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Belgian ISP Ordered to Block The Pirate Bay; Telecomix and TPB Offer Workarounds

Unknown Lamer posted about 3 years ago | from the when-will-politicians-learn dept.

Censorship 97

bs0d3 writes "Today a court in Belgium overruled an earlier judgment and ordered an ISP to block The Pirate Bay. The type of block to be used by the ISP is a simple DNS filter, which is similar to ones used before in Denmark. In Denmark the DNS block was extremely easy to circumvent, and the attention to The Pirate Bay actually increased Danish site traffic after the block. Today a hacktivist group called Telecomix, which is more recently known for helping to establish communications during the Internet blackout in Egypt, is offering their help. Their custom made 'censorship proof' DNS service is designed for situations just like this. ISP customers facing a block can simply use Telecomix's DNS server instead of the ISP-provided one to access blocked sites such as The Pirate Bay." The Pirate Bay also has suggestions for getting around the DNS block.

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There is no such thing as "censorship proof" (4, Insightful)

elrous0 (869638) | about 3 years ago | (#37602932)

It only comes down to a question of how determined your ISP/government is to block you. If the ISP's really wanted to, they could keep an active running blacklist of all of all IP's associated with Telecomix and other proxy sites (the way Websense [wikipedia.org] and other blocking software companies do). It would never be perfect, but it would be pretty damned effective for all but the most determined/informed geeks. And, even worse, if the government really wanted to, they could just keep a tally of everyone even trying to access those IP's and kick down your door one night to drag you off to a prison cell somewhere.

Fortunately, this sort of behavior is pretty uncommon in most developed countries, but don't kid yourself. If they *really* wanted to shut you up, they could. All they have to do is throw up enough obstacles and threats. And, as a last resort, they can even just pull the plug altogether (like they did [npr.org] in San Francisco during the BART protests, and in Egypt [telegraph.co.uk] during the protests there). Most ISP's cave pretty quickly when soldiers show up with rifles and tanks.

Re:There is no such thing as "censorship proof" (3, Interesting)

MrKevvy (85565) | about 3 years ago | (#37603068)

It would never be perfect, but it would be pretty damned effective for all but the most determined/informed geeks."

VPNs aren't that geeky anymore.

Re:There is no such thing as "censorship proof" (1)

JustNiz (692889) | about 3 years ago | (#37603304)

I read somewhere that one country (I think its India) is simply blocking/making illegal all/any encrypted traffic on the basis that they can't conduct legal wiretaps on encrypted data.

Re:There is no such thing as "censorship proof" (3, Informative)

jandoedel (1149947) | about 3 years ago | (#37603458)

That country is Pakistan, and you read it on slashdot a month ago.

Re:There is no such thing as "censorship proof" (1)

mehrotra.akash (1539473) | about 3 years ago | (#37608704)

In India also, any encryption with a key greater than 40 bits is illegal unless the key is deposited with the govt.

The rule is not implemented, but it is there

Re:There is no such thing as "censorship proof" (1)

GNious (953874) | about 3 years ago | (#37609632)

Any rule on how the key is deposited with the govt.?

Re:There is no such thing as "censorship proof" (1)

mehrotra.akash (1539473) | about 3 years ago | (#37610184)

http://www.dot.gov.in/isp/guide_international_gateway.htm

II. LEVEL OF ENCRYPTION

Individuals/Groups/Organisations are permitted to use encryption upto 40 bit key length in the RSA algorithms or its equivalent in other algorithms without having to obtain permission. However, if encryption equipments higher than this limit are to be deployed, individuals/groups/organisations shall do so with the permission of the Telecom Authority and deposit the decryption key, split into two parts, with the Telecom Authority.

Re:There is no such thing as "censorship proof" (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37609886)

Which means you'll be reading it again on slashdot in 3... 2... 1...

Re:There is no such thing as "censorship proof" (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37610692)

Cue the use of chaffing and winnowing [wikipedia.org] ...

Re:There is no such thing as "censorship proof" (2)

Hatta (162192) | about 3 years ago | (#37603264)

There's also no such thing as circumvention proof. It's always been a cat and mouse game, and it always will be.

Re:There is no such thing as "censorship proof" (2)

SleazyRidr (1563649) | about 3 years ago | (#37604030)

But you don't need it to be "circumvention proof". You just need to make it enough of a hassle that no-one but the truly dedicated bothers with it.

Re:There is no such thing as "censorship proof" (1)

Anthony Mouse (1927662) | about 3 years ago | (#37604576)

You can't even do that, because it's just software. The truly dedicated find a way to circumvent it, produce a tool which is distributed over the internet to everyone else and the censorship is avoided. In order to prevent that, you would have to stop people from communicating with each other and distributing the tool -- which you can do in theory, you can close the whole internet in theory, but in almost all cases it makes the cost for the censorship entity vastly exceed the benefit of being able to censor because of unwanted suppression of legitimate communication due to false positives. For example, see the complete lack of success of the DMCA anti-circumvention law in preventing the dissemination of circumvention tools.

