In the past week, several online media outlets have noted a series of plain, white billboards that have popped up in New York and California bearing ominous surveillance-state messages like “YOUR DATA SHOULD BELONG TO THE NSA” and “THE INTERNET SHOULD BE REGULATED.”
Today, the peer-to-peer content sharing service BitTorrent claimed responsibility for the billboards, saying the Big Brother-esque statements reflect the harmful attitudes people have accepted in exchange for the convenience of using the internet.
In a post to the company’s blog, BitTorrent vice president of marketing Matt Mason said these attitudes are “an assault on freedom” that the public should refuse to accept.
Instead of allowing large web platforms to collect personal information, Mason said internet users could turn to BitTorrent’s for secure data transfer outside the reach of government surveillance agencies.
Here’s his argument:
“These statements represent an assault on freedom. They also, for the most part, represent attitudes Internet culture has accepted. Chips we’ve traded for convenience. Part of the allegiance we’ve sworn to the web’s big platforms and server farms. That’s what you get for going online.
We put these billboards up last week in New York, Los Angeles and San Francisco. Because we wanted to remind the world what’s at stake on the world wide web.”
Mason’s blogpost was accompanied by images of several altered billboards representing the changes BitTorrent seeks to make to internet culture.
“YOUR DATA SHOULD BELONG TO YOU.”
“THE INTERNET SHOULD BE PEOPLE-POWERED.”
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