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"Piracy Filter" Blocks TorrentFreak for 4 Million Sky Customers

timothy posted about 8 months ago | from the type-one-and-type-two-errors dept.

Censorship 122

An anonymous reader writes "Website blocking has become a hot topic in the UK in recent weeks. Opponents of both voluntary and court-ordered blockades have warned about the potential collateral damage these blocking systems may cause, and they have now been proven right. As it turns out blocked sites can easily exploit the system and add new IP-addresses to Sky's blocklist. As a result TorrentFreak has been rendered inaccessible to the ISP's four million customers."

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122 comments

There we have it (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#44529879)

This is why censorship of the internet is a fucking stupid idea.

Re:There we have it (2, Insightful)

paziek (1329929) | about 8 months ago | (#44529897)

That depends on your point of view. I'm pretty sure there people/corporations/governments that do like it.

Re:There we have it (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#44529931)

Government officials usually have no real opinion on this due to a lack of understanding. They just act on lobby groups that are usually sponsored by Hollywood and other corporate interest groups.

Re:There we have it (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#44529977)

Government officials usually have no real opinion on this due to a lack of understanding. They just act on lobby groups that are usually sponsored by Hollywood and other corporate interest groups.

Wait, government officials are chosen from among the people to speak for the people. You say this isn't true anymore?

Re:There we have it (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#44530003)

That depends on your point of view. I'm pretty sure there people/corporations/governments that do like it.

They like it ONLY because it usually translates to profit in someone's pockets, whether that be directly or indirectly.

The easiest litmus test in the world to prove that fact is to put the shoe on the other foot. See how people/corporations/governments like it when it's done to them and without any form of profit or gain from it. I promise you their mentality would change.

Re:There we have it (4, Insightful)

davydagger (2566757) | about 8 months ago | (#44530313)

there were people/corporations/governments that though the holocaust was a good idea. /godwin, but to prove a point that every bad anti-social oppressive idea does actually work for some people, the people in charge at the expence of everyone else.

Re:There we have it (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#44532425)

Yes, the JEWS thought the 'holyhoax' was a good idea, as it's given them billions of dollars of free money for the past seventy years... especially as it never happened. You idiot.
You can't even be bothered to do some investigating on the internet to find out the truth. Why are people in PRISON right now for merely questioning the 'holocaust', if it really happened?
Watch "The last days of the big lie", I dare you. And "One third of the holocaust".

Re:There we have it (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#44529903)

Huh? It looks like it works: You can't access TorrentFreak.

Seriously, what did you expect when you chose Sky for your internet provider? It was fun while it lasted, now say goodbye. Plug three Cat5 cables into your router and throw the other ends to three neighbors. If everybody did that, we wouldn't have these problems.

Re:There we have it (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#44529921)

It doesn't work because TorrentFreak is a news site. Unless the war on piracy declares even speaking about filesharing fair game as collateral?

Re:There we have it (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#44529929)

What do you mean, as collateral? Apart from that, I think you refuted your own argument.

Re:There we have it (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#44529959)

How is blocking access to news a "working" solution?

Re:There we have it (3, Interesting)

Zontar The Mindless (9002) | about 8 months ago | (#44530171)

Um, hello? It's called "Let's not only block the thing we're against, let's block any mention of that thing as well". Sort of like what the Russian government seems to be trying to do the LGBT community there.

So, far from being "collateral damage", this means the (censorship) system is working just as intended.

Re:There we have it (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#44530645)

Which goes against freedom of speech as well as journalism's special rights... neither a good thing. This is going further than it was intended.

For the record I'm on Sky and the article is hosted on their domain... and I can read it. So it looks like Sky have noticed and restored access.

Re:There we have it (2)

reve_etrange (2377702) | about 8 months ago | (#44531385)

No, Sky has done nothing. Access is restored because EZTV stopped pointing their domain at TorrentFreak's IP, and the Sky filter is updated at some interval.

Re:There we have it (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#44531397)

No, the site playing with DNS decided to stop for a bit.

