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Google Map To Real Piracy

CmdrTaco posted more than 5 years ago | from the not-the-pretend-kind dept.

Google 262

An anonymous reader noted that you can now see a Google Map of piracy. Not the pretend kind, the real kind with boats and stuff. Considering how much time we spend talking about the other kind, I think it's worth paying attention to the real problems out there.

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Time for Qs to come back (5, Interesting)

AKAImBatman (238306) | more than 5 years ago | (#25877345)

From what I've been hearing, it sounds like the biggest problem in defending against the Solmalian surge in piracy is that the pirates know where the US ships are and avoid them. They've taken to attacking farther and farther out from the coast, often impacting new shipping lanes when displaced by US warships.

Maybe I've been reading too much fiction, but am I the only one thinking: Q Ship [wikipedia.org] ?

1. Lure pirate in with tasty looking merchie.

2. Wait until pirate is within range and intentions are clear.

3. Throw the covers off the guns and blast them into next year.

4. ???

5. Profit!!!

(Well, the merchies do anyway.)

Re:Time for Qs to come back (2, Informative)

mmkkbb (816035) | more than 5 years ago | (#25877443)

It's not just that. Trying to coordinate the numerous navies involved can't be easy. I have been reading the occasional bit of Informattion Dissemination [blogspot.com] 's coverage of the events out there. It's way too much for me to swallow on a regular basis, but it has commentary from professionals, not just journalists or cheerleaders.

Re:Time for Qs to come back (5, Funny)

thrillseeker (518224) | more than 5 years ago | (#25877513)

The pirates are on the run now - the UN has approved sanctions against them - God help them when they read that.

No, they might laugh themselves to death . . . (4, Funny)

PolygamousRanchKid (1290638) | more than 5 years ago | (#25877753)

. . . which can only be the real intention of the announcement of sanctions against the pirates.

This is actually a big deal for the UN, because they banned Joke Warfare (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Joke_warfare) years ago.

Maybe someone should threaten the pirates with "going to bed without any supper?"

OK, no Nintendo for a week?

Why take away Nintendo? We have Xbox and PC. (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 5 years ago | (#25878271)

OK, no Nintendo for a week?

So what? Real pirates pirate PC and Xbox 360 games.

Re:Time for Qs to come back (1)

Sniper511 (1350103) | more than 5 years ago | (#25877843)

Oh, good. That's fixed then. NEXT!!!

Re:Time for Qs to come back (1)

pluther (647209) | more than 5 years ago | (#25878559)

What we really need is for the United States to have a War on Piracy!

Remember how we had the War on Terror, and there hasn't been any terrorism since?

And how the War on Drugs got rid of all drug problems in the US?

And if you don't explain to them what you mean, maybe you can get the RIAA and MPAA behind it!

Re:Time for Qs to come back (4, Funny)

el americano (799629) | more than 5 years ago | (#25878631)

A strongly worded letter can't be far behind.

Re:Time for Qs to come back (5, Interesting)

nbert (785663) | more than 5 years ago | (#25877623)

One thing I'd like to add: There are not enough military ships in the world to really control the affected area. More ships result in higher safety, but as long as cargo and tourist ships pass the area unguarded the pirates still have a chance.

In my opinion any real solution has to change something within Somali territory. It's not like the pirates can switch to safer jobs on land when the international efforts become unpleasant.

Re:Time for Qs to come back (5, Funny)

Sponge Bath (413667) | more than 5 years ago | (#25877819)

...any real solution has to change something within Somali territory

Pave the entire country and turn it into permit required parking.
Then deny parking permits to all of the pirates.

Re:Time for Qs to come back (1)

mangu (126918) | more than 5 years ago | (#25878037)

There are not enough military ships in the world to really control the affected area.

Kill enough of them and the others will be scared away.

any real solution has to change something within Somali territory

Something like this [imdb.com] has been tried before. Controlling cities is much harder than controlling the sea. What else would you suggest? Pay them to stop piracy? This is called "extortion", and usually only leads to more payoffs.

Re:Time for Qs to come back (3, Insightful)

denis-The-menace (471988) | more than 5 years ago | (#25878171)

The irony is that things only get moving when oil is involved.

Now that they have a tanker full of it, the US will be called to "liberate" it.

Once that ship is gone, we'll go back to Status Quo.

Re:Time for Qs to come back (1)

WheelDweller (108946) | more than 5 years ago | (#25878187)

There! You! Yes!

Just like the eco-frauds point to the rain forest (once known as the jungle) and with big, gaping eyes and wiggling lips ask America "What can you do to stop it?" The world looks to us again to reign this in, too. It's not our job.

As you suggest, it's the country sponsoring the pirates. How hard is that for the rest of the world to understand? And need we really pretend it's happening *without* any help from China or Russia? Every time there's a badguy on the horizon threatening someone, he has a Russian gun in his hand or Chinese satellites backing him up.

So good on ya, for pointing out the root cause. (Now, if anyone will decide to DO something, it'll get done.) (I can't mod you up, or I would...)

Re:Time for Qs to come back (2)

Kabuthunk (972557) | more than 5 years ago | (#25877537)

That sounds more prone to problems (and should the pirates actually still capture it, then you're screwed) than my idea. Much like a Q-ship, you have a ship that looks like it's got good stuff on it. However, it's loaded to the hilt with explosives. Have it radio-controlled, so no actual people are on-board. A few lifelike dummies behind the wheel perhaps. Sail it around where things get hijacked, wait for it to have just that done to it, and push the big red button that says "make pirates go away now". Hell, even just full-speed that ship into Eyl pirate bay and pushing the button when it gets to land. That option probably would be avoided though, since likely people might be concerned that some non-criminals are there, and you can't try them in court with this method, etc, etc.

But a few decoy explody ships here and there to take out the ones actually in the act of pirating the ship, and I'm sure the amount of piracy would decrease significantly.

