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Piracy Space Idle

Pirate Parties Plan To Shoot Site Into Orbit 301

Posted by samzenpus
from the in-space-no-one-can-hear-you-torrent dept.
palmerj3 writes "It is almost four years ago that The Pirate Bay announced they wanted to buy the micronation of Sealand, so they could host their site without having to bother about copyright law — an ambitious plan that turned out to be unaffordable. This week, Pirate Parties worldwide started brainstorming about a similarly ambitious plan. Instead of founding their own nation, they want to shoot a torrent site into orbit."

*

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Pirate Parties Plan To Shoot Site Into Orbit

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  • Great idea! (Score:5, Funny)

    by Pojut (1027544) on Thursday October 21, 2010 @10:59AM (#33973632) Homepage

    Dear Pirate Party,

    Thank you for donating targets to us. We've been meaning to test our Space Object Destruction Laser®, but haven't found any suitable object to target. Because of your charity, we can now witness the firepower of this fully armed and operation system.

    Sincerely,

    The United States of America

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Motard (1553251)

      It may come to that. It occurs to me that at some point governments are going to have to agree on methods to control extra-governmental forces like the Pirate Party/Bay, Wikileaks and even Al Qaeda.

      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by AtomicJake (795218)

        It may come to that. It occurs to me that at some point governments are going to have to agree on methods to control extra-governmental forces like the Pirate Party/Bay, Wikileaks and even Al Qaeda.

        Interesting try: Link two organizations that are fighting for freedom with one known for terror and bestiality. Do you have an agenda or did you just got too much tea?

        • by bsDaemon (87307)

          Bestiality? I didn't know that Al Qaeda was known for intercourse with livestock. Do you have access to secret intelligence? Wikileaks might be interested.

        • by robot256 (1635039)
          No, I think he was making a legitimate point. It is truly ironic, as you point out, that governments around the world have tried to vilify freedom-loving Wikileaks as some sort of anti-establishment vigilante group that threatens the stability of the free world--not unlike al Qaeda. The bottom line is any organization that threatens to undermine the authority of enough governments will be labeled a "terrorist threat" and dealt with accordingly. That the Pirate Party is starting to fall in that category s
        • by dintech (998802)

          with one known for terror and bestiality

          I think we've already heard enough about Julian Assange's private life.

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by Shark (78448)

        You forgot the most powerful extra-governmental force: The people.

    • Yeah.

      Launching a torrent site into space is about as secure as sailing your boat near the international waters surrounding Somalia.

      This idea is about as half baked as my dinner last night.

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Neil Boekend (1854906)
      If you have followed the mess the Chinese [discovery.com] created, you'd guess the US probably wouldn't blow it up. They are still (and rightfully) angry about it.
      They could, however, allow it to stay in one piece and disable it some other way. Extremely powerfull and very directed EM radiation would fry all it's circuits for example.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Arancaytar (966377)

      It is as though millions of users cried out in terror and suddenly had their torrents cut off.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      I felt a great disturbance in the Torrent, as if millions of seeds suddenly cried out in 404 and were suddenly silenced. I fear something corporate has happened.

  • by MRe_nl (306212) on Thursday October 21, 2010 @11:00AM (#33973648)

    It's the only way to be sure...

  • by StayFrosty (1521445) on Thursday October 21, 2010 @11:01AM (#33973660)
    Assuming they can actually come up with the money to launch it, I wonder how long it will be up there before it "accidentally" gets hit with a "stray" surface-to-air or air-to-air missile. It'll either be that or incentive to clean up some space "junk." Maybe this is what it will take to get NASA a bigger budget.
    • by BitZtream (692029) on Thursday October 21, 2010 @11:06AM (#33973734)

      Probably only slightly longer than it would have taken for them to get overthrown had they bought Sealand ... which is actually under British rule, regardless of how much they want to pretend its not.

