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The Pirate Bay is now hosted in North Korea (thepiratebay.se)
257 points by tty on Mar 4, 2013 | hide | past | web | favorite | 274 comments


A traceroute to thepiratebay.se is kind of amusing.

From my home (Sweden), the packets seem to go to Frankfurt, then New York, take a link via an ip which reverses to intelsatone.net to a cambodgian ip (500ms latency right here), then reach the ip, assigned to Star Joint Venture Co Ltd. Who seem to be a legitimate North Korea internet provider (or, well, as legitimate as it gets, coming from North Korea). The rest of the traceroute doesn't ping back (edit: 6 hops, which could stay in NK, or lead you back anywhere in the world).

If it's a joke, it's a very elaborate one.

I wouldn't be surprised if some of the ICMP responses are forged - It seems disadvantageous for the site to have such a long path, since each hop has the potential for attack.

http://www.thoughtcrime.org/software/fakeroute/ can be seen as previous work that it is practical to do something like this.

No it's not forged as can be seen from the AS path in the global routing table.

Yes, it is forged, as explained by tuomasb.

Furthermore, a round trip time less than about 60 ms between Europe and North Korea is impossible, assuming the data is traveling at the speed of light. And we measured much less than that.

Not just ICMP, doing a traceroute over tcp also results in this. Looks to be either a really well done forgery, or legitimate.

TCP traceroute relies on ICMP responses, too.

I don't believe forging will help them much - they are doing this to avoid international law enforcement, and international law enforcement can easily check through a simple bluff like that.

Altering routing companies sending traffic through in bulk from Germany-NY-Satellite is far more difficult, but we may see them do this anyway. Time will tell.

They can also have someone inside the Thai Star Joint corporation that does the internet connectivity in NK.

AS path as seen from the RIPE NCC RIS looking glass for

... 2914 39138 22351 131279 51040

... [NTT America/ARIN] [rrbone/RIPE] [Intelsat/ARIN] [STAR JOINT VENTURE/APNIC] [The Pirate Bay/RIPE]

Apart from that /24, STAR JOINT VENTURE only advertises (albeit as four /24, idiotically enough). What's kind of interesting is that this /22 is visible with a much shorter AS path:

... 3257 4837 131279


The question is: Is is deliberate that the Chinese don't allow transit of the Pirate Bay /24 through their network? (As opposed to Intelsat, a Washington-based American company.)

I see two prefixes advertised by 51040, with very different paths:

    cr1.ipls# sh ip bgp regexp 51040$        
    BGP table version is 210945139, local router ID is 8.30.x.255
    Status codes: s suppressed, d damped, h history, * valid, > best, i - internal,
              r RIB-failure, S Stale
    Origin codes: i - IGP, e - EGP, ? - incomplete

       Network          Next Hop            Metric LocPrf Weight Path
    *>             0             0 3356 5580 3.987 51040 i
    *>             0             0 3356 2914 39138 22351 2.207 51040 i
I don't know what, if anything, they use 194.14.56/24 for, but both appear to belong to the same organization (although the registrant records differ just a bit).

EDIT: I'm gonna dig into my database and see what the path looked like a day or two ago.

EDIT: 2 days ago: the .107/24 path: 3356 3549 16150 51040

16150 is "Availo Networks AB" and they do appear to do heavy prefix filtering -- as they should -- but I see no import policy for 51040:

    $ whois -h whois.ripe.net AS16150
It's possible and plausible that TPB is using one or more VPNs to hide the true route traffic is taking (who knows what they're really doing, though).

I don't understand BGP and AS... what does that mean?

Superficial explanation:

BGP is the border gateway protocol- you can think of large infrastructure providers as being huge networks that are connected through 'border nodes'. BGP is the protocol it uses to negotiate routes into each other's networks, each provider advertises to the other provider what routes it has available. A common way to make a country go dark is by simply removing the BGP routes advertised for that country.

All right... but who is faking this? Who can be faking this and how and how does it change the traceroute?

Anyone can make their machine emit any packets they want it to. That's the fundamental principle in play here.

How it works is simple: ICMP ping, which is what most traceroute implementations work on, just works based on computers sending packets with their address information in response to a ping request.

If a computer that's really at IP address, for example, sends ping responses saying they're from IP address, a traceroute program will keep pinging that computer until it either gets a reply that says it's from the correct IP address or it decides the trace is futile.

A computer can lie as many times as it wants and create an arbitrarily long path that has no basis whatsoever in reality. Anyone who wants to do a good job of the lie would simply look at the Internet's routing information, which is (by definition) publicly available, and figure out which sequence of IP addresses they'd have to fake replies from. That's what's been done here, and almost a full month before April Fool's Day, no less.

Doing a better job would involve programming the computer to handle all network traffic with varying speeds, to fake the increased travel time the laws of physics would impose on the progressively longer paths it's faking. The Pirate Bay people apparently didn't bother with this part.

AS path = the numbers of the Autonomous Systems that traffic will pass through to reach that particular destination

AS = Autonomous System, a network of one or more (usually more) computers that looks like one entity to the outside Internet. It's 'autonomous' in that it can route traffic within itself without help from any outside source. The Internet is, at a high level, a collection of ASes that all pass data among each other. Every AS has a globally unique number, usually represented as AS15169 for AS number 15169.

BGP = Border Gateway Protocol, a specific Exterior Gateway Protocol that allows ASes to figure out what other ASes are close by and to which of their neighbors they should route traffic destined for a specific IP address. This basically works by each AS advertising which groups of IP addresses (represented by prefixes) they know how to reach. A prefix is something like, which represents all addresses from to; in a prefix, the number after the slash is how many bits of the IP address are fixed. In a /24, 24 bits, or three eight-bit bytes, are fixed, so the last eight bits can vary freely. Larger numbers indicate smaller blocks of addresses, unintuitively enough. For example, AS15169 advertises that it contains, or the range - Route advertisements contain cost information, which is primarily due to how long the path is; as an example, if I'm AS1 and I contain the range, I'll advertise that with a very low cost. If I hear from my neighbor AS3 that she contains, I'll advertise that with a higher cost, since I'll have to hand it off to a different AS.

(Edited to add: Apparently, IPv6 prefixes work essentially the same as IPv4 prefixes. http://www.sabi.co.uk/Notes/swIPv6Prefixes.html )

First type traceroute thepiratebay.se Then tcptraceroute -f 128 -m 128 thepiratebay.se http://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=5319720 for explanation how they did it.

This seems reasonably legit. AS131279 (Star Joint Venture Co Ltd) has (or had) a peering with the Piratpartie Norge (pirate party norway): http://bgp.he.net/AS131279#_peers

It could be bad labelling too. I'm not sure about the details of how it happened, but I used an ISP in UK who was assigning ranges officially located in Italy.

(BTW: that really broke google for a long time. google will revert your language to the automatically discovered one, even after you use their magic url that should prevent this)

There is no "official location" of IP addresses.

The IP addresses allocated to the ISP I work for are "officially located" (according to my ARIN POC records) in the city I live in (specifically, at my PO Box). We ($ISP) don't even provide service in that city.

You're confusing how internet routing with how some internet services assign geographical locations to ip address (GeoIP). The path your traffic takes through the internet has nothing to do with geoip.

No, I meant both. I got an IP which was identified as belonging to an Italian ISP by ripe. On top of that geoip results were obviously wrong/right depending on how you look at it.

I think what he's saying is that the IPs returned in the trace route might not actually be in the geography we think they are.

I don't see any open ports on that host, do you? Even if it's just a load balancer, the connection would need to terminate on a routable IP somewhere...

This makes me upset. Its upsetting because while yes, information freedom is a very important topic and needs to happen, but it does not trump human freedom. I'm not sure if this is a straw man or not - but how can they justify working with an entity that has such a horrid human rights record?