They could start again, or next time target David Cameron's web site, or your mail service, or anything. If you have Sky and didn't disable their "filter" then you're at the mercy of anybody who controls DNS for a filtered site.

Re:There we have it (5, Informative)

blackest_k (761565) | about 8 months ago | (#44530729)

you didn't read the article did you?
It was actually a bit of clever manipulation by a torrent site who discovered sky was automatically blocking other ip addresses the torrent site was listing as alternate site addresses. So they performed a little experiment listed the torrent freak site as a mirror and sky automatically put a block on that ip address. Thus demonstrating how Sky's automatic blocking is flawed and fairly useless.

Its a bit more complicated than that but summing up Sky thought they could automate whack a mole and instead managed to give control over blocking to the sites they want to block.

Torrent freak were informed and agreed to be a target before hand. I think facebook was also targeted but with little to no effect due to the number of addresses assigned to facebook its believed.

Re:There we have it (1)

AmiMoJo (196126) | about 8 months ago | (#44532595)

They also tried to block Facebook but it didn't work, probably because of the large range of IP addresses involved. It's a shame they gave up so easily, taking down a high profile site would have been exactly the kind of public shaming we need to make people see how stupid the whole idea is.

Re:There we have it (1)

gl4ss (559668) | about 8 months ago | (#44530261)

It doesn't work because TorrentFreak is a news site. Unless the war on piracy declares even speaking about filesharing fair game as collateral?

it's not collateral, it's the target. speaking of torrents is the target, even if the hashes weren't spoken on the site.

Re:There we have it (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#44530705)

Huh? It looks like it works: You can't access TorrentFreak.

If you bothered to RTFA*, you'd realise why you're wrong: the censorship is supposed to apply to an unrelated site, called EZTV, and has nothing to do with TorrentFreak. The owner of the blocked domain started adding the IP addresses of other, unrelated sites and at least one ISP started blocking access to those unrelated sites. With a solution as poorly implemented as this, it means a blocked site owner with an axe to grind could start blocking access to legitimate sites with very little effort.

It says the owner used TorrentFreak as a test an warned them in advance, as well as doing some experimentation with Facebook IPs. He (or she?) could have just as easily added Wikipedia or Sky's own site.

* I guess you're on Sky and couldn't read it, right?

Re:There we have it (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#44530731)

http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/facetious

Re:There we have it (5, Insightful)

SGT CAPSLOCK (2895395) | about 8 months ago | (#44530089)

This is to be expected of what I've come to call the "Corporate Internet".

Governments and corporations have inherited our tubes, and I think that by now they're pretty confident that it's going to be acceptable for them to control and limit the content that ordinary people have access to.

It's been like this for a while now; once you learn the ropes and (more importantly) learn to obey all the rules, you'll fit right in!

Re:There we have it (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#44531261)

Inherited "our" tubes? Who do you think it was that build those tubes in the first place? Oh, yeah, governments and corporations.

Re:There we have it (2)

HiThere (15173) | about 8 months ago | (#44531437)

Well, the USArmy and Universities put together the original internet, and Cern designed the web on top of it. Corporations, except for universities and a few other non-profits, were late-comers to the party.

OTOH, the original internet was specifically designed to avoid centralized routing. Basically, when power grabbers took over ICANN and were blessed by the US govt. the writing was on the wall. You shouldn't be surprised by anything that has happened since then...well, actually the existence of torrents is a *bit* of a surprise, and there were a few others. All having to do with temporarily maintaining a bit of open communication.

P.S.: Don't trust encryption. The NSA is currently putting together a "big" quantum computer, and one of the kinds of calculation that is particularly good at is prime factorization. They may not be able to crack that message THIS year.

Re:There we have it (3, Interesting)

mcgrew (92797) | about 8 months ago | (#44530157)

It explains why the Linux distros in my upload queue have had a lot less activity lately.

Solution (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#44530887)

http://piratebrowser.com/

Re:There we have it (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#44531873)

Unless you're a Jew. A rat-faced Jew who wants to control EVERYTHING that your 'cattle' (goyim) get to see and hear on video, radio, magazines, and books...
Then censorship is a GREAT idea.