      • I don't care how much Britain wants to pretend that SeaLand is under its rule, it isn't. The laws that would have prevented its founding were put into place long after its founding
    • by malakai (136531)

      Lucky for them space lacks enough of the required 'air' for either of those weapon platforms to effectively work.

      Surface-To-Space, Air-To-Space, Space-To-Space..... now we're talking. Those ASAT and other devices have systems for trajectory control without the need of fins or aerodynamic tricks.

    • by tlhIngan (30335) <slashdotNO@SPAMworf.net> on Thursday October 21, 2010 @11:13AM (#33973850)

      Assuming they can actually come up with the money to launch it, I wonder how long it will be up there before it "accidentally" gets hit with a "stray" surface-to-air or air-to-air missile. It'll either be that or incentive to clean up some space "junk." Maybe this is what it will take to get NASA a bigger budget.

      Well, testing of surface to LEO missiles will probably not happen - it endangers everything else up there with all the debris. And any explosions themselves will send pieces into new unpredictable orbits as well.

      Unless one doesn't have many satellites up there already, shooting down a satellite has the effect of endangering your own satellites as well. I'm sure the DoD would be highly amused should one of their covert satellites get destroyed from space junk caused by testing of said missile.

      The only way is if NASA gets funding to do space junk cleanup and they "accidentally" do too good a job.

      I think we're probably close to a critical mass of space junk - where one stray piece crashes into satellites and the satellite's pieces cause more collisions. Practically overnight we'd go from satellites everywhere to having nothing but fine mists of dust - a man-made ring like Saturn or something.

      • Well, testing of surface to LEO missiles will probably not happen - it endangers everything else up there with all the debris. And any explosions themselves will send pieces into new unpredictable orbits as well.

        So you're saying that big content taking a heavy handed approach to piracy would be short-sighted, stupid, be a waste of money, and would just create more problems? Why does that sound familiar?

    • Simple (Score:2, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Just park it right next to (or better still, in front of) one of HBO's satellites.

      The US govt wouldn't risk upsetting one of their investors.

    • anyone can send a server to space, all you need is a weather balloon and an iphone.
    • The micronation idea was better (and probably cheaper) than this. What happens if there's a critical failure on that torrent server? They now have a very expensive hunk of metal orbiting earth since no one is going to be able to go up there and swap out a drive. Then there's the exorbitant cost of getting it up there and getting the data back to earth...this idea is flat-out fail.
    • Why would anybody try? The data rate will be too low and the LEO will make the contact window too small, so people will quickly get frustrated and continue to use the much cheaper, reliable and faster connections they have now.
    • by ceoyoyo (59147)

      Never. The thing about space is, there isn't much air for X-to-air missiles.

      Now, if you mean a surface-to-space or air-to-space missile, probably not. The things are expensive and weapons in space are kind of a big deal. When you take out a satellite everyone knows.

  • Fuck yes! (Score:3, Funny)

    by Zeek40 (1017978) on Thursday October 21, 2010 @11:01AM (#33973672)
    Space Pirates!
    • by thijsh (910751)
      Que evil empire that tries to eradicate them with some ingenious plot... Quick someone call Summer Glau, we might need her to go all River Tam on them.

      Sadly the evil plot will most likely involve less-than-ingenious 'space terrorists' nowadays, 'pirates', 'rebels' and 'resistance' are words of the past...
    • by slick7 (1703596) on Thursday October 21, 2010 @11:27AM (#33974082)

      Space Pirates!

      Space Pirates in Arrrrbit. It had to be said.

  • Uhhhhh. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by rotide (1015173) on Thursday October 21, 2010 @11:02AM (#33973686)
    Isn't this all just ignoring the real problem? It doesn't matter if you buy a nation, or buy an island, or buy a satellite. You have to get your internet pipe from some external source of which isn't in your "bubble of safety". You could setup a pirate planet, but if you want to connect back to earth you still need a transceiver based in a country not owned and operated by you. Great! You can't be prosecuted for doing what you want to do, but no one can access it.
    • Re:Uhhhhh. (Score:5, Insightful)

      by MoonBuggy (611105) on Thursday October 21, 2010 @11:19AM (#33973964) Journal

      Or the people on the ground could, y'know, point a dish at the satellite themselves...

