So far, 2011 has been very eventful in terms of technological concerns. The hacking group Anonymous has continued to be vocal in speaking out against certain online companies, the Playstation Network has been hacked, WikiLeaks has publicly released very sensitive documents, internet censorship is on the rise and according to an article on TorrentFreak.com, 23,000 people are being sued for illegally downloading the movie The Expendables.
What does all of this mean?
It means that we are beginning to see the foundation of an cyber / internet war unravel in front of our own eyes. Factions have begun to form and we, as internet users, are eventually going to have to pick a side.
One of the main controversies currently making headlines is that of illegal downloading. Millions of movies, songs and applications are downloaded illegally everyday. Prosecution of illegal downloaders is very difficult due to the massive number of violators. I personally have mixed feelings on the issue and if you would like to find out more information on my thoughts on internet privacy check out my article, “Internet Piracy- Who is to Blame?”
Regardless of what my thoughts are on internet piracy, however, it is clear that a lot of effort will be put into prosecuting violators of copyright laws. On the other hand, there will also be a lot of resistance from those who feel that information should be free and accessible to all.
The controversy over internet piracy leads right into discussions of internet censorship. Should sites that promote illegal downloading be blocked by ISPs? Should a country have the right to block those sites and censor what their citizens are viewing online. If countries are able to censor sites that promote illegal downloading, what else will they be able to censor? Where is the line between acceptable censorship and excessive censorship?
These are all questions that are being asked and will continue to be asked in coming months and years. ThePirateBay.org has been a very controversial domain because of the illegal downloading services it provides. ThePirateBay recently released a statement that clearly states their opinion on the current online situation by using a modified version of Winston Churchill’s “This Was Our Finest Hour” speech. I have provided the statement released by ThePirateBay below but the original version can be found here.
Basically, ThePirateBay.org declares war on advocates of internet censorship. Couple that with groups such as Anonymous, millions of people who download illegally government attempts to censor information and we’ve got the foundation for an internet war.
There will be security breaches, there will be brute force ping attacks, people will be sued, tensions will flare and the internet as we know it will change, whether it be for the good or the bad.
What side will you choose?
Below is ThePirateBay.org’s official declaration of war on internet censorship advocates:
“The Finest Hour
February 2011, MAFIAA Lobbyists began a massive attack against the European Union.
Defending the union were seeds and peers of The Pirate Bay along with the Telecomix, Anons, and the Pirate parties. The MAFIAA relied on an aggressive battle plan, utilizing modern communications such as radio and telefax to direct troops in the field. The Allies, for their part, assumed a defensive posture, just as they had done at the start of World Internets War of 2003, and in many cases still relied on irc.
As a result, the MAFIAA blitzkrieg caught the Allies off-guard. MAFIAA’s smooth talks and bribes against key players in the EU staged a surprise attack, then turned northward and soon surrounded the bulk of the EU headquarters in Belgium.
After just a few weeks of battle, MAFIAA’s armies had conquered the right, the left and the liberal parties.
I expect that the Battle of Internets is about to begin. Upon this battle depends the survival of an Uncensored civilization! Upon it depends our own free life, and the long continuity of our sites and our trackers. The whole fury and might of the enemy will very soon be turned on us.
MAFIAA knows that they will have to break us in Brussels or lose the war. If we can stand up to them, all Europe may be free and the life of the world may move forward into broad, sunlit uplands. But if we fail, then the whole world, including all that we have known and cared for, will sink into the abyss of a new Dark Age made more sinister, and perhaps more protracted, by the lights of perverted science.
Let us therefore brace ourselves to our duties, and so bear ourselves that if the free internets and its multitude of sites last for a thousand years, citizens will still say, This was their finest hour.
Yours Winston Bay”