Otherwise, the truth will get out. People will find out that Sandy Hook was a hoax, the Aurora shootings never happened, the ATF bombed the Murrah Building in Oklahoma using placed charges inside the building, the Mossad did 9/11 (and the buildings were almost completely EMPTY, and 3,000 people did not die on that day), and that the 'Holocaust' (oy vey) was a lie too.

Oh no! Put them in prison!

The day I found out that there were actually people in PRISON for FIVE YEARS for merely questioning the 'holyhoax', I knew it was a lie.

So, What You're Saying is... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#44529887)

The piracy filter works, for those that don't know how to get around it(yet).

Oh! You expected me to be outraged. I'll work on my righteous indignation.

Re:So, What You're Saying is... (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#44529901)

TorrentFreak isn't a site that allows you to conduct piracy. It's a news site that posts content relevant to file sharing.

This would be like shutting down newspapers because they speak about other crimes.

Re:So, What You're Saying is... (2)

classiclantern (2737961) | about 8 months ago | (#44530373)

And now you know the real reason for this bullshit. Censorship was never to protect the children. Children don't give money to politicians, corporations do. It's always been about perceived copyright violation by "Big Media." All hail our bought and paid-for ruling class. Follow the money.

Re:So, What You're Saying is... (4, Insightful)

ClaraBow (212734) | about 8 months ago | (#44529907)

So very true! The masses in the UK will suddenly acquire the necessary means to get around the filters. The word proxy will become a household word, just like it has become in school that filter the internet.

Re:So, What You're Saying is... (2)

davydagger (2566757) | about 8 months ago | (#44530323)

unless the word "proxy" is....filtered.

for now you can "opt-out"

but not if your at a coffee shop, cafe, library or public network.

the UK is now in the leauge of China, and Iran as far as internet access goes.

Re:So, What You're Saying is... (5, Insightful)

Zontar The Mindless (9002) | about 8 months ago | (#44530419)

the UK is now in the leauge of China, and Iran as far as internet access goes.

You might want to try that again.

I'm in China right now, and I've no trouble accessing either TorrentFreak or TPB.

(And no, I'm not using a proxy or VPN, just a bog-standard residential connection.)

Re:So, What You're Saying is... (0)

xenobyte (446878) | about 8 months ago | (#44530679)

It is truly a sad day now that it seems that the UK censors the Internet more severely than even China.

Re:So, What You're Saying is... (1)

DNS-and-BIND (461968) | about 8 months ago | (#44530839)

*facepalm*

He doesn't mean that the China censors torrents. He means that China censors at all. Try visiting facebook or twitter, or other websites where citizens can pick up dangerous opinions.

Re:So, What You're Saying is... (1)

Zontar The Mindless (9002) | about 8 months ago | (#44531457)

I merely pointed out some facts. You're free to interpret them as you wish.

Re:So, What You're Saying is... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#44532015)

I merely pointed out some facts. You're free to interpret them as you wish.

You didn't point out anything; the poster said "in the same league as" then you deliberately reinterpreted that statement as narrowly as possible by claiming the connecting idea was "blocking TorrentFreak" rather than "Internet censorship."

I'm going to assume you're not a native English speaker, since the alternative is that you don't have 2 brain-cells to rub together.

Re:So, What You're Saying is... (1)

HiThere (15173) | about 8 months ago | (#44531459)

An excellent comment, even if you slightly miss the point. Different countries will filter different things...which, actually, is the main hope.

Re:So, What You're Saying is... (1)

Gr8Apes (679165) | about 8 months ago | (#44532205)

the UK is now in the leauge of China, and Iran as far as internet access goes.

Actually, China is monitoring and filtering UK's internet access. (Huawei) Welcome to you Chinese overlords.

Re:So, What You're Saying is... (2)

AmiMoJo (196126) | about 8 months ago | (#44532687)

Don't, whatever you do, opt out. Your name will be added to the UK Pervert Database and the next time some poor soul is raped and murdered in your area the police will be rounding up anyone who opted out of the "pornography" and "weapons and violence" categories.