      I'm sure this is more a publicity stunt than a practical idea, but it doesn't fail quite that easily.

    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by Rude Turnip (49495)

      Maybe an informal network of ad-hoc uplinks could help diversify that risk.

    • i see lots of people getting data like tv shows and movies from space with a dish that you could probably make for $10
    • by o'reor (581921)

      There are plenty of solutions for this. One of the earliest implementations suggested was the DVB multiprotocol encapsulation standard, which is still used by a few satellite operators such as ASTRA (you'd need a satellite dish and a modem to get the streams though); also, check out the more recent DVB-SH standards, that enable handheld devices to get satellite IP data as well -- obviously you don't need a dish for those.

      I would paste a few links if I could but the new Slashdot interface is preventing me

    • by malakai (136531)

      I could picture this working a couple of ways.

      First, let's assume you can only put up one satellite. Let's also assume it's placed in geosynchronous orbit. We'll talk about bandwidth/latency later. Consider that, this one satellite could be visible to nearly all of Europe. Or a large portion of the US, or half of Africa. These are very broad regions. You now have the ability to completely decentralize the torrent seed hubs. Multiple enthusiasts with the proper antenna + radio cards could become down-link's

  • Since there are 'no rules' in space, expect this satellite to be destroyed in a matter of minutes after gaining orbit.
    • by Dalzhim (1588707)

      That used to be the same on the internet. Eventually that will change as well.

    • by tgd (2822)

      Why?

      Unless everyone using it sets up their own uplink, its sure as hell easier to block their connectivity.

    • by slick7 (1703596)

      Since there are 'no rules' in space, expect this satellite to be destroyed in a matter of minutes after gaining orbit.

      Wrong, Obey gravity, it's the law!

    • by Infonaut (96956) <infonaut@gmail.com> on Thursday October 21, 2010 @11:43AM (#33974304) Homepage Journal

      There are rules in space [wikipedia.org].

      It's highly unlikely that a national government would expend the military and technical resources necessary to shoot down a satellite, not to mention draw international ire, merely for the sake of placating the copyright lobby. They're big players, but there are limits to even Disney's power.

      It's far more likely that a pirate satellite would encourage the copyright cartel to push to expand existing laws to make them more iron-clad regardless of jurisdiction. The Pirate Bay would gain a temporary advantage, but it would likely backfire over the long haul.

    • by crovira (10242) on Thursday October 21, 2010 @03:48PM (#33978468) Homepage

      The reason that space isn't weapon laden is that they Russians and the US signed treaties keeping it a "demilitarized zone."

      That means that its meant for use strictly as for observation, (look down for photon coming up,) rather than shooting down.

      Even the Chinese signed the treaty because they see the wisdom behind it.

      You can't defend yourself from space based "bolides" (which can strike the planet like the "Hammer of Thor" without needing to be anything other than heavy and headed in the right direction.)

      Such a weapon could be built now and use "space resources" (asteroids and comets conveniently placed in a wide belt between Mars and Jupiter,) and some long-term guidance for an automated system to crash a world-changing million ton hunk of dirt and ice into this planet.

      Its enough to discourage anyone knowing that after a war the loser could still "drop the hammer" on you a generation after you though it was all over and you'd won.

