Тhe Pirate Bay is back online. Its new provider turned out to be none less than one in North Korea. This has all sorts of interesting geopolitical consequences.
People using The Pirate Bay right now will observe that it’s slightly slower than usual. Earlier today, the Norwegian Pirate Party sent a press release that they no longer supplied bandwidth to The Pirate Bay, as the party’s uplink had caved to threats from the copyright industry about kicking out The Pirate Bay. (This remains a concern in itself.)
Ten minutes after that article was posted, The Pirate Bay came back online with a new provider that was as-yet unidentified. The swarm has worked and discovered the origins of the new provider: North Korea.
This has all sorts of interesting geopolitical consequences.
(For the technically interested, the last link in the traceroute chain is 18.104.22.168. A whois lookup will tell you that this is an ISP based in North Korea.)
North Korea may have the one government on this planet which takes pride in asking Hollywood and United States interests to take a hike in the most public way imaginable. Many more governments could do well to learn that particular idea, even if they don’t need to pick up the other things that the NK government is up to.
The world’s most resilient site for safeguarding freedom of expression, going against the political interests of the United States’ elite cronyists, is now run from North Korea. Imagine that.
This is going to be really fun to watch. The local convenience store may run out of popcorn when this becomes known.
UPDATE: The operators of The Pirate Bay confirm the story in a press release with comments: “This is truly an ironic situation. We have been fighting for a free world, and our opponents are mostly huge corporations from the United States of America, a place where freedom and freedom of speech is said to be held high. At the same time, companies from that country is chasing a competitor from other countries, bribing police and lawmakers, threatening political parties and physically hunting people from our crew. And to our help comes a government famous in our part of the world for locking people up for their thoughts and forbidding access to information.”
UPDATE 2: Some reports are coming in that the traces to North Korea look funny, and suggest that they are an elaborate fake, and that the actual location of The Pirate Bay would be Phnom Penh, Cambodia. One report in particular looks credible, but goes beyond my technical ability to verify its claims.