Yes, definitely, we should not stand by while companies host their content in countries known to use torture to extract information, hold prisoners with out trial, hold prisoners with out charge, allow their leaders to execute citizens summarily, execute minors and the mentally retarded, incarcerate people at a rate higher than any other country on earth merely in order to serve as slave labour for the state and state sponsored corporations.

Even worse is many of the citizens of this 'republic' have been brainwashed by a compulsory education system that they actually live in a democratic republic.

If you think you can legitimately compare the living conditions, political environment, and human suffering in North Korea that with the USA, you might have also brainwashed yourself (it happens when you take everything you have for granted).

In NK you'd be lucky to get 1 meal a day. Over here poor people are morbidly fat.

And at the end of the day, you're not a prisoner, if you hate it here so much, you can leave this country any day you want to. But can't say the same for people in NK.

How is it that you think I was talking about a country other than NK? Is there a country other than NK with such a piss poor human rights record?

Generally when someone murders one person we regard them as a horrid individual we don't say their not that bad because they only killed 1 instead of 10 like that Ted Bundy guy.

I didn't say I was living in a police state, the country I live in hasn't executed anyone in 40 years, and we certainly didn't think it was a big deal to destroy our nuclear weapons arsenal, stop stockpiling nuclear weapons, or ban landmines. I simply said we should stop hosting websites in countries with numerous years of history of horrid human rights abuse. Imagine living in a country where as recently at 1960 that certain classes of people were forbidden from eating lunch with other classes of people.

I find your definition of police state interesting, would you say that NK would stop being a police state with different emigration policies?

You're right! The United States is JUST LIKE NORTH KOREA! It's uncanny. Like that one time Obama starved the entire population of the country and proved his international bona fides by meeting with Dennis Rodman.

Stop being obtuse.

Fantastic - And I mean no sarcasm. Your previous comment was brilliantly written, allowing the user to draw his own conclusion. Except for that part 'incarcerate people at a rate higher than any other country' which gives it away...

"Is there a country other than NK with such a piss poor human rights record?"

Sure. Germany and Russia to name just two. Several European countries in degree if not in sheer magnitude.

And what country are you from?

Edit: Oh I get it, if you you don't say what country you can pretend they are perfect. Brilliant.

> the country I live in hasn't executed anyone in 40 years, and we certainly didn't think it was a big deal to destroy our nuclear weapons arsenal, stop stockpiling nuclear weapons, or ban landmines.

From all countries with nuclear weapon 40 years without death penalty match only UK.

Except the UK is nowhere near destroying their arsenal; in fact, they are trying to figure out how to replace their current missile boats. The country described by that line does not actually exist.

Ok, then he can go to jail for a tweet.

> If you think you can legitimately compare the living conditions, political environment, and human suffering in North Korea that with the USA, you might have also brainwashed yourself

The parent comment wasn't comparing NK to the USA.

It was comparing the USA to every other developed country, where the USA ranks very poorly.

"It was comparing the USA to every other developed country, where the USA ranks very poorly."


It does?

Doesn't Europe have at least one violent ethnic conflict going on at any given time? Usually several?

If the best example of current US performance relative to other developed countries you can think of is "killed fewer people than other protagonists in last century's World Wars" (which is essentially what your cited stats show) you may as well not bother.

n.b. I'm sure Rummel would grudgingly admit that the US is far worse than any other developed country for committing acts of "democide" this century. In fact it's probably the only metric in which a sane person could argue the US might have performed worse than North Korea in recent years.

Yeah, I rank governments that murder millions of their own people pretty low on the scale of "human rights". Sorry.

Edit: Most of those people weren't "killed in World War II". They were murdered. By their own governments.

You responded to a comment that the US ranked poorly in relation to 'every other developed country' with an outdated casualty count implying the US government might have been less deadly to human life than Germany, Japan and the UK before 1945 (and also less deadly than a few non-developed countries since then). I'm pretty sure the same set of statistics points towards the US government causing more deaths than other developed countries since 1945, which is why I thought it probably didn't help your case. Sorry.

Yes, I take the long view when it comes to goverments.

I fully expect the current Eurozone crisis to devolve into bloodshed before it's over, by the way.

> Yeah, I rank governments that murder millions of their own people pretty low on the scale of "human rights". Sorry.

You seem only interested in comparing the US to undeveloped and developing countries, which is not a useful comparison.

Why not compare the US to developed countries?

Trail of tears...

> It does?

Bottom of the list for everything that matters.


"Bottom of the list for everything that matters."

Except for "first choice to which to immigrate", oddly.


It's called "voting with your feet".

..and by capita it's barely 20% of Australia's net immigration growth.

U.S. immigration is severely restricted. The waiting list can be up to 20 years long.

If the U.S. had the same immigration policies as, say, Canada or Australia, you could add an order of magnitude to those numbers. Easily.

Don't deny them their straw man.

It is almost like the difference between 1984 and a Brave New World.

Ok, maybe not, but you can compare the two. The US is not getting better.

I wouldn't be so fast as to dismiss obesity. Especially when the culture is saturated with body images that are so far from the folks who are that size, and are so far from being able to easily lose that weight.

Besides for executing minors/mentally handicapped, the US does all those things. Torture (waterboarding), hold prisoners without trial/charge (Guantanamo Bay), allow their leaders to execute citizens summarily (drone strikes), incarcerate people at a high rate for benefit of state sponsored corporations (drug war - privatized jails). I'm not arguing politics - I don't think HN is the place for it, but you should evaluate your perspective and how it might be changing how you view the world.

The US also executes people that were minors when they did their crime and mentally handicapped people.

Texas has executed people with IQs as low as 61. Google for Marvin Wilson.

I'm honestly confused, are you talking about the United States of America or North Korea. With the exception of the execution of minors, it describes the USA fairly accurately.

Correcting myself: "The youngest person to be executed in the 20th century was George Stinney, electrocuted in South Carolina at the age of fourteen on June 16, 1944. [...] The last execution of a juvenile may have been convicted murderer Leonard Shockley, who died in the Maryland gas chamber on April 10, 1959, at the age of 17."

If you are so upset about those issues in the United States how about you sign up to adopt some of the citizens who vote for them? We'd be happy to ship a few off.

Assuming this is not in fact a reference to NK at all what is the execution of minors and the mentally retarded that you refer to?

i lol'ed

Don't really know why or if they are doing this, but the PirateBay's primary purpose is to stay up.

If they are pushed to such extremes as to go to North Korea, then it's ultimately your fault, the citizen of a Western country, for allowing your government to take such drastic anti-copyright measures that ultimately lead to corruption and censorship.

Kind of ironic that Internet freedom will be increasingly achieved in our countries by befriending our enemies.

>it's ultimately your fault, the citizen of a Western country, for allowing your government..

Yeah, no. I didn't vote for these assholes. If you think even part of the nonsense professed by the MafiAA organizations has popular support, you're terribly deluded. I don't take kindly to being told I'm at fault for something I oppose and took every positive and reasonable step available to me to oppose.

I used a generic you, not you per se. My hat is off to the minority of people that care, but we are a minority.

> but how can they justify working with an entity that has such a horrid human rights record?

As pointed out yesterday on the Bradley Manning discussion, the US is starting to get to the point where it can't credibly criticize other countries for their human rights abuses, given what goes on in this country.

I don't want this to turn into a discussion of whether the US is worse than North Korea, but both have abused - and continue to abuse - human rights in abysmal ways.

>I don't want this to turn into a discussion of whether the US is worse than North Korea, but both have abused - and continue to abuse - human rights in abysmal ways.

Sorry, no. Making the comparison assumes there's some parity, which is completely misleading.