  • So... where is the money to launch something into space going to come from? Nerds chipping in ten bucks each?
  • by eln (21727)
    Launching a satellite into space costs tens of millions of dollars. Are they saying buying a platform out in the ocean was actually MORE expensive than that? Sounds like Sealand may be a little overpriced for what you get. You can buy a number of private islands for less than that. Hell, they could buy a fairly decent paramilitary force and take over Sealand that way for less than it would take to launch a satellite into any kind of stable orbit.
    • by Herkum01 (592704)
      I found it article which said that Sealand was for sale at 750 million Euros, about 1 billion American dollars, so yeah, unaffordable.
      • Re:Cost (Score:4, Insightful)

        by eln (21727) on Thursday October 21, 2010 @11:25AM (#33974060) Homepage
        The proprietors of Sealand continue to live in fantasy land. All it is is an abandoned platform out in the ocean under British rule. Sure, they say it's independent, but the only reason they're allowed to carry on thinking that is because they aren't doing anything illegal enough for the Brits to make the effort to enforce their rule. If something like the Pirate Bay moved in, they would find the British reasserting themselves over that hunk of concrete pretty quick. Hell, the Brits traveled 8,000 miles to go to war with Argentina over the Falkland Islands, and the only thing worth anything there is a bunch of sheep. They'll have no problems sending a ship (or a cruise missile) a few miles out to sea to take out a platform.

        The only reason anyone would buy that pile of crap for a billion dollars is because they wanted to do some heavily illegal shit on it, otherwise they'd go buy some tropical private island for 1% of the cost. Since Britain would never allow that sort of thing to go down within their territorial waters, any potential buyer is essentially spending a metric assload of money for a fairy tale.
        • by thijsh (910751)

          Sure, they say it's independent, but the only reason they're allowed to carry on thinking that is because they aren't doing anything illegal enough for the Brits to make the effort to enforce their rule.

          How is shooting at the royal Navy and other ships not a crime they would be forced to respond to? In fact the Brits called it an 'act of terrorism', which is sufficient reason to invade some counties nowadays... And as I recall they were taken to court in 1968, and won because Britain did not have jurisdiction.

    • A private island would probably not be outside any nation with copyright laws' jurisdiction, which is the point isn't it?
    • by delinear (991444)
      Apparently the asking price in 2007 was £600 million [wikipedia.org], so I guess you'd get a fair few satellite launches for that kind of outlay.
    • Also, "tens of millions" is an understatement. Are there any web server/satellites in space currently? Then you have new R&D, engineering, production, etc etc.... plus what it would cost to actually get it up there, if any nation that can do this would agree to rent space.

      Basically, this website wants to start a space program on their site revenues of what, a couple hundred thousand a year for ad space? Good luck. Maybe I'll start my own space program too.
      • by ceoyoyo (59147)

        I don't know about currently, but I think the first one was launched about a decade ago. There are lots of ham radio satellites currently operating.

    • by malakai (136531)

      Your missing the micro-sat market. You and 500 other groups buy a small payload on a larger system going into space. It'll deploy your payload. Booking the right type of orbit and not blowing up in the first 10 minutes is the trick.

      Also, with as many private companies now testing different space access systems, the dream of 100lbs for 1million to GEO orbit is quickly approaching.....

    • by ceoyoyo (59147)

      Ocean platforms are pretty expensive. Launching satellites is much less so. There are quite a few ham radio satellites, for example: http://www.qsl.net/w8dro/ [qsl.net].

  • Or: (Score:2, Troll)

    You could just buy the DVDs of whatever movie/show you wish to see. It would certainly be less expensive than this "space" plan.
    .

    >>>Feedback on this comment system?

    It sucks. I hate this dynamic index.

    • by Hatta (162192)

      But it would be considerably less awesome. DVDs or shooting shit into space. Hmmm, which would I choose.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Darkness404 (1287218)
      ...Except for the fact to actually use the crap you paid for you usually have to break the law. Want to actually -watch- that DVD without having to watch ads? You usually have to use something like libdvdcss to break the encryption, same thing with format transfer. Games are often times nearly unplayable without cracks and the like.

      I have no problems buying media, but its become to the point where in order to actually use what you paid for you end up breaking the law in some way or another.

      When pira
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        (shrug)

        I just watch the ads. It's easier and less time-consuming.