The exceptions are countries like China and North Korea where if the ability to censor is impeded, there could be a popular revolution, and so the government is willing to take oppressive action and impede legitimate speech -- and even there it is arguable whether they have a stable long-term censorship solution in place or they've just managed to delay the inevitable.

Re:There is no such thing as "censorship proof" (1)

SleazyRidr (1563649) | about 3 years ago | (#37604632)

Well, it just becomes an arms race. Once the tool gets popular enough that you notice it you block the tool. Then they make a new tool, then you block that. As a bonus side effect, you train the next generation of hackers.

Re:There is no such thing as "censorship proof" (2)

Anthony Mouse (1927662) | about 3 years ago | (#37605284)

Well, it just becomes an arms race. Once the tool gets popular enough that you notice it you block the tool. Then they make a new tool, then you block that. As a bonus side effect, you train the next generation of hackers.

It is an arms race that the censor will lose, because the hackers are perfectly capable of communicating in ways that require politically suicidal measures to prevent. Never mind simple work-arounds like P2P software that downloads digitally signed updates for a list of censored name:address mappings from arbitrary peers. You take The Pirate Bay out of the DNS, what do you do when people post the IP address for The Pirate Bay in the comments for every site that shows up on the first five pages of search results when you type "The Pirate Bay" into Google? Or do with the IP address what people did with the HD-DVD key on Digg? What if people just use a proxy, VPN or TOR -- will you block every SSL connection in the world because it could be one of those things? It's a losing battle, and it will be better for all of us if we can make the politicians realize that and admit defeat before they cause any more damage.

Re:There is no such thing as "censorship proof" (1)

RivenAleem (1590553) | about 3 years ago | (#37626270)

I read that as "There's also no such thing as circumcision proof". Almost spat out my coffee.

Re:There is no such thing as "censorship proof" (2)

Co0Ps (1539395) | about 3 years ago | (#37603872)

I agree. Censorship is a society/social problem so let's discuss it as such and have it derail into technical workarounds which just steals focus for the real problem. It's kinda like the crypto discussion where nerds claim to be invincible because they are using 1024 bit AES encryption with a 512 bit password. If the government wants your "secret" information the will hit you with a rubber hose until you talk. In this case - yes you can always use a custom DNS list, VPN or a SSH proxy... but that's not the issue here..

Re:There is no such thing as "censorship proof" (3, Interesting)

Anthony Mouse (1927662) | about 3 years ago | (#37604944)

It is certainly true that censorship is a political question rather than a technological one, but we can't forget that the technology impacts the policy discussion. Those who promote censorship will argue that keeping people from The Pirate Bay is worth the cost of breaking the DNS and impeding legitimate speech, such as the discussions of public policy and advocacy of policy positions that are presented on The Pirate Bay's blog. If the true state of things is that everyone interested in copyright infringement will be able to download a censorship work-around just as easily as they downloaded a BitTorrent client (or the work-around will come in as an automatic update to the client), but people with a casual or academic interest in the issue who are unwilling to download a legally questionable censorship work-around will be prohibited from hearing what The Pirate Bay has to say, the case for censorship completely falls apart. As they say, if you outlaw information then only outlaws will have information.

Ignoring the impact of technology ignores the futility of the policy. It makes it look like a good policy on paper when the reality is completely different.

That said, if your point is that the technology does not make the policy irrelevant, I completely agree. The fact that technology will allow anyone to circumvent the censorship does not eliminate the harms of censorship -- it breaks DNSSEC, prevents law-abiding citizens unwilling to execute a work-around from accessing a variety of non-infringing material, and it legitimizes the idea of censorship. For those reasons it must be fought as a policy matter regardless of the technology.

But technology creates a powerful policy argument that the expected benefits will not accrue while the costs accumulate, and it strengthens the argument that censorship should not be adopted as a policy.

Re:There is no such thing as "censorship proof" (1)

Co0Ps (1539395) | about 3 years ago | (#37609980)

Thank you for your well written reply. I agree.

Re:There is no such thing as "censorship proof" (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37611704)

The problem isn't that the government can torture information out of you. They can more easily put a bullet in your head during a "drug raid". Encryption is needed to prevent mass surveilance so the next genocidal maniac doesn't already have the tools in place when he comes to power.

Re:There is no such thing as "censorship proof" (1)

CharlyFoxtrot (1607527) | about 3 years ago | (#37607338)

It only comes down to a question of how determined your ISP/government is to block you.

In this case they aren't at all determined. It's just the 2 biggest ISP's (Belgacom & Telenet) who have been ordered to block TPB, not the smaller ones (yet?) and they are just blocking the DNS lookup for TPB on their own servers. It's typically belgian if you ask me : create some bs laws and rules and implicitly encourage people to get around them by making circumvention trivial.

I would pay good money (2)

idontgno (624372) | about 3 years ago | (#37603000)

to see the tantrum the judge throws if he actually thought his order was going to be meaningful and effective.

