All your hex are belong to DiggMikey 13 comments
If you weren't on Digg today, you missed a small piece of history in the making. At around midday today (WAST), Digg users revolted against the very site they subscribe to by posting cryptic (and not so cryptic!) links to the recently discovered HD-DVD decryption key.
The reason behind the revolt starts with first understanding the predicament (regarded as one of the best technology news sites in the world) were in.
The Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) recently sent ‘cease and desist orders' to Digg and other web site owners including Google among many. They insisted that any blogs, posts or articles that reveal or link to information regarding the HD-DVD decryption key be taken down. This was a misguided attempt to control the spread of the information surrounding the keys release, which they view as a significant threat to their anti-piracy policy.
When stories started surfacing on Digg yesterday, Digg co-founder Jay Adelson made on the , admitting that they were deliberately removing stories to comply with the MPAA request.
"We've been notified by the owners of this intellectual property that they believe the posting of the encryption key infringes their intellectual property rights. In order to respect these rights and to comply with the law, we have removed postings of the key that have been brought to our attention."
Before anyone could say "09-f9-11-02-9d-74-e3-5b-d8-41-56-c5-63-56-88-c0", the users revolted at the censorship, and suddenly the entire Digg homepage was filled with nothing but stories about the decryption key. By the time you read this article the front page may still be the same, but if not, I took earlier.
In among all the chaos, as if it were a united global stance against censorship, the key started appearing all over the internet in many forms. One guy recorded called "" and placed it on Youtube. Another registered the domain name www.09-f9-11-02-9d-74-e3-5b-d8-41-56-c5-63-56-88-c0.net, and some people starting placing the dubious sequence in unexpected physical locations, like and .
Mixed feelings between users were apparent, and at different times during the day the Digg web site became either unavailable or offline. And then the unexpected happened. Digg founder Kevin Rose , over-ruling .
"Today was an insane day. And as the founder of Digg, I just wanted to post my thoughts...We had to decide whether to remove stories containing a single code based on a cease and desist declaration. We had to make a call, and in our desire to avoid a scenario where Digg would be interrupted or shut down, we decided to comply and remove the stories with the code...But now, after seeing hundreds of stories and reading thousands of comments, you've made it clear. You'd rather see Digg go down fighting than bow down to a bigger company. We hear you, and effective immediately we won't delete stories or comments containing the code and will deal with whatever the consequences might be. If we lose, then what the hell, at least we died trying."
Rose was stuck between a rock and a hard place, on one hand a guy with a loathing for Internet censorship, and the other hand the responsibility of keeping a legitimate business out of the sights of cranky lawyers. But with that, Digg was online again, hex key glory behold.
The MPAA clearly stuffed up by trying to censor the Internet, which had the completely opposite effect they had hoped for. It will be interesting to see how Digg's defiance rubs them.
Update: Kevin Rose sticks to his guns in this brief interview. Check this video.
Update 02: Digg might be in more than they think, as it's now clear they are going against the advice of their lawyers. Jay Adelson (CE) said:
"We just decided that it is more important to stand by our users."
Update 03: The key will be taken out of circulation, and a new one released with this announcement:
"it has taken action, in cooperation with relevant manufacturers, to expire the encryption keys associated with the specific implementations of AACS-enabled software"