- Category: News
- Created on Monday, 14 May 2012 16:38
- Written by Amsterdam Herald
‘Around the world 2012 is the year when many people are realising how important internet freedom is,’ said Dirk Poot, spokesman for the Dutch party.
The movement is aiming to win two or three seats in the Lower House of the Dutch parliament when the Netherlands votes on September 12.
The pirates won seven per cent of the vote In North Rhine-Westphalia, the most populous state in Germany, which borders the Netherlands and contains the highly industrialised Ruhr Valley.
The issues of online privacy and copyright are highly charged in the Netherlands. Last week parliament passed Europe’s first ‘net neutrality’ law, which enshrines the principle of open access on the internet in law.
Its supporters say the law will ensure internet service providers cannot block or restrict access to certain websites for commercial gain or use tracking devices such as ‘cookies’ without users’ permission.
Businesses have expressed concern that the rules will hamper their ability to gather information on their customers and damage competitiveness.
Europe’s first Pirate Party was set up in Sweden in 2006 in response to the blocking of The Pirate Bay, a website that allows users to share copyrighted files without the owner’s permission. The party currently holds two seats in the European Parliament.
The blackout of The Pirate Bay website in the Netherlands is unaffected by the Dutch net neutrality law. Courts still have the power to order ISPs to block websites that breach copyright or contain illegal material.
In recent years the Pirate Party has been criticized for lacking a broad vision and being too focused on internet issues. Organisers are holding meetings in bars and cafes to try to come up with policies that widen the party’s appeal.
‘This allows us to adapt our party programme to the current situation,’ said Poot. ‘An election manifesto that is set in stone is often out of date after a year.’