"The Net interprets censorship as damage and routes around it." -- John Gilmore

Re:I would pay good money (2)

countertrolling (1585477) | about 3 years ago | (#37603036)

How do you route around a cut cable, or a jammed signal?

Re:I would pay good money (1)

Pentium100 (1240090) | about 3 years ago | (#37603164)

New cable, other routes, different frequency, higher power and/or lower bitrate to get the signal even with the jammer on, PSTN line with an analog modem. There are ways to connect if you really really want it.

Re:I would pay good money (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37603200)

So how do you route around the police smashing down doors in the Stockholm suburb where the "anonymous" Swedish pricks who still run the site live?

Re:I would pay good money (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37603242)

They don't run a tracker, all of that data will always be out there.

Re:I would pay good money (2)

Pentium100 (1240090) | about 3 years ago | (#37603306)

They do not run the tracker, actually, there is no tracker at all, tracking is decentralized and has been for a while now. What they run is a search engine for torrents, you can comment them etc. that can be replicated more easily than a tracker. Or you can even search for torrents using google.

Re:I would pay good money (2)

sgbett (739519) | about 3 years ago | (#37603332)

Oh I don't know maybe like this [torrentfreak.com] or this [snaphow.com] , or maybe even this [google.co.uk]

Re:I would pay good money (4, Insightful)

SuricouRaven (1897204) | about 3 years ago | (#37603488)

Because there are thousands more anonymous pricks all around the world willing to set up a new site. Remember Sharereactor? When a major pirate site falls, a hundred rise from the ashes.

Re:I would pay good money (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37603588)

People setting up torrent search engines proclaimed pricks, in related news, freedom fighters are really called terrorists.

Hypocrisy much?

Re:I would pay good money (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37603814)

No offense, but eh? Are you meaning that freedom fighters should or shouldn't be called terrorists? Or are you meaning that one man's prick is another man's torrent search engine maintainer?

Re:I would pay good money (4, Insightful)

Local ID10T (790134) | about 3 years ago | (#37603834)

So how do you route around the police smashing down doors[...]?

Riots in the streets.

Re:I would pay good money (3, Funny)

discord5 (798235) | about 3 years ago | (#37604306)

So how do you route around the police smashing down doors[...]?

Riots in the streets.

Until we outlaw streets, thus solving the problem once and for all.

Re:I would pay good money (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37604858)

So how do you route around the police smashing down doors[...]?

Riots in the streets.

Tanks and heavy weapons to turn the rioters into fine red mist. Seems to work just fine in Syria.

Re:I would pay good money (1)

Zontar The Mindless (9002) | about 3 years ago | (#37609260)

Seems to work just fine in Syria.

Seems to, yeah. For now.

Re:I would pay good money (1)

Bucky24 (1943328) | about 3 years ago | (#37603906)

The internet is designed to route around things like this.

Re:I would pay good money (1)

jythie (914043) | about 3 years ago | (#37603160)

I doubt the judge cares all that much. As long as the relevant parties follow the order most judges are pretty content, if someone else finds a work around that is not a slap as far as most are concerned. The lawyers might be pissy though.

Re:I would pay good money (3, Interesting)

GameboyRMH (1153867) | about 3 years ago | (#37603366)

The net is easy to censor. Just be a government or powerful megacorporation, call up an ISP and tell them to do what you want or you'll make life miserable - that's assuming the ISP itself isn't willingly doing the censoring.

Now, darknets maintained by uber-geeks running on top of the net, are hard (or impossible) to censor.

Can't be that easy... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37606116)

I am in Belgium right now and I can access tpb just fine... downloading as I write.

I habitually use Google's DNS, but I suppose any other would work fine.

Set up your own DNS (3, Informative)

Z00L00K (682162) | about 3 years ago | (#37603006)

You can always set up your own DNS server that talks to the root servers.

I'm running that setup and it works very well. Why depend on a lobotomized service from the ISP when you can get the real deal?

At least as long as the ISP isn't forcing you to use their DNS. And by then there may be problems for them with DNSSEC.

Re:Set up your own DNS (1)

GameboyRMH (1153867) | about 3 years ago | (#37603464)

Don't the root servers get their records changed when the DHS/ICE takes a site down, like rojadirecta or whatever it was?

Re:Set up your own DNS (3, Informative)

Z00L00K (682162) | about 3 years ago | (#37603632)

It depends - you have a few different cases:

  • If your ISP is the one hacking the DNS they are providing to you - no problem, just access another or set up your own.
  • If it's the ISP of the server you are trying to access it means that the server in question is no longer accessible. - Nothing you can do.
  • The DNS provider for the service you are accessing is going down - you can still access the server if you have the IP address or if that server has a secondary DNS provider for another TLD.
  • If your ISP is blocking the IP address of the server you access - use a proxy.

Re:Set up your own DNS (2)

GameboyRMH (1153867) | about 3 years ago | (#37603684)

The second to last case is what happens when the DHS/ICE takes a site down IIRC.

