Aardvark Daily

New Zealand's longest-running online daily news and commentary publication, now in its 19th year. The opinion pieces presented here are not purported to be fact but reasonable effort is made to ensure accuracy.

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IToldYaSo yet again

21 March 2012

I like to think that this column occasionally contains some "heads-up" insights into the future of technology and the industries that create it.

Well it seems that this column from a couple of months ago was prophetic.

Just today, the news wires are carrying reports of The Pirate Bay's plans to launch a flying IP network designed to avoid the limitations of existing internet infrastructure.

Do these guys read Aardvark or what?

The Bay says that "with the development of GPS controlled drones, far-reaching cheap radio equipment and tiny new computers like the Raspberry Pi, we're going to experiment with sending out some small drones that will float some kilometres up in the air"

"We're just starting so we haven't figured everything out yet" -- so drop me a line guys -- I've already done a lot of the number crunching and design work!

Of course there is a problem...

The US government seems incredibly keen to link anything to do with copyright infringement to "terrorism".

If you believe them, every time some spotty-faced teenager illegally downloads the latest Lady Gaga single, an innocent child is blown to smithereens by a bunch of "insurgents" somewhere in the world.

So, any serious attempts to build a flying alternet -- or even to develop the technology on which such a network would be based, is likely to be classified as "aiding and abetting terrorism", thus landing those involved in seriously hot water.

Even if I were to lend a hand while here in NZ, I'm pretty sure that the US administration would seek my extradition to the USA and there'd be the associated black helicopters and armed police at dawn -- as Kim Dotcom is fully aware.

In fact -- who knows. Perhaps the US administration, prompted by large wads of cash from the RIAA and MPAA, will seek my extradition based solely on the possibility that The Pirate Bay's latest plans were a direct result of reading my January column?

Does this all sound rather ludicrous?

Well it might well do -- but remember that a 23-year-old UK student is being extradited to the USA simply because he ran a website (in the UK) that contained nothing more than *links* to copyrighted material found elsewhere on the internet.

He'd never set foot on US soil, didn't operate a business in the USA, didn't host copyrighted material and committed no crime under UK laws -- but he's headed for a prison cell in the USA.

How long before someone in a position to call a halt to this lunacy wakes up and says "Woah! This is just not right"?

Remember -- it might be *you* they come for next - and you don't have to be guilty of anything - extradition is performed on the basis of allegations, not conviction.

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