Re:Time for Qs to come back (3, Interesting)

AKAImBatman (238306) | more than 5 years ago | (#25877675)

I seriously doubt that a Q-Ship armed to the hilt and crewed by experienced naval personnel would fall into pirate hands. These guys are attacking with fishing boats for crying out loud! The problem isn't that our ships can't hold their own against the pirates. That much is stupidly simple. It's finding the pirates that's the problem. And these guys are even less sophisticated than other piracy organizations equipped with speedboats and cutters.

I mean, take a look at these guys [timesonline.co.uk] . If someone would arm our merchies with a few mortars and sniper rifles, these pirates wouldn't be able to get their assault rifles within weapons range. But for some reason, today's governments think that armed merchies are a bad idea. So... Q-Ships. They'd kick ass. :-)

Re:Time for Qs to come back (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25878125)

If someone would arm our merchies with a few mortars and sniper rifles, these pirates wouldn't be able to get their assault rifles within weapons range.

It looks like someone has played a bit too much Halo.

Re:Time for Qs to come back (4, Funny)

MacColossus (932054) | more than 5 years ago | (#25878223)

That's a great idea. Just sneak up on them and push the "F" key on your keyboard.

Re:Time for Qs to come back (5, Informative)

eldavojohn (898314) | more than 5 years ago | (#25877609)

Throw the covers off the guns and blast them into next year.

Your punishment may be a bit extreme but maybe it's just because I'm the kind of guy that likes fair justice & is concerned that the rest of the world sees my country as one that blindly kills people.

You are forgetting that these pirates are (aside from being human beings) winning people over by giving them things in a very Robin-Hood-esque type scenario--even if it's only offering the people a paying job as a pirate in an otherwise devastated and unstable economy. You would very quickly fall into disfavor with the locals ... these pirates have even alegedly defended fishing areas for locals [nytimes.com] . They claim they are more like the coast guard trying to protect the food of hungry people. I think entire cities have bought into their propaganda and are willing to harbor/help them.

True or not, it's brazen disregard for how other people see things that causes really really bad things for America. Going in there, shooting up criminals & leaving is not going to improve anyone's image. Yes, these people are kidnappers & thieves but I don't think insta-death is a good way to deal with them.

Not a whole lot in this world is purely black and white.

Re:Time for Qs to come back (1)

morgan_greywolf (835522) | more than 5 years ago | (#25877725)

Why not? How do the police deal with an uncooperative bank robber? They convince him to let the hostages go and/or lure him out and open a can of lead whoop-ass on him.

Re:Time for Qs to come back (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25877761)

Why not? How do the police deal with an uncooperative bank robber? They convince him to let the hostages go and/or lure him out and open a can of lead whoop-ass on him.

What a completely perfect analogy. Leave no one in Somalia alive.

Re:Time for Qs to come back (1)

morgan_greywolf (835522) | more than 5 years ago | (#25877781)

Please don't tell me that you are suggesting that all Somalians are pirates?

Re:Time for Qs to come back (0, Flamebait)

polar red (215081) | more than 5 years ago | (#25877803)

but the question is : who is the robber here ? Answer : the west. we are going over there and rob their seas and soil, and then we expect them to roll over docile ?

Re:Time for Qs to come back (1)

ElectricTurtle (1171201) | more than 5 years ago | (#25877989)

While the parent should be modded flamebait, I'll bite. You do realize that there has been virtually zero western influence in Somalia for years? Because Somalia's government has completely collapsed, no foreign company has the foolhardiness to operate there. There is no rule of law and no infrastructure. Any respectable foreign agent in Somalia would have little to nothing to gain and would likely get ripped to shreds. The only foreigners in Somalia are criminals and pirates from other countries.

Re:Time for Qs to come back (1)

polar red (215081) | more than 5 years ago | (#25878233)

a few years doesn't repair the influence of 300 years of colonialism.

Re:Time for Qs to come back (1)

kaynaan (1180525) | more than 5 years ago | (#25878269)

While the parent should be modded flamebait, I'll bite. You do realize that there has been virtually zero western influence in Somalia for years?

you do realize that Ethiopia who is currently occupying Somalia and has been for the last 2 years was given the go ahead by the states department and directly financed by the EU. far stretch from virtually zero influence don't you think ?

Re:Time for Qs to come back (4, Interesting)

AKAImBatman (238306) | more than 5 years ago | (#25877805)

"Launch Marine Assault to capture positively identified pirates" works just as well. It merely lacks that nice ring "blast them into next year" has. :-)

Your point is well taken. However, I still think Q-Ships are an answer. Q-Ships are the kind of bait that would cause pirates to identify themselves so that you can take action. Whether that be a matter of sinking them or capturing them, there's a good chance of it working. As a bonus, you'll start to give the pirates pause as they attempt to ascertain whether the ship they're about to attack is a real merchie or a Q-Ship.

For bonus points, borrow real merchant ships but crew them with naval officers and marines. That way NATO forces can move from ship to ship, leaving the pirates to further second-guess themselves. Is this merchie a trap? No way to know short of attempting attack.

Re:Time for Qs to come back (0)

eldavojohn (898314) | more than 5 years ago | (#25877875)

Your point is also well taken. I agree some military action must be taken here. I would rather see justice than death in this case though. Have the pirates been killing anyone? Not to my knowledge ....

As a bonus, you'll start to give the pirates pause ...

It was my understanding that these pirates are people in desperate times ... which--to some at least--calls for desperate measures. I fear that locally they are viewed as starving people stealing things to buy food or shelter with ... because the state of Somalia is not a healthy one. Warring politicians have left the populace in disrepair with no hope of stability or law enforcement.

I'm merely saddened your plan doesn't involve fixing any of Somalia's real problems. Just killing offenders.

It's funny, the shit has been hitting the fan for innocent civilians in Somalia but it only gets real attention (and demand for NATO intervention) when it starts to affect our trade ships ... heaven forbid our trade be interrupted!

