Photo BitTorrent. Parody, Commentary and Criticism by Trichordist Staff. This would be a hilarious Kickstarter project, right? Imagine this billboard along the 101 after you come off the Bay Bridge into San Francisco.
San Francisco is known as a bastion of liberalism and progressive politics. It’s also home to many strident libertarian advocates of free speech and an open and robust internet. That is why we find it appalling that the San Francisco based BitTorrent operates a development facility in Belarus or as we like to call it “Little North Korea.” We have to assume that the coders who work at this facility–like all residents of Belarus–do not enjoy anything like what the international community would consider to be meaningful civil rights. Belarus’ Internet and media are severely censored. There have been mysterious deaths of journalists and by any measure Belarus is one of the most repressive regimes in the world. The Belarus Government has gone so far as to ban clapping in public. I’m not kidding.
Here is a recent job listing confirming the existence of the development facility.
This is sheer hypocrisy coming from a company that spent a small fortune putting up billboards that said things like
BitTorrent should be ashamed of its behavior. Further, I think that BitTorrent’s Matt Mason–who has recently conducted an apparent public messaging push to “legitimize” BitTorrent–should explain to artists why BitTorrent indirectly supports such a repressive regime. Finally, everyone should check to see if their pension funds invest in the venture capital funds that back BitTorrent and consider whether this matches your ethical and political sensibilities. According to BitTorrent’s website these are their main investors:
Read more about oppression in Belarus.