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Pirate Party offers to host Wikileaks

Sweden's Pirate Party has offered whistle-blowing site Wikileaks its services as an Internet host after the site's exposure of secret documents on the war in Afghanistan put it firmly in the US government's line of fire.

The offer comes just a week after the Pirate Party launched its own ISP service, in defiance of copyright enforcers in the music and film industries.

Wikileaks is currently hosted by a Swedish ISP, PRQ, run by the founders of file-sharing search site The Pirate Bay - but now the Pirate Party has stepped in to offer the site a backup plan, according to a report on file-sharing news site Torrentfreak.

"It would not surprise me at all if Sweden is shortly subjected to American pressure to shut down Wikileaks," says Anna Troberg of the Swedish Pirate Party. "Given that Wikileaks' activities strikes at the very heart of American power, it's probably just a matter of time before they act.

"Now is the moment of truth for our Swedish politicians," added Troberg. "Will they have enough backbone to stand up on Wikileaks and democracy, or will they give way to the US and go after PRQ and Wikileaks?

"The Pirate Party will under no circumstances give in to pressure," Troberg insisted. "If Wikileaks is attacked again, we will immediately offer them both server space and bandwidth."

Wikileaks made itself take-down target Number One for US authorities by releasing more than 90,000 classified documents relating to the Afghan conflict.

The site's outspoken founder, maverick Australian journalist Julian Assange, alleges that the information includes evidence of war crimes perpetrated by the US military.

The revelations have not only put Wikileaks under threat, but Assange himself. In an interview, he revealed in Britain's Daily Telegraph newspaper yesterday that he had learnt of plans in the US to charge him as a "co-conspirator to espionage".

Insiders at the White House have, Assange claims, warned him against returning to the US.

You can see an interview with Assange recorded for Newsnight here.

Tags: sweden, internet service provider, pirates