European Parliament gets behind the Pirate Party

The Pirate Party has had a major political victory in the European Parliament after it secured a regulation which will prevent credit card outfits denying services to organisations like Wikileaks.

The European Parliament ordered new legislation to regulate credit card companies’ ability to refuse service. This regulation follows the unilateral cutoff of donations to WikiLeaks, but the Pirates gained wide support for new laws because of the damage such antics do to small businesses.

Swedish Banks were recently caught discriminating against fully legal business owners that the banks claimed sold “questionable products” like horror movies, movies with nudity, or sex toys.

At the time the banks referred to vague rules from Visa and MasterCard.

In response the European Parliament requesting legislation to be drafted on the matter. Included in the draft is text inserted by Pirate MEP Christian Engström which said that as more businesses go online there are more European companies whose activities are effectively dependent on being able to accept payments by card.

It is in the public interest to define objective rules describing the circumstances and procedures under which card payment schemes may unilaterally refuse acceptance, the statement said.

MEP Christian Engström said that it was not reasonable that Visa, MasterCard, and PayPal can shut Swedish entrepreneurs out from trading online when they sell horror movies or sex toys, just because the payment providers are scared of fundamentalist moralism.

In the cases where Visa, MasterCard, and PayPal blocked donations to WikiLeaks this was the three companies collaborating in helping the American government silence an inconvenient voice.

Engström said it was unacceptable that private corporations have that kind of power over free speech.