election campaign in particular. After having been excluded from televised live debates three days ahead of voting despite being up for re-election to the European Parliament, we had a huge victory yesterday where the European Court of Justice made us right in what we had been saying all along about privacy. Swedish oldmedia responded with a story about the party leader’s cat.

Yesterday, the European Court of Justice ruled the detested Data Retention Directive invalid. Retroactively invalid, even: the court ruled that it had never existed. The directive (a directive is sort of a federal law covering the EU) mandated all EU states to log all communications from all citizens: from whom, to whom, from where, using what method, and when. No communication would be unseen by the Government.

This wasn’t for the usual organizedcrime-terrorism-pedophiles-filesharing mantra. This was for everybody, with the express purpose of using your communications logs against you. The Pirate Party was founded as a direct reaction to this blanket violation; we were quoted in 2006 saying “this is worse than Stasi” in a context depicting us as though we were talking complete rubbish and nonsense.

Yesterday, the European Court of Justice – the highest court of the world’s largest economy – said the same thing in a historic verdict. The blanket violations are intolerable and inexcusable.

So in the past two weeks, the Swedish Pirate Party has had these amazing progresses and successes:

  • An amazing gathering of 300 pirates in Brussels, founding the European Pirate Party.
  • On April 3, the Pirate stance on Net Neutrality won in the European Parliament, something we’ve been fighting hard for against the European Commission, safeguarding the future of free enterprise in Europe.
  • The Swedish Pirate Party’s European Election campaign kickoff on April 5.
  • Yesterday, April 8, the highest court of the world’s largest economy saying we had been right the entire time with our “unconstructive” stance, pointing out that blanket violations of privacy are inexcusable.

On the day that the highest court in the largest economy on the planet says the same thing that the Pirate Party has been saying for almost a decade, while constantly being belittled by the powers that be, governmental oldmedia (SVT) finally writes about the Pirate Party. Bloody finally.

On the eve of this string of successes, when you expect a heavy political analysis of all the successes and an admission that there may have been some kernel of truth to the basic idea of privacy being fundamentally inviolable, they write a story about how the party leader was locked into her bathroom by her cat, and post it as a highlight on their election coverage (“Val 2014”). I wish I were joking.

Anna Troberg trapped in bathroom by cat. Courtesy SVT.

In the words of Calandrella, this is a facepalm, this is an eternal facepalm.

Somebody banging their head against a piece of furniture repeatedly in frustration

I’ve been frustrated by Swedish governmental media before, when I took actions that got headlines all over the world but not in Sweden. It was deemed newsworthy in Japan, China, Thailand, Greece, and elsewhere, but not in Sweden where it had actually happened. This final straw crosses the line. This is where it gets personal. I had had these plans loosely before, but this is where it gets official.

I pledge to outcompete this collection of bastard oldmedia and commit them to irrelevance over the coming years.

They’ve already committed themselves to irrelevance, as illustrated clearly by their own actions above. What I’m going to provide is an alternative that makes it clear how obsolete they are. I aim to have outcompeted European oldmedia for all intents and purposes in five years, with launch about a year from now (I’m in process of coding the infrastructure).

We’re not supposed to have a governmental news station. The idea is repulsive. The fact that they’re branding themselves as “independent”, and that people hearing it actually believe that crap, turns into an unworthy Foxesque “fair and balanced” situation – but revoltingly funded by public money. It needs to go.

I’ve already demonstrated my ability to kick stale powerholders out of their jobs when they’re underperforming. Watch me repeat that in a new field.

Rick Falkvinge

Rick is the founder of the first Pirate Party and a low-altitude motorcycle pilot. He works as Head of Privacy at the no-log VPN provider Private Internet Access; with his other 40 hours, he's developing an enterprise grade bitcoin wallet and HR system for activism.

Discussion

  1. Pelpet

    Please outcompete them! Big media today is mostly useless, telling “good stories” instead of giving a correct view of the world.

  2. hihi

    Anyone who gets locked in by their cat will get my vote!

    (I guess that is the reasoning I should be placing on voting given the “val information”?)

  3. hidri

    State media funded by public money.
    Private media funded by lobbyists’ money.

    It’s all the same. Money makes the world go wrong.

  4. hidri

    State media funded by public money.
    Private media funded by lobbyists’ money.

    It’s all the same. Money makes the world go wrong.

  5. Henry Rouhivuori

    Pirate Party leader Anna Troberg gained visibility in media. That’s positive. Better then silence.

  6. Tristan

    How to join the effort ?
    I wish them dead too….

    1. Rick Falkvinge

      Awesome! I’ll get back when I’ve built enough of the infrastructure to kick off. I estimate it’ll take me about a year; there’s a lot to build.

      Cheers,
      Rick

      1. Micke Kuwahara

        I would also love to be assisting you in this endeavour. I am a software engineer and a Pirate since you basically started it all back in 2006, so I am sure I can be of some help if help is needed! Svensk är jag också om det nu har nån betydelse (dock bosatt i Japan).

      2. Rhesus

        I would also like to help.

        I’m well versed in Photography, Illustrations, Flash animations/apps, Logos and design profiles, 3D, Cat pictures, t-shirts, I understand Swedish fairly well and I also speak International.

  7. Caleb Lanik

    Congratulations and thank you for all the hard work, Rick. Let me know if I can be of help with the media project.

