In a particularly bold/stupid move the Italian government today took on the might of the internet’s geek underworld by deciding to block the Italian people from using The Pirate Bay – the daddy of illegal torrent sites.
Akin to jumping naked onto a greased up King Cobra with your arms tied behind your back in the hopes of pinning it for the three-count, the Italians have discovered that it’s not that easy a thing to wrestle into submission. Indeed, what they’ve actually gone and done is awaken the beast of a thousand nerds, an army of ‘leechers’ and ‘seeders’ who have dodged and weaved the Italian’s paltry web-blocks and filters like Ryan Giggs dribbling his way past the entire Arsenal squad. Easily.
Yes, it’s ‘nerd-power’ to the rescue. And in a heated letter on the front page of the site from the owners of ‘The Bay’, they furiously vent their anger at the court of Italian Supremo Silvio Berlusconi, whom they label ‘facist’ (four times), and part of a corrupt dictatorship intent on quashing the internet’s right to remain free of censorship. Fightin’ words indeed.
In it’s parting shot, the open-letter gives instructions to wannabe Italian downloaders on how to beat the block. Such as … nah.. i’m not going to repeat that here for fear of inciting people to plunder. Cos, plunderin’s bad, mm’kay?
One interesting side to the story is the role of the Internet Service Providers in all of this. Pirate Bay are telling people to complain to their ISP and demand that the website be reinstated,and I’m guessing the ISP’s are staying well out of it for fear of nerd-army reprisals, but really, as the issue of illegal downloading, and restrictions of Internet user’s freedom to surf begin to fill up newspaper coverage – isn’t it about time the ISPs made their position clear on where they stand?
UK service providers have decided to send nasty letters to persistent offenders, without really stating what kind of punishment they ever intend to use. Banning? A complete cutting off of a customer’s net access? Would they really do that to their own life-blood? Hmm.. i guess the world-wide question will just keep cropping up again and again – until the ISPs decide who they want to be on-side of in this debate.
Who wins? You decide.