Pirate Party Statement Concerning "Anonymous" Arrests

The Pirate Party has become aware of five arrests across the country in connection with the series of distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks on various websites launched in retaliation for those organisations' actions against WikiLeaks.

Many believe that the revelations made by Wikileaks unveil the questionable behaviour of elected representatives and therefore that it is in the public interest for this information to be revealed. Actions by certain companies to block services for or donations to Wikileaks are seen as forms of censorship that, while not directly caused by national governments are seen to be supported or encouraged by them. In the face of governmental and corporate attacks against Wikileaks, individuals around the world have tried to fight back in the only way they feel available to them under the label "Anonymous".

While the Party will never condone any illegal actions, it can understand the frustration felt by many who feel powerless in the face of multinational corporations and Governments unwilling to step in.

That normal, everyday people choose to take these sorts of actions shows the extent to which many people feel disenfranchised by mainstream politics and the Pirate Party aims to give such people a voice and a means to engage in these issues through lawful and political methods rather than resorting to 'hacktivism' and other actions that could be illegal.

The Party accepts that it is important both that justice be done and seen to be done against those who break the law, care should be taken to ensure that no individuals are "made an example of" nor blamed for the actions of many hundreds or thousands of activists. Furthermore, it is important that the rights of those are respected and that they receive proper legal advice as they could be facing up to ten years in prison for very minor actions, based on an Act that was originally passed over 20 years ago.

Loz Kaye, Leader of Pirate Party UK, commented, "These arrests, and comments by ACPO threatening 'more extreme tactics' to deal with hacktivists represent a worrying ratcheting up of confrontation. Many in the online community frankly feel under siege. It is time for engagement from mainstream politicians, or otherwise radicalisation can only increase."

Thursday, 27 January, 2011 - 15:00
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