Re:Time for Qs to come back (1)

YrWrstNtmr (564987) | more than 5 years ago | (#25877981)

I would rather see justice than death in this case though.

Justice from where? What court do you try them in? Somalia has no functioning government.

It's funny, the shit has been hitting the fan for innocent civilians in Somalia but it only gets real attention (and demand for NATO intervention) when it starts to affect our trade ships

Going into Somalia with assistance was tried not so long ago. Didn't work out too well. It's not surprising that there is no real desire to try it again.

Re:Time for Qs to come back (4, Insightful)

AKAImBatman (238306) | more than 5 years ago | (#25878063)

Have the pirates been killing anyone? Not to my knowledge ....

Sadly, this is incorrect:

http://www.news.com.au/story/0,23599,21842522-1702,00.html [news.com.au]
http://article.wn.com/view/2008/10/23/Pirates_to_kill_crew_on_arms_ship_if_NATO_ships_attack/ [wn.com]
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/1572236/Somali-pirates-threaten-to-kill-tanker-crew.html [telegraph.co.uk]

They can and do kill people. And if this is allowed to continue, more and more people are going to die. On both sides.

I'm merely saddened your plan doesn't involve fixing any of Somalia's real problems. Just killing offenders.

My plan only addresses the short term issue: The piracy. That has to be dealt with immediately. Unchecked piracy will only result in the loss of more lives and cause economic problems on a world-wide scale.

Dealing with the political issues in Somalia is a more complex issue that lacks an immediate solution. I wish I could venture a good plan, but I do not understand the dynamics of the situation well enough to produce one. It's not like Somalia hasn't been receiving foreign aid [questia.com] :

By some
reckonings, no other country save Israel has
received such high levels of military and
economic aid per capita; certainly no country
has less to show for it. Even before its collapse
into protracted civil war and anarchy in 1990,
Somalia had earned a reputation as a graveyard
of foreign aid, a land where aid projects were
notoriously unsuccessful, and where high levels
of foreign assistance helped to create an
entirely unsustainable, corrupt and repressive
state.

What do they do with our foreign aid workers? Why, they kidnap and kill them:

http://www.nytimes.com/2008/11/06/world/africa/06briefs-6FOREIGNAIDW_BRF.html [nytimes.com]
http://news.yahoo.com/s/afp/20081105/wl_afp/somaliaunrestreliefkidnap_081105183945 [yahoo.com]
http://www.patronusanalytical.com/files/Somali%20Aid%20Worker%20Murdered.php [patronusanalytical.com]
http://www.pr-inside.com/somali-aid-worker-killed-witnesses-say-r904499.htm [pr-inside.com]

What would you have us do? I'm all for finding a peaceful solution if one can be arrived at. But as of this moment, there is an immediate problem people are dying or being threatened with death.

Food for thought: Isn't it interesting how the pirates can't afford food, but can always afford assault rifles? Perhaps there is more to their Robin Hood image than meets the eye.

Re:Time for Qs to come back (2, Insightful)

Duradin (1261418) | more than 5 years ago | (#25878293)

So you want the US, fresh on its "success" in Iraq and Afghanistan to "liberate" yet another country we don't really understand (and one that we've previously failed in)?

We go in, "liberate" a country and get called the great satan and western pig-dog imperialists.

We don't go in and everyone whines that we're not doing anything.

Somali isn't even a cause of regime change. There is no effective regime. Somali would be like Afghanistan on hell difficulty in hardcore mode. Humanitarian aid doesn't work because you basically need to launch an invasion to get it to where and who it needs to go to. Then you have to make sure it stays where it should be. You've got warlords and factions to deal with, not a government. Each one will try to play you against the others.

Letting the pirates rake in millions of dollars in ransoms isn't helping anyone. They aren't going out in their little boats throwing sunshine and rainbows at their target.

In the long run probably the best thing that could happen would be that they end up sinking a ship. Then the fun and games would be over and the kid gloves would come off.

Re:Time for Qs to come back (2, Informative)

canUbeleiveIT (787307) | more than 5 years ago | (#25878307)

I'm merely saddened your plan doesn't involve fixing any of Somalia's real problems. Just killing offenders.

It's funny, the shit has been hitting the fan for innocent civilians in Somalia but it only gets real attention (and demand for NATO intervention) when it starts to affect our trade ships ... heaven forbid our trade be interrupted!

In principle I agree with what your sentiments, but it isn't as if helping Somalia hasn't been tried [wikipedia.org] . Unfortunately, the experience has been that going to Somalia and trying to help has often meant that one will be killed. Merely sending food, technology or money results in one or more of the ruling juntas stealing it.

It's a extremely unfortunate situation in which many innocents suffer and die, and many people and governments would happily give of their time and money to help the situation. But, sadly, it's kind of like giving money to your drug-addicted brother-in-law--helping him doesn't help him.

Re:Time for Qs to come back (4, Informative)

Snocone (158524) | more than 5 years ago | (#25878457)

It's funny, the shit has been hitting the fan for innocent civilians in Somalia but it only gets real attention (and demand for NATO intervention) when it starts to affect our trade ships

Uh, dude...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Black_Hawk_Down_(book) [wikipedia.org]

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Black_Hawk_Down_(film) [wikipedia.org]

For crying out loud, there's VIDEO GAMES about it.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Delta_Force:_Black_Hawk_Down [wikipedia.org]

Just exactly what does it take to meet your threshold for "real attention", since apparently a multiple Academy Award winning Ridley Scott motion picture doesn't do it?

Re:Time for Qs to come back (2, Interesting)

0100010001010011 (652467) | more than 5 years ago | (#25877975)

Why not just allow ships to arm themselves? Q-ships will just lead to "scout" pirate ships that test the waters to see if the ship is armed then still go after the regular ships.