Re:Set up your own DNS (1)

realityimpaired (1668397) | about 3 years ago | (#37604526)

That would depend on jurisdiction. I would love to see what would happen when DHS decides to try to take down a .CA domain name... .CA is under the purvey of CIRA, which is a Canadian non-profit. For such a takedown order to have *any* teeth at all, they'd have to convince a judge that Canadian law has been broken, and that there was a case to de-register the domain name. Good luck with that, for now, because Canadian copyright law is different from American copyright law, and because even if Canadian law were violated, there's procedures that they'd have to go through (dictated by the CIRA constitution) before they could actually de-register the domain name.

Most TLD's are hosted outside of the USA, and as such, the DHS/ICE would have similar problems going after almost any domain that doesn't end in .com, .org, .net, or .us. They could order foreign domains blocked by ISPs themselves in a DNS blackhole, but good luck enforcing that one, or they could order the Tier 1 links to adjust their routing to send the IP addresses into la-la land, but it's doubtful that either of those would happen except in particularly extreme cases.

Which sort of begs the question... why the hell has TPB not switched over to a .se domain name?

Re:Set up your own DNS (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37603524)

good idea, lets all talk to the root DNS servers directly. What could possibly go wrong ?

Re:Set up your own DNS (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37603868)

gp is not saying you should try to use the root servers as dns caches...

Re:Set up your own DNS (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37603822)

It makes sense in Belgium of course, if their filter is DNS based. Using a common DNS for an ISP can be beneficial in theory though. DNS records expire pretty quickly, but when there are 1000s of people hitting a cache, there's a good chance that major domains are cached. The ISP's DNS cache will generally have a faster internet connection that any customer, so it's also faster for the "look up authoritative NS, query authoritative NS" dance.

Simple DNS blocks dont really work (1)

mehrotra.akash (1539473) | about 3 years ago | (#37603138)

In India, they blocked mediafire,rapidshare,etc for about a week.

blocking was done on the IP level, even https traffic was blocked

Re:Simple DNS blocks dont really work (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37603276)

Even these are poor solutions because anyone can setup their own VPS service in another country and SSH tunnel all the traffic through a proxy in that VPS server.

Or just buy any of the myriad of VPN services out there....

Re:Simple DNS blocks dont really work (2)

SuricouRaven (1897204) | about 3 years ago | (#37603516)

I work at a school, and I notice there is an endless stream of new web-proxy services around for the purpose of getting access to games. All ad-supported. Obnoxious things, putting everything in frames with ads around, but they do get you what you want. No use on media lockers, but they'll get you to torrent sites easily enough.

Technology (4, Insightful)

Archangel Michael (180766) | about 3 years ago | (#37603150)

You cannot stop or prevent sociological problems with technology. At best all you can do is obfuscate it, and often that act alone increases the activity one wishes was squashed (Called Streisand Effect).

It also quite effective (1)

Anomalyst (742352) | about 3 years ago | (#37603342)

For repelling elephants. How many elephants do you see at large in Belgian Public Areas.

how dare they! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37603346)

How dare they prevent us from downloading things for free! Doesn't this judge understand that we are owed to get free things?

Re:how dare they! (4, Insightful)

ponchietto (718083) | about 3 years ago | (#37603450)

I'm deeply convinced that the right to share information is a basic human right, and will be recognized as such in some distant future.

Re:how dare they! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37603522)

So then you have no problems with me ignoring the license to GPL programs, cc-licensed music, pictures, videos, etc, right? Oh right it's only when it's the work of some 'ebil' music, movie, publishing, software company that it's okay.

Re:how dare they! (2)

denis-The-menace (471988) | about 3 years ago | (#37603702)

The problem is that Copyrights are meant to be temporary.
DMCA/ACTA/DRM is being used to circumvent the temporary aspect.

Life + 70/90 years + future extensions make public domain a thing of the past.

Re:how dare they! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37603612)

I'm deeply convinced that the right to share information is a basic human right, and will be recognized as such in some distant future.

After the WWIII I agree, things will change. But in the meantime governments are making "copyright infringement" as serious a crime as murdering someone.
Just wait until the mob starts "traficking" in copyrighted works, lets see the RIAA, MPAA and all the entertainmente industries going against real criminals. People that can put a bullet through your head because you look at them the wrong way. And you know the irony, murderers will get a much lighter sentence than someone sharing 30 songs.

Re:how dare they! (1)

Lunix Nutcase (1092239) | about 3 years ago | (#37603706)

The MPAA and RIAA already do go after the mob in places like Russia, Hong Kong, etc that are the people behind the majority of the bootleg movie, music and software trade in Asia/Eurasia. They've done so for years now.

Re:how dare they! (1)

mspohr (589790) | about 3 years ago | (#37604580)

Unfortunately, the corporate states that run the world have other ideas.

Re:how dare they! (2)

mwvdlee (775178) | about 3 years ago | (#37604872)

You mean the right to share your own information or the right to force others to share their information?

