Friday April 14, 2017

Pirate Bay Founder: ‘I Have Given Up’

Peter Sunde, former spokesperson and co-founder of The Pirate Bay is pessimistic about the future of the open and free internet. He cites recent activities like a disappointing Net Neutrality law in Europe, and the fact that Facebook is receiving grants to provide internet in Africa and poor nations, but using it only to provide their own services and make money off the poor.

I can't help but mostly agree with him, but I also feel that his past as an operator of a notorious piracy site makes him ill suited to stand up for the freedom of the internet, as he can easily be dismissed by those in power as "someone who just wants to illegally download stuff." Where I differ is in his assertion that the fight has already been lost. Sure it looks grim, especially with recent developments here in the U.S. regarding privacy and Net Neutrality, but I certainly hope it is not over.

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Well, we don't have an open internet. We haven't had an open internet for a long time. So, we can't really talk about the open internet because it does not exist anymore. The problem is, nobody stops anything. We are losing privileges and rights all of the time. We are not gaining anything anywhere. The trend is just going in one direction: a more closed and more controlled internet. That has a big impact on our society. Because they are the same thing today. If you have a more oppressed internet, you have a more oppressed society. So that's something we should focus on.