    1. Rick Falkvinge

      Awesome! I’ll get back when I’ve built enough of the infrastructure to kick off. I estimate it’ll take me about a year; there’s a lot to build.

      Cheers,
      Rick

  8. Katharsisdrill

    Big Media is fucked up, but Swedish big media is some of the worst. There is no voice to minorities if they stray from the middleclass consensus.

  9. swwwt

    I’d say svt is about as independent as (big) media can get. That is not to say they’re objective in their reporting.
    Good luck on your endeavor.

  10. filino rupro

    Congratulations on that win!
    Yes kick them out of job, those bastards!

  11. Anonymous

    big, brave words, Anna. go get them and watch the headlines then. watch when a ‘governmental news station’ starts reporting what is really happening and not only what the ‘old regime’ wants people to know. i doubt if there are many people who believe in freedom who wont be behind what you do, but watch your back! those you oppose will try ANYTHING to discredit you and the PP in general and do whatever it takes to shut you up!! the influence the USA has on governments everywhere is immense. if you think they dont have fingers in Swedish pies, think again. this whole world attitude started because of how the USA entertainment industries wanted and still are fighting to take control of the Internet. everything they do is an attack on they way it is run, so take maximum care!! they wont be giving up any time soon. there is a fortune for them at stake if they can gain control of the best distribution platform invented. that’s why governments are backing them, because what they dont want to be broadcast, then wont be!!

  12. Sten

    I hope that this new endeavor of yours will bring news about the ACTA poster you claim to be a copyright monopoly violation.

  13. Koen

    It would have been funny if it wasn’t so goddamn sad. Best of wishes in kicking their obsolete asses.

  14. Observer

    I hope you you’re aiming to deliver pure factbased and unbiased news, 100% free from your own opinons.
    I think there’s a big market for that.
    Especially in Sweden.

  15. next_ghost

    Two days ago, the ECJ finally gave us a little bit of our privacy back. Today, in another verdict, it has just turned Internet in the entire EU into a huge legal minefield:
    http://curia.europa.eu/jcms/upload/docs/application/pdf/2014-04/cp140058en.pdf

    1. Anonymous

      yes and the first one is already being questioned by Beatrice Ask, the Swedish justice minister, saying that an ISP that has already deleted user info may have broken the law and should have waited, ie it’s not in the entertainment industries interest to delete the data immediately. this new ruling has been implemented immediately by the Dutch government because it is in the entertainment industries favour! funny how, as usual, when something benefits the people, it mustn’t be started until the la makers have crossed all the ‘T’s’ but when it’s detrimental to the people, it cant be started soon enough!!

  16. Ano Nymous

    I’ve been saying this for many years too, that MSM is actively suppressing the Pirate Party. However, Anna Troberg doesn’t seem to believe me. I fail to understand why, when it is so obvious.

    I hope you succeed in making MSM obsolete, and primarily expose for everyone what they really are doing. The problem is that MSM has much more reach to the public than any web based service today, so to get people to stop using MSM for something better, it will be hard if it is not announced through MSM. Catch 22.

  17. Askur Alas

    Good luck, Rick. I would be happy to contribute.

  18. Antimon555

    Conspiracy theorist as it may sound, I’m worried about your safety when you say and do this. Both for immediate threats like remote-crash automobile “accidents” and in the long run for new laws and stuff that can put you in prison for a long time.

    I’ve written – unfortunately only in Swedish – how the mass media controls Sweden (very probably goes for most countries) on my blog: http://integritetsnytt.wordpress.com/2014/02/15/det-ar-massmedia-som-styr-sverige/

    But i really do hope that you can pull it off! I see on the comment field that my thoughts on the mass media are’nt as far out as I first thought, among the Pirates.

  19. TTime

    This pledge is the best and most exciting news I’ve red in a long time!

    Falkvinge have already had an impact on political power. His bitcoin adventure looks like a probing in the area of economic power. Now this go for the powers that the fourth estate, the media, possesses.

    Whats further into the future? Military power? Unconventional people whith conventional weapons. A regular pirate army in 2025? 😉

  20. Wayne Borean

    Great idea Rick.

    I write opinion pieces. Feel free to yell at me if you think you can use my stuff.

    Wayne

  21. Autolykos

    Quite an ambitious project, but you might be the guy to pull it off. Do you have an outlined battleplan, or are you just going for doing their job better than they can ever hope to, and for free? Which is what the Internet seems to be doing anyway, just not in a way visible to or usable by most people.

  22. John

    Well, even Marlon Brando stated that journalistic “news” are items and their only goal is to make money.

  23. BitcoinLady

    Congratulations on that win!

  24. Tommy

    Sounds great! There _should_ be a market for truly objective and relevant media; let’s hope the market agrees.

    Let me know how I can be of assistance! I’m a software engineer, Swede, and Pirate since long before there was a party.

  25. mentorian

    ‘Oldmedia reacts…’ should perhaps be ‘Oldmedia retaliates…’

  26. Phill Evans

    I am an illustrator. Let me know if I can be of assistance. This needs to happen everywhere. Even if you dont need a pixel pusher, you will have my support!

    Phill

  27. rower

    i’ve a small hosting company, based in Latvia. also i’m an honest pirate since around y2k, sharing as much as i can.
    if your project needs hardware or internet resources, feel free to knock at my door.

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