The Spanish Government is working on new legislation under which hundreds of file-sharing sites that are currently perfectly legal, could be shut off. In a response to these plans, a group of hacktivists have launched a clever campaign to prove that the proposal is useless, and that the Government might as well close down the whole Internet.
Spanish courts have ruled repeatedly that operating a file-sharing oriented website without profiting directly from infringements falls within the boundaries of the law. In an attempt to change this, the Spanish Government has recently proposed new legislation under which sites offering links to copyright works could be taken offline without a judicial order.
It comes as no surprise that the announcement has been met with firm opposition from activists and hacktivists, who quickly organized several protests. Among other actions, a group that calls itself ‘Hacktivistas’ defaced the site of a local anti-piracy outfit, replacing it with a manifesto on the rights of Internet users.
Today, the same group launches yet another campaign protesting against Spanish Government plans. The campaign is titled La Lista de Sinde, which is a reference to the Spanish title of the movie Schindler’s List and a direct response to the ‘list’ of 200 file-sharing sites that the major royalties collection societies presented to the Ministry of Industry recently.
The campaign website allows the public to embed a search box on their own website, turning it into a ‘file-sharing’ search engine. Users can choose a box that searches the BitTorrent site isoHunt, or one that uses a customized Google search engine that indexes many file-sharing sites.
For their part, Hacktivistas will then make a list of all the ’sinning’ sites who use the embed code that they offer. Once this list is long enough it will also be sent to the Ministry of Industry with a clear message, along the lines of: ‘You’ll have to go after all of us.’
“The goal of this action is to tell the Government: ‘if you are going to close 200 sites, here are another 200,000 – you will have to shut the whole Internet down!’ It is a strategy of massive social disobedience,” a member of Hacktivistas told TorrentFreak.
“We hope that this action raises even more awareness and the Government steps back. If they don’t and the law is finally approved, we will ask them to prosecute us. We’re confident that a situation were the Government has to close thousands of websites won’t be sustainable for them,” the Hacktivist added.
I said in one of my comments to an earlier article that this is the silly season. This just confirms it. The actions that are now being taken in the name of anti piracy are now getting much more Orwelllian and are becoming a serious threat to civil liberty. Unless the general public beginn to realise this, freedom of action, and free speech, is very much in danger of being seriously curtailed.