Predicting more pressure will be applied on small ISPs in Sweden to block peer to peer sharing site The Pirate Bay, the Pirate Party has revealed that it is well on its way to launching its own ISP, using two open access networks in the city of Lund in southern Sweden.
There are about 70 open access networks across Sweden.
“We are testing in one and going to open in the next,” the 21-year-old chief executive and Pirate Party candidate for the 2014 election, Gustav Nipe, tells iTNews.
“The next one is where all the students are located,” he adds.
It’s only a small trial at present with somewhere between 10 and 100 users, but the city houses some 40,000 university students that could find the ISP useful should Pirate Bay be blocked.
Come September, Pirate ISP plans to charge around A$60 a month for a symmetrical 100Mbps service, and A$90 per month for a 1Gbps symmetrical service.
Nipe said Pirate ISP will launch because the copyright lobby in Sweden - led in the region by law firm MAQS, and long time campaigner, Monique Wadsted - have been targeting smaller ISPs.
While few service providers have complied with requests to block Pirate Bay, one company, Black Internet, has.
“The thing is that we think that it's just a matter of time before the lobby attacks other ISPs. We want to be proactive and start before the next wave of attacks begins,” he says.
The Pirate Party already hosts the Pirate Bay, after the site's former host caved into legal pressure. But the Pirate Bay is run separately to the ISP, he explains.
“The infrastructure is different for the The Pirate Bay and the Pirate ISP. One should not put all eggs in the same basket.”
The Pirate Bay machine is actually located on the servers that run piratepartiet.se, the political party’s website.
“So they need to shut down a political site to get the bay. And yes, hell will open itself if they shut down piratpartiet.se,” he declares. “With human shields we will defend it.”
Unfortunately for the Pirate Party's political ambitions, Europe's data retention directive isn't due to be debated until after Sweden's 2014 election.
Parties in power "know that [the directive] is a hard question," Nipe said. "And if they debate about it now, then the Pirate Party will enter the parliament.
"With the Pirate ISP we want to create more of a debate about it."
The Pirate Party needs four per cent of the national vote, which would give it 14 seats and legitimate its standing as a member of the Swedish parliament.
In the last election the party netted 0.63 percent of the vote, just below the Feminist Initiative and above the Senior Citizen Interest Party.