Friday, December 3, 2010
Avoiding US Censorship, Torrent Sites May Flee To China
After the American government seized 82 domain names this week, there has been discussions on what this means for torrent sites hosted in the United States. TorrentFreak, a website that deals with torrent related issues, has offered one suggestion on their website recently:
"China is often criticized for its Internet censorship practices. Although this is certainly valid with regard to political issues, the United States is rapidly becoming one of the most progressive countries when it comes to commercial censorship. Safeguarding commercial interests is increasingly preferred above the rights of the general public. Ironically, BitTorrent sites may have to flee to China to keep their ‘freedom’." The full story can be read here.
It is, of course, ironic that a country where freedoms do not tend to be the priority, may very well be the best place to continue such practices. This situation is, however, entirely a creation of the west, with increasing tendencies to control the content on the Internet.
Torrent websites do tend to focus on illegal material and although this material is not hosted directly on the websites that are targeted, the websites make the distribution possible. This has been found to be illegal in several cases. Although the confiscation of domains that host illegal material is not entirely unwarranted, it does, however, constitute one step towards blocking other content. Past examples show that when one step is first taken, the next step goes easier. With recent discussions among politicians in the United States to simply confiscate the Wikileaks website, this trend may be on the way. Time will only show more such examples.