Iceland closer to becoming offshore hacks' haven

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«En finir avec Weimar»

Mediapart: A twenty-year battle?

S.M.: "The internet is useless if it's muzzled. It has to be free and open. The concept of the nation state is based on the idea of rights and duties, and a certain control of things. The moment the regulation of the internet is decided upon, and that it's prevented from revealing anything that threatens the State, the very point of the internet vanishes. Over the next twenty years, either the nation states change radically or disappear, or the internet ceases to exist as it does today. It's a fight."

Mediapart: In France, President Nicolas Sarkozy says he would like to civilise the internet.

S.M.: "To want to civilise the internet implies the idea that the internet is uncivilised. But the internet is more civilised than all of political society! In barely 20 years, the web has become an extremely powerful force, with a far-reaching appeal, which some think has even sustained revolutions. Today we need to finish with our democracies inspired by the old Weimar Republic, in order to invent real digital democracies."

Mediapart: What do you mean by a digital democracy?

S.M.: "We've launched a shadow parliament, for example, which today is used by Reykjavik Town Hall. The idea is to democratise democracy thanks to the internet. To organise things so that when individual citizens have an idea on a given subject, they can express it directly. If they don't have an opinion, they can transfer their voting right to another person. All of a sudden the concepts of party politics, and indeed parliament, become totally obsolete. It's a participatory democracy much stronger than the one we know.

In Reykjavik, at the beginning of 2010, one percent of the population used this software and contributed to the management of the town. Participation then fell as a result of technical problems with the system. Two software developers, financed by the town hall, are currently resolving these problems, creating a new version."

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