The Austrian Pirate Party is running a rather unusual advertising campaign on one of the largest Internet porn sites. Using an image of the Minister of the Interior the Pirates warn unsuspecting visitors that they might soon be being watched, a reference to a new mass surveillance proposal in Austria.
Aside from promoting copyright reform, Pirate parties worldwide are fierce defenders of online privacy.
Their position is no different in Austria where local politicians are slowly trying to increase state surveillance. Through the new State Protection Act which will increase monitoring, for example.
With elections coming up in the Linz region next week the party decided to advertise their policy, but not on the regular outfits most political parties prefer. The Austrian Pirates picked YouPorn as their prime adverting platform instead.
Personal preferences aside, people generally prefer not to be snooped on while they’re viewing porn sites. However, in this case they can’t escape the prying eyes of Johanna Mikl-Leitner, Austria’s Minister of the Interior
“Johanna wants to watch you!” the banner ad alerts YouPorn visitors.
“Johanna wants to watch you!”
The advertisements are written in German and targeted at Austrians, many of whom were surprised to see the Minister ‘snooping’ on their private moments. Exactly the effect the Pirate Party was looking for.
“We want to prevent the Orwellian dystopia – 1984 was not a guide to action,” says Claus-Peter Wiesinger, top candidate of the Pirates in Linz.
“We are aware that political issues are uncommon on sites like YouPorn. But as a young party we want to seize the opportunity to break into the comfort zone of Internet users there, to address the threat of mass surveillance,” he adds.
Visitors who click on the YouPorn banner are directed to a dedicated campaign site with more details and other useful tips against surveillance.
The party says it chose the minister’s image because she is the driving force behind the escalating surveillance efforts in Austria, through the new State Protection Act and by backing the reintroduction of data retention, for example.
The Pirates encourage people to speak out against these developments by voting for the party in the municipal elections in Linz or by signing the petition against the new State Protection Act.
“Strengthened by a council mandate in Linz, we want to continue our fight against the surveillance state. With 1.7% of the vote we are in,” Wiesinger says, referring to the upcoming election.
After this week’s successful campaign the Pirates are hoping to continue their advertising efforts on porn sites. They have already started a crowdfunding drive for the next round of ads which is on its way to reach the €600 goal.