According to recent reports The Pirate Bay has suddenly become available in the UK for almost all ISPs. The change happened when the Pirate Bay moved to CloudFlare and turned on HTTPS Strict. Once this was done things turned around for the notorious site. What is interesting is that ISPs that were previously blocking the site do not appear to be scrambling to get it back under control. The exact reason for the sudden reappearance of the site is unclear, but speculation is that using CloudFlare’s HTTPS Strict made all the difference.
The slippery slope of Censorship that many predicted when SOPA, PIPA and other IP protecting laws first hit the scene is starting to come true in the UK. After winning a battle to apply network (ISP) level filters for Pornographic and File Sharing sites the UK government is now moving on to what they are labeling “extremist” web sites. On the surface they claim they want to stop extremist rhetoric on the internet (which is still not a good thing) and are working to bundle this in with existing laws that allow for the blocking of pornography and file sharing.
Google at the beginning of 2012 changed their policy regarding the privacy of users of their services. Despite the fact that months earlier they warned users about future changes, users did not have too many choices, they could continue to use the service under the new rules or cancel the services.
WikiLeaks was having a bad time of it about a week ago when the group AntiLeaks popped up on the scene seemingly out of nowhere and started hammering them and their mirrors with a massive DDoS (Distributed Denial of Service) attack. When the news hit that the site was under attack many jumped to the conclusion that it was a state sponsored attack. At least people did until AntiLeaks claimed responsibility through someone that uses the name Diet Pepsi. This led to a merry round of speculation about the group and who they really were. We covered this news from the angle of the technology involved and came up with a good case for the use or Torrent Blocking technology that has popped up on the scene.
Correction 8-09-2012 Google has contacted us wityh ammedned figures on their earnings. We have adjusted the article to reflect the correct numbers.
Last year Google's UK subsidiary made a pofit of £3.95bn ($6.182 Billion USD) £395 Million for which they have to pay only £6m ($9.4 Million USD) in taxes. If you recalculate that to a tax rate it works out to only around 0.15%, or £1.519 1.5% or £15.19 for every million pounds in turnover (about $23 USD). It is certain that this tally will fire up critisism over how much the search giant contributes to the UK's coffers. According to figures in The Telegraph, in the six years up to 2010 Google handed over only £8m in total. However, the 2011 payment is a jump in corporate tax for the company which might have been triggered by the ongoing monetary crysis. Last year Google had to pay £935,000, against £2.39bn £239m of revenue.
Google is not exactly looking good right now. It appears that despite being ordered to delete the data that they illegally captured from people in the UK through WiFi sniffers it put into its street view cars back in 2010. Google originally tried to claim that they did not collect any data. Then after it was proven they did that it was all due to a rouge programmer that did everything without authorization. This excuse did not hold up either when it was shown that people in management not only knew, but approved the collection.
For some time we have said that companies that file bad lawsuits or that continue to make obviously incorrect claims in the market should have consequences. Apple is probably one of the worst with their continuous stream of allegations against Google, Samsung, HTC, LG, and pretty much everyone else that they “slavishly copy” Apple and do not invent their own technology. This has been repeated so often that it is boring and even cursory glance at the any two products (go ahead and pick two) will show significant differences. There is almost no chance of the wide spread consumer confusion that Apple is trying to claim on a daily basis.
As we reported when they first went into effect the UK and Netherlands’ bans on the Pirate Bay are doing very little to stem the flow of traffic to the popular file sharing search engine. According to a report by the BBC (which cites data from ISPs) the peer to peer traffic is back to around normal about seven days after the event took place. Now, what is interesting here is that The Pirate Bay has very little to do with peer to peer traffic (although it can be argued that Torrents and Magnets are Peer to Peer). It is a small, but vital distinction that the industry seems to forget all the time. Still the entertainment industry in both the UK and the Netherlands still has the wrong idea in mind when they try to view the Pirate Bay as the root of all file sharing.