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Re: Pirate bay wants to use Pi in flight

Posted: Sun Mar 18, 2012 10:18 pm
by poing
According to a local website the Pirate Bay wants to start using drones (small automatic planes) with a DNS server powered by a RaspberryPi to evade government blockades.

Read their blog here: http://thepiratebay.se/blog/210 (can't read it myself because my provider blocked access to the PB - yes I know I can evade it, but can't be bothered).

LOL!

Re: Pirate bay wants to use Pi in flight

Posted: Sun Mar 18, 2012 10:24 pm
by tzj
just for the ones that can"t evade lossed access.

"TPB LOSS

We were down a few hours earlier today. There"s no need to worry, we haven"t been raided this time. We"re only upgrading stuff since we"re still growing.

One of the technical things we always optimize is where to put our front machines. They are the ones that re-direct your traffic to a secret location. We have now decided to try to build something extraordinary.

With the development of GPS controlled drones, far-reaching cheap radio equipment and tiny new computers like the Raspberry Pi, we"re going to experiment with sending out some small drones that will float some kilometers up in the air. This way our machines will have to be shut down with aeroplanes in order to shut down the system. A real act of war.

We"re just starting so we haven"t figured everything out yet. But we can"t limit ourselves to hosting things just on land anymore. These Low Orbit Server Stations (LOSS) are just the first attempt. With modern radio transmitters we can get over 100Mbps per node up to 50km away. For the proxy system we"re building, that"s more than enough.

But when time comes we will host in all parts of the galaxy, being true to our slogan of being the galaxy"s most resilient system. And all of the parts we"ll use to build that system on will be downloadable.

Posted Today 20:34 by MrSpock"

Re: Pirate bay wants to use Pi in flight

Posted: Sun Mar 18, 2012 10:26 pm
by Lynbarn
Well, they actually said "... tiny new computers like the Raspberry Pi ..." but they certainly have high ambitions!

"But when time comes we will host in all parts of the galaxy, ..."

Re: Pirate bay wants to use Pi in flight

Posted: Sun Mar 18, 2012 10:31 pm
by poing

Re: Pirate bay wants to use Pi in flight

Posted: Sun Mar 18, 2012 10:58 pm
by ctoon6
Yo, Ho, Ho, it's a pirates life for me!

Re: Pirate bay wants to use Pi in flight

Posted: Mon Mar 19, 2012 12:09 am
by woodinblack
tzj said:


With the development of GPS controlled drones, far-reaching cheap radio equipment and tiny new computers like the Raspberry Pi, we"re going to experiment with sending out some small drones that will float some kilometers up in the air. This way our machines will have to be shut down with aeroplanes in order to shut down the system. A real act of war.

We"re just starting so we haven"t figured everything out yet. But we can"t limit ourselves to hosting things just on land anymore. These Low Orbit Server Stations (LOSS) are just the first attempt. With modern radio transmitters we can get over 100Mbps per node up to 50km away. For the proxy system we"re building, that"s more than enough.


So.. wouldn't it just be a lot easier to take out these modern radio transmitters?

Re: Pirate bay wants to use Pi in flight

Posted: Mon Mar 19, 2012 7:45 am
by Morgaine
You can't just shoot at other people's property in a public place, and the air is currently public, though regulated for safety.

If this ever takes off then it's going to be interesting to watch the dogfight between proponents of freedom, proponents of greed, and the politicians who will back anything that keeps them in the driving seat.

The more likely outcome of course is even further erosion of freedoms.

The most interesting thing about this though is that, once again, the Raspberry Pi's amazingly low price has opened yet another novel niche that would not be viable at higher cost because of regular equipment losses.

Re: Pirate bay wants to use Pi in flight

Posted: Mon Mar 19, 2012 8:27 am
by alexeames
It's not gonna happen. Countries take their airspace very seriously. The rules on UAVs are MUCH tighter than those for standard RC planes. Such that only the likes of military contractors can get through.

The guys at Piratebay will find themselves in jail very quickly if they try this. It's a much bigger deal than copyright infringement.

Pretty dumb idea really. When they realise it they will quietly can the project (after having a lot of fun with RC planes first, that is)

But a lot of people in the RC community would love to use the RPi in their planes for a whole variety of purposes, as it's so light.

Re: Pirate bay wants to use Pi in flight

Posted: Mon Mar 19, 2012 9:02 am
by Morgaine
There are many laws and regulations governing what may and may not be put up in the air because of the obvious safety concerns, and indeed it would be very foolish not to stay within them.  Balloons seem a far better candidate for upwardly mobile Raspberry Pis than planes.

Here is some info on how FAA regulations affect amateur balloons and their payloads in the US:  http://vpizza.org/~jmeehan/balloon/ -- see the section "Regulations", 4th section down.  (There's a link to the full FAA doc there too.)

