we must challenge internet monpolies (Wired UK)


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“We need to build a Pirate
social network that is interoperable with Facebook,” Peter Sunde,
the imprisoned cofounder of the Pirate Bay, has said.

The 35-year-old — who was found guilty of copyright law
violations in 2012 before finally being arrested in June this year — ┬ámade the comments in an
interview with Julia Reda, a Pirate Party MEP from Germany, published by TorrentFreak. Speaking about the threat of an
increasingly centralised web, where even his own Pirate Bay has
morphed into a singular hub of activity against his wishes, Sunde
called for action to protect the future of a web based on the free
and open principles Tim Berners-Lee first imagined.

“As activists and entrepreneurs, we need to challenge
monopolies,” he said. “We need to build a Pirate social network
that is interoperable with Facebook. Or build competition to small
monopolies before they get bought up by the big players in the
field. Political activism in parliaments, as the Pirate Party
pursues it, is important, but needs to be combined with economic
disruptions.”

Sunde has spoken out about the state of the Pirate Bay before,
telling Wired.co.uk in November 2013 that he didn’t like what
he was seeing, and that the lack of new development in the
BitTorrent file-sharing scene symbolised the “imminent death” of
peer-to-peer. Now, seaking to Reda, he says: “Because The Pirate
Bay has been around for 11 years, almost all other torrent sites
started relying on it as a backbone. We created a single point of
failure and the development of file sharing technology got
stuck.”

He wants to see a greater battle forged against this
centralisation, partially, to protect us from future intrusions
from the state. In 2013 he told Wired.co.uk that despite Netflix and Spotify
delivering good services, they are still part of the problem. “All
of them are based on central servers owned by an American company,
which is giving me a really bad vibe when you consider the
revelations about the NSA. It would be impossible to have as much
surveillance if we didn’t all use these centralised services.”

Speaking to Reda, he says that elements of the proposed European
data protection regulations — such as forcing companies to let
consumers take and move their data easily — are a “great step
forward” but don’t go far enough. “Portability is meaningless
without competition.”

He argues in the interview that small companies will need to
lead the charge to help net neutrality persist. Those groups,
however, need a voice to be heard over the Facebooks of the world.
It sounds as though Sunde plans on sorting this out, telling Reda
that he wants to “develop ethical ways of funding activism” once
he’s served his eight-month sentence. “You often need money to
change things. But most ways of acquiring it require you to
compromise on your ideals. We can do better than that.”

Source: Torrent Freak

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18 August 2014 | 5:00 pm – Source: wired.co.uk

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