The Pirate Bay's plan to avoid blockades: decentralise23 Jan 2014
The Pirate Bay, one of the most popular torrents website, may give itself some peace - for at least a few months. The website is targeted by authorities around the world and often taken down: 6 times precisely in 2013, switching between different domain names and swinging between court orders.
Torrent Freak reported that the Pirate Bay is working on a new way to offer content to its user - without having a public face anymore.
"It's basically a browser-like app that uses webkit to render pages, BitTorrent to download the content while storing everything locally", Torrent Freak was said.
So, all the data will be shared between users instead of stored on a central server then served to the users who connect to the Bay's website. And goverments will have no central servers or domain to close.
This has a very precise name: decentralisation.
And this takes us to 1996 and to John Barlow, who wrote a manifesto declaring the independance of the internet.
Governments of the Industrial World, you weary giants of flesh and steel, I come from Cyberspace, the new home of Mind. On behalf of the future, I ask you of the past to leave us alone. You are not welcome among us. You have no sovereignty where we gather.
Governments derive their just powers from the consent of the governed. You have neither solicited nor received ours. We did not invite you. You do not know us, nor do you know our world. Cyberspace does not lie within your borders.
The text might be lyric, but the words still resonate today - and decentralisation is seen as a response to the internet's problems exposed by the recent revelations of the NSA scandal. The New Yorker's Joshua Kopstein wrote a beautiful column on this matter.
Decentralisation means that we, "netizens", have the control of the internet, and depend on non-central structures. One's professional life should not depend upon the Google galaxy of services (Gmail, Google Calendar, Google Drive, Google Contatcs, Google Search and so on). First because the provider of these services can shut them down, second because if somebody gets access to your provider's data, like the NSA did with Google, he'll get access to everything you are doing.
By decentralising its services to the extreme, the Pirate Bay will suspend its centralised portal, too easy to target, and provide its users with a better and more secure service that all of them share.
But how to plead that the net has to be decentralised when the leaders of this movement are persona non grata among politicians? If the only examples of good decentralisation are those who provide illegal services, how can we defend that?