      • Take Fallout 3 (Score:5, Interesting)

        by SmallFurryCreature (593017) on Thursday October 21, 2010 @11:38AM (#33974262) Journal
        Exactly. Take Fallout 3, PC, Collectors Edition. Good deal? Yes. Did I want to buy it? Yes. Did I try to order it? Yes. Can I? No.

        Why not? Benelux distributor does not carry it. It does for the PS3 and the 360 but NOT the PC version. Why? Other CE's are carried but not this on.

        So, I am going to pirate the game. That way I get all the extra's, all the special packs from various shops, and zero cost and zero hassle to me.

        FUCK YOU content industry, when you actually make it impossible to buy products, my limit is reached.

        And yes, it is the game companies that are to blame for the distributor. Who on earth thought it was a good idea to give exclusivity for a region? How are market forces supposed to act with monopolies? No competition, single supplier, no choice. My hard earned money should support this? Nope.

        Stop fucking up your customers and maybe people like me would actually buy stuff. But if you don't even put it in the stuff, what am I supposed to do?

        And if you claim I should import, you just don't get it do you, why should I jump through hoops, to give someone else money? It would be like the supermarket putting up a moat, daring me to come in and spend anything at pain of death.

    • You could just buy the DVDs of whatever movie/show you wish to see.

      If it's available in your region. If it's available in any region. Where can I buy an authentic copy of Song of the South on DVD?

    • You could just buy the DVDs of whatever movie/show you wish to see. It would certainly be less expensive than this "space" plan.

      The frickin shows I want to see is not available in stores, unless months afterwards, dubbed by people who don't understand the poorly translated references the translator did not get; DVD is an obsolete technology, sometimes I download the content of a DVD I own because it's inconvenient to manipulate the disk; DVDs are at the store, internet is at my home.

    • by Thelasko (1196535)

      You could just buy the DVDs of whatever movie/show you wish to see. It would certainly be less expensive than this "space" plan.

      Especially if you buy them from the guy on the corner that sells them out of a cardboard box for $1.

  • Target practice!
  • by LSD-OBS (183415) on Thursday October 21, 2010 @11:10AM (#33973822)

    get ready for one hell of a server crash

  • by orphiuchus (1146483) on Thursday October 21, 2010 @11:13AM (#33973858)
    Somehow I feel way less sympathy for these guys now that I can afford to just buy the games I want... weird.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      Somehow I feel way less sympathy for these guys now that I can afford to just buy the games I want... weird.

      Try buying and installing those games. Your sympathy will return shortly.

  • by tverbeek (457094) on Thursday October 21, 2010 @11:13AM (#33973868) Homepage

    The location of the hardware where the data is stored is only a part of the challenge they face. Whether you put it on a platform in international waters, on a seagoing vessel, in orbit, or even on a sovereign planetoid, for it to be of use to terra-bound, law-bound consumers you need a communications link to that site, and one end of that link is going to be subject to the laws of whatever state the consumer is in.

  • It's too bad that Sealand was unaffordable, but what about some of the greek islands that were up for sale?
    I'm certain that this would have better latency...
    It also reminds me of all the 'pirate' radio stations operation from the Northern Sea, have things changed since then? Should be much cheaper to run a tracker from there, maybe even rent some bandwidth from nearby oil rigs or the fibers under the sea - a much more viable option in my view...

  • In Space No One Can Hear You Download.
  • Since the problem as I understand it is maintaining a list of torrents one could simply use a system such as http://offsystem.sourceforge.net/ [sourceforge.net]

  • This idea is totally going to get shot down.
  • Outer Space Treaty (Score:5, Informative)

    by goodmanj (234846) on Thursday October 21, 2010 @11:20AM (#33973984)

    Won't work. Read the Outer Space Treaty [wikipedia.org], specifically Article VI. (full text: http://en.wikisource.org/wiki/Outer_Space_Treaty_of_1967#Article_VI [wikisource.org])

    In short: if it's launched from Country X, Country X has responsibility for it, whether it was launched by the Country X government or just by some wacky idealists who live there. In practice, this means that spacecraft are no more outside of national laws than seagoing ships are.

