Dutch anti-piracy group BREIN has asked a court to gag the Pirate Party, in an effort to censor discussion about web censorship and the recent attempted - and ultimately failed - block of The Pirate Bay website.
In January BREIN was successful in getting a court to force the largest ISP in the Netherlands, Ziggo, to block The Pirate Bay. However, since then, several hundred proxies have appeared allowing people to access the site anyway. Those pitted against organisations like BREIN have argued that blocking access to distribution networks like TPB stops legitmate sources from using them.
As a counter to the actions of the anti-piracy group, the Pirate Party has attempted to block and overturn the ruling issued in BREIN's favour. As a counter to that counter, the organisation has now issued a set of unprecedented demands:
- The Pirate Party should be banned from operating a reverse proxy for Pirate Bay
- The Pirate Party should be banned from operating a generic proxy service
- The Pirate Party should be banned from linking to third-party proxies
- The Pirate Party should be banned from listing new IP-addresses / domains Pirate Bay registers
- The Pirate Party should be banned from encouraging people to circumvent the Pirate Bay blockade
The final point in that list - if enacted - would be an infringement of the political group's free speech, by banning it from discussing something it stands for.
The results of the courtroom drama will be hugely far reaching. If BREIN is successful, it will set a precedent that any anti-piracy group is within its legal rights to ban other organisations from discussing anything they deem impacts their own interests.