If that oil tanker had a few RPGs and people that knew how to use them, there wouldn't be a problem. As other people have said these are fishing boats.

Re:Time for Qs to come back (4, Interesting)

Snocone (158524) | more than 5 years ago | (#25878321)

If that oil tanker had a few RPGs and people that knew how to use them, there wouldn't be a problem.

No, RPGs aren't an appropriate defense weapon. 500m is the propulsion limit and the limit of hand held accuracy is more like 50m.

All you need is a handful of hunting rifles of polar bear hunting capability, I suggest my preferred caliber the .300 Win Mag aka 7.62 × 67 mm. Half a dozen of those on deck and you are effectively safe from anything short of an actual warship.
 

Re:Time for Qs to come back (1)

Reapman (740286) | more than 5 years ago | (#25878617)

The problem with that is, right now although the Pirates are armed with RPG's and such they're not generally using them (not saying deaths haven't occured) Doing so would result in an arms race. Look at the roadside bombs on Afganistan.. we supply heavier armor to protect the troops, they build bigger bombs. Although I won't say your idea doesn't have merit, I've thought it myself, it must be looked at carefully before going down such a path.

Re:Time for Qs to come back (1)

willrj.marshall (1084747) | more than 5 years ago | (#25878135)

There's a fair argument to make that the poor Somali are simply trying to make ends meet. We're rich. They're not. This dichotomy is at least partly our fault. Is it surprising that they're resentful and willing to *take* what they don't have.

Re:Time for Qs to come back (1)

mo (2873) | more than 5 years ago | (#25877717)

I heard a report on the Diane Rehm show that that's exactly what they're planning to do. The other approach that is forthcoming is convoys where multiple shipping vessels get together with one armed gunboat to protect them. Blackwater has come forth as a potential candidate for the security contract of future convoys.

Re:Time for Qs to come back (3, Interesting)

IronChef (164482) | more than 5 years ago | (#25878283)

I can't find the reference right now, but when I was reading about piracy last week arming the merchant ships was said to be difficult politically.

I think it was something like this: the merchant ships have to pass through many nations' waters, and in some of those nations the arms needed to fight off pirates are illegal. So... if you have private armed guards on board, you're breaking the law at some of your ports. Therefore, being a well behaved company, you don't have guards at all.

This is lame, even as it makes sense. How would a US port feel about a foreign ship pulling in when a dozen civilians with grenade launchers are strolling around on deck? The Coast Guard would go ape.

Anyway, I would like to find a proper explanation for the current state of affairs.

Re:Time for Qs to come back (4, Insightful)

jmorris42 (1458) | more than 5 years ago | (#25878469)

> How would a US port feel about a foreign ship pulling in when a dozen civilians
> with grenade launchers are strolling around on deck? The Coast Guard would go ape.

As an NRA member I'm not afraid of arms or people wielding them, so long as they are the right people bearing them for the right reasons and shooting them at the right (or would that be wrong?) people. So no, I would have no problem with a $150M tanker laden with $100M in crude being armed. Seems rather sane to me. If we are trusting the crew not to use the far more dangerous tanker itself as a weapon I see no reason to begrudge them a couple of rocket launchers to defend themselves from pirates. No, they can't carry them off the ship and they should be expected to have the decency to stow them away once they are safely in US waters. If I can't have a rocket launcher why should they get to have all the fun. :)

This story just goes to show ya what pansies we have allowed ourselves to become. Can you imagine pirate infested waters under Ronald Reagan's six hundred ship navy? People might accuse America of trying to police the world, but dang it back when we really did it the world was a safer place... as it was when the British Navy ruled the seas. Pirates had short life expectancies.

Re:Time for Qs to come back (1)

Neanderthal Ninny (1153369) | more than 5 years ago | (#25878399)

That is what they did during the WWII. They had merchie converted to carry 5-inch guns and torpedo tubes. When the U-boat came close, remember back then they didn't have good sonar so most of the kills where visual kills so they had to come in visual range, they would open the canvas covers and open fire on the U-boats. I think a RAM launcher and 25-mm cannon would put these craft and ships out of order quickly.
http://www.globalsecurity.org/military/systems/munitions/ram.htm [globalsecurity.org]
http://www.globalsecurity.org/military/systems/ship/systems/mk-38.htm [globalsecurity.org]
However the better method is to put an blockade on the Somalia coast. Any boat or ship going in and out of the blockade will stopped and checked. Hey, we (the USA) did this to a nuclear armed country why not a much simpler armed pirates?

Not Pirates (5, Funny)

youngerpants (255314) | more than 5 years ago | (#25877363)

I wish people would stop using the word Pirate; they're merely redistributing content.

Re:Not Pirates (1)

Daimanta (1140543) | more than 5 years ago | (#25877477)

Yes, they redistribute valuables from a big ship to a small port. What's wrong with redistributing the contents of a big ship?

Re:Not Pirates (1)

aardwolf64 (160070) | more than 5 years ago | (#25877509)

I know, we'll let the majority vote on whether or not we should take the contents from the bigger ships and distribute to the smaller ships... Just the ones catching less than 250,000 fish per year.

Re:Not Pirates (3, Funny)

Mantrid (250133) | more than 5 years ago | (#25877539)

We should really be going after the shipyards...without them, we wouldn't have this problem!!

Re:Not Pirates (2, Informative)

megamerican (1073936) | more than 5 years ago | (#25877541)

Historically, there were very few real pirates.

Most were privateers, meaning they were sponsored by a nation. It wouldn't surprise me if this is the case here as well. These so-called pirates don't have a lot to gain in the long term. It'll be interesting to see what the response will be by governments in order to "fix" this problem and who really benefits.

These stories about pirates have been very frequent in the past few weeks, magically when oil and gas are well below what most could have ever predicted.

