Published March 05, 2013
The Pirate Bay claimed to have found a new haven -- the one place in this entire world where its data will be guaranteed to remain untouchable by irate corporations. The Pirate Bay claimed to have been given (and accepted) virtual asylum by Kim Jong Un, and to be running its traffic through North Korea.
As wonderfully insane as the story may be, it’s nothing but a mere hoax.
Here’s the memo The Pirate Bay sent, duping the press:
“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 is 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.”
Were the news true, The Pirate Bay would have been virtually untouchable, and it would have come at the perfect time. The torrenting site recently attempted to set up nodes in Norway and Catalunya, but after threats these efforts were shut down.
A programmer found that the North Korea report was a fraud, however. He backward engineered the signal and traced the actual hosting to somewhere in Asia, probably in Phenom Penh, Cambodia but not North Korea. You can check out the steps he took to unmask the hoax here.
But hoax or not, North Korea and its stance on outside influencers have been changing. The topic of technology in particular has been a tricky subject matter for obvious reasons considering the nature of the closed-off country. However according to our own source, who deals with training North Korean entrepreneurs, we can corroborate the country is slowly but surely evolving and in some ways opening its doors meticulously to new ventures and even technology. This was pretty apparent when Google chairman Eric Schmidt took a “private trip” to North Korea, and restrictions on 3G connections for foreigners were lifted last week. Some visitors have even taken it on themselves to Instagram their trip.
So no, The Pirate Bay probably isn’t running their servers from North Korea. But even if this isn’t a reality now, it could be in the very near future.