If you ensure that your balloon-based Rpi project masses under 4 lb (1.8Kg) and is attached to the balloon by only the flimsiest of cords, it would seem that it's "clear skies" for Rpi balloonists in the US.

If anyone has similar information for the UK, I would be most interested to read it.

Morgaine

Re: Pirate bay wants to use Pi in flight

Posted: Mon Mar 19, 2012 9:43 am
by kevsan2402
Check out : http://ukhas.org.uk/ for all your uk ballooning needs.

Its certainly one of the projects i will be attempting when my pi arrives

Re: Pirate bay wants to use Pi in flight

Posted: Mon Mar 19, 2012 10:47 am
by Alchemy
One big reason to get kids programming is to get jobs and a reasonable income. Creating a meritocracy based on talent not chance or wealth.

Getting minimum wage for apps should not be considered greed. Download sites are happy to host cracked versions of the cheapest products. Pirates are not the good guys. Anyone ripping off the small guy is a poor human being.

Re: Pirate bay wants to use Pi in flight

Posted: Mon Mar 19, 2012 12:39 pm
by Morgaine
Thanks kevsan2402, interesting site.

Their FAQ summarizes the UK regulations and suggests that only weather balloons require permission/exemption from the CAA.  Other balloons appear to be exempt as long as you stay within the ICAO guidelines which appear to be similar to those of the FAA in the US, as per the article I linked above.

4 lb (1.8Kg) and 2 Kg (4.4lbs) are sufficiently close that it's very likely that the Americans rounded down the ICAO regulations or the international body rounded up the FAA regulations into their respective system of units.

Morgaine.

Re: Pirate bay wants to use Pi in flight

Posted: Mon Mar 19, 2012 1:20 pm
by Smartybones
its all well and good quoting CAA and FAA rules, but they are only applicable in UK and USA airspace. Last I heard, TPB is not based in those countries.

look up what the rules are in Sweeden and look up how vigorously they are enforced. The guys over at TPB are not stupid. They will be very aware of what trouble they are likely to get in. More probable is that the remote controlled flying drones as servers is some sort of smoke screen for what the actual plans are!

Re: Pirate bay wants to use Pi in flight

Posted: Mon Mar 19, 2012 3:54 pm
by PiOfCube
"With modern radio transmitters we can get over 100Mbps per node up to 50km away."

Am I missing something here? LOL

Wouldn't that just be half of the connection? It's okay to have one device that has a wide range but surely it would also mean that every person wishing to use these would also have to have a wifi or some other transceiver which also has this kind of range otherwise how could it connect to it in the first place?

Last time I checked, my wifi access point doesn't have that kind of range.

I know that you could just receive these broadcasts from those floating gateways but that would require different hardware entirely at the users' PCs simply because most access points and virtually any comms device on a PC these days is designed to send and receive ack packets at the very least otherwise it won't work.

Also, if the user did manage to broadcast at sufficient power to connect from 50Km away all would be required is to triangulate on a few individuals and make an example of them in court as there would be many laws (no doubt) in many heavy leather-bound books which could be thrown at them.

Interesting from a tech point of view but I can't really seeing it "taking off"

Re: Pirate bay wants to use Pi in flight

Posted: Mon Mar 19, 2012 5:05 pm
by lewmur
PiOfCube said:


"With modern radio transmitters we can get over 100Mbps per node up to 50km away."

Am I missing something here? LOL

Also, if the user did manage to broadcast at sufficient power to connect from 50Km away all would be required is to triangulate on a few individuals and make an example of them in court as there would be many laws (no doubt) in many heavy leather-bound books which could be thrown at them.

Interesting from a tech point of view but I can't really seeing it "taking off"



Yeah, you are missing something.  The only ones that will be "talking" to these "flying servers" will be the people running TPB.  You'd connect via your regular IP and an "anonymous proxy server".

Re: Pirate bay wants to use Pi in flight

Posted: Tue Mar 20, 2012 4:09 pm
by Smartybones

PiOfCube said:

"With modern radio transmitters we can get over 100Mbps per node up to 50km away."

Am I missing something here? LOL


another point is that the reason for having them flat about over the skies of Sweden is to make it very difficult to take the servers down.

if TPB get the drone in the air and floating about legally, (forget what the computer on board is for) then the only way to take it down will be to physically capture it. Doing so in the air is going to be near enough impossible without using the military. In the USA I could see that happening, but not in Sweden.