In a different context, it's about as outlandish as claiming the space shuttle is really no different from the wright flyer. After all, both are capable of flight.

Wow. I'm happy to turn this into a discussion. North Korea has it worse. There is no way in hell, you are going to convince me that the US is a bigger domestic human rights violator.

> There is no way in hell, you are going to convince me that the US is a bigger domestic human rights violator.

Good, because the grand-parent wasn't trying to.

Ah, I apologize. It seemed like the poster was making a comparison between the US and NK when he said that the US could no longer credibly criticize NK for human rights violations, and that "both have abused [...] human rights in abysmal ways".

That can be true. But that doesn't mean the US is on the same level as NK. Maybe the poster could have been clearer, though.

There is no way in hell, you are going to convince me that the US is a bigger domestic human rights violator.

This in itself is a disturbing statement. So what are you saying, it's ok as long as the US is not as bad a NK? Very disturbing. In a modern society, in what the US should be leading as a shining example to rest of the world there should be -no violations of human rights-

Nobody here is saying that.

The US treats a lot of people very reprehensibly, but comparing living conditions in the US to living conditions in NK is like comparing a Mercedes to a pogo-stick.

I understand both your comments, I didn't bring up the US, other people did and I am just responding to that.

My comment is not about comparing anything to anything, it's about the throw away comments that "x isn't as bad as y so we're not doing too bad" when instead of pointing fingers we should be looking inward towards our own flaws. People in glasses houses and all that.

(Yes yes, it's still not as bad a NK but you should still try to fix these issues)

The point of http://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=5320630 was to address the fact that you were putting words in my mouth.

You said "So what are you saying, it's ok as long as the US is not as bad a NK?"

That statement is completely orthogonal to what I was trying to say. Nowhere did I ever imply that something is okay just because it's not as bad as something else. That whole concept is completely nonsensical. If Australia became as bad as NK and then NK grew to be even worse than it was before, Australia wouldn't suddenly be doing something "okay" just because NK has set a new bar for despicable. Hopefully nobody in this thread is so stupid that they couldn't deduce that on their own.

What I was saying is that you're a complete asshole if you think the US is "like NK". That sort of comparison is completely inane and extremely insensitive to actual North Koreans actually being executed because their father was caught devising a plan to escape the country or whatever. None of them can leave. The US is NOTHING like North Korea and I wish ill will upon everyone who makes the comparison. I hope you all sit on a thumbtack or something.

The day no citizens can leave the US is the day I will acknowledge a similarity between the US and NK.

I don't think anyone here is saying that what the US does is ok. But this thread is about North Korea, not the US. Why are we bringing the US into the discussion if not to compare it to North Korea?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prisons_in_North_Korea says, "The total number of prisoners is estimated to be 150,000 to 200,000."

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prisons_in_the_United_States says, "According to the U.S. Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS), 2,266,800 adults were incarcerated in U.S. federal and state prisons, and county jails at year-end 2010."

It seems like the United States is about an order of magnitude worse, even if you subtract the tiny fraction of US prisoners who are locked up to keep other people safe. And that's not even getting into how the countries' respective foreign policies violate human rights outside their borders, but I suggest reading http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Casualties_of_the_Iraq_War to start to get a handle on that.

It's not that the Korean rulers are more moral than the US rulers. It's just that they're less effective.

Comparing the actual number of prisoners in two countries isn't very useful since the two countries have different populations. It would be a little like comparing the food consumed each day by everybody in China, compared to the same number in the US. China will consume more food, simply because they have more people! You can't conclude that Chinese people must be 2-3x fatter just from numbers that don't take the population into account. Instead, you want to use the per-capita food consumption; in your case, you would want to look at per-capita prisoner numbers.

The population of the US is around 315 million. The population of North Korea is around 24 million. [1]

If we divide the number of prisoners by the countries' populations, US incarcenates .69% if their people. Assuming NK incarcenates 175,000, that is .71% of their people. These numbers seem similar enough, so perhaps we should instead look at prison conditions. By all reports, North Korea has significantly worse conditions. It's incorrect to claim that North Korea rulers are "less effective".

1. http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_populati...

Karla Homolka raped and killed 50% of the people who fell into her power. Adolf Hitler tortured to death only some 10% of the people who fell into his power. Nevertheless, I think it is defensible to assert that Adolf Hitler was "a bigger domestic human rights violator" than Karla Homolka, since she only had three victims, while he had some eleven million.

North Korean rulers are less effective in that North Korea remains a small, poor, weak country; consequently North Korean rulers are only able to incarcerate 0.7% of a much smaller population. They would be much bigger human rights violators if they were able to establish control over a larger territory that included more people, as the US government has over the past century and a half.

You need to compute this per capita for this to be the slightest bit meaningful.

WTF are you talking about? You are aware that you are comparing a ~300m country with a ~20m one, right? "It seems like the United States is about an order of magnitude worse". your own numbers prove you otherwise. And that's not even counting the proportion of them that are political prisoners (for posing even the tiniest threat to the regime)...

How you could say that is an order of magnitude????? The US has an order of magnitude more people! Using your numbers and Google's population estimates, 8 per 1000 people in NK are prisoners, while 7 per 1000 people in the US are prisoners.

Furthermore, in NK prison camps execution--including child execution--is commonplace. Maybe that will give you a clue as to why their prison population isn't higher.

Grow a brain.

The wars that the US have been waging are fucked up, I agree, but we're talking about the way a country treats its own people.

I don't think the US is perfect, and I readily admit that it has a shameful level of police brutality, but NK is a completely different ballgame.

Non-police brutality in the US is still a much bigger problem than police brutality.

I'm disappointed at the level of your response.

Taking into account population:

200000/24,451,285 = 0.0081 2,266,800/313,914,040 = 0.0072

I'd say those are roughly the same - it certainly doesn't support a claim that the US is an order of magnitude worse.

Using your numbers

USA: 0.71% of the population NK: 0.63-0.83% of the population

That quote is out of context. 150,000 to 200,000 is an estimate of the number of political prisoners in North Korea.

Everybody has the right to leave the US

Nobody has the right to leave NK

That alone says loads.

The most essential freedom is the freedom to disagree and leave. North Koreans don't have that right.

"Everybody has the right to leave the US"

Like all generalisations (even this one) that is completely incorrect. I believe there are a lot of people in US custody who are denied that right?

I'm not saying they shouldn't be where they are, or that they should have the right to leave, but your blanket statement is wrong.

Also see Dmitry Sklyarov for an example of when stepping on the wrong corporate toes can get you into all sorts of trouble in the USA.

"I believe there are a lot of people in US custody who are denied that right?"

Like in every other country? This is pretty much a given, so I generalized within obvious constraints.

"Also see Dmitry Sklyarov"

Yes, that's very bad

So everyone can leave except the people we say can't leave?

I know, and I know that it's (societally speaking) a necessary tool. But many see the rate of incarceration in the US as a massive problem itself.

Note that I in no way compare the DPRK with the USA, I just think that talking in absolutes or framing them as opposites doesn't really help. We got a lot of problems in the west too...

Oh well, that's just because US thinks it owns every other country.

Just see what they tried to do with Assange and Kim Dotcom.

They could've done that countless times with less public people.

I suppose having an extradition treaty with another country implies ownership, now. Thanks for having an enlightening discussion!

The treaty only work when their actions constitute a crime on their resident country. In both cases this is not true.

This didn't stop US from bullying NZ and UK. NZ police even acted unlawfully because of this bullying.

> Everybody has the right to leave the US

that's not true, both in terms of citizenship and geographical position

Bullshit. Who would let them in? How can they even afford to get out, if anyone would let them in?

Not to the extent of keeping thousands of prisoners in Holocaust-like conditions, I think.

US prisons are no place for civilized people.

