Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
The Internet Privacy United Kingdom News

Digital Act Could Spur Creation of Pirate ISPs In UK 204

Posted by timothy
from the arrrr-what's-the-password-landlubber? dept.
scurtis writes "British anti-copyright group, Pirate Party UK, has predicted that Pirate ISPs will spring up across the country — promoting online privacy and allowing users to share files anonymously — in response to draconian file-sharing proposals outlined in the Digital Economy Act. The news follows reports that the Pirate Party in Sweden (PiratPartiet) will launch the world's first 'Pirate ISP.' The move is designed to curb the use of online surveillance in the country, and combat what PiratPartiet describes as the 'big brother society.'"
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Digital Act Could Spur Creation of Pirate ISPs In UK

Comments Filter:
  • by levell (538346) * on Wednesday July 21, 2010 @04:19PM (#32982630) Homepage

    Hopefully public pressure (e.g. the ideas on the "Your Freedom" Government run website for suggesting laws to scrap: here [hmg.gov.uk] and here [hmg.gov.uk]) will cause the Digital Economy Act to be scrapped.

    Aside from public pressure, there is also a possible review in the Lords [zdnet.co.uk] so there are a few chinks of light in the sky.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Moryath (553296)

      Sadly, we'll never see anything of the sort in the USA, because the MafiAA and ISP-Mafia ensure that 90% or more of our people don't even have two rival choices for their ISP - just whatever the fuck shitty company like Cocks or Comcrap paid off the local county board for the right to run "exclusive" cable or phone lines back in the day.

      FiOS is 2 miles from my house, but I can't buy it because Verizon doesn't own the fucking PHONE LINES on my side of the interstate and therefore isn't allowed to service fib

      • by cjb658 (1235986)

        Well, most of us at least have the choice between DSL and Cable, or, God forbid, wireless and satellite.

        P2P and web browsing aren't that sensitive to latency though, so it might make sense to have two internet connections, and use wireless for activities that might be censored, and get DSL or cable for games and VoIP.

    • so there are a few chinks of light in the sky.

      I would add to your list the petition for judicial review, which BT and TalkTalk have brought jointly to the High Court.

      In my understanding of the situation, the basis of BT's decision is that BT does not consider that the DEA got a fair hearing in Parliament, as a result of being pushed through the wash-up procedure; BT feels that the House of Commons did not have the opportunity of giving the bill, as it was, adequate scrutiny, despite the attentions of

      • by VJ42 (860241) * on Wednesday July 21, 2010 @05:28PM (#32983494)

        I would add to your list the petition for judicial review, which BT and TalkTalk have brought jointly to the High Court.

        When BT and TalkTalk announced that they were going for judicial review I emailed my (new, Tory) MP the following

        ...
        could you please clarify the Government's stance on BT and TalkTalk's legal challenge to the Digital Economy act? http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/technology/10542400.stm [bbc.co.uk] I note that the statement from BIS in the BBC article just commented on the purpose of the act, not whether the government would actually be defending it. Indeed, given the wiggle room it leaves, it could have been written by Sir Humphrey Appleby himself.
        ...

        In response I've got, on House of Commons headed notepaper dated 12th July 2010 a letter a copy of a letter from her to the Secretary of State.
        We've not yet received a response; I don't think that the coalition government has actually decided what it'll do with the act; it knows there's a lot of public pressure, the lib-dems opposed it a lot of Tory back bencher's are\were unhappy with the way it went through in the wash up without proper scrutiny. I'm not 100% convinced that they'll even defend it at the judicial review. Indeed, Nick Clegg is on record as saying that it "badly needs repealing"

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Barrinmw (1791848)
      "The more you tighten your grip, Tarkin, the more star systems will slip through your fingers." Leia Organa
  • Crazy Talk (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday July 21, 2010 @04:23PM (#32982678)

    Next you'll be telling me draconian drugs laws could create multi-billion-dollar black-market economies that could turn streets into war zones, corrupt law enforcement, and actually bring down elected governments.

