Anybody with a certain degree of technological savvy will likely already be aware of the peer-to-peer file transfer system that is run through the BitTorrent protocol and is commonly referred to as torrenting.
For those not familiar with this term, it’s the way people download movies, games, audio files, all that sort of thing for free online. It’s controversial in that it seems to (or, more accurately, very much does) fly in the face of generally accepted copyright law but it’s also fast and convenient and free – benefits that outweigh the general legality issues associated with the concept for many individuals globally.
Anybody who’s heard of torrenting is likely also heard of the Pirate Bay. This is arguably the most popular torrenting search engine of recent years and is constantly waging a war with regulatory authorities – a war that, of late, it seems to have been struggling to maintain.
Anyway, chances are that far fewer people have heard of Peter Sunde.
He is the founder of the Pirate Bay and he has just announced a brand-new venture – what’s called Njalla. Njalla, which is a Sámi phrase used to refer to the concept of keeping out unwanted guests, is a domain registration service that allows for what is essentially a completely anonymous registration system.
Well, sort of.
The concept is pretty simple. When a user buys a domain from Njalla, it’s actually Njalla that is buying the domain on the user’s behalf. As a result, Njalla own the domain technically and – as such – serve as a sort of insulation layer between any outside operators and the person who is controlling the domain (i.e. the person who bought it through Njalla).
While Njalla owns the domain, therefore, the actual user is in control of it and the company reports that if at any point the controller decides to purchase the domain outright, then he or she can do so with no issues.
Privacy is an ongoing problem in the domain registration world and this latest move serves to give users an option that was previously unavailable. Some may be concerned about the ownership question, but these guys are coming to the space with something of a reputation already in place and this likely alleviates said concerns for many.
Image courtesy of Njalla.