Legislative corruption: process or product?

Returning to the cable 09Stockholm141, the Pirate Party was criticized for attacking the legislative process leading up to draconian laws, rather than attacking the actual wording of those laws. Intensifier asks — quite justly — whether the wiretapping and monopolization laws would be okay in the exact same wording, if the process of their development had been just, transparent and uncorrupt.

Of course they wouldn’t be okay.

I would argue that this is a case of realaktivismus: Rather than theorizing exactly where the fault lies, we chose the path of highest impact in order to get the public attention, creating an opportunity to educate the public about why the issues matter.

Because they do, tremendously, just like Christopher Kullenberg points out. It doesn’t really matter whether repression is initiated by the United States or from within the Swedish government; it’s still the same repression at the end of the  day. But shining a light on the role of the United States in this affair makes people angry and makes the link fly from forum to forum — over 50,000 people have read the analysis of the cable — and creates an opportunity to explain the importance of this piece of information policy and its impact on people’s future everyday lives.

If the focus had been on theorizing around the technical concepts of messenger immunity, and why it is enormously important, the post would not have been read by a tenth of its readers to date.

It’s a hard day’s work both to get people’s attention and explain the issues in the same breath. Sort of realpolitik from the underdog’s activist perspective.


Rick Falkvinge

Rick is the founder of the first Pirate Party and a low-altitude motorcycle pilot. He lives on Alexanderplatz in Berlin, Germany, roasts his own coffee, and as of right now (2019-2020) is taking a little break.


  1. Christopher Kullenberg

    I think it concerns two issues, both important, but on different levels. The political “format” of US pressure on the Swedish government is a matter of autonomy of the state and respect for the voters who have elected their leaders. This is important, however, it is out of my league to comprehend and debate.

    The content of 09STOCKHOLM141 concerns the future of our tubes (among other things), a subject that I both undertand and have very strong opinions about, in favour of network neutrality.

    I wanted to show this other side of the 09STOCKHOLM141, in order to map out a vector of defense for our networks.

    The two issues, and strategies, do not exclude each other. Rather, they multiply the motivations and angles in a productive way.

    1. Rick Falkvinge

      I agree with everything you say here. It is quite boring to write “me too”, but, yeah. Me too 🙂

  2. Om konspirationer | Intensifier

    […] är en konspirationsteoretiker och Rick Falkvinge diskuterar värdet i att se 09STOCKHOLM141 ur ett bredare perspektiv, till skillnad från min “sakfrågeorientering” kring operatörsansvar. Den senaste […]

  3. pwq

    Well, the key question if you thrust the politicians decisions or you thrust the political decision making process. The representative democracy relies on that the politician honestly represent the voters, and always act in their best interest. If they are found to act in their own best intrest instead this is flat out corruption, they are using the public means to their own ends. The effect can be significant even if decisions are only nudged slightly. (And lobbying, in general, is a huge threat to the whole system.) Honest politians that sees to the peoples best interest will have no problem to reverse bad decisions, because they don’t care about what other influental people think about such things. The key thing with representative democracy is that you thrust the politicians to be on top of all decisions, and as 09Stockholm141 exposes, this is not the case. I think this is a much bigger thing than bad decisions, as it so blatantly exposes, together with the huge amount of similar cables, the decision making process as flawed.

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