    Go sell crazy somewhere else.

  • Why Pirate? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by ceraphis (1611217)
    Why associate the creation of ISPs that protect your privacy with piracy?

    I'm all for the idea of having certain protections in place at your ISP so you can sleep well at night, maybe even have an unsecured access point knowing that the ISP won't help authorities get you for something your neighbor or a wardriver did.

    But what if I don't care for piracy and like to buy the stuff that I enjoy? Why do they want to, in a way, force you to be guilty by association?
    • Not that I know anymore then you do, but I think pirate ISP is just them taking a name that induces more controversy. Not that they do not want people to pay for anything digital.

    • Marketing towards computer-savvy customers? Those that usually recommend ISP to others too?

    • by geekd (14774)

      I assume it's from "Pirate Radio". They are "pirate" because they don't have a license or permit to be a real ISP.

      • by jonbryce (703250)

        No, it is because small ISPs are exempt from the rules, so the answer is to create lots of small ISPs that are below the subscriber limit then people can do what they want.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by zero_out (1705074)
      Many people associate pirates with freedom, not with theft and murder. It's this fantasized version of pirates that has permeated modern cultures. Have you ever seen the anime One Piece? It's a fantasized story of pirates, who are really just a bunch of people who enjoy being free, and go around fighting injustice. How much actual piracy occurred in the Pirates of the Caribbean movies? Some, yes, but not a lot. Wasn't the tale of Jack Sparrow more about his search for freedom? In the end, he was sear
    • Re:Why Pirate? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by houghi (78078) on Wednesday July 21, 2010 @04:51PM (#32983044)

      If having any privacy is outlawed, only criminals will have privacy.

      • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

        And if having complete privacy is legislated, criminals will do whatever the f**k they want, safely hidden behind an anonymity shield that means they can never be held accountable for their actions.

        The world is not black and white.

        • Re:Why Pirate? (Score:4, Insightful)

          by Nadaka (224565) on Wednesday July 21, 2010 @05:15PM (#32983332)

          And the world I want is somewhere in between.

          Where you have the reasonable expectation of privacy, but given sufficient evidence, the authorities can get a warrant.

          You know, the kind of place that America was supposed to be?

          Unfortunately this concept is rapidly loosing ground to the Police Statist agenda.

          You can not fight an extremist with reasonable moderation.

          If you do, any compromise will result in loosing ground.

          You need an opposing extremist.

          That way, a compromise may hopefully exist somewhere within the reasonable area between the two.

          • You can not fight an extremist with reasonable moderation.
            If you do, any compromise will result in loosing ground.

            Well, I respectfully disagree. I'm completely with you on the seeking-a-middle-ground part. I just don't think when we're talking about rules that have the force of law, any sort of extreme is likely to be a good idea. The elected governments in a democracy are supposed to be there precisely to ensure that only a reasonable balance actually makes it to the statute books. Giving in to extremism is just as damaging, whether it is Big Media "we own your soul" or freeloader "information wants to be free".

          • You can not fight an extremist with reasonable moderation.

            Oddly enough that's the only way to fight extremism with any meaningful end to the conflict.

            For every impassioned hate speech, have a well reasoned response.
            For every senseless attack, have a precision response.
            For every threat, have nothing but indifference.

            If you do, any compromise will result in loosing ground.

            If you believe this then I suggest you take a look at your own views. You may be the very extremist that other extremists tell me

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by lgw (121541)

          There are plenty of ways to track criminals other than IP addresses. But if the "crimes" don't involve money, or physical goods, or (physical) personal interaction, or something else trackable in the real world, then "safely hidden" is probably the same as "free speech", so I'm OK with that. The occasional act of digital vandalism is a small price to pay for protection from overbearing governments and corporations.

          • There is no absolute right to free speech in this country (or any other than I am aware of, for that matter).

