Low-Orbit Servers? Or A Pirate Prank?

Did April Fools’ Day come early for The Pirate Bay? The controversial BitTorrent site posted an odd announcement last night stating that it had decided to “build something extraordinary” with its server infrastructure.

“We’re going to experiment with sending out some small drones that will float some kilometers up in the air,” wrote “MrSpock” on the Pirate Bay blog. “This way our machines will have to be shot down with aeroplanes in order to shut down the system. 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.”

The so-called Low Orbit Server Stations (LOSS) prompted discussion at Hacker News and TorrentFreak, where some commenters debated the technical challenges to aerial hosting, and others were deeply skeptical. The Pirate Bay said it was experimenting with using GPS to control servers using Raspberry Pi, a credit-card sized Linux computer.

BitTorrent news site TorrentFreak, which covers the Pirate Bay on a regular basis, appears to be taking the announcement seriously. “Although the line between reality and fantasy can be rather thin at The Pirate Bay, we were assured that the plan to launch a drone is real,” wrote Ernesto, who said the first drone would be launched over international waters.

The Pirate Bay has relocated its servers on numerous occasions seeking a haven from authorities and entertainment companies. At one point it considered buying the “micronation” of SeaLand or another data haven.

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About the Author

Rich Miller is the founder and editor at large of Data Center Knowledge, and has been reporting on the data center sector since 2000. He has tracked the growing impact of high-density computing on the power and cooling of data centers, and the resulting push for improved energy efficiency in these facilities.

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  1. We have been working on this idea for over a year now http://www.atgsociety.ca/home/projects-wiki/Project-Activity/highaltitudecommunicationsplatformhiac

  2. This sounds really far fetched. I could see it being more believable if their servers were to be on a boat that was just floating in international waters, but a few kilometers in the air? The pure cost of that would be insane.