Re: Pirate bay wants to use Pi in flight

Posted: Tue Mar 20, 2012 4:22 pm
by mole125
Simpler solution is just to wait for it to land to refuel and then cease it. Alternatively get a court order requiring the encryption keys to control it on some form of terrorism charge (more likely in the UK than Sweden I imagine). It will have to fly pretty slowly (else it will constantly be going out of range/need refueling) so it probably wouldn"t be that hard to deploy another radio controlled plane to crash into it accidentally even without military help. The other option is just to put interference onto the frequencies so that nobody can access it and again wait for it to run out of fuel and crash... There"s lots of options if you are a desperate government..

Re: Pirate bay wants to use Pi in flight

Posted: Tue Mar 20, 2012 4:38 pm
by alexeames
mole125 said:


so it probably wouldn"t be that hard to deploy another radio controlled plane to crash into it accidentally even without military help.


You'd be quite surprised how hard that would be actually - even with a camera and first person view. Not to mention that in most jurisdictions, RC planes are legally treated very similarly to full-size - i.e. it's illegal to cause one to crash deliberately, shoot one down etc.

Re: Pirate bay wants to use Pi in flight

Posted: Tue Mar 20, 2012 5:10 pm
by HansH
April 1st ....

Re: Pirate bay wants to use Pi in flight

Posted: Tue Mar 20, 2012 5:11 pm
by Smartybones
mole125 said:


Simpler solution is just to wait for it to land to refuel and then cease it.


depending how small it was, its going to be very hard to track its location. If I were to be setting the system up, I would have it programmed to fly from its launch location to the area where its to be working from above its ground station, fly it in a random direction within the range of its uplink. when it needs re-fueling , switch off all radio transponders and fly to a pre programmed landing site.


Alternatively get a court order requiring the encryption keys to control it on some form of terrorism charge (more likely in the UK than Sweden I imagine).


a preprogrammed flight plan, you wont be able to take control of it.


It will have to fly pretty slowly (else it will constantly be going out of range/need refueling) so it probably wouldn"t be that hard to deploy another radio controlled plane to crash into it accidentally even without military help.


and destroy the evidence you need to lay charges on the perpetrators. not only that, destroy the evidence you needed to validate your legal right to take it down in the first place.... "it was just monitoring climate your honour"


The other option is just to put interference onto the frequencies so that nobody can access it and again wait for it to run out of fuel and crash... There"s lots of options if you are a desperate government..


the frequencies being used are licensed for such equipment, using frequency jamming equipment is likely to block out a lot of legitimate equipment being used.

As I have said earlier, the only way this is ever likely to work is if they can legally launch the drones to fly in whichever countries airspace.

these guys over at TPB and similar sites bake bucket loads of money. I doubt its as much as the RIAA and palls claim, but it has to be substantial. They invest a lot of money in keeping the sites up and risk jail. it has to return enough to warrant the risk. To protect that income they will develop more and more ways to serve up pages to people looking for free films or music. it may end up that they will launch flying drones across the world, but I doubt it. The technology is their, the cost of the kit is low enough that they can afford to loose kit. but its more likely that they will just use servers hosted in countries where copyright does not exist...

Anyone fancy chipping in to build a data-centre in Antigua .....?

Re: Pirate bay wants to use Pi in flight

Posted: Tue Mar 20, 2012 5:38 pm
by error404
PiOfCube said:

Am I missing something here? LOL
The fact that this is obviously a joke?

Re: Pirate bay wants to use Pi in flight

Posted: Tue Mar 20, 2012 5:58 pm
by Ravenous
error404 said:


PiOfCube said:


Am I missing something here? LOL


The fact that this is obviously a joke?


I hear the RasPi shop is going to start selling raspberry-branded tinfoil hats

Re: Pirate bay wants to use Pi in flight

Posted: Tue Mar 20, 2012 5:58 pm
by Smartybones
i wouldn't exactly call it a joke,

the technology IS there to do it. If you ignore the legality of it, the biggest problem would have been the cost. But as TPB said in their post that because of the low cost of the pi, then the cost of the loss of a drone is acceptable.

I think its very unlikely as there are a lot simpler ways to achieve the same thing, but I think its something that if a group of people with time and money on their hands could achieve as a proof of concept. For "the luls of it" as they say...

Re: Pirate bay wants to use Pi in flight

Posted: Tue Mar 20, 2012 6:13 pm
by Alchemy
error404 said


The fact that this is obviously a joke?


I would say its a distraction story not a joke. I'm sure they basically botnet their user base for any resources.

Re: Pirate bay wants to use Pi in flight

Posted: Tue Mar 20, 2012 6:23 pm
by error404
Oh of course it's feasible given an appropriate budget. But it's not very practical and has all kinds of limitations and difficulties. When there are alternatives that are simpler, cheaper and more effective, they're making a joke.

My take it on it is that it's not really just a joke, they're making a statement about the futility of trying to take them out. But yeah, I'm confident they're not serious about actually doing it.