I think this can help you understand their mentality, PRQ, the hosting company behind TPB, have hosted pedophiles.

I don't know if they still do because I haven't kept track, but they did for sure host pedophile message boards in 2005-2006 where pedophiles discussed things like raising children for sex.

Why? I can only guess that it's because they believe in freedom of speech over everything else.

Do you think child raping pedophiles will stop raping children if they can't host their boards at PRQ?

Just because something will continue to occur does not justify your contribution to it occurring.

No, but it means they aren't choosing freedom of speech over child abuse, like GP was insinuating.

And I find the accusation of supporting child abuse rather unfair, unless one plans to accuse Tor and Freenet node operators (like me) of the same; after all, we all know actual child porn, not just talk, probably goes through our machine. The obfuscation just offloads our moral dillemas, it doesn't change the facts.

I see it like this.

Anyone can have freedom of speech, but it's up to the people if they want to listen.

If a pedophile started preaching their beliefs in town square to a group of people, it wouldn't be long before they would be run out of town or beat up.

The same goes for any services offered to people who's ideology you don't agree with.

The primary function that the Pirate Bay serves is to illegitimately take other people's work and give it away for free - ohh, while displaying ads.

Why would you hold them up to a higher standard?

Yeah, not like those social networks or anything.

I feel the same way. I personally think there have to be priorities in life and they might have lost some perspective about things here:




I don't even know how to approach the moral quandary of seeking asylum in a concentration camp. Am I supposed to be impressed by the Fresh Young DPRK? There is no opening of relations here, just PR. Have TPB truly been hunted to the darkest corners of the Earth?

In the end all this means to me is that I'm going to save the $65 that I was about to spend on a PB hoodie. Assuming TPB are paying for their NK servers, I'd rather not risking providing funds for lil' Kim's holocaust.

I agree. Comparing the right for free information to freedom of speech is debatable. But comparing it to freedom of individuality and the right of existence does not strike me funny at all. Joke or not.

Keep in mind that our news media reports only the facts that fit their story of "NK is evil" and don't report any facts to the contrary. I assure you without a doubt it's a lot better place than our media makes it seem. Sure, their undemocratic system of government is a bad one, it's a CVS system when the rest of the world has moved to Git, and they will be A LOT better off when they switch, but the place has a lot of good going for it, and the reports we see are almost always chosen not for their objective value but to support the one sided argument that our media has been telling for years.

To point to a specific example, yesterday I watched George Stephanopoulos interview Dennis Rodman after Rodman's NK trip and George made some comment about the human rights record and to back it up he mentioned that NK has 200,000 folks in prison camps. Based on that logic, the U.S. is 10x worse with 2.2 million people in prison right now.

NK has a bad system of government. Their human rights record leaves much to be desired. But so does the human rights record of every country on earth, including the US.

  | Rodman's NK trip 
If you ever bother to read about any of these accounts, they are all practically cookie-cutter. NK visits are practically on rails. It's not definitive proof of anything, but neither is the lack of visits to NK producing 'smoking gun' photos from prison camps.

  | Based on that logic, the U.S. is 10x worse with
  | 2.2 million people in prison right now.
1. The US doesn't throw entire families in jail to punish the actions of a single person.

2. Your logic about the numbers doesn't take into account the portion of the population. The US is a lot larger than North Korea. If we translate those numbers into percentages, North Korea has 0.81% of the population in prison, and the U.S. has 0.69% of the population in prison.

3. As bad as the US prison system is, I don't think that it's reach GULAG / Auschwitz levels, which by all accounts NK has.

  | Their human rights record leaves much to be
  | desired. But so does the human rights record
  | of every country on earth, including the US.
That's like saying that GW Bush started a war in Iraq. Hitler started a war in Europe. They both started wars, therefore GW Bush == Hitler! My logic wins!

[ Note: Nobody wanted to believe that the Holocaust was real in Germany until the troops started liberating the camps. IIRC, there were rumors, but most people basically said what you are saying, though there was probably more out of disbelief that human beings could do such a thing. ]

You have some very good points.

Brief note: Rodman's trip was very different than most NK trips. He spent a lot of direct time with Un.

#1) Good point. I don't know anything about who gets sent to the prison camps in NK.

#2) 1/31 of the U.S. adult population is in prison, which is higher than 0.69%. If you were a black male, that number shoots up to 9%. If you were playing the ovarian lottery and wanted to optimize for not being in prison and could choose between NK and being a black male in the U.S., you should choose the former.

#3) Good point. I don't know anything about the prison camps in NK.

In general my point is, don't make decisions based on facts provided by homogenous sources. Gather your own sources, see things first hand, and make judgements and decisions based on your own findings. If you make decisions based on data provided by a single source (in this case the U.S media), you aren't making decisions at all--they've already been made for you.

Regarding #2, if I were somehow forced to choose between being in an American prison and living in North Korea, not in prison, I'd have to sit down and do some serious thinking and research before I could make a decision.

:) Good point!

>Based on that logic, the U.S. is 10x worse with 2.2 million people in prison right now.

The US also has 13 times the population. And conditions in US prisons are not comparable to conditions in North Korean prisons.

Bull. Shit.

North Korea is a totalitarian hell hole where there has been an ongoing holocaust of citizens for 6 decades.

And the entire western hemisphere is an imperialist hell hole where there has been an ongoing holocaust of (native/indigenous) citizens for 6 centuries.

Ah yes Dennis Rodman is such a reliable source of information. He has to suck up to low life dictators. He's broke as shit! At this point Rodman is hoping to be anyone's lapdog just for rent money. There are people in prison camps for things their grandfathers did in North Korea. At least the people in the US had a trial by their peers for something they were actually were accused of doing.

I like that Dennis Rodman does what he does. He lives on the outskirts of our norms and enriches all of our lives by pushing the limits and exploring our options.

It just reminds me of Sean Penn kicking it with Saddam Hussein and trying to tell the US about how everything was cool and kosher in Iraq (just prior to the US invasion). Do you really think that if something bad is going on that a foreign dictator is going to openly admit to crimes against humanity just because some US celebrity shows up on their doorstep?

Entertainment is one thing, diplomacy is completely another.

If North Korea has a lot of good going for it, I'm sure you can give us a few examples.

For sure. (And if you're curious there are some great sources online including one interesting account recently was Eric Schmidt's daughter's blog.)

- Millions of people who have families and I'm sure are pretty happy even if their government sucks. And this is all that really matters at the end of the day.

- Those wide streets look pretty darn cool

- People look healthy (compared to obesity in the U.S.)

- Those massive games they hold each year are pretty impressive

- I'm impressed they figured out how to engineer an n bomb (not happy about it, but impressed)

- I'm impressed they figured out how to get a device in orbit

- Hosting the pirate bay

- Seems like they have a decent subway system, which most countries don't have

- I thought it was really neat that when the power goes out in the subways, everyone is prepared with a flashlight. Smart populace!

Let me also be clear, I think the government of NK sucks! Like, they get the basics wrong. Very wrong. Democracy, capitalism, those things have proven themselves as far superior than their system, imo.

But I don't think there's some dramatic struggle between good and evil going on here. I think in reality it's a lot more practical.

I honestly cannot tell if this is satire or if you think these are actually legitimate points.

  | I thought it was really neat that when the
  | power goes out in the subways, everyone is
  | prepared with a flashlight. Smart populace!
Or you could just look at it as, "this happens so often that the people expect it, and are not complete idiots."

Putting stuff like "frequent power outages make public transport unreliable" in the "pros" column is why I can't figure out whether or not this is satire.

NK has 200,000 folks in prison camps. Based on that logic, the U.S. is 10x worse with 2.2 million people in prison right now.

Per capita calculations or it is meaningless.