            In any case, are you suggesting that spamming, phishing, credit card fraud or outright identity theft, selling life-threatening fake drugs, grooming vulnerable people (children or otherwise), DOS attacks, spreading malware, and all the other illegal things that get done on-line are just "occasional acts of digitial vandalism"?

        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by Nikker (749551)
          Coming up with a brain fart doesn't prove your point. The ISP is not some magical black hole that has ability to change server logs and make you invisible. Do you really think The Terrorists(TM) will be able to have some magical internet anonymity if they just pay a different ISP? I think the following link will clear this up for you....

          The invisible internet [tumblr.com]
        • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

          by ooshna (1654125)
          Take away the rights of millions to catch dozens. Yep that makes sense.
          • And which right would that be?

            I am a firm believer in privacy being the default, and I have no problem with an absolute requirement for judicial oversight any time that privacy is going to be violated. (I never said I did, though a few people replying to my GP post seem to have read that into it for some reason.)

            But an absolute right to privacy, including preservation of anonymity, by definition means that you can never be held accountable for your actions. The same practical measures that would let pirates

        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          That's precisely what court warrants are for. Last I checked, none of those "extra privacy" ISPs claimed that they would ignore a warrant. They just don't want to hand anyone (including law enforcement) any information above and beyond that mandated by the law as it stands. Which is as it should be.

          • I completely agree about having oversight by a court before compelling any ISP to reveal someone's identity. I'm just saying that there are times when doing that is justified, because some times you do need to be able to catch the bad people.

            Given the fact that I was modded Troll and lots of replies contradicting me were modded up, I'm trying to work out whether I'm misinterpreting the post I originally replied to, lots of people are misinterpreting my post, or we're just all talking at cross-purposes...

      • Privacy has been redefined; from the sixties where nudity was a sin, the seventies where everything was relaxed and aliens visited the world, the eighties where nudity was a common thing, the nineties where the .com market was blooming in size, after 2000 where our privacy started to erode and take different terms and conditions.

        Phonelines can be tapped, faxmachines and e-mails can be read, privacy does not exist anymore because the current technologies allow for high-speed capture of such content. Not only

    • That was my first thought as well. Privacy and piracy are two very different things and it may be that these "pirate" parties are disingenuously trying to link those two together.

      Of course, there is a connection in that by trying to stop the piracy the authorities are inclined to trample on our right to privacy, but if that is their concern they should call themselves the Privacy Party or something. They have defined themselves by their rejection of the right to intellectual property and in my opinion that
      • They aren't "linking" anything. Privacy is one of the things they defend - just like any other party, they defend more than one thing.

        They have defined themselves by their rejection of the right to intellectual property and in my opinion that taints whatever valid things they are trying to do.

        Then open your own "Privacy ISP".

    • Re:Why Pirate? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by selven (1556643) on Wednesday July 21, 2010 @05:03PM (#32983184)

      The "Pirate" movement has distanced itself from the "I want free stuff" mentality. Their platform involves freedom, privacy and individual rights, and many "pirates" that have actually thought about the issues do support their artists. The Pirate movement is using the word "pirate" specifically in an attempt to reclaim the word, which is currently used as a propaganda term by the copyright lobby in an attempt to link downloading to stealing ships, and associate it with freedom, privacy and all that other good stuff. It's all a war of words.

    • Why associate the creation of ISPs that protect your privacy with piracy?

      Because those will be their strongest supporters. Not that it's their only supporters or that's all that they are good for, but thats who will identify with them most. No more, no less. Just like you don't have to be an environmentalist to support the Green Party in Canada, but they call themselves that.

  • by Mathinker (909784) * on Wednesday July 21, 2010 @04:26PM (#32982716) Journal

    Even in the event that the "less than 400K subscribers" loophole doesn't manage to give people enough freedom, there's always the various darknets. And if the freedom is for copyright infringement, actual physical "sharing parties".

