The 2014 European elections haven’t been kind to the various Pirate Parties, which campaign for digital rights, free speech and decriminalisation of filesharing. In their native Sweden, the Pirates lost both their MEPs, dropping from a 7.1 percent vote share to just 2.2 percent. In Finland where high-profile activist Peter Sunde was campaigning, the party balloted just 0.7 percent. In Britain, the three Pirate Party candidates secured just 8,597 votes combined — just 0.5 percent.
Instead, something else has happened. Across Europe, mainstream political parties have stolen Pirate policies wholesale. Net neutrality has been permanently enshrined in law. ACTA was roundly defeated. Copyright law is being reformed. Judges are starting to argue that banning someone from accessing the web is ‘unreasonable’. Telecommunications borders are being torn down. Plus, following the Snowden disclosures, European politicians are queueing up to condemn the level of surveillance that their citizens are subject to and the countries that are making it possible… CONTINUE