As the war on piracy and privacy continues, The Pirate Bay has revealed what could be a gamer changer in a move that could effectively render the efforts of lawmakers and the entertainment industry ineffective.
Recently The Pirate Bay engaged in a game of whack-a-mole, switching Internet domains multiple times in a bid to stay ahead of anti piracy organisations who were threatening companies hosting The Pirate Bay with legal action.
Having long covered the ongoing sagas of The Pirate Bay vs. the entertainment industry, I'd predicted ages ago that should the entertainment industry persist in fighting an unwinnable war rather than working to offer viable alternatives to piracy, the entertainment industry could soon find themselves being left behind as technologies evolve to the extent where policing file sharing sites becomes all but impossible.
Now The Pirate Bay have revealed just how they intend to use technology to win the war. Much of their battle strategies revolve around eliminating key vulnerabilities that have plagued peer-to-peer players, namely centralised torrent tracking websites.
Central to this is a soon to be launched application designed to compliment the PirateBrowser, (which since governments in the UK and EU began blocking access to torrent tracker sites has experience phenomenal levels of adoption, hitting a staggering 2.5 million downloads as of last week).
The app could see The Pirate Bay no longer reliant on domain names or webhosting, with the current functionality of The Pirate Bay decentralised among its users, being stored locally on their PCs and shared in a peer-to-peer like fashion.
The upshot of this is that the Pirate Bay website which has long been an easy target will become surplus to requirements, and The Pirate Bay will become so massively distributed that it could become next to impossible for authorities to do anything but sit on the sidelines and watch.
The app is to be released as an open sourced standalone application as well as plugins for both Firefox and Chrome browsers. In a nod to NSA snooping, the app will also make use of an encrypted custom DNS system that potentially signals a clever side business for The Pirate Bay in faux domain hosting that will link a website's "name" to a unique and verified public key. These "domains" are to be Bitcoin authenticated, and will expire after 12 months unless re-verified.
Indications are that it'll probably be several months before the first version of the app is released, but once it launches, there is a fair chance that it'll place services such as The Pirate Bay firmly out of reach of entertainment industry lawyers.
Had the entertainment industry adopted a sustainable and longer-term approach such as offering alternatives to piracy rather than engaging in short term and unwinnable games of whack-a-mole with players such as The Pirate Bay, things could have been so very different. Oh well.