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Sweden's Pirate Party's Gift to Victoria and Daniel
They gave them privacy.
STOCKHOLM (Rixstep) — Sweden's crown princess Victoria's getting married to Daniel Westling in a fortnight. Rick Falkvinge and Anna Troberg of the Pirate Party were at the castle to present their gift to the couple.
'I just got back from the castle', writes Anna. 'Today Rick and I attended the banns for Victoria and Daniel at the castle here in Stockholm.'
'Rick rang a while back and told me our parliamentary candidate Gustav Nipe and our accountant René Malmgren had a great idea. They wanted the Pirate Party to give Victoria and Daniel a present. But what present? It's difficult enough to buy presents for people you know, much more difficult to buy presents for people you don't know and who probably have everything they want already. And our finances are limited.'
'But Gustav and René already thought about that. The couple already had most of what they could want with one exception: privacy. So that's what Gustav and René decided to give them.'
'After all, that's what our party's all about', said Anna. 'So today we went to the castle.'
'We were at the castle this morning', writes Rick. 'We'd been granted a private audience with Victoria and Daniel to wish them best of luck and give them a banns present.'
'I must have gone through the scene twenty times in my mind: in front of me I could see how the two of them sat mildly bored but polite and professional behind a table in a room that was way too big, listening to their functionaries when they presented visitors one after the other, who were to tell them what gifts they'd come with, and who would afterwards be instructed by the functionaries to place their presents on a table in an adjoining room conveniently out of sight when they're finally escorted from the premises.'
'What really happened was as far from that as you can imagine.'
'Anna and I had each our own present of a USB thumb with Ubuntu Live and a preinstalled VPN tunnel - one small box to Daniel, one to Victoria. The media were already on location when we arrived at the castle. The guard stood there looking like a really professional guard. We approached and showed our invitation and he let us in.'
'Anna and I had already agreed how we would present the gifts: we'd each present one, Anna would wish them well and give them a bit of background about it being important for a healthy relationship to be able to communicate without intrusion, and after that I'd take over and explain what the gifts were.'
'To our surprise there was an enormous choir singing. We were received by a gentleman in uniform who showed us into some kind of waiting room where first the court functionary and them someone else - I forget his function - received us. They were in any case extremely professional and they explained a bit about what was going to happen: the master of ceremonies will come and get you when it's your turn.'
'We asked practical questions as well - such as how one addresses Daniel Westling. Daniel, the uniforms told us and smiled. He's just an ordinary Swede. For now.'
'The master of ceremonies picked us up about ten minutes later and explained how everything was going to work. Stand on my left when I present you to the couple. Don't immediately greet the king and queen. They'll greet you before you leave the room. Use your time for the crown princess and Daniel.'
'The king and queen would be in there? What were their roles? What should I say to them? Suddenly I wasn't at all ready for this! But the time had come. We had to go in.'
'Nothing made sense anymore inside that tiny reception room. The master of ceremonies went ahead of us and presented us: from the Pirate Party: Rick Falkvinge and Anna Troberg. But the room wasn't big - it was small. And Victoria and Daniel weren't sitting behind a table at a comfortable distance, they weren't looking formal. They were standing right in front of us. RIGHT in front of us, close enough to shake hands. And they even looked friendly.'
'I was not prepared for this! But they were really good at making me feel comfortable. Totally unexpectedly it felt like an old friend opened his door to us to welcome us to a quiet party. Career people who were professional at getting me to feel like a career person in my own role.'
'The king and queen stood right behind them, a little to the side but with a clearly marked presence.'
'All four of them greeted us and Anna started her introduction as we'd agreed and this ended with us presenting our gifts. I started to explain what they were and they seemed genuinely surprised - and opened the presents and started looking at them. They were very curious and asked a lot of questions. And the king who's known for being a techie freak left his assigned position and started looking over Daniel's shoulder.'
'I told them that our best cryptology experts had assembled the thumbs and that you use the thumbs to boot your computer and that no traces of what you do will be left on your computer or on the net, and I showed them the USB port on my own laptop under my arm and took the crown princess' thumb and inserted it. And I explained once again that the point of it was to be able to communicate undisturbed.'
'[Technically it's Ubuntu live CDs and preconfigured tunnels to Relakks.]'
'And then we said goodbye and good luck and shook hands with all four and on the way out the king's aide-de-camp pulled us aside and told us: those presents are going to be appreciated, particularly by the king who likes technical things, so can I have your phone numbers so we can ask you how to use them - do you have any business cards? So Anna and I gave him our business cards.'
'After that there was a small reception with champagne and canapés on the same floor. Anna and I each took a glass of bubbles to shake off the nervousness from performing an unusual career task, but we agreed that the professionalism of everyone had made it very easy for us to be professional too.'
'And after that we were back in the courtyard again where the newspapers interviewed us (and ended up putting us on the front page).'
But what about the king? He wasn't given one. Is he going to share one of theirs? Is that legal?
Rick Falkvinge: Cryptology for Victoria and Daniel
Anna Troberg: Today the Pirate Party Gave Daniel and Victoria Their Own Private Room