Re:how dare they! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37605388)

Nifty false dichotomy there, but I'm betting he meant:
The right to share any information in your possession, regardless of its origin.
Not forcing anyone else to do anything, and not leaving room for artificial restrictions about whether information is "your own" or just "licensed".

Just like it used to be, before the confluence of governmental/religious censorship and anti-competitive publishers that created copyright in London 400 years ago. Amazing how long it can take a society to shrug off an injustice, once it survives a single generation.

Re:how dare they! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37606896)

Not forcing anyone else to do anything, and not leaving room for artificial restrictions about whether information is "your own" or just "licensed".

Oh, so then I can just ignore the GPL and "share" the code in anyway I want, right?

Re:how dare they! (1)

catprog (849688) | about 3 years ago | (#37607256)

If their was no copyright would their be a need for the GPL?

Re:how dare they! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37607652)

As a copyright abolitionist (and the guy you're replying to), hell yeah! That's exactly what we want. No GPL, no EULA, and no copyright infringement suits. (And no criminal copyright infringement prosecutions, but those are rare as hen's teeth anyhow.)

Yes, this means if Microsoft wants to download Linux source code, add (say) their own win32 layer, and release the binaries only, they can. And once anyone has a copy, they can share it with everyone, and if we really want that win32 layer so bad, we can just use it. If we want to fix the bugs in it, we'd have to reverse engineer it (hello, WINE), and be in exactly the same situation we are now. It's almost impossible to conceive a scenario where the world as a whole is not better off without copyright, the only "suffering" is that certain people/businesses will have to find honest work instead of feasting off artificial scarcity, and one particular ideology/movement will lose its ability to leverage "conversions" by practical considerations (I want to use $LIBRARY, but it's GPL), and will have to fall back on persuasion.

It won't be quite the massive upheaval one might think -- high-end software (e.g. CAD/CAM) will still cost money, since you'll need to sign an actual contract to buy it (and be liable for leaking a copy). In-house software will be protected under trade secret law. And there'll still be plenty of people making the same fat-cats money with the same speculatively-produced entertainment industry, thanks to DRM -- no legal force now, but there's always some delay until someone cracks it, and it'll push a lot of customers into playing nice to dodge the hassle.

Oh, and regarding entertainment: a competing industry will spring up where consumers collectively pay for movies, music, books, whatever to be produced (and released to you first, though the rest of the world will get them soon after) -- you see some amateurs doing this now (kickstarter and similar sites), but it'll go mainstream with professional talent. Particularly sound for TV shows -- maybe the audience just isn't there to support a full season of Briscoe County Jr./Firefly/your-favorite-show every year, but a show can easily change to arbitrary length seasons (independent of network programming constraints), or wait six months or a year extra until the money's there for a full season.

7 links in the summary... (5, Informative)

koolfy (1213316) | about 3 years ago | (#37603486)

...and yet not a single one to the website where this story comes from in the first place :

[french] http://nurpa.be/actualites/2011/10/BAF-belgacom-telenet-blocage-dns [nurpa.be]
and the google translation to english [google.com]

You'd think that what the local organization [defending Net Neutrality and file sharing and fighting cencorship and local MAFIAAs] has to say might interest people.

TL;DR : The Belgian Antipiracy Foundation wanted the two main ISPs to block TPB, but were not respecting the proportionality principle, using a legal procedure reserved to urgent matters, when TPB has been running for 8years.
Of course they were told to GTFO, but in appeal they won and those two ISPs now have to block 11 TPB domain names, half of them are not even running nor leading to The Pirate Bay in any way.

NURPA (Net Users' Rights Protection Association, active in Belgium and Europe to fight against ACTA for example) says it's stupid, useless, and in conflict with the European Court of Justice's decision about what, when and how filtering may be legitimate. (answer : never when it is about Intellectual Property)

And there is a link to how to set up alternatives DNS servers on windows and ubuntu in their article, long before "TPB and telecomix came and saved us with the solution to circumvent the filtering".

So yeah, The Pirate Bay rocks, Telecomix does too, but this time the credit has to go to the local net activists association who got it right in the first place.

Re:7 links in the summary... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37603762)

in conflict with the European Court of Justice's decision about what, when and how filtering may be legitimate. (answer : never when it is about Intellectual Property)

That's not a decision yet, just the proposal of the Advocate General. The decision should be out soon though.

Re:7 links in the summary... (1)

CharlyFoxtrot (1607527) | about 3 years ago | (#37607462)

NURPA (Net Users' Rights Protection Association, active in Belgium and Europe to fight against ACTA for example) says it's stupid, useless, and in conflict with the European Court of Justice's decision about what, when and how filtering may be legitimate. (answer : never when it is about Intellectual Property)

Never heard of them and the fact that their website is only in 1 of the 3 official languages of the country makes me suspect these are just a couple of guys in a garage somewhere.

Re:7 links in the summary... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37607642)

How about these guys [pirateparty.be] ? Just NL/FR/EN so they're missing one but they added English. They're also affiliated with PPI so they seem legit.

Re:7 links in the summary... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37609914)

Yeah but... they look very inactive to me.
It's almost as if they didn't really care.