Take off the tinfoil hat (5, Insightful)

spun (1352) | more than 5 years ago | (#25877833)

No, most pirates were not privateers. But most privateers were also pirates. The reason being, privateers could only get Letters of Marque and Reprisal [wikipedia.org] when their country was at war, and the letters only covered attacking enemy shipping. What did privateers do during the times their country was not at war? They turned to outright piracy.

The idea of modern countries handing out letters of Marque is ridiculous. Implying the pirates are after oil is just dumb. Saying the pirates don't have a lot to gain in the long run is also stupid, and shows how uneducated you are on the matter. Just look at the ransoms they receive. You only have to do it once. This is not some kind of Pirates of the Caribbean secret order of pirates. This is groups of starving desperate men trying for the Big Score. They take what they can get, and hope the shipping company will pay a ransom rather than see their ship sunk. They aren't selling oil and goods on the black market.

Re:Not Pirates (2, Insightful)

MozeeToby (1163751) | more than 5 years ago | (#25878301)

Have you heard anything about Somolia in the past, oh I don't know 20 years? There is no government in control of the people, not in the sense you seem to imply. There's also no organized economy or workers rights. Most likely, these pirates are average people with starving family back home, doing anything they can to put food on the table.

Like a lot of problems around the world, the only way you are going to 'fix' the problem is to raise the standard of living so that the risks of brazenly illegal behavior outweigh the benifits. Sending aid is, of course, a very tricky situation. For many people, it feels like rewarding people who have broken the law. Not to mention there will always be the select few who have become attached to the power they have gained.

Re:Not Pirates (2, Informative)

PPalmgren (1009823) | more than 5 years ago | (#25878357)

I work for a large shipping company. Piracy has been in the news lately because they are going after larger and larger ships in deeper waters. The most recent headliner was a supertanker carrying $100 million in crude oil getting hijacked, the largest vessel in history to ever be hijacked. One of our company's vessels fended off an attempted hijacking a few weeks ago as well. Regardless of cargo, vessels of this size often cost nearly 6 figures a day just to own, let alone operating costs. The costs of these hijackings are astronomical, that is why they are in the news. It is not OPEC propaganda.

ooh yeah (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25877399)

Here's some piracy [gaysex.com] for you!

Where's Wall Street? (1, Insightful)

Doc Ruby (173196) | more than 5 years ago | (#25877405)

How come Wall Street doesn't have the biggest cluster? It's talking about robbing $7.4 TRILLION [bloomberg.com] in booty from Americans now, with no end in sight.

Re:Where's Wall Street? (1)

larry bagina (561269) | more than 5 years ago | (#25877427)

Wall street is on the receiving end of that largess, but they're not doing the robbing. Congress is.

Re:Where's Wall Street? (1)

Doc Ruby (173196) | more than 5 years ago | (#25877687)

Oh, right, it's just a coincidence that Wall Street is getting bailed out, and Wall Street spend huge money on bribes and inserting cronies into government.

Congress is stuffing the loot into sacks. But of course it's Wall Street's piracy operation.

Re:Where's Wall Street? (2, Insightful)

spun (1352) | more than 5 years ago | (#25877895)

Technically, Wall Street is the Capo di tutti Capi directing their Uomini D'onore, Congress, on who to shake down. Leave it to a troll who's name is deliberately reminiscent of 'hairy vagina' to defend Wall Street.

Re:Where's Wall Street? (2)

Cyberax (705495) | more than 5 years ago | (#25877491)

Don't worry. Crimson Permanent Assurance Co. will get them.

Woah if you zoom in, you can see the ships! (3, Funny)

FredFredrickson (1177871) | more than 5 years ago | (#25877415)

Google identified the pirate locations based on the ships themselves! If you zoom in on one, such as Attack ID: 2008/187 You can actually see the pirate ship, and somebody walking the plank! (Just above puerto la cruz)

Shippers urge copyright blockade of Somali coast (5, Funny)

mcgrew (92797) | more than 5 years ago | (#25877423)

By EILEEN NG - 42 minutes ago
KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia (AP) -- Shipping officials from around the world called Monday for a military blockade along Somalia's coast to intercept copyright infringer vessels heading out to sea. Yemen's government said Somali copyright infringers have seized another ship.

Peter Swift, managing director of the International Association of Independent Tanker Owners, said stronger naval action -- including aerial and aviation support -- is necessary to battle rampant piracy in the Gulf of Aden near Somalia.

But NATO, which has four warships off the coast of Somalia, rejected a blockade.

Some 20 tankers sail through the sea lane daily. But many tanker owners are considering a massive detour around southern Africa to avoid copyright infringers, which will delay delivery and push costs up by 30 percent, Swift said.
The association, whose members own 2,900 tankers or 75 percent of the world's fleet, opposes attempts to arm merchant ships because it could escalate the violence and put crew members at even greater risk, he said.
"The other option is perhaps putting a blockade around Somalia and introducing the idea of intercepting vessels leaving Somalia rather than to try to protect the whole of the Gulf of Aden," Swift said.

Somali copyright infringers have become increasingly brazen, seizing eight vessels in the past two weeks, including a huge Saudi supertanker loaded with $100 million worth of crude oil.

On Monday, Yemen's Interior Ministry says Somali copyright infringers have hijacked a Yemeni cargo ship in the Arabian Sea. It said communication with the vessel was lost last Tuesday after it had been out to sea for a week.

The ship is called Adina and it was not immediately clear what cargo it was carrying. The U.S. 5th Fleet based in Bahrain could not confirm the hijacking.
The Arabian Sea is part of the Indian Ocean and stretches between Yemen and Somalia. The Gulf of Aden links it with the Red Sea.

A blockade along Somalia's 2,400 mile coastline would not be easy.
"But some intervention there may be effective," Swift told reporters on the sidelines of a shipping conference in Malaysia.

U.S. Gen. John Craddock, NATO's supreme allied commander, said Monday the alliance's mandate is solely to escort World Food Program ships to Somalia and to conduct anti-piracy patrols.

