Pirate Internet Site Threatens To Use Drones

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The largest file-sharing website in the world, Pirate Bay, says it is considering the use of aerial drones in a scheme to elude regulatory efforts that might shut down the site over copyright concerns. The website provides a platform for users to share content that could include copyrighted software, video, music, and intellectual property, without payment to the copyright holder. Lawmakers have recently proposed legislation that could lead to the forceful shutdown of that kind of activity. And now Pirate Bay has announced it will consider the use of unmanned aircraft drones to serve as "low orbit server stations." The company says, "This way our machines will have to be shut down with aeroplanes in order to shut down the system. A real act of war."

In Pirate Bay's vision, the drones would carry miniature servers and broadcast continuously, providing a 100Mbps transfer rate over a range of 50km, sufficient for large files. The company lost a court battle in 2010 and was fined 46 million Swedish Kronors for copyright abuse. According to TorrentFreak.com, a site that follows news in the file-sharing community, Pirate Bay's plans might just be possible. The site says a group called "Project 'Electronic Countermeasures'" has built a swarm of five fully operational drones, which prove that an "aerial Napster" or an "airborne Pirate Bay" is not as futuristic as it sounds. One group, Tomorrow's Thoughts Today, says they've already built and programmed drones "to broadcast their own local Wi-Fi network as a form of aerial Napster. They swarm into formation, broadcasting their pirate network, and then disperse, escaping detection only to reform elsewhere."