    • by goodmanj (234846)

      Oh, Article VIII puts it more directly:

      "A State Party to the Treaty on whose registry an object launched into outer space is carried shall retain jurisdiction and control over such object, and over any personnel thereof, while in outer space or on a celestial body."

    • by mooingyak (720677)

      What if they manage to launch from the middle of the Atlantic or some similar idea?

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by RivenAleem (1590553)

      This is why they need to launch it from a ship, which itself was built by another ship, from international waters.

      If that doesn't work, I have these schematics for a giant wooden badger.

    • by Coraon (1080675)
      quick question, what would happen if the satellite was launched from international waters by an unregistered water craft? this can be done by not registering a self made boat, and using one of the cheaper launch vehicles to get it into orbit. Don't get me wrong its a LOT more planning and more money, but does cause a loophole in the treaty. another option, launch it from a country that didn't sign the treaty.
    • by fermion (181285)
      Looking quickly at this, Colombia hasn't signed the treaty, so it could be launched from there. There is some infrastructure in Colombia, and certainly South America has mineral stores and processing equipment. One wonders if the US would bomb such a venture as it does other legitimate business activities. The satellite could also be launched into geosynchronous orbit. Colombia is may 30 degrees from a stable point, and it is only a couple degrees off the equator, so there could be good line of sight the
    • by bmajik (96670)

      In practice, this means that spacecraft are no more outside of national laws than seagoing ships are.

      Funny you'd use that analogy, since we're talking about the Pirate Party.

      Pirate ships are still operating in 2010, even though we can know the location of every surface vessel anywhere in the world on a 24/7 basis. Sea piracy is just as illegal as ever, but it still happens.

      Knowing that a crime is taking place is different than having the desire/willpower/money/time/etc to do anything about it.

      A satellite i

  • Sealand (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Exitar (809068) on Thursday October 21, 2010 @11:27AM (#33974088)

    What happened of the money people donated to buy it?

  • If they bought an island: they'd get invaded by some nearby country or the private forces of some individual or coporation and told "tough shit" by anyone they appealed to. If they put it in international waters, pretty much the same scenario, except someone might decide to sink them. If they put a satellite in orbit, whatever country the controlling people were in would claim jurisdiction and shut it down anyway, or perhaps if they pissed the wrong people off, it would just simply disappear from orbit. I d
  • SneakerNet (Score:5, Interesting)

    by tekrat (242117) on Thursday October 21, 2010 @12:11PM (#33974744) Homepage Journal

    Someone else pointed out that if you're this far gone, it's time to stop using the internet then for your traffic.

    Not to mention that for the millions of dollars needed, as well as manpower, to put something like this into orbit you could instead "AOL" it, by sending every human on earth a CDROM (or DVD) with pirated warez on it.

    Want to make a statement? Use the postal system. Make every human a "evil hacker" by giving them a DVD full of stuff the MAFFIA don't want you to have.

    Think: If during prohibition, if Al Capone had given away liquor, Amendment 18 would have been repealed a lot quicker.

    There is no police force large enough to arrest every man, woman and child on planet earth.

  • by TaleSpinner (96034) on Thursday October 21, 2010 @12:48PM (#33975330)

    ...and cheaper to just set up their own micronation platform using something like http://en.wikibooks.org/wiki/Making_an_Island/Construction_Guides [wikibooks.org]? All they'd need is a relatively shallow site not in territorial waters. A (largely) unmanned site could be left sealed tight when heavy weather is coming, and could otherwise be maintained by a couple of guys. Armed guys, copyright law being what it is. But, hey, machine guns would be legal! http://www.ncc-1776.org/tle2010/tle551-20100103-03.html [ncc-1776.org]

I'd rather just believe that it's done by little elves running around.

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