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Weather Balloon Servers Could Take Pirate Party to the Air

weather balloonOne would think that the first place the Pirate Party would go to avoid the authorities would be international waters, but the copyright-flouting movement is thinking of ditching the sea for the clouds. According to Forbes's Andy Greenberg, the Pirate Party has announced its intention to launch a server via weather balloon in order to escape any legislation threatening its operation on the Earth's surface.

The plan is the brainchild of the Pirate Parties International (PPI), an umbrella group of the Pirate Party movement focused on intellectual property reform. PPI plans to launch a solar-powered balloon with an onboard computer built by the open-source manufacturer Gumstix. The signal would be read from the ground with Skygrabber software, famously used by Iraqi insurgents to steal enemy drone feeds from the sky. It's a lofty goal (literally), and Greenberg is skeptical that the pirates would be able to surmount the technical and logistical hurdles that lie between them and airborne sovereignty.

Even if the plan turns out to be a pipe dream, you have to admire the Party's ambitions. (The co-chairman of Pirate Party International, Gregory Engels, has even suggested launching a low-orbit satellite, which would have a longer lifespan than a finicky weather balloon.) Whatever your political beliefs may be in regards to piracy and intellectual property, the idea of having literal space and air pirates must excite everyone's inner sci-fi nerd.

Tags: andy greenberg, AndyGreenberg, filesharing, future, piracy, pirate parties international, pirate party, PiratePartiesInternational, PirateParty, server, top, weather balloon, WeatherBalloon