Asked what he thought of a Russian proposal to jointly attack the copyright infringer strongholds, Craddock answered: "That's far beyond what I've been tasked to do."

According to Lt. Nathan Christensen, 5th Fleet spokesman, more than 14 warships from Denmark, France, India, Malaysia, Pakistan, Russia, the U.S. and NATO are currently patrolling a vast international maritime corridor. They escort some merchant ships and respond to distress calls in the area.
Christensen declined to comment on the idea of a blockade.
But the navies say it is virtually impossible to patrol the vast sea around the gulf.
NATO has ruled out a blockade.

"Blocking ports is not contemplated by NATO," said NATO Secretary General Jaap de Hoop Scheffer in Brussels. U.N. Security Council resolutions "do not include these kind of actions and as far as NATO is concerned, this is at the moment not on the cards," he said.

Secretary-General of the Arab League Amr Moussa said Monday Arabs should deploy their own naval forces to fight piracy in the Horn of Africa and also cooperate with foreign fleets in the area.

Diplomats of the Arab countries on the Red Sea met in Cairo last week to coordinate efforts to combat piracy, but some of these nations have been reluctant to get involved.

Somalia, an impoverished nation caught up in an Islamic insurgency, has had no functioning government since 1991. Before the Yemeni report of another hijacked ship, there had been 95 copyright infringer attacks so far this year in Somali waters, with 39 ships hijacked.

There were 15 ships with nearly 300 crew still in the hands of Somali copyright infringers, who dock the hijacked vessels near the eastern and southern coast as they negotiate for ransom. That does not include the Yemeni cargo vessel.
"Any action to prevent the copyright infringers from heading out to sea is welcome," said Noel Choong, who heads the International Maritime Bureau's piracy reporting center in Kuala Lumpur. He said it was up to the international community to decide how they can deploy their forces for the blockade.
The Baltic and International Maritime Council, the world's largest private shipping organization, echoed calls for greater military action.
"Despite increased patrols by coalition forces, piracy attacks continue. We hope a system ... will be put in place to coordinate the coalition forces," said Thomas Timlen, its Asian liaison officer. "It's clear from recent events ... that more needs to be done."

Both Swift and Timlen said a blockade is possible if the multi-coalition naval force coordinate their actions and more warships are sent to the area with a stronger mandate.

U.N. resolutions now allow pursuit of copyright infringer ships but various countries interpret the law differently, Swift said.

He called for a clear mandate from the United Nations to allow warships to intercept copyright infringer ships and arrest the sea bandits.
Associated Press reporters Slobodan Lekic in Brussels and Ahmed al-Haj in Sana, Yemen contributed to this report.
Hosted by
Copyright © 2008 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

Re:Shippers urge copyright blockade of Somali coas (1)

canderley (1234622) | more than 5 years ago | (#25877519)

omg I so wish I had mod points right now.

Re:Shippers urge copyright blockade of Somali coas (1)

StikyPad (445176) | more than 5 years ago | (#25877969)

stronger naval action -- including aerial and aviation support -- is necessary to battle rampant piracy in the Gulf of Aden near Somalia.

Nice try, grasshopper.. You got the concrete nouns, but you missed the abstract.

/.ed (1)

WiiVault (1039946) | more than 5 years ago | (#25877431)

5 Comments in and its already Slashdotted. Time to upgrade the 'ol 486!

Re:/.ed (2, Informative)

smallshot (1202439) | more than 5 years ago | (#25877721)

not the first time i've seen a joomla site /.ed. pretty sure its not the server.

start "paying attention to the real problems"? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25877439)

so, if I'm hearing you correctly, illicit traffic in IP/music/movies/etc isn't a real problem?

I wonder how fast you'd hold to that dodge if someone was stealing/rehosting your content

Re:start "paying attention to the real problems"? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25877577)

True, however it doesn't cause any physical harm as piracy tends to.. I'd say while it's not entirely harmless, it is definatly much 'less real'

They've kidnapped the maps! (5, Funny)

davidwr (791652) | more than 5 years ago | (#25877445)

NEWS FLASH

This just in...

Somali pirates have seized control of Slashdot and are using it as their new gunship to take down web sites such as http://www.icc-ccs.org/ [icc-ccs.org] .

Site slashdotted, mirror here: (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25877531)

Site is slashdotted, here's a mirror of the current pirate activity:

Pirate Hotbed [google.com]

Convoys (5, Interesting)

zentinal (602572) | more than 5 years ago | (#25877573)

Does anyone know why, given the huge area and the number of ships to protect, merchant ships in the area aren't being organized into convoys with military escort through those waters?

Wouldn't that strategy work at least as well as it did in WWII? [wikipedia.org]

I don't think the pirates have submarines or aircraft... yet.

Re:Convoys (1)

18_Rabbit (663482) | more than 5 years ago | (#25877723)

I've been wondering this myself. Not only did it work well in WWII, it has worked since the age of sail.

Re:Convoys (3, Interesting)

kwiqsilver (585008) | more than 5 years ago | (#25877897)

Because that would be expensive. There are too many ships going through the Red Sea or other hot spots to organize small enough convoys that don't end up leaving ships waiting for days for an escort. And imagine the traffic jams you'd see at the Suez and Panama Canals when that convoy showed up.

If you want a military solution, a better option would be to park a carrier or two in each hot spot, and give each merchant ship contact information for the carrier(s) in an area, so they can call in a strafing run on any small, well armed boats that get too close (like pirate 911).

A better solution still would be to remove the international legal restrictions against carrying small arms (e.g. battle rifles) and fixed armaments (e.g. fixed machine guns and light artillery) on a merchant ship. A few years ago, a Cruise Ship [wikipedia.org] used a sonic weapon to fend off a pirate attack off Somalia. Imagine if instead of a non-lethal sonic cannon, they had unleashed a few rounds from a 30mm Cannon [wikipedia.org] modified to fire at sea-based attackers. It would have stopped that attack and prevented those pirates (and that boat) from mounting any future attacks.

