From Tech Crime to Big Politics

What do Julian Assange, Peter Sunde and Kim Dotcom have in common? Sure, they are famous tech activists slash criminals (depending on where you stand). Assange is a crook according to US security agencies (and wanted for sex crimes in Sweden, but that probably has nothing to do with the internet). Peter Sunde used to be the face and voice of The Pirate Bay, and judging from the documentary TPB AFK he was the force behind the move from hacker prank to pseudo-political movement. And Kim Dotcom obviously an uber-pirate, having made a fortune from massive-scale IP-infringement on his Megaupload service. But it’s not the hacktivism that makes this trio special, what sets them apart is their… wait for it… political ambition! That’s right, Assange is running for senate in Australia, Sunde is a top name for the Finnish Pirate Party EU parliament bill and the other day, Dotcom announced he’s starting a new political party in New Zealand. This is a surprising trend, the story was always that technology beats democracy, what with the national borders and all. Are these ambitions in traditional politics a sign that public institutions may be where the real power is after all?