Exactly! That was the problem with GS' argument. He didn't compare per capita.

you mean America?

on a more serious note, your country is pushing them to leave their own country. Where to go? To your enemies of course.

the justification is what they say, that if that said body is ready to mend its way, then it shall be helped.

Pirate bay has been offered, they haven't accepted it for now.

Perhaps it's as simple as... money?

Free movies.

The Pirate Bay is not concerned with your judgment. The Pirate Bay is concerned with making socio-political statements and providing access to their site, seemingly in that order. Discomfort with the situation is exactly what they are going for.

It should make you uneasy that they have to go to North Korea to keep the site online. While they are not martyrs for an easy to grasp cause, and their definition of 'free speech' may fly in the face of yours, they are doing their absolute best to keep alive what they think is important. This has recently resulted in much irony. Irony that I'm sure they're proud of.

You should hate this. That's the point. This wasn't done so people could keep downloading movies illegally, this was done to make a statement, to get you to think. So please, ice your knee, and think.

It's a joke. THAT'S the point.

Think about what? No sarcasm, genuinely unsure what you're suggesting we should think about, please can you explain what the statement they're making is and what we should be thinking about.

fale@machine:~$ tcptraceroute -f 128 -m 128 thepiratebay.se Selected device venet0, address, port 40771 for outgoing packets Tracing the path to thepiratebay.se ( on TCP port 80 (www), 128 hops max 128 thepiratebay.org ( [open] 51.673 ms 49.002 ms 47.187 ms

That server is in Germany, no way it's possible to have 50ms to NK. Also traditional traceroute has 500ms+ RTT.

They are faking/spoofing the ICMP responses. They are also prepending their route advertisement with corresponding AS paths to further disguise it.

From TeliaSonera looking glass http://lg.telia.net/ *[BGP/170] 02:10:36, MED 0, localpref 150, from AS path: 2914 39138 22351 131279 51040 I

AS39138 is probably the real upstream provider of TBP. They peer with AS51040(TPB network) and TPB router prepends AS22351(Intelsat) and AS131279(North Korean ISP) into it's AS Path before advertising it to AS39138.

Yeah, and why is AS39138 in /all/ the AS paths I tried on that site, when there other ways to AS22351

Exactly. Here is a collection of route-servers and looking glasses which tell you what path a route from ISP x to IP y will take. http://www.bgp4.as/looking-glasses You will see that every single route to will travel through AS39138.

Yep, I just tried this myself.

I get about 40 ms from south germany and about 30 ms from france to thepiratebay.se ; but almost 400 ms to www.kcna.kp


Well it's nice to know that "one of the most important movements in Sweden for freedom of speech, working against corruption and censorship" wouldn't let concerns over something as insignificant as totalitarianism deter them from "forming a special bond" with a state to distribute warez.

They acknowledge the irony in their own post - the only way that they can promote freedom of speech is by forming a partnership with the least free country in the world, not by forming an alliance with the supposedly 'free' countries in Western Europe/North America.

In other words, the Western countries' belief in 'freedom of speech' is starting to seem as shallow as the word 'Democratic' in the 'Democratic People's Republic of Korea'.

Piracy is not freedom of speech. It is the copying and syndication of the intellectual works of others. I suspect more HNers would be upset about piracy, if they weren't using SaaS business models which are not as vulnerable to it.

It's really easy to brush off the fact that hundreds of people worked to make that movie you downloaded for free, especially when you never have to look any one of them in the eye.

These days with things like netflix, itunes, and amazon prime, the only excuse one can make for participating in piracy is destitution. I totally understand those who wouldn't have been able to acquire the goods anyway doing so by using the pirate bay and other services. In this sense, they're kind of a decentralized information welfare program. Most countries have this already, and it's called a library. Too bad most libraries haven't caught up with the information age yet. So the piracy services have been filling a very important spot.

I'd strongly urge everyone not to use the pirate bay. North Korea is an oppressive country that would nuke the US in a heartbeat.

It makes me sick that so many people idolize these guys.

Before you rationalize your piracy in response to my post, please sound out the word: "rational" "lies"

"Piracy is not freedom of speech."

Of course it is. It's the free exchange of information. If you don't support piracy you don't support absolute free speech.

For the record, I do not support absolute free unrestricted speech as it applies to exchange of (for instance) child pornography. I am happy to admit this.

I support absolute free speech and disagree with the definition of "speech" you're using. I may be wrong -- it wouldn't be the first time -- but this makes no sense to me.

Perhaps, "free speech" is the best term to use here. I think you refer to free culture, and/or free knowledge.

Is the transmission of information (1s and 0s) from one person to another not 'speech'? Would it be a free speech issue if a picture or movie was censored?

I don't know. I do know I've been berated as anti freedom of speech when I've explained my ethical issues with (me personally) running darknet nodes, because I'm unwilling to let CP be transmitted over my resources.

>Piracy is not freedom of speech. It is the copying and syndication of the intellectual works of others. I suspect more HNers would be upset about piracy, if they weren't using SaaS business models which are not as vulnerable to it.

Or, if they realized how much wealthier they would be if they didn't have to resort to SaaS business models in anticipation of frequent piracy.

>> It's really easy to brush off the fact that hundreds of people worked to make that movie you downloaded for free, especially when you never have to look any one of them in the eye.

How much of your Netflix subscription do you think actually makes it to those hundreds of people?

More than makes it from piracy, for certain.

If you have any facts, I'd love to know.

The bottom line is it frees up disposable income and its relatively anonymous and easy.

No rationalization needed. No excuses.

I don't believe for one second that North Korea was their only possible option for survival. If anything, getting set up in NK probably took significantly more work and planning than any number of more conventional routes (eastern europe et. al).

If this is in fact true, and not a gag, it's an overt political statement, and one I couldn't disagree with more.

They moved to Norway and Spain, and were forced out of Norway as well. I haven't heard about Spain yet.

You have to admit, jumping from Norway to North Korea is skipping a few hundred steps.

Alternately, you know, it might just be that their conception of "freedom of speech" does not jibe well with that of the "supposedly free"?

I expected more from HN than this knee-jerk support for TPB due to its self-promulgated association with "freedom of information." Freedom of information, in the specific context of The Pirate Bay, means denying content authors the freedom to choose channels of distribution for their work. It means repackaging content, giving it away "for free," while raking in advertising revenue. It means diverting money away from the entire chain of content creators (e.g., writers, actors, directors, extras, special effects artists), marketers, distributors, etc., and solely into the pockets of TPB's operators.

It's OK to support freedom of information, and also recognize TPB for what it really is.

(Shrug) The money TPB is "diverting" is money that the content industry refuses to accept from its would-be customers.

It's the industry's job to ask me what distribution channel I want to use, not dictate what channel they require me to use. When they figure that out, they'll start making money again.

No. It's their content; they make the rules. It's the industry's job to use whatever distribution channels make them and their clients the most money. That's it.

If you don't like it, you don't have to buy their content, but it doesn't give you the right to bootleg it.

If a content maker doesn't like it, they don't have to use a big publishing house that restricts their sales avenues, but they also know they're probably going to make less money that way.

(Shrug) They can make rules, or they can make money. Their call.

You can boycott them if you disagree with them, but you can't just boycott them while still enjoying their content via piracy. It's not morally sound.


I don't think your viewpoint is fit for dignified public discourse. It's theft. It's not a new, modern crime, with deep implications still being processed by moral intuitions, legislatures, and courts. When something becomes easy to steal, it doesn't become less of a theft.

It's not a new, modern crime

Everything related to copyright law is brand new and modern. It is not a natural right. It was created by consensus. That consensus can and will change.

No, it's not theft, and information is not property. At least there is no consensus on the matter.

I agree with you that it's not right to bootleg their content anyway, but I also think there is little hope of persuading most people of that. So the content producers are going to have to change their business models.