Not one word about this piratebay issue. Not one.

Re:7 links in the summary... (1)

GNious (953874) | about 3 years ago | (#37609684)

NURPA (Net Users' Rights Protection Association, active in Belgium and Europe to fight against ACTA for example) says it's stupid, useless, and in conflict with the European Court of Justice's decision about what, when and how filtering may be legitimate. (answer : never when it is about Intellectual Property)

Never heard of them and the fact that their website is only in 1 of the 3 official languages of the country makes me suspect these are just a couple of guys in a garage somewhere.

Given that my local Belgian municipality's website is (was? not checked recently) available in 1 (French) of the 2 official languages in the region, that Belgian Rail only communicates in French, that Mobistar, MacDonald and several others only recognizes French in their stores and that everything I receive from the Belgian government is in French no-matter what, I "suspect these are just a couple of guys in a garage somewhere" - or that French in simply the lingua franca in Belgium.
(note: I live in Brussels, but am not Belgian, speaking a few germanic languages, but not really speaking French)

Re:7 links in the summary... (1)

MareLooke (1003332) | about 3 years ago | (#37610352)

Except you are dead wrong as about 60% of the Belgian inhabitants is Flemish (Dutch) speaking. The fact that most of them speak French when spoken to in French while it doesn't exactly go the other way around does not change the facts. It does however give a pretty good picture of what's wrong with this country and why we still have no bloody government.

Re:7 links in the summary... (1)

GNious (953874) | about 3 years ago | (#37615164)

I know 60-65% (depending on source) speaks Flemish - I work in Flanderen, I understand/read/partially speak dutch - Doesn't change that No Matter what I do, I have to use French when dealing with my local Municipality (Inside the larger Brussels area), government, when going to stores, when getting letters from just about anything. Fuck it, the university-hospital I went to recently had ALL signs in French, and only some in dutch.

Except you are dead wrong

No, I am not wrong: French is required if you want to live in Belgium - Even registering as a foreigner in Belgium is done in French!
(Note: My observations are based on living in Brussels for half a decade; a place where French and Dutch are both legally equal, and where companies are required by law to offer their services in both languages)

French IS the Lingua Franca in Belgium, even if 60% or more speaks natively Dutch/Flemish, simply because most people knows and uses French.

Note: Reason you don't have a government is due to the political system of having Flemish and Waloon parties, and having the 2 groups given 50% of the seats. if parties were based on political topics, and you had proportional representation, you wouldn't have automated deadlocks :)

Re:7 links in the summary... (1)

MareLooke (1003332) | about 3 years ago | (#37623580)

I know 60-65% (depending on source) speaks Flemish - I work in Flanderen, I understand/read/partially speak dutch - Doesn't change that No Matter what I do, I have to use French when dealing with my local Municipality (Inside the larger Brussels area), government, when going to stores, when getting letters from just about anything. Fuck it, the university-hospital I went to recently had ALL signs in French, and only some in dutch.

Except you are dead wrong

No, I am not wrong: French is required if you want to live in Belgium - Even registering as a foreigner in Belgium is done in French! (Note: My observations are based on living in Brussels for half a decade; a place where French and Dutch are both legally equal, and where companies are required by law to offer their services in both languages)

French IS the Lingua Franca in Belgium, even if 60% or more speaks natively Dutch/Flemish, simply because most people knows and uses French.

I tend to refuse to speak French to any official in Brussels which has worked just fine for me, any official not offering papers or help in either Dutch or French (your choice) in the Brussels area is in violation of the law and if you wanted to you could make that a problem for them (of which they are keenly aware if you remind them). The fact that a lot of the Flemish places around Brussels have been "Francophonised" is one of the big issues why radical nationalist parties like the NVA and the Vlaams Belang are rapidly winning ground. Most Flemish are getting tired of being the "bitches" of the French speaking bourgeoisie.

Irregardless of whether I agree with them given the current things that are on the negotiation table I expect them to win even more ground in the next elections resulting in another, probably worse deadlock. It seems rather obvious nobody has the intention to actually solve this issue in a proper way most seem more concerned about grabbing a minister spot.

Note: Reason you don't have a government is due to the political system of having Flemish and Waloon parties, and having the 2 groups given 50% of the seats. if parties were based on political topics, and you had proportional representation, you wouldn't have automated deadlocks :)

Totally agree.

Re:7 links in the summary... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37610052)

the fact that their website is only in 1 of the 3 official languages of the country

I heard they're looking for translators.
Publishing a press release in 3 different languages in less than 12 hours is harder than you think. How many non-profit organizations have the manpower to achieve that ? Are you suggesting they should all have 3 mother tongue ? (that's the skill involved in translating such high-level and technical text.)

How many languages are you fluent with and could *perfectly* translate this text to in less than one hour ?
If your answer is at least one, and you live in Belgium and care about what they defend, why not give them a hand, at least proof-reading ?

makes me suspect these are just a couple of guys in a garage somewhere.

