German Pirate Party Now Has a Seat in German Reichstag

While the German Pirate Party failed to gain enough support to win a seat, fate, it seems, had other plans for the party. A German Social Democrat, Jörg Taussig, was reportedly so fed up with the way the German censorship debates were going, that he dropped his membership as a Social Democrat and became the first sitting German Pirate Party representative in the Bundestag.

Note: This is an article I wrote that was published elsewhere first. It has been republished here for archival purposes

The German Pirate Party has a new reason to celebrate. Not only do they have a member, soon to be two members, in the European parliament, but now they have a member in the German Bundestag (German Parliament). The Pirate Party website posted about this development on their blog.

We welcome the fact that more can see that the fight for free communication in an open society is the way forward, and not censorship, blocking and monitoring,” says Rick Falk Vinge, party leader for the Swedish Piratpartiet via Google translation, “It is particularly gratifying to an existing MP sees this.”

Both the Finnish and German pirates have reacted very strongly against that child pornography is used as a battering ram to impose censorship and silence political opponents,” says Falk Vinge. “It is shameful, unscrupulous and cynical to use such a horrible event as an excuse for introducing mass surveillance and [censorship].”

Already, protesters marched in the streets of Germany over proposed censorship laws. This happened along side a petition that has over 130,000 signatures denouncing the proposed laws.

The posting on the Pirate Party blog also pointed out that legitimate sites have been put on similar censorship lists in other countries. They point to the Finnish transparency website which was put on the blacklist as one example.

A few months ago, questions were raised over the fact that Australia’s ACMA blacklist contained legal websites. ACMA responded by not only refuting the authenticity of the list, but also threatening to fine anyone who links to banned websites including URLs found on Wikileaks $11,000 per day.

Last year, British censors were blasted for putting Wikipedia on the blacklist.

Clearly, what this latest development shows is just how contentious the German proposed censorship law really is. If it’s enough to cause at least one MP to dump his political allegiance in favour of another political party because of this issue, you know it’s one hot topic.

Drew Wilson on Twitter: @icecube85 and Google+.

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