And I'm not sure they'll come out much worse for it. Imagine if Peter Jackson announced that his next movie would be a free download, and crowdfunded the money to make it. I bet he could raise a couple hundred million dollars without much trouble.

But the Hobbit just made a billion dollars in the box office alone. (And it cost around 200 million to make.) Peter Jackson has no reason to buck the system.

I wish people would stop pretending the ads on the pirate bay are of significant value. A couple banner ads is absolutely nothing compared to the cost of content production. TPB could run without ads and nothing would really change. They are not even in the same ballpark as 'raking in' the amounts of money content creators charge. There are in fact services where you pay significant amounts of money for media downloads, like rapidshare, that you can make a good argument are taking money from content producers. But TPB is not in that business.


TPB allows downloads unapproved by content producers: YES

Banner ads are key to allowing this: NO

Banner ads mean they aren't nonprofit: YES*

Banner ads mean they are taking money from content producers: NO

> "They are not even in the same ballpark as 'raking in' the amounts of money content creators charge."

What does the magnitude of TPB's profit have to do with anything? The morality of an action is determined by how much the offender profits monetarily?

The content creators invest effort, money, and years of their lives to produce the content. A typical movie, for instance, represents the collective work of hundreds of people spanning several years. Of course they'll need to charge more to generate a profit. And TPB only needs banner ads to generate the profit. What's your point?

> "...rapidshare, that you can make a good argument are taking money from content producers."

You seem to have bought into this farce that people who download pirated content are categorically unwilling to pay money for non-pirated content. This is complete bs.

My nephews and his friends don't spend money on music, since they can easily get it for free online and it lets them spend their money on other stuff. Are you claiming that if these kids grew up in the 70s or 80s, none of them would listen to music because they'd all be against spending their money on it? BS.

"Taking money from content producers" doesn't just mean I've taken ten dollars out of some musician's wallet and put that same ten dollars into my wallet. It could mean taking ten dollars out of a musician's wallet, putting a dollar into mine, and burning the rest. Or burning it all. From the perspective of the musician, the result is the same.

> "Banner ads are key to allowing this: NO"

My argument was that, based on their actions and words, profit or notoriety are more likely their motivations than a principled stand on freedom of speech, as many here want to attribute to TPB. The Westboro Baptist Church is also defended by the freedom of speech. That doesn't mean we should hold up the Westboro Baptist Church as noble crusaders in a fight for our freedoms. That gives them way too much credit.

Why should authors and not "consumers" (man, how I hate this word) choose distribution channels?

When the author chooses the distribution channel, the channel is essentially part of the asking price. People are then free to gauge whether or not the asking price is too high, and opt not to buy. Ultimately, the choice of distribution channel becomes determined by both parties, the buyers and sellers, by agreeing on a price.

On the other hand, if the consumers collectively decide to subvert this process and set the price at zero, where does that leave the author? Their message is "I'm going to take your work and pay you nothing for it. Get back to us when you can offer us a better deal than something for nothing."

Which option seems like a better system to you? Technology has made taking content and paying nothing for it a frictionless transaction. Many people here seem to believe that since technology has enabled it, or made it so easy, or made it so difficult to regulate, it therefore must be a natural right that we've had all along, but can only now fully enjoy due to the miracles of modern technology.

If some group on the supply side gains a monopoly, the government in theory steps in and regulates to protect the consumer from price gouging. This notion appeals to us, that when one party in the holds all the cards, they shouldn't use exploit that power to price gouge. Yet when the consumers suddenly hold all the cards, we turn a blind eye to imbalance in power.

I'm not saying that movie studios and record labels should be protected so that they can cling to old distribution methods. But expecting authors, or anyone on the supply side, to offer a price as good as free is not a reasonable expectation.

This is exactly the issue, TPB or something like it will always exist so long as there's a niche to be exploited between the final cut and your eyelids.

The piratebay does not host content. It is a directory, it is pure speech. "Congress shall make no law..."

I wish people would stop making such jumps in logic to justify an untenable position. Facilitating the download of illegal content has nothing to do with "speech" or personal opinion, even if the phrase can be rewritten as "telling people where to find warez".

One man's "jump" is another man's "obvious". To me, handing out magnet links just looks like another form of speech. Obviously, others disagree, but I'm not going to accuse them of being silly to justify a bad position.

"congress shall make no law abridging freedom of speech unless that speech helps people download the avengers" ?

Sounds like reupp.org might be of service..

I use it everyday but I can admit they're professional thieves who now appear to be under the protection of possibly the most brutal dictatorships on earth. The only reason they're still around is because everybody uses it and that makes it politically difficult to come down hard on them. This probably makes it significantly easier to bring the full force of the US government into play.

> The only reason they're still around is because everybody uses it

And since we are supposed to have democracy here, maybe it's a valid reason?

Nuke tests haven't caused us to invade North Korean but if this happens the MPAA could get it done.

as strange that may sound, it might become true.

If North Korea really is involved in this (and the traceroutes seem to indicate it is), let's turn the irony up a notch and turn the spotlight on a few North-Korea-critical torrents - now served through the very censor-happy country that is getting criticized:

Children of the Secret State - North Korea https://thepiratebay.se/torrent/6441601/

Inside - Undercover in North Korea https://thepiratebay.se/torrent/6136295/

Comrades and Strangers: Behind the Closed Doors of North Korea https://thepiratebay.se/torrent/6899842/

The Vice Guide to North Korea https://thepiratebay.se/torrent/5378291/

National Geographic Explorer ~ Inside North Korea https://thepiratebay.se/torrent/6110419/

It will be interesting to see how serious their new overlord is about that "freedom of speech thing". My guess is that sooner or later, some of those films will suddenly vanish from the site.

This is a pretty interesting bit of gamesmanship. In a single stroke it ties together what is perhaps the greatest threat to global stability today (PRK) and where is perhaps the most ridiculous non-threat to global stability (pirated movies) and sets them as equals.

By doing that, it illustrates just how ridiculous the current copyright situation is.

Nicely played Piratebay, nicely played.

Of course the other way of looking at it is that the creators of TPB think that threats to their freedom to profit from placing advertisements around links to copyrighted material trump the threats to the freedom of the North Korean people. A lack of PR perspective so perverse it almost makes the RIAA and MPAA look like the good guys.

>by Kim Jung-Bay

Of course it's serious.

edit: I thought it's a joke... but the traceroute trully ends in North Korea with the IP.

So ... maybe it's actualy legit.

I don't know what to trust anymore.

Sure, just like the airborne Raspberry Pi drone servers.


Did HN just turn stupid? I can only shake my head.

The idea that it would even be feasible for TPB to host in North Korea is ridiculous. The fact that they already have a history of pranks about their hosting should be a big clue.

Absolutely uncool. No matter what you think about current IP law - and let's face it, it's a bag of worms - getting into bed with North Korea is inexcusable. On top of everything else, and here "everything" means institutional murder and oppression, it kind of suggests a lack of morality on TPB's part.

Sergey Brin, Dennis Rodman, and now the Pirate Bay? This is the weirdest PR campaign ever

Eric Schmidt, not Sergey Brin.

>"...we have been invited by the leader of the republic of Korea..."

That's the wrong one, though.

Republic of Korea = South

Democratic People's Republic of Korea = North

Is it possible that people in the DPRK refer to themselves as the 'Republic of Korea' in an attempt to deny/disqualify the existence of any other 'Republic of Korea'? (ie, 'The one true Republic of Korea' or something like that).

I have been to the DPRK on holiday and whilst I was there it was explicitly made clear that the people of the DPRK (or at least, the ones I met who are presumably on-message) do refer to "Korea" as one Korea.