Well, that's exactly how La Quadrature du Net [laquadrature.net] is portrayed, and how they started..
Now they're one of the most respected non-profit organizations promoting free internet in Europe. They lead the fight against ACTA in Europe, and got the Written Declaration 12 [laquadrature.net] to be adopted [laquadrature.net]
It's a pretty big deal.

For the record, NURPA actively contributed [google.com] to this success, and had been tackling ACTA at the EU parliament [google.com] for months, setting foot on the parliament's ground on 4-5 different occasions

Oh, and they also organized their first public manifestation, "freedom not fear" which was quite successful [google.com]

It's pretty big for non-profit organization with virtually no means, apart from raw motivation.

Maybe they're a couple of guys in a garage, so what ? As long as they get such huge results, they can live in MY garage any time they want.

Also, the Belgian Pirate Party was sitting in his hands for the WHOLE ACTA vs WD12 thing, and still are. Meanwhile, NURPA stayed quite active over the time, as you wan see [google.com]

What does the EU say? (4, Insightful)

Hentes (2461350) | about 3 years ago | (#37603534)

One member blocking Internet traffic from another kinda goes against the spirit of a single market.

Re:What does the EU say? (2)

discord5 (798235) | about 3 years ago | (#37604648)

What does the EU say?

We should have a response from the EU in several years, but it won't be quite clear and opinions will be divided. Some memberstates will say "Yes", some "No", and some "Maybe". In the end Germany and France get to do a lot of posturing and the UK tries not to look too butthurt while calling the president a wet rag. The UK ends up being opposed to everything that doesn't serve its interests, but tries to get the best benefits of being part of the European Union.

They'll come forward with a grand statement that will cost member states quite a bit of money, but will contradict themselves 5 minutes later. In the end, despite best efforts and intentions, the EU is nothing but a shared piggy bank with more and more people grabbing for the hammer. Sometimes I like to think that the only good thing in the EU is Neelie Kroes.

Warning : above post is of a humorous nature, actual opinions on EU may differ slightly from above content, exaggerations may have slipped into above post, batteries not included, Greece saving economic counter-measures not included either, do not consume after financial bankruptcy of more than 1 memberstate. (Gotta be careful nowadays when rumors can topple financial markets, you know)

Re:What does the EU say? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37625260)

Funny that you mention Neelie Kroes, since she's the one who's in charge of these matters. She's moved from anti-trust matters to digital stuff. And one of her statements has been that sites like TPB are self-inflicted by the music & movie industry, by failing to offer reasonable commercial alternatives. It's refreshing to have a liberal pro-business politician from time to time. Now that the EU is thinking about the position of a budget overlord, may I suggest her? If you can stand up to Microsoft and MAFIAA, then you're qualified to get Italy and Greece in line.

Back to the old days (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37603568)

I live in Belgium, and I still recall the '70, when we used to go abroad to go buy records that were illegal in Belgium, or to watch moved that didn't play over here.
Seems to me we're going back to the old days. :)

Ah, Slashdot never changes (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37603846)

I've not been on slashdot for years, since I got tired of hearing all the pseudophilosophical bullshit that was slung about in a vain attempt to justify piracy. the comments i see here range from "technological hack to serve as a workaround to break the law" to "lame speculation as to whether such blocks break the 'spirit of the EU'" to ad-hominems against the judge in question and his "tantrums" to the predictable government/corporate conspiracybabble.

nothing on slashdot ever changes, it seems. it just gets less and less relevant.

if you want to pirate and selectively respect copyright, please, by all means. go nuts. but stop trying to sugarcoat it already, he says, knowing full well that the inevitable result will be ridicule from the echo chamber.

Re:Ah, Slashdot never changes (1)

Teun (17872) | about 3 years ago | (#37604086)

I've not been on slashdot for years, since I got tired of hearing all the pseudophilosophical bullshit that was slung about in a vain attempt to justify piracy. the comments i see here range from "technological hack to serve as a workaround to break the law" to "lame speculation as to whether such blocks break the 'spirit of the EU'" to ad-hominems against the judge in question and his "tantrums" to the predictable government/corporate conspiracybabble.

nothing on slashdot ever changes, it seems. it just gets less and less relevant.

if you want to pirate and selectively respect copyright, please, by all means. go nuts. but stop trying to sugarcoat it already, he says, knowing full well that the inevitable result will be ridicule from the echo chamber.

Just as well you kept this account :)

Just block the DNS traffic at all. Use the ISP DNS (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37603940)

Just block the DNS traffic at all. Users would have to use the DNS from the ISP. If the users want to run their own DNS, their only choice is to configure the ISP DNS as forwarder.

Although a simple VPN tunnel would do the job.

Happy to have left Hell-gium for good (used to be Hell-gian).

Re:Just block the DNS traffic at all. Use the ISP (1)

metalgamer84 (1916754) | about 3 years ago | (#37604268)

Why would they have to use the ISP's DNS? Its very simple to use whatever public DNS you please...

