The Mysterious “Hooray for Big Brother” Billboards in Silicon Valley are BitTorrent’s Awareness Campaign

by Joey deVilla on October 8, 2013

VentureBeat writes that these “Hooray for Big Brother” billboards have been appearing in and around San Francsico and Silicon Valley:

your data should belong to the nsa

artists need to play by the rules

the internet should be regulated

…and they seemed to be part of some “to be continued…” campaign in which the full message would be revealed later.

Well, later is now, and as expected, the billboards are there to promote the exact opposite message. The sponsor: BitTorrent!

Here’s what the signs look like now:

your data should belong to you

artists need options

the internet should be people-powered

In the most recent post on their blog, the people at BitTorrent write:

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.

As a society, we’ve chosen to accept data centralization: personal information as property of a powerful few. We’ve chosen to accept walled gardens of creativity: a lifetime of work (our life’s work) locked into digital stores that take 30% of the revenue and streaming services that pay pennies in royalties. We’ve chosen to accept surveillance culture: the right of security agencies to violate the Fourth Amendment; to see and store data as they see fit.

But these things are just that. They’re choices.

And these choices belong to us.

There’s more — go read their blog entry!

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