That's not denial of the existence of other Korea, and not "we're the true Korea"; it's more that there is only one Korea, it's the entire peninsula, and this unfortunate state of affairs where there are currently two separate governments isn't an indication that there are two Koreas. There's one Korea. The whole thing.

I asked the guides specifically so I think I've got it more or less right.

However, the two countries do use a completely different word for "Korea" in the Korean language.

In South Korea, they call South Korea "Hanguk" which means "Land of the Han" (Han people being the Korean ethnic group). They call North Korea "Bukhan" which is just "Northern Han."

In North Korea, they call themselves "Joseon" which means "morning calm" and was the name of the last Korean kingdom.(cf. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Joseon) Meanwhile they call South Korea "South Joseon."

So, they each call themselves and the other "Korea" in a sense, but they disagree on what the word for "Korea" is in Korean.

"Korea" is itself a romanization of "Koryo," which was the name of a much earlier Korean kingdom.

I was kind of blown away when I realised that the Han (Chinese) refer to the Koreans as "Han", also. Their own autonym is pronounced closer to "Hen".

Han (Chinese) and Han (Korean) are homophones in English and in Korean, but they have a different character and different tone in Chinese, and different meaning. It's completely coincidence that they are both "Han."

For more, see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Han

Wow, I did not know it. Thanks!

Why do communist countries insist on calling themselves "democratic"? If you're such a firm believer in that philosophy, why not have some pride?

Communism and democracy are orthogonal. Your question is why dictators represent themselves as democracies, but I don't think that's a very complex question; it's propaganda 101.

For a while it was even visible on both sides of the Korean peninsula: a left-wing military dictatorship in the North referred to themselves as the "Democratic People's Republic of Korea", while a right-wing military dictatorship in the South referred to themselves as the "Republic of Korea". Neither country actually operated as a republic, but both seemed to like the term (and did have some superficial trappings of a republic, like legislatures). The South is now an actual Republic, though, since around 1987.

Similar situation for some years in the Taiwan Strait, where the not-a-republic People's Republic of China faced down the also-not-a-republic Republic of China (Taiwan).

Right. It's kind of seen as a "given" now that South Korea and Taiwan are the democratic, American-friendly, "good guys" and the DPRK and PRC are the authoritarian, oppressive "bad guys," but back in the '60s through the '80s before the ROK and ROC democratized, the situation was much murkier. Because of the Cold War, those regimes were considered allies solely by virtue of not being Communists, but they were also very unfree. Perhaps the winding down of the Cold War had something to do with their falling out of power and being replaced by democracies.

There's a joke about how many "democratic"'s or "repulic"'s are in the countries name that the more un-democratic and un-republican they are. :P

Surely the "Holy Roman Empire" was the thought leader in this regard, being neither Holy, nor Roman, nor an Empire.

Still, if it's a case of wishful thinking, why "democratic" and not "The Awesome, Glorious Empire of North Korea Death to America"?

I read a joke somewhere that as countries become more and more totalitarian, they add more and more freedom-implying qualifiers.

So (for a not-quite-correct example) things would progress Congo -> Republic of Congo -> Democratic Republic of Congo -> People's Democratic Republic of Congo.

Communist countries aren't the only ones that use nicer sounding terms than what they really are.

You are interpreting 'democratic' in a western sense, and then take it further by claiming they have no pride in communism. It's really not a mystery/contradictory.. you just need to pick up a few books by Lenin, Marx, Mao, et al.

A "people's democracy" is a country in transition from bourgeois democracy to socialism. In this stage there is more than one class, the largest being the proletariat, led by the Communist Party, which is therefore the dominant power.

The other common country name includes "people's republic." In both cases, it's important to understand the definition of "people". People are communists. Look up "People's dictatorship" for more information on this. Essentially, a "People's republic" is a country that is ruled by a communist party.

It's the same when countries insist on being "free". You do not need to tell everyone obvious things.

the claim is that the majority support communism.

I don't like it. Putting the web's biggest P2P website in the hands of one of the most authoritative dictatorial regime - what could go wrong? Security issues anyone? Seems fishy at best, and if true it is counter productive: it will not reflect well on TPB...

Same as with Gerard Depardieu. He/they made choice not to be in one kind of dictatorship so they escaped to other. So it seems like pretty subjective stuff (personally i think it's wrong), but it's their choice so who cares. Why do you care?

Here is what they think:

"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."

Is this false?

Pretty good idea or do you think NK will release _any_ informations to american based entertainment companies?

I'm sorry, but is this a joke? Or were they seriously offered server space in North Korea as some sort of political/PR thing?

The route goes to NK

traceroute thepiratebay.se output:

  12  INTELSAT-IN.car1.NewYork1.Level3.net (  127.129 ms  121.898 ms  121.857 ms
  13 (  214.763 ms  196.291 ms  210.602 ms
  14 (  697.258 ms  711.336 ms  693.061 ms
  15 (  696.368 ms  699.046 ms  702.013 ms Seems to be an actual IP in NK[0]

[0] http://bgp.he.net/AS131279

My route, from the US, was one hell of a world trip. Bounced around the US a bit then back and forth between NYC and Frankfurt, finally down to Nigeria (appears to be a satellite uplink), over to Cambodia and then into NK.


I get a German IP, and the tracepath results take the route nowhere near Asia.

From a Verizon FiOS connection in Massachusetts, I get:

    $ traceroute thepiratebay.se
    traceroute to thepiratebay.se (, 64 hops max, 52 byte packets
    ... snip ...
     3  ae0-0.bos-bb-rtr2.verizon-gni.net (  4.940 ms  3.924 ms  4.962 ms
     4  0.xe-8-0-0.br3.nyc4.alter.net (  13.551 ms  15.600 ms  14.553 ms
     5 (  14.996 ms  13.661 ms  15.424 ms
     6  ae-2.r23.nycmny01.us.bb.gin.ntt.net (  14.953 ms  16.048 ms  14.726 ms
     7  ae-6.r21.frnkge03.de.bb.gin.ntt.net (  109.988 ms  106.394 ms  107.488 ms
     8  ae-1.r02.frnkge03.de.bb.gin.ntt.net (  105.110 ms  108.378 ms  104.977 ms
     9  xe-3-2.r00.dsdfge02.de.bb.gin.ntt.net (  129.906 ms  141.522 ms  141.731 ms
    10 (  105.035 ms  104.582 ms  105.151 ms
    11  * * *
    12  * xe-0-1-0-3.r02.frnkge03.de.bb.gin.ntt.net (  143.231 ms *
    13  xe-0.level3.frnkge03.de.bb.gin.ntt.net (  161.436 ms  125.598 ms  159.774 ms
    14  * vlan90.csw4.frankfurt1.level3.net (  262.171 ms  270.225 ms
    15  ae-82-82.ebr2.frankfurt1.level3.net (  197.361 ms  214.021 ms  272.423 ms
    16  ae-61-61.csw1.newyork1.level3.net (  219.914 ms  244.709 ms  214.996 ms
    17  ae-21-70.car1.newyork1.level3.net (  232.323 ms *  203.640 ms
    18  intelsat-in.car1.newyork1.level3.net (  319.879 ms *  219.131 ms
    19  rvs-rt0003_fe-0-0 .intelsatone.net (  289.920 ms  357.010 ms  332.387 ms
    20 (  832.528 ms  844.070 ms *
    21 (  797.110 ms  839.233 ms  859.813 ms
    ... snip ...
    40  * *^C
    $ whois
    ... snip ...
    inetnum: -
    netname:        STAR-KP
    descr:          Ryugyong-dong
    descr:          Potong-gang District
    country:        KP
    admin-c:        SJVC1-AP
    tech-c:         SJVC1-AP
    status:         ALLOCATED PORTABLE
    mnt-by:         APNIC-HM
    mnt-lower:      MAINT-STAR-KP
    mnt-routes:     MAINT-STAR-KP
    remarks:        -+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-++-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+
    remarks:        This object can only be updated by APNIC hostmasters.
    remarks:        To update this object, please contact APNIC
    remarks:        hostmasters and include your organisation's account
    remarks:        name in the subject line.
    remarks:        -+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-++-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+
    changed:        hm-changed@apnic.net 20091221
    source:         APNIC
    role:           STAR JOINT VENTURE CO LTD - network administrat
    address:        Ryugyong-dong Potong-gang District
    country:        KP
    phone:          +66 81 208 7602
    fax-no:         +66 2 240 3180
    e-mail:         sahayod@loxley.co.th
    admin-c:        SJVC1-AP
    tech-c:         SJVC1-AP
    nic-hdl:        SJVC1-AP
    mnt-by:         MAINT-STAR-KP
    changed:        hm-changed@apnic.net 20091214
    source:         APNIC
KP is North Korea. And their IP,, is indeed German. And telephone country code 66 is Thailand.