Re:Just block the DNS traffic at all. Use the ISP (1)

realityimpaired (1668397) | about 3 years ago | (#37604618)

GP was talking about blocking port 53 outbound from the ISP's network, forcing everybody to use the ISP's internal DNS servers unless they used a different port.

That's a bit kludgy... why not just silently redirect it to the ISP's own DNS server? Then most people wouldn't have a clue it was even happening, even if they'd already gone to the trouble of setting themselves up with an open DNS server.

Re:Just block the DNS traffic at all. Use the ISP (1)

mwvdlee (775178) | about 3 years ago | (#37604952)

I just love it when ISP's blocks my ability to experiment with technology I pay them to provide access to.

Re:Just block the DNS traffic at all. Use the ISP (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37604638)

Unless your ISP blocks DNS traffic to any DNS servers but their own.

Re:Just block the DNS traffic at all. Use the ISP (1)

MareLooke (1003332) | about 3 years ago | (#37610372)

And as soon as that starts to happen software will start having options to send DNS queries to other ports than 53, the same happened with SMTP (most providers block port 25, so my hosting provider runs their mailserver on 25 AND 2525, problem solved...)

Any other belgians (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37604118)

Any other belgians on here?

A dns block will not really do anything to me, but I am wondering which politician should get a mail for stuff like this, or would this be more to the level of European court?
Anybody has an idea?

Re:Any other belgians (1)

CharlyFoxtrot (1607527) | about 3 years ago | (#37607618)

You can certainly email your representative in the federal parlement to voice your concern however they won't be able to do anything directly since they cannot interfere with court decisions (due to the independence of the judiciary.) You could contact your ISP and voice your concern in the hopes that they fight the decision and go the the Court of Cassation or the European Court.

Re:Any other belgians (1)

jonwil (467024) | about 3 years ago | (#37608802)

Politicians may not be able to interfere with the courts but they CAN pass laws that override court decisions. Presumably the judge who ordered the ISPs to block these sites did so in reference to a particular Belgian law. The government can change that law so that it no longer allows these web sites to be blocked anymore.

Re:Any other belgians (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37607824)

$echo 194.71.107.15 www.thepiratebay.org >>/etc/hosts on my router, and problem fixed. also belgian here, hope there's still a way to fight this decision.

Re:Any other belgians (1)

MareLooke (1003332) | about 3 years ago | (#37610394)

This would be within Vincent Van Quickenborne's (minister of ICT & telecommunication) portfolio if I'm not mistaken.

8.8.8.8 (1)

ubergeek65536 (862868) | about 3 years ago | (#37604334)

It's so easy to remember. What happens if the ISP blocks all DNS service other than their own?

Re:8.8.8.8 (1)

Pirow (777891) | about 3 years ago | (#37604918)

Use a VPN.
I already use one as I don't like my ISPs proxy and I don't like getting redirected to their search page whenever I enter a URL that doesn't resolve. I've setup my own VPN on a VPS so I know exactly what's getting logged (nothing), but at the same time I don't feel it gives me any extra privacy as the IP address can quite easily be linked to me (as I host my personal site on the same server), but if I was being paranoid and was up to something illegal it would be relatively easy to setup a VPS that couldn't easily be linked to me.

What if external DNS is blocked? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37606688)

If the ISP blocks all the related well known IANA registered UDP and TCP ports for DNS except for traffic to their own DNS servers, doesn't that mean a hosts file is the only way to get around that? No Google or OpenDNS for you!

If I was running a residential ISP, I would force that down the customer's throats, since most wouldn't notice. Hell, most residential providers already block TCP 25 outbound by default as it is, unless it's their own SMTP server. Evil, but effective.

Let me be the first... (2)

pongo000 (97357) | about 3 years ago | (#37607026)

...to welcome Telecomix to the alt-root scene. OpenNIC [opennicproject.org] has been doing this for about a decade now. Let me let you guys in on a little secret: The less the "bad guys" know about you, the better. Meaning you shouldn't advertise yourselves as a solution to censorship, because you'll just get blocked at the IP level. Offer your services, and the censored masses will find you.

The bad guys read /. too, you know. Just the summaries, like all good /.ers.

Nice plan. (1)

pclminion (145572) | about 3 years ago | (#37607956)

If I was a government who wanted to keep a closer eye on the citizen's Internet traffic I might decide to start a fake corporation who offers "alternative" DNS service, then get people to switch to it by pissing them off. No more need for warrants etc, all the DNS traffic just goes straight through my own servers now.

They only blocked the subdomain www (1)

NtynRuben (2443640) | about 3 years ago | (#37612730)

I just want to highlight that the website here http://www.demorgen.be/dm/nl/5403/Internet/article/detail/1329177/2011/10/05/Gerecht-blundert-bij-blokkering-The-Pirate-Bay.dhtml [demorgen.be] (dutch) claims that the ISPs are only ordered to block: - www.thepiratebay.org - www.thepiratebay.net - etc. etc. However, leaving out the www would still work, and trackers (that use tracker.thepiratebay.org) would still be allowed if the ISPs take the order literaly.
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