If you happen to live in New York, San Francisco or Los Angeles, you might have seen some mysterious billboards around recently. A few of these read: “The Internet should be regulated”; “Artists need to play by the rules; and “Your data should belong to the NSA.” File-sharing service BitTorrent has admitted to being behind these billboards, in an attempt to engender discussion about Internet freedom and privacy.
“This is the generation that will decide whether the Internet is a tool for control, or a platform for innovation and freedom,” BitTorrent said in their campaign announcement. BitTorrent lists its core values as upholding user privacy and user control. They want to keep “the web free, open; decentralized and accessible to all.” In a time when many want to curtail Internet freedom — either in the name of “security” or for their own personal gain — this is an important message. Reminding people that BitTorrent is “a zero-cost alternative for media distribution” positions the company as the “good guys” in the fight over Internet freedom, and, to be fair, they’ve certainly done something to earn that. They’re a company that’s easy to get behind, offering a valuable service that certain entities would probably like to see shut down. This latest campaign just solidifies all that. Keep up the good work, BitTorrent.