I've been grimly amused reading about the latest wleaks webhosting drama over the past few days because of the astounding lack of understanding of how distributed systems work displayed by both the media and lawmakers. Perhaps this is our fault as technologists, maybe we're not explaining things clearly enough.
I've decided to draw some pictures on virtual cocktail napkins to help.
This is (mostly) how servers and data flow on the internet used to work:
The cat is out of the bag, that file ain't never coming back. It's time to move on, folks.
I think it's hard for people to conceptualize decentralized networks. But it's really important to think about things this way, because this is what the internet is today. That first model is long, long gone.