We like to think of the internet as being ethereal and non-physical – that it can’t be constrained by normal pressures and forces. The fact though, is that it is completely bound by physical infrastructure – infrastructure that is generally owned and operated by governments and large corporations. The “traffic” layer of the internet, in particular, is still extremely centralized – you can run your own servers, but you can’t lay your own undersea cable or put up your own satellite.
With that said, the boys at Pirate Bay, a well-known Torrent website, are starting to think about ways they could divorce themselves from at least part of the traditional terrestrial infrastructure – and the legal regime that goes along with it:
In a blog post Hollywood’s arch-rivals half reveal some more details about the unconventional plan.
“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 kilometers up in the air. This way our machines will have to be shut down with aeroplanes in order to shut down the system. A real act of war.”
“We’re just starting so we haven’t figured everything out yet. But we can’t limit ourselves to hosting things just on land anymore. These Low Orbit Server Stations (LOSS) are just the first attempt. With modern radio transmitters we can get over 100Mbps per node up to 50km away. For the proxy system we’re building, that’s more than enough.”
It’s just one more way to proliferation of UAVs into the commercial realm is going to start to infiltrate society and effect the law. I only wish the Navy were doing half as much thinking as TPB about mass-producing drones for high-altitude internet infrastructure. TPB is.