The Swedish Pirate Party is branching out. The campaigning organisation has decided to launch its own ISP, in an attempt to offer increased privacy and as a means of increasing revenue.
According to a post that it made on filesharing site TorrentFreak, the Pirate Party is set to introduce the new service on a trial basis in the Swedish city of Lund. If the trial proves successful, the new ISP will be introduced across Sweden later in the year.
According to TorrentFreak, the move follows the basic hacker premise of fixing something that is broken. Gustav Nipe, said "If you think it's broken you build a patch and fix it. With that as a reference point we are launching an ISP. This is one way to tackle the big brother society. The Pirate ISP is needed in different ways. One is to compete with other ISPs, let them fight more for our internet. If they don't behave, there will always be someone else taking their share."
The British Pirate Party has watched the move with interest but sees no reason to join its Swedish counterpart. "In the UK, our existing ISPs are our natural allies, not our competitors. The Pirate Party UK is fighting on the same side as ISPs against Labour's Digital Economy Act, which places huge burdens on ISPs, forcing them to become Hollywood's unpaid vigilante police force, said Andrew Robinson leader of the Pirate Party UK.
He said that as a result of this, the Pirate Party was working with Talk Talk and BT in their legal fight against the Act, and was actively lobbying the new government to repeal the Act - something the coalition has been reluctant to do. "So," he said, " we hawe have a lot on our plate without starting an ISP here."
Besides, he said, by an ironic twist in the Digital Economy Act, the UK offers an in-built advantage to smaller ISPs that Sweden doesn't have. "One of the quirks of the Act is that it allows ISPs with fewer than 400,000 customers to automatically be more pirate friendly than large ISPs," he said.
So, if the Act is implemented in full, said Robinson, "we expect existing ISPs will react by splitting and regrouping to take advantage of the cost savings and customer benefits of being smaller, so we can look forward to having a wide range of Pirate ISPs in this country, without the party having to set one up."