    Really, if you don't have enough freedom to break the law, you probably don't have enough freedom. (And before the comprehension-disabled jump on me for encouraging crime, I did not imply that people should break the law --- just that they should have enough personal freedom that they could.)

    • Really, if you don't have enough freedom to break the law, you probably don't have enough freedom.

      That may be an oversimplification, but it's probably true. I would perhaps qualify it slightly differently: if you are going to be completely, preemptively restrained from carrying out an act, the consequences of that act had better be serious and non-reversible enough to justify the constraints. Would I want to allow just anyone to have a large nuclear weapon that they could detonate in the middle of a city? No. Do I think that locking down the entire Internet to prevent a bit of song-swapping is justified

    • Even in the event that the "less than 400K subscribers" loophole doesn't manage to give people enough freedom, there's always the various darknets.

      I have wondered now and again how the ever-paranoid geek builds a network of trust that he can trust.

      He trusts A because B trusts A. He trusts B because C trusts B. He trusts C because D trusts C... He doesn't know how big the network really is. He doesn't know how many nodes or super-nodes have been compromised.

      It all seems very fragile.

  • by DeadDecoy (877617)
    In most of these digital rights doctrines that are popping up, ISPs receive a safe harbor status provided they actually respond to DMCA takedown notices. If some DRM law does get passed, how much do you want to bet that the pirate ISP will be drowned in litigation for not complying to it? Even if they don't take logs of their customers, they'll just be disbanded for not complying.
    • by Neil_Brown (1568845) on Wednesday July 21, 2010 @04:43PM (#32982952) Homepage

      ISPs receive a safe harbor status provided they actually respond to DMCA takedown notices

      To my mind, it would depend on whether the "Pirate ISP" simply handled traffic (i.e. was an access provider), or whether it provided hosting services too.

      s.512 of the DMCA, and Art.14 of the eCommerce directive (European) offers protection for hosts (in Europe, the provision of services which "consist of the storage of information"), provided that the ISP takes steps to remove infringing material upon becoming aware of them. However, the corresponding protection for traffic carriage, Art.12, has no such requirement - as long as the IAP does not select the receiver of the transmission, initiate the transmission, or modify the content of the transmission, it is not liable for the traffic which it carries.

      That being said, I would not be surprised to see an application of the Sharman Networks / Grokster reasoning, that there is a difference between being a mere conduit, over which parties transmit and receive information, where these acts are infringement of copyright, and promoting / encouraging copyright infringement (using these words loosely).

      • by Zerth (26112)

        The trick would be to provide just bandwidth and privacy, no storage nor any sort of search/matchmaking service.

        If they emphasis that they are selling "lack of logging", then they should be better off than "file exchange" services.

  • What would the legality of this be? I RTFA and am still unclear, yet it seems that a lot hinges on this question.
    • by julesh (229690)

      What would the legality of this be? I RTFA and am still unclear, yet it seems that a lot hinges on this question.

      The legality of what? TFA basically states the new law doesn't apply to ISPs smaller than 400,000 users. Are you questioning whether it's legal to operate such an ISP? Or what?

  • by bit9 (1702770) on Wednesday July 21, 2010 @04:30PM (#32982790)

    I wish the people behind these anti-big-brother movements would stop calling themselves pirates. There are LOTS of good reasons to support file-sharing and a free-as-in-speech Internet, and to oppose abusive government intrusion and the commercialization of the Internet. Those who fight for this cause under the "pirate" banner are not only doing a disservice to their own cause, but to the rest of us who want a free Internet for reasons other than downloading the latest crappy summer blockbuster movie via BitTorrent.