Re:Convoys (3, Informative)

YrWrstNtmr (564987) | more than 5 years ago | (#25878069)

give each merchant ship contact information for the carrier(s) in an area, so they can call in a strafing run on any small, well armed boats that get too close (like pirate 911).

By the time the 'small, well armed boat' is identifiably too close...it is too close for an aircraft to get there in time. Plus which, the military pilot can't just take the word of some random guy about whether to shoot some other random boat in the water.

Re:Convoys (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25877995)

Why don't they form convoys?
Because these are commercial ships, each with its own schedule, route, and agenda.

Why don't they arm themselves?
Because these are small crews on huge boats, their goal is to stay alive, if they start a gun fight, those odds drop.

Why do these companies pay the ransoms? Doesn't that just encourage more piracy?
Because these companies and their investors want their really expensive stuff back, and paying a small percentage of face value is therefore a good deal. Why would they care what long term consequences it has on other ships.

Re:Convoys (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25878083)

There's not enough ships to guard every convoy and the shipping lanes aren't a war zone. In WW2 if a destroyer saw a boat they could sink him; that's not possible right now because Somali "fishing" boats are allowed to operate in Somali waters.

the REAL piracy is on wall street (0, Offtopic)

swschrad (312009) | more than 5 years ago | (#25877605)

remember the "bailout?" more like a handout to old buddies from the club for King Henry. a yo-ho-ho and a tip of the hat when they put a cluster of about 10 circles in New York.

The World's Biggest Pirate Is (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25877665)

U.S. Pledge for Bailout: U.S. $ 7.4 trillion

This Criminal [whitehouse.org] who
continues steal from the U.S. Treasury: Priceless

speaking of piracy (2, Interesting)

jollyreaper (513215) | more than 5 years ago | (#25877639)

It looks like the jacked up idle template pirated my user page. What do we have to do to get rid of it?

The Real Deal. (1)

Ostracus (1354233) | more than 5 years ago | (#25877643)

"Considering how much time we spend talking about the other kind, I think it's worth paying attention to the real problems out there."

You don't consider people who share content they're not suppose to a "real problem"? Why am I not surprised?

The solution is simple (4, Funny)

xs650 (741277) | more than 5 years ago | (#25877653)

Send the RIAA and their lawyers after the pirates. It won't stop the piracy, but it will get rid of the RIAA and a bunch of lawyers.

RIAA (1)

javilon (99157) | more than 5 years ago | (#25877655)

If I were the RIAA I would be donating money to the effort the united nations are making to stop Somali pirates. That way they could try to keep the word "piracy" for their own corporate use.
Right now, with the news of the pirates real kidnapping and killing, people has to be wondering why the same word is used for someone that makes a copy of a file.

Piet Hein (2, Interesting)

tsa (15680) | more than 5 years ago | (#25877713)

Here in NL we have a song about Piet Hein. [wikipedia.org] He brought us the Spanish silver fleet when Holland ruled the waves and was at war with the Spaniards in the 17th century. He was a national hero back then, but in fact he was just a pirate. He stole all the silver the Spaniards had stolen from the natives in South America.

Excellent work Google! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25877745)

Now I can find where to download the new Photoshop more easily!

Proof for Pastafarienism (4, Insightful)

Nick Ives (317) | more than 5 years ago | (#25877813)

The Great Flying Spaghetti Monster has revealed to us that there is a link between pirates and global warming, as piracy goes down, global warming increases [venganza.org] . Surely this is evidence (not that any is needed) for this basic truth? As pirates steal oil tankers the price of oil will increase thereby limiting its consumption and decreasing the amount of global warming.

It's plain simple logic, just like the plain, simple, wholesome taste of pasta with a tomato sauce.

Re:Proof for Pastafarienism (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25878333)

Most of what you say sounds valid, but Sir, your words offend me. The mer implication that tomato sauce is "wholesome".

Member of the church of White-Sauce Pastafarian

Real problem? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25877877)

"I think it's worth paying attention to the real problems out there."

Problem? I find it refreshing that pirates are able to preserve their autonomy in spite of the land cartel.

"Real" Piracy? (1, Insightful)

Beyond Opinion (959609) | more than 5 years ago | (#25877959)

I believe that re-distributing digital content is the new piracy. The merchants seem to be scared enough of it, and like "real" piracy, they can do things to put a damper on it, but it's going to keep happening until they find a different way to distribute it. In this round, the merchants use DRM and lawsuits instead of cannon and guns-for-hire, and in place of the Seven Seas we have the World Wide Web. We even have "letters of mark" from people like Radiohead and Trent Reznor. And if digital piracy doesn't seem adventurous enough for ye romantics out there, take a look at some of the exploits of the world's largest BitTorrent tracker: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Pirate_Bay/ [wikipedia.org] http://thepiratebay.org/legal/ [thepiratebay.org] I'm not saying that "boat" piracy doesn't exist, of course, but that digital piracy is just as legitimate.

Historical Precident (4, Interesting)

sp3d2orbit (81173) | more than 5 years ago | (#25878001)

I'm normally pro-US hegemony and quick to defend our actions. But, I'm about to give a silver bullet to my opposition.

I can't help but notice the parallels between America's situation and Rome during its final centuries. Rome eventually degraded as barbaric pressures from the outside world overwhelmed their ability to control them.

Modern America seems to be collapsing under a similar weight. Terrorism and piracy are equivalent modern forms of barbarism. The fact that the US cannot control it anymore validates the position that the US military is way overstretched and that our empire is on the decline.

Ug.

Re:Historical Precident (1)

willrj.marshall (1084747) | more than 5 years ago | (#25878289)

Terrorism is not actually any more of a problem than it has always been, except insofar as it has been recently used as an excuse for all sorts of bad internal and foreign policy on the part of the US, UK and Australian governments.

