Kickin' It Up A Notch

Mon, 13 Jan 2014

I predict that The Pirate Bay's announcement regarding their latest project in development will change the way the war on sharing, censorship, and surveillance is fought. Their new weapon won't end the war, but it will force the enemy to abandon their traditional weapons. Government censors, copyright maximalists, and the puppet ISPs that collaborate with them will find it's going to be much more difficult to restrict access to websites, stop people from sharing, and monitor what they're up to.

What is The Pirate Bay building?

They're building a peer-to-peer browser-like application that will let people access a decentralized DNS. Instead of typing in a standard domain name, you will use a parallel DNS with peer transfers to download the site to your computer. When you go there next time, you'll just get updates, not the entire site again.

Website owners will register a "domain name" with a peer-to-peer domain extension on a first come, first served basis. Instead of the site being hosted in one central location, it becomes distributed with people essentially keeping a portion of the site on their own computer and sharing it when others access the site.

In addition to a standalone program, it will also be available as a plugin for browsers.

How it will circumvent government IP blocks

The U.K. government tried to stop Pirate Bay users from exchanging files by issuing a court order demanding ISPs block access to the Bay. The British Phonographic Industry, the U.K. equivalent of the U.S.'s RIAA, put pressure on the government to issue a court order and force the ISPs to comply when their own efforts to censor the Internet were thwarted by ISPs that didn't believe in censoring the Internet. With the plan to store files and websites in a decentralized, peer-to-peer fashion, governments are prevented from having a specific IP to target.

What's to stop a government from continuing to seize domain names?

The U.S. government's Operation in Our Sites program regularly seizes domain names from both U.S. and foreign registrars. Now, there won't be a traditional domain name to confiscate since it's using a decentralized DNS with peer-to-peer top level domain names that don't rely on ICANN. Plus, there's no facility for authorities to storm and no servers to confiscate.

Sharing culture, such as movies, music and games, is good. The War On Sharing is only one battle in a larger war against Internet censorship and mass surveillance. When governments can force ISPs to censor what people access and demand search engines remove entire websites from search results, there is more than peer-to-peer sharing at stake. The Pirate Bay is showing the world that Internet freedom, the ability to surf the Web without surveillance or censorship, is possible and it's coming soon.

Here's to kickin' it up a notch.