Swedish Pirate Party opens pirate 'darknet'


— 2:24 PM on August 14, 2006

Sweden's Pirate Party (Piratpartiet) has opted to move beyond politics and opened up the world's first commercial "darknet" that allows users to share files with total impunity. With the so-called darknet, users are identified with an untraceable address, making it impossible for organizations like the RIAA and MPAA to identify them directly. The Pirate Party's initiative largely centers on escaping copyright law, but they believe privacy is also an important issue:

"The new technology has brought society to a crossroads. The only way to enforce today's unbalanced copyright laws is to monitor all private communications over the Internet. Today's copyright regime cannot coexist with an open society that guarantees the right to private communication."

"Until we have changed the laws to ensure that citizens' right to privacy is respected, we have a moral obligation to protect the citizens from the effects of the current routine surveillance," Falkvinge continues. "This is our technical means to do just that."

The darknet service costs €5.00 ($6.36) per month and is provided by a Swedish company called Relakks, which assigns "neutral" IPs to users through a 128-bit encrypted virtual private network connection. Of course, the Pirate Party doesn't say whether potential lawsuits against Relakks could force the service to divulge IP records and expose the identity of users.
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