If you opt out of the "suicide and self-harm" filter you can expect a visit from an NHS mental healthcare professional. Seriously, I asked my MP about the filtering and told her not to use the example of saving a single life because it was flawed, so she used the example of saving a single life. Apparently someone said they were going to kill themselves on Twitter and the police backtraced their IP address so they could rescue them, but that wasn't good enough and she thought that the government should be monitoring Google searches.

Re:So, What You're Saying is... (1)

thegarbz (1787294) | about 8 months ago | (#44530659)

An American ex-pat I work with seems to have trouble with some of the most basic of computer problems, your stereotypical person of age who didn't grow up with computers.

Yet he has a VPN to a server back in the states so he can watch Hulu content without the stupid geobarriers. The word proxy and VPN almost already is a household word.

This makes me think of Wrath of Khan (2, Funny)

fey000 (1374173) | about 8 months ago | (#44529905)

"To the last, I will grapple with thee... from Hell's heart, I stab at thee! For hate's sake, I spit my last breath at thee!"

Re:This makes me think of Wrath of Khan (3, Informative)

firex726 (1188453) | about 8 months ago | (#44530121)

Think you mean Moby Dick:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Moby-Dick [wikipedia.org]

> Ahab ultimately dooms the crew of the Pequod (save for Ishmael) to death by his obsession with Moby Dick. During the final chase, Ahab hurls his last harpoon while yelling his now-famous revenge line:

"to the last I grapple with thee; from hell's heart I stab at thee; for hate's sake I spit my last breath at thee."

Re:This makes me think of Wrath of Khan (4, Insightful)

mcgrew (92797) | about 8 months ago | (#44530175)

Kahn was quoting Melville; Kirk was his whale. And Star Trek is more known to most slashdotters than Melville.

Re:This makes me think of Wrath of Khan (0)

Zontar The Mindless (9002) | about 8 months ago | (#44530197)

For the second time in less than a week, I get to pull out my trusty "Gee, you must be great fun at parties".

Thanks for that.

Re:This makes me think of Wrath of Khan (1)

amiga3D (567632) | about 8 months ago | (#44530293)

Sounds like a quote from Moby Dick to me.

Re:This makes me think of Wrath of Khan (1)

SuricouRaven (1897204) | about 8 months ago | (#44531129)

In fifty more years, which work do you think will be best-known?

Re:This makes me think of Wrath of Khan (1)

HiThere (15173) | about 8 months ago | (#44531479)

Moby Dick. But Ahab will be a thorough-going villian, intent on destroying an endangered species. And Ishmael will be an "unindicted co-conspirator".

Who cares? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#44529939)

I'm a sky customer. Couldn't give a Monkey's uncle.

4 million Sky Customers != 4 million people blocked from TorrentFreak.

What with Netflix, catch up TV services like iPlayer, and Spotify, I can't remember the last time I used a torrent for anything other than a Linux distro.

For me, when torrents, and more to the point the whole P2P scene, came along, it was a convenient way to consume the content I wanted, when I wanted. Was most of it copyrighted? yes. Of course it was, but it wasn't downloaded with the intent of ripping someone off, there just wasn't a more convenient way of doing it.

Now we're starting to approach the ideal middle ground - I pay a nominal amount every month for a library of films and music on Lovefilm / Netflix / Spotify; I get free access to catch up services for broadcast TV, and I can watch as many films as I like at the cinema for £15 a month.

So torrentfreak is blocked - will the average person care?

Re: Who cares? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#44529963)

who cares about news.bbc.co.uk, I have Sky news and Fox News and can't think of the last time I read the commie beeb.

Re: Who cares? (2)

amiga3D (567632) | about 8 months ago | (#44530307)

I listen to NBC and get all the leftie info then tune in FOX and get the right's viewpoint. It makes the news interesting when you see it from both sides.

Re: Who cares? (5, Insightful)

Rockoon (1252108) | about 8 months ago | (#44530367)

It makes the news interesting when you see it from both sides.

Notice how easily they convinced you that there were only two sides...

Re: Who cares? (2)

Zontar The Mindless (9002) | about 8 months ago | (#44530523)

It makes the news interesting when you see it from both sides.

