The Pirate Bay says it has been offered virtual asylum in North Korea. The move comes after the Norwegian Pirate Party was forced to stop routing traffic for the infamous BitTorrent site by a local copyright group. “We can reveal that we have been invited by the leader of the Republic of Korea, to fight our battles from their network,” the Pirate Bay says. A traceroute does indeed show that The Pirate Bay is now being routed through the dictatorial country.
Last week the Swedish Pirate Party was forced to shut down its routing services to The Pirate Bay.
The Party and its leaders took the difficult decision after they were threatened with a lawsuit by a local anti-piracy group.
Luckily for The Pirate Bay, the pirate parties of Norway and Catalunya were willing to take over the role. However, after just a few days the Norwegians had to shut down their Pirate Bay node as well, facing similar threats to their Swedish comrades.
This resulted in some downtime earlier today after which The Pirate Bay returned online from a rather unexpected location.
A Pirate Bay insider informs TorrentFreak that they had been working for a while to get connectivity in North Korea. Today they made the big switch.
“We’ve been in talks with them for about two weeks, since they opened access for foreigners to use 3G in the country,” a Pirate Bay insider told us. “TPB has been invited just like Eric Schmidt and Dennis Rodman. We’ve declined up until now.”
While The Pirate Bay crew may not visit North Korea, they are using the country’s network to connect the BitTorrent site to the rest of the world.
“This is truly an ironic situation. We have been fighting for a free world, and our opponents are mostly huge corporations from the United States of America, a place where freedom and freedom of speech is said to be held high.”
“At the same time, companies from that country are chasing a competitor from other countries, bribing police and lawmakers, threatening political parties and physically hunting people from our crew. And to our help comes a government famous in our part of the world for locking people up for their thoughts and forbidding access to information,” they add.
The Pirate Bay says that it sees the current step as one forward for North Korea, and the BitTorrent site hopes that all North Koreans can soon access the site to foster freedom of information.
“We believe that being offered our virtual asylum in Korea is a first step of this country’s changing view of access to information. It’s a country opening up and one thing is sure, they do not care about threats like others do. In that way, TPB and Korea might have a special bond.”
“We will do our best to influence the Korean leaders to also let their own population use our service, and to make sure that we can help improve the situation in any way we can. When someone is reaching out to make things better, it’s also ones duty to grab their hand,” TPB concludes.
While it’s hard to believe everything The Pirate Bay says, the site does indeed route through North Korea at the moment. For some reason we think that Hollywood and the major music labels will have a hard time shutting that node down.
For the record I ran Traceroute and got a German IP address. This is a hoax.