    At the very least, the word "pirate" should be avoided because that is the MAFIAA's loaded word of choice for painting file sharers as dangerous criminals. Why let your enemy frame the argument in his own terms? It's akin to the way the neocons in the U.S. frame the war debate as a question of whether or not you support the troops.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Nadaka (224565)

      And I think that the MAFIAA's should stop using the word pirate to talk about people who are infringing on their temporary state granted monopoly handout. Piracy requires the threat or act of violence to capture ships, cargo or hostages at sea. But it isn't going to happen.

      • "Piracy" has been used in the meaning **AA uses it today for over 300 years now. You're a bit too late at trying to change that article in the dictionary.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Neil_Brown (1568845)

      At the very least, the word "pirate" should be avoided because that is the MAFIAA's loaded word of choice for painting file sharers as dangerous criminals

      Whilst I agree with the substance of your comment, that "pirate" is an inappropriate descriptor, used to gain emotive advantage, the term has been used in this context for far longer than just this round of the "copyright wars".

      For a great history of the term "piracy", and on copyright infringement generally, I'd recommend Adrian Johns' excellent bo

      • I'd recommend Bill Party's "Moral Panics and the Copyright Wars".

        Sorry, Bill - that would be "Patry", and not "Party".

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      I don't think so. For one pirates are cool. So your argument is invalid. Also it is much easier to counteract MAFIAAs message if we 'embrace and extend' their message against them. They call us pirates, so we have fun like all the cool pirates do. If they can make stuff up, so can we! Piratez of the world unite and fight back the ninjas of MAFIAA! For the boooty!

      • I think what you were trying to say is that there is nothing wrong with uniting people behind a symbol, the only people who consider pirating (in today's terms) a crime are the record companies, and a few of their lackies.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by tobiah (308208)

      The Religious Society of Friends were mockingly referred to as "Quakers" for the way they quaked with the power of the lord. Officially they're supposed to call each other Friends for short, but Quaker stuck and lost its derogatory meaning. Same story with Mormons, Moonies, Queers, and probably every group with a short name. They adopted the name used to demean and mock them, and it became legitimate.

      • by bit9 (1702770)
        That may be, but I don't see the "pirate" moniker working out very well for people fighting for Internet freedom. Despite the fact that a lot of geeks think that "pirates are cool", most members of our society hear the word "pirate" and think exactly what the MAFIAA wants them to think: criminals, thiefs, etc, etc.
    • by Nyder (754090)

      I wish the people behind these anti-big-brother movements would stop calling themselves pirates. There are LOTS of good reasons to support file-sharing and a free-as-in-speech Internet, and to oppose abusive government intrusion and the commercialization of the Internet. Those who fight for this cause under the "pirate" banner are not only doing a disservice to their own cause, but to the rest of us who want a free Internet for reasons other than downloading the latest crappy summer blockbuster movie via BitTorrent.

      At the very least, the word "pirate" should be avoided because that is the MAFIAA's loaded word of choice for painting file sharers as dangerous criminals. Why let your enemy frame the argument in his own terms? It's akin to the way the neocons in the U.S. frame the war debate as a question of whether or not you support the troops.

      While we are on that, hacker needs to go back to the non criminal meaning.
      Unlimited needs to mean that, unlimited.

      people been changing the meaning of words since the beginning of time. Just deal and accept it.

      • by bit9 (1702770)

        people been changing the meaning of words since the beginning of time. Just deal and accept it.

        You're missing the point. I don't have a problem with the meaning of the word pirate - neither the old meaning nor the new meaning. I just think it's folly to call yourself a pirate when that's exactly what your enemies want you to be called.

        This is not a war that can be won without having the public on your side. It doesn't matter how many geeks on Slashdot or elsewhere think that pirates are cool. Most of the pu

  • by PolygamousRanchKid (1290638) on Wednesday July 21, 2010 @04:40PM (#32982908)

    From the leaked draft:

    Rule One: No Pirate ISPs!

    Rule Two: No member of law enforcement agencies are to maltreat the innocent Internet users in any way at all -- if there's anybody watching.

    Rule Three: No Pirate ISPs!