Re:Historical Precident (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25878511)

Ummm, and of course Modern America and Anciend Rome ruled under very intellicent people.

So all that was fault of damn barbarians...

Re:Historical Precident (2, Insightful)

Panseh (1072370) | more than 5 years ago | (#25878533)

How many of these ships taken hostage have been American owned? None that I know of. Even if they were all American ships, the pirates only received an estimated $30 million in ransoms this year. Not exactly a huge chunk of US GDP. Consider focusing your concerns on issues within the country, rather than get distracted by FUD like terrorism and piracy.

Re:Historical Precident (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25878641)

I'm not going to dismiss the notion of any parallels between America's present situation and that of the fall of Rome. But I'm not sure that the ones you've stated stand up to scrutiny.

If there's one thing we should take from the last 8 years, is that international terrorism is not a problem to be solved through military means.

As for these pirates. Purely because the US hasn't sent its military to deal with them, doesn't mean that it couldn't. The US Navy is quite capable of indiscriminately denying Somalian ships passage to the sea. Not to mention sending in the marines, or airstrikes. Now this would be like swatting some flies with the 5th fleet. And undoubtebly the wrong move, given the situation. But its a mistake to confuse not having the capability, and not choosing you use that capability.

So... (4, Funny)

yyr (1289270) | more than 5 years ago | (#25878013)

...when will there be a Google map showing the locations of ninjas?

Atlas Shrugged (0)

sp3d2orbit (81173) | more than 5 years ago | (#25878061)

Hmmm, the economy is collapsing because of the sin of "greed". People are screaming for the government to bail them out because of their "need". Huge industries are being nationalized in the name of protecting the People. And now, Ragnar Danneskjold, is terrorizing the seas.

Where have I seen this before?

Citizen of the Galaxy as applied to this problem: (2, Interesting)

Ortega-Starfire (930563) | more than 5 years ago | (#25878109)

Robert Heinlein wrote a book where merchant ships scooting through space were armed with nuclear rockets to blow the pirates straight to hell because the government cruisers, while effective, were few and far between.

Obviously, we don't need to go nuclear on the pirates, but some small arms would go a long way to curbing the problem. Bigger ships can get bigger guns.

Arm each ship with some guns and grenade launchers. Scale up as appropriate for larger ships. Problem solved.

massive weaponry has been suggested (1)

peter303 (12292) | more than 5 years ago | (#25878153)

But its a question of manpower. These large argo ships have may one, two dozen people to keep costs down. The pirates have a semi-infinite supply.

Re:massive weaponry has been suggested (1)

Philzli (813353) | more than 5 years ago | (#25878381)

http://www.rheinmetall-detec.de/index.php?fid=2919&lang=3&pdb=1 [rheinmetall-detec.de]
Something like this could the trick, I think. Can be remote controlled, what about a company that installs and maintains those guns and also takes care of the firing? :)

Re:massive weaponry has been suggested (2, Funny)

Ortega-Starfire (930563) | more than 5 years ago | (#25878447)

Hire adventurers? Put an exclamation point in front of the hiring place and gun toting wow players will naturally gravitate towards the quest giver. Set up cameras and sell footage to TV shows. Adventurers get salvage rights on the pirates taken out, everyone wins.

Call it the Naval Interdiction Nullification Joint Assault program. Or for short, the NINJA program.

Lets see how that would play out (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25878613)

Merchant ships start arming themselves with small weapons.
Pirates notice this and begin increasing their armament to compensate.
Merchant ships begin loading bigger and bigger guns in an accelerating arms race in an effort to scare off the pirates.
Pirates become used to buying weapons from the black market and scavenging from captured merchant ships.
Naval artillery becomes as easily available as AK's as weapons manufacturers begin to step up production to meet the increased demand.
Pirate fleets begin to organize themselves with small lightly armed scout ships and heavily armed destroyers cruising through the seas. They experiment with a few old Russian subs acquired cheaply.
Turf wars begin to erupt between the pirates as the small guys are not able to keep up with the arms race and the big players begin to defend their 'feeding grounds'.
Some of the more desperate merchants begin to hire pirate groups to protect their cargo from the other pirates.
International navies realise that the situation is getting out of hand and try to intervene only to actually be outgunned.
The cost of shipping goods increases exponentially as protection money costs are passed on to the consumer.
Boosted by the influx of cash from "protecting" merchant ships, huge pirate flotillas, the rival of any countries' navy, begin raiding sea ports worldwide stealing cargo even from dry land, blockading ports and demanding ransoms, etc.
The world's oceans become a lawless zone where people fear to tread. People begin to move away from the coasts for fear of pirates. Cities like Singapore become pirate-run towns.
Governments try to use their full military force to stamp out the problem only to realize that the pirates just keep growing in number and CANNOT BE STOPPED. For every one that falls a new one is born.

AND THIS IS HOW THE PIRATE NATION WAS BORN!!!!

A little background (2, Interesting)

kaynaan (1180525) | more than 5 years ago | (#25878479)

This Issue is not black and white as most people think. This piracy has been going on for more than a 15 years off the coast of Somalia. In the past the targets were usually Japanese boats illegally tuna fishing a few miles off the north-eastern coast. back home these men are not looked upon as pirates they were a de facto navy for so long. believe it or not they have certain code they follow which is largely based on our nomadic culture .. they have not hurt a single hostage nor are they interested in doing so ... their hostages are treated with respect and food and water are shared equally among capture and captured... they are not locked up or anything like that. I admit the last few months what they are doing is beyond the pale .. but I cannot help admiring the the courage to take on a vessels of that size with dingy motor boats. contrary to what many articles report they are nowhere near as organized as they would have you believe .. the whole hi-tech thieves things is BS ... granted the last 'pirate' boat i've seen was about 13 years ago .. but the only thing these guys have got going for them is the 2 steel spheres in their shorts
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