A move to the cloud by The Pirate Bay is not a game changer, according to the Cloud Industry Forum and the Federation Against Software Theft (FAST).
Last week, The Pirate Bay issued a statement via its Facebook page saying that it had moved away from servers to be hosted in the cloud. It said: “Slowly and steadily we are getting rid of our earthly form and ascending into the next stage, the cloud. Our data flows around in thousands of clouds, in deeply encrypted forms, ready to be used when necessary. Earth bound nodes that transform the data are as deeply encrypted and reboot into a deadlock if not used for eight hours.
“All attempts to attack The Pirate Bay from now on is an attack on everything and nothing. The site that you're at will still be here, for as long as we want it to, only in a higher form of being. A reality to us. A ghost to those who wish to harm us.”
Speaking to Torrentfreak, it said that moving to the cloud allows it to "move from country to country, crossing borders seamlessly without downtime".
“All the servers don't even have to be hosted with the same provider, or even on the same continent,” The Pirate Bay said.
FAST said that while the move by The Pirate Bay was worrying, but not unexpected, it was also not a game-changer, as measures already exist for governments to access cloud data in criminal investigations, even in cross-border situations.
Julian Heathcote Hobbins, general counsel for the FAST, said: “It is logical that The Pirate Bay is following the trend to move to the cloud to reap certain technological rewards. However, internet piracy in its general sense has been borderless for years and there is good cross-border cooperation between countries. I can only see this as improving as more nation states seek to rely on intellectual property as a source of economic prosperity for their citizens.
“The push against piracy is also a hearts and minds battle. It's about choice. There is a growing trend now that consumers are happy to pay a fair price for copies of a digital product and that it is a good thing to support innovative software providers amongst others. Recognising this willingness, the creative industries are developing business models to deliver best product services and value for money to the customer.”
Frank Jennings, specialist cloud lawyer and chair of the Cloud Industry Forum's governance board, admitted that by moving entirely into the cloud, enforcement action against The Pirate Bay will become tougher, yet governments and rights holders have the law on their side and cooperation across borders will make it difficult for The Pirate Bay. “The key is to go after the people controlling the site and not just the data,” he said.
Andy Burton, chairman of the Cloud Industry Forum, which aims to promote trust in the provision of reputable cloud computing services, said: “Many countries have signed mutual legal assistance treaties removing the argument that data stored in one legal jurisdiction is immune from access by other governmental authorities in another jurisdiction.
“A further issue for the would-be pirate is that many countries require cloud providers to disclose customer data in criminal situations – this requirement usually extends to data physically stored outside the country's borders, provided there is some jurisdictional hook, such as the presence of the same business being investigated within the country's borders.”