    Rule Four: From now on, I don't want to catch anybody not using DRM.

    Rule Five: No Pirate ISPs!

    Rule Six: There is NO ... Rule Six.

    Rule Seven: No Pirate ISPs!

    • Sorry, I'm playing multiplayer on Sony's new 3d system. I can only see rules 2, 4, and 6. You were saying?
  • by Anonymous Coward
    I'd be happy with an ISP that considered itself a collection of dumb tubes.
    • by tnok85 (1434319)
      What about an ISP that considered itself a big truck that you could just dump something on?
  • Sounds sort of like community or municipal efforts to me. The 'pirate' label really should be dropped to help with marketing. Sure, its cute, but wont help.

  • The article's definition of a "Pirate ISP" is somewhat misleading. It really is just talking about making smaller ISPs.

    I've thought about how to do real "Pirate ISP" stuff myself a few times, but how exactly does one go about becoming an ISP?

    1) You have to have some kind of facility, even if it is a ship at sea.
    2) You need to have lots of bandwidth.
    3) You need to have some connection to other facilities, to form a root DNS zone.
    4) You need to have a way of connecting others.

    Now, if you plan on just being a

    • by ZERO1ZERO (948669)
      In a few more years, it'll be possible to build a wireless "alternet". A new internet with it's own DNS stack separate from the internet and the eyes of Big Brother. Except by capturing the signals and decrypting them. Technically a wireless alternet is feasible now. I have several wireless routers in my neighborhood. We could form our own network, and they can probably see a few routers I can't see further out and could connect with them. The question is: is there enough density now, that we could grow tha
    • by lgw (121541)

      The thing that I have been contemplating is the creation of a truly "pirate" ISP. That is, one that uses the backbone fibre of the internet to create an internet within the internet.

      This is a solved problem, and your personal Freenet node is just a download away. True anonymous peer-to-peer for web browsing, filesharing, or whatever, is already here. It just needs more nodes, and a lot more content. The "network effect" is not yet working in Freenet's favor, but technically it's solid, and there's nothing wrong with it that more users won't fix. (Well, what it really needs is a client that's as easy to use as Bittorrent).

  • British anti-copyright group, Pirate Party UK, has predicted that Pirate ISPs will spring up across the country

    Independent slashdot user, dangitman, predicts that the Pirate Party UK is incorrect in their statement and is just attempting to get publicity. A wave of "Pirate ISPs" suddenly appearing is about as likely as the British people rising up in mass revolt against the government.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Andy_R (114137)

      Leader of Pirate Party UK reveals that he wasn't actually trying to get publicity, he was just answering a journalist's question about the possibility of the UK party following the Swedish party's lead and setting up their own ISP. Out of all the countless quotes he's given to journalists over the last year, he's actually quite surprised that this one made it to the front page of Slashdot.

  • by bbqsrc (1441981) on Wednesday July 21, 2010 @07:02PM (#32984520) Homepage
    Most Pirate Parties internationally are for copyright reform, not the abolition of copyright. I'm tired of the misconception. It's like saying the Australian Liberal Party is about freedom. Ha.
  • As long as the ISP exist in a country where copyright holders are revered, this won't work; the ISPs will be shut down faster than you can blink. The only key is to host such ISPs in a country that doesn't give a toss, and then hope that they aren't shut down, or the ability to connect to them is severed...
  • by shin0r (208259) on Thursday July 22, 2010 @05:14AM (#32987452) Homepage

    I've been running a UK ISP for a couple of years now, aimed at very heavy users who want privacy and no restrictions. I don't know if my customers are pirates or not but as long as they conform to the AUP "don't do anything illegal or stupid" then they are more than welcome to use their connections for whatever purpose they choose.

    Shameless plug: http://superawesomebroadband.com/ [superaweso...adband.com]

With all the fancy scientists in the world, why can't they just once build a nuclear balm?

Working...