Saturday, February 16, 2013

Senator Assange

Julian Assange is running for Australian senator for the Wikileaks Party. Assange is still holed up in the Ecuadorian embassy in the UK, but Australian law allows non-residents to run for office. Whether he can actually win in those circumstances is unknown. What interests me is the effect of a possible win.

In Sweden, Pirate Bay was knocked off the internet by legal attacks on the ISPs that hosted it. Pirate Bay is still on the air because the Swedish Pirate Party won two seats in the European Parliament. The Pirate Party registered an ISP and agreed to host Pirate Bay. As a political party with representatives, it was untouchable. Wikileaks also used the Pirate Party ISP to host its site.

As an elected Australian senator, the US might have a more difficult time persecuting, er, prosecuting Assange. Or would it?

As an official party with representation, would Wikileaks have more freedom? You would think it would have to.

In a system of proportional representation, it doesn't take a huge number of voters to change the game for the entire world. These are interesting times.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I like this. It's hopeful to think that small changes can change the world. I am still not quite sure what I think of Assange. There's a documentary I'd like to see, We Steal Secrets: The Story of WikiLeaks. In the clip available on IMDB, he is talking to the camera, tired and a bit subdued, and the narrator says that once he stepped through the door he was world famous. I think he was prepared for it, as much as anyone can be.