The Swedish Pirate Party has announced that it will host servers for WikiLeaks and provide bandwidth for the document leak website free of charge.
Deputy party leader, Anna Troberg, revealed that the plan was to get several servers up and running within days, to be housed at an undisclosed location in Sweden. WikiLeaks already has several servers in Sweden, hosted by free speech ISP and webhost PRQ, most famous for hosting the Pirate Bay torrent site, a website that also received aid from the Pirate Party earlier this year when a German court ruling took it offline.
This is not the first time that a political organisation has sided with WikiLeaks. In June the Icelandic government passed a law called the Icelandic Modern Media Initiative, which was co-authored by a number of organisations, including WikiLeaks. This allows for superior protection for journalists and whistleblowers in Icelandic, making it a transparency haven.
Actually hosting WikiLeaks, however, is an even bigger step for a political group. The move comes just before the September 19 elections in Sweden, which Troberg hopes will get her party into parliament. She said that she expects the deal with WikiLeaks will garner additional support for the Pirate Party from the public.
It seems unlikely, however, that they will get into power. When combined with other small parties in Sweden they amass less than two percent of the total vote, which is half of what is required to get into parliament, let alone have any significant political sway.
This follows trends in other countries housing a Pirate Party, including the UK, where the party only amassed 0.4 percent of the vote. However, while it may be some time before the Pirate Party worldwide gets any real support, it is often vocal about issues like free speech and piracy, which are topics that are receiving growing attention.
WikiLeaks has come under fire recently from a number of sides, including the Pentagon and several human rights organisations, over exposing the identities of US sympathisers in Afghanistan, which could put their lives at risk. While it has stated that it is not intimidated by the Pentagon and will go ahead with the publication of thousands more leaked documents, it is certain that it feels the pressure mounting and will be very welcoming of additional support by groups like the Swedish Pirate Party.