Pirate Bay's haven ethereal

With Megaupload and Kim Dotcom top of some minds, it seemed entirely appropriate that The Pirate Bay emerged back into the headlines again last week.

The pirate, which has been blamed for encouraging illegal file-sharing, will now operate from cloud-hosting providers around the world.

It says the move will save money and make it harder for law enforcement agencies to shut it down.

"All attempts to attack [us] from now on is an attack on everything and nothing," it says.

In 2006, police in Sweden raided The Pirate Bay, shutting down its servers and taking the site offline.

The pirate now says its new cloud-based servers, which use the internet for storage, do not have to be hosted with the same provider, or even on the same continent - making it impervious to attempts to close it down.

The statement continued: "The site that you're at will still be here, for as long as we want it to. Only in a higher form of being. A reality to us. A ghost to those who wish to harm us."

The Pirate Bay representative told the TorrentFreak website that moving to the cloud let it move from country to country, crossing borders seamlessly without downtime.

"The hosting providers have no idea that they're hosting The Pirate Bay, and even in the event they found out, it would be impossible for them to gather data on the users."

The Pirate Bay said it would retain control of the technology - transit routers and load balancers - which allowed it to distribute file-sharing requests across multiple computers and also hide the identity of both the cloud provider and its users.

"If the police decide to raid us again, there are no servers to take. Just a transit router. If they follow the trail to the next country and find the load balancer, there is just a diskless server there. In case they find out where the cloud provider is, all they can get are encrypted disk images."

Images of The Pirate Bay founders being dragged off to prison by police in 2006 are still to be found on the internet. The latest statement seems like a challenge too hard for authorities to ignore.

Cloud computing has been, for the last few years, the most talked about topic at major technology conferences. The Government is using the Cloud for some of its services, although probably not the one at MSD hacked by a blogger.

In August, The Pirate Bay and Isohunt said that Google's decision to demote in its search results websites linked to copyright-infringement complaints would not harm them.

The move would only encourage users to search for material directly through their pages.

The two services added that Google was not their main source of traffic. Google made the change after complaints from the media industry.

The new search results were organised according to several factors, including the amount of "valid copyright removal notices" Google received about individual sites.

Those with more notices were likely to appear lower down.

"That Google is putting our links lower is in a way a good thing for us," The Pirate Bay said in a blog post.

"We'll get more direct traffic when people don't get the expected search result when using Google. The thing we don't like with this is ... they're dictating terms."

Mackline in no way encourages illegal file-sharing but The Pirate Bay has upped its challenge to the industry. Whether authorities can shut down Cloud storage will be fascinating to watch.

dene.mackenzie@odt.co.nz@mackersline