Cat & Mouse of internet regulation

Regulating technology is (almost) hopeless. When giving a speech to the Cyberspace Law and Policy Centre Symposium on ‘Meeting Privacy Challenges’ in 2008 Senator John Faulkner¬† said

Trying to legislate to control technological development or the ways people use technology is not perhaps ordering the tide to not come in, but it is certainly like trying to empty a bathtub with a teaspoon.

And yet we keep digging away with the teaspoon. Take for example the latest developments on The Pirate Bay site (via Slashdot)

“The Pirate Bay has shut down their BitTorrent tracker. Instead TPB is now using Distributed Hash Table to distribute the torrents. The Pirate Bay Blog states that DHT along with PEX (Peer Exchange) Technology is just as effective if not better for finding peers than a centralized service. The Local reports that shutting down the tracker and implementing DHT & PEX could be due to the latest court rulings in Sweden against 2 of TPB’s owners, and may decide the outcome of the case.”

Check out warsystems for a better and more thoughtful analysis of tpb’s latest move.

And thats just it. No matter what the single state may attempt to do, technical individuals will find a way to evade the problem for a little while longer. It is doubtful whether this can go on forever, the individuals will still lose but the problems will remain and grow. At best any victory will be a Pyrrhic one.