Edit: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Internet_in_North_Korea

Hmm, tracepath and traceroute give me differing results. With traceroute the last hop I get is which is apparently Cambodia. traceroute takes me from London to Germany to New York to Cambodia. It's a strange route.

I don't see it in my traceroute. It is going through Frankfurt.

Nothing seems to indicate a joke - North Korea does seem interested in strange PR stunts, so this could very well be real. I'm unsure as to how hosting would possibly work there though - I don't believe they have free internet access in/out of North Korea for these servers to run on - perhaps satellite connections could be used.

I doubt the country even has the bandwidth to host such a site. thepiratebay.se resolves to a German IP for me. I call BS and shenanigans. This just appears to be a publicity stunt.

Eric Schmidt brought us maps. Dennis Rodman brought us TPB. This is fine diplomacy.

I know DPRK has bigger problems, but the exposure isn't bad. TPB isn't in a position to free the people, so I can't concur with those who claim this is somehow ignorant of those issues. Times are changing there. Channels are opening up. These guys may serve a greater purpose, even if it's not today.

It's not April 1st yet... so, I guess not?

I can only hope the comments on that article are also part of the joke.

Can anyone repost the text here for those of use whose work filters block tpb?



The Pirate Bay has been hunted in many countries around the world. Not for illegal activities but being persecuted for beliefs of freedom of information. Today, a new chapter is written in the history of the movement, as well as the history of the internets.

A week ago we could reveal that The Pirate Bay was accessed via Norway and Catalonya. The move was to ensure that these countries and regions will get attention to the issues at hand. Today we can reveal that we have been invited by the leader of the republic of Korea, to fight our battles from their network.

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.

We believe that being offered our virtual asylum in Korea is a first step of this country's changing view of access to information. It's a country opening up and one thing is sure, they do not care about threats like others do. In that way, TPB and Korea might have a special bond. We will do our best to influence the Korean leaders to also let their own population use our service, and to make sure that we can help improve the situation in any way we can. When someone is reaching out to make things better, it's also ones duty to grab their hand.

Posted 24 mins ago by Kim Jung-Bay

"...being persecuted for beliefs of freedom of information."


The Pirate Bay's "freedom of information" posturing is a complete farce. The site exists for the sole purpose of making money for its operators. Messages like this one, whether satire or not, expose the site for what it is. It makes money by ripping content from the distribution channels chosen by the content authors, repackaging it, and giving it away for free while raking in advertising dollars. In the process, they deny content authors the freedom to select channel of distribution that will allow them to be compensated for their work.

Technology has paved the way for improved means of distributing content, but this is not it.

The only upside of TPB is that it will disrupt the existing content delivery chain enough to force some innovation in a space dominated by a few very large and very stagnant players.

> In the process, they deny content authors the freedom to select channel of distribution that will allow them to be compensated for their work.

Pre-supposing one supports intellectual property.

Or for those of us who live in a country (UK) where it's blocked.

I used http://tpb.ipredator.se/ when I was in London this morning, it seemed to work perfectly well.

I guess nobody updated their IPs, though:


Hosting a site already hated by US authorities in a country that the US considers to be an enemy is probably not the best idea. My guess is that a US Senator or Congressman is somewhere right now drafting a bill that would prohibit US internet providers from providing access to sites hosted in North Korea.

hey, they could probably buy the implementation from iran!

Why? They sold it to them.... (Ok, Nokia did....)

Enemy of my enemy is my friend.

EDIT: My previous comment was totally wrong. This is legit. The Pirate Bay (AS51040) is announcing routes via Ryugyong-dong (AS131279)

According to this blogpost https://rdns.im/the-pirate-bay-north-korean-hosting-no-its-f... it's not really hosted in NK.

The irony here is just too much to swallow. Of all possible places, a party campaigning for greater freedoms ends up in NORTH KOREA. I used be proud of defending tpb. Now I'm really not sure.

Stupid move, so much that words fail me. "Korea" (as they call themselves, they don't acknowledge the autonomy of the South) has been looking for months for investors to replenish their economy in the face of mounting sanctions. TPB is giving them exactly what they need to become a greater menace to the region.

> The Pirate Bay has been hunted in many countries around the world. Not for illegal activities but being persecuted for beliefs of freedom of information.

How noble. Good thing that they found refuge in the country that basically is one big concentration camp. Can't make this stuff up.

Holy Crap. This is... unprecedented.

So North Korea will now have access to the entire Western World's culture catalog? For Free?! I wonder how Kim Jong Un will exploit that.

And now anyone who downloads a torrent from TPB has potentially been compromised? Or is that alarmist?

> So North Korea will now have access to the entire Western World's culture catalog?

The part that owns computers, sure.

So North Korea will now have access to the entire Western World's culture catalog?

Understand the difference between the torrent file and the actual data and all shall be revealed.

Pirate Bay mainly uses magnet links, Magnet links are really just links with no data associated with them.

Does having access to the torrent file not give you access to the actual data?

It only gives you access to the data if you can connect to peers that have that data. If North Koreans users do not have access to the international Internet, then they'll only be able to download from peers inside of North Korea, who presumably won't have the data. If the users do have access to the general internet, then they can use any tracker, and The Pirate Bay isn't in a special position.

well, you have to be able to connect to peers who have the actual content to share with you.


I suppose it gives access in the same way that North Korea visiting Pirate Bay gave them access before. There is a widespread belief that Pirate Bay is some giant repository of a bunch of pirate content, and it simply isn't true. Well, it's true that it's content that aids pirates in finding and downloading that content, but pirate bay itself is quite lightweight.

I understand the difference. I was just assuming that since NK invited TPB they were planning on using it within NK. It also makes sense that if you were planning on downloading a large collection of torrents you would want the best possible access to those torrent files, as opposed to crawling for links.

Ah okay I understand. I don't think this has anything to do with access inside North Korea however, and if it is actually hosted in North Korea it is likely done purely as a middle-finger to the West, not as some sincere support for filesharing or anything like that.

This is probably a practical application of what we saw earlier with the star wars traceroute.

Trace to see the effect if you haven't seen it already.

This is hilarious if true (nslookup points to in germany, so I have my doubts). Hopefully (and this is really idealistic of me, because I suspect the reaction will be entirely negative) this opens up a larger conversation on internet freedoms in an absurd way beyond SOPA/CISPA/whatever internet freedom-stripping bill-of-the-day is debated on capitol hill.

Isn't it one month early for April fools? Oh wait...

Seriously this is mind boggling! I can't believe it has come to that!

It is, isn't it? UK is a first world country. They've blocked TPB. NK is an oppressive regime. They've blocked everything.

I guess that's the modern difference between "rogue" and "first world" as far as censorship goes. The former block because of threats to the political regime. The latter because of threats to corporate profits.

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