Notice how easily they convinced you that there were only two sides...

I'm not sure which represents the greater tragedy--that, or the fact anyone could mistake NBC for being "leftist".

Re: Who cares? (2)

Rockoon (1252108) | about 8 months ago | (#44530843)

Well, its certainly leftist from the American perspective where the right is "religious conservative" and the left is "whatever is popular today"

Re:Who cares? (1)

TheRaven64 (641858) | about 8 months ago | (#44530271)

TorrentFreak (which, as a Virgin Media customer, I can apparently still access without jumping through hoops) appears to be more of a blog / news site these days. From the front page, it's not even obvious that they link to illegal torrents (do they?). They do list this in their about page:

TorrentFreak was featured on mainstream news outlets such as CNN, The Wall Street Journal, New York Times the BBC, the Guardian and the LA Times.

  • 150,000+ RSS subscribers
  • Top 50 Techmeme leaderboard
  • Top 100 blogs on Technorati

Which makes it seem like they are not a sensible thing to block. I've not visited the site for a great many years, but if you only object to the sites that you use being blocked then it's very easy for censors to creep in.

Add DNS for "legitimate" sites (5, Insightful)

grahammm (9083) | about 8 months ago | (#44529945)

If the blocks are applied to any IP address pointed to by a blocked site, maybe as a demonstration a blocked site should add the IP addresses of all of the major UK political parties, BBC iPlayer, Youtube, Netflix, lovefilm etc. If mainstream media sites get (automatically) blocked then perhaps the backlash might force TPTB into either removing the requirement to block or require the ISPs to use a blocking mechanism with less potential for collateral damage.

Re:Add DNS for "legitimate" sites (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#44529993)

There are certainly enough boobs on the UK party site to qualify for blocking anyway.

Re:Add DNS for "legitimate" sites (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#44530025)

They should block sky's websites from their own customers...

Re:Add DNS for "legitimate" sites (3, Insightful)

skovnymfe (1671822) | about 8 months ago | (#44530083)

They should block Slashdot, and all the sysadmins in the UK will rebel and take down the filter in their anger.

Re:Add DNS for "legitimate" sites (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#44530091)

I wonder what would happen if they add the IP address of the default DNS that the ISP's customers use...

Re:Add DNS for "legitimate" sites (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#44530101)

Unless there's a webserver on the same IP that people need to access, I'm guessing not a whole lot.

Re:Add DNS for "legitimate" sites (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#44530475)

Unless there's a webserver on the same IP that people need to access, I'm guessing not a whole lot.

Are they only blocking port 80 (and 443)? I would expect them to block all ports, including port 53.

If you don't understand why blocking access to port 53 on your ISPs DNS would be a problem for most of the ISPs users, I think you need to hand in your geek card.

Re:Add DNS for "legitimate" sites (2)

rb12345 (1170423) | about 8 months ago | (#44530095)

If they were aiming for truly evil exploitation of automated blocking, they wouldn't block any of those. They'd get the DVLA tax disc renewal site blocked instead and, given the automatic fines now, you'd easily upset a twelfth of Sky's userbase who'd need to switch back to manual methods. Alternatively, you'd aim to block HMRC in late January and block the rare people doing tax-returns at the last minute...

Re:Add DNS for "legitimate" sites (1)

SGT CAPSLOCK (2895395) | about 8 months ago | (#44530111)

When you do malicious things to Sky's customers, wouldn't it make you just as or perhaps even more oppressive than the people already controlling their content?

Re:Add DNS for "legitimate" sites (2)

rb12345 (1170423) | about 8 months ago | (#44530247)

My post certainly wasn't meant to recommend that it should be attempted! It was intended to reply to the OP's comment that:

If mainstream media sites get (automatically) blocked then perhaps the backlash might force TPTB into either removing the requirement to block or require the ISPs to use a blocking mechanism with less potential for collateral damage.

Blocking "mainstream media sites" would upset journalists more and get far more publicity. TPTB probably care more about their own sites being available and not having to pay more staff to do the work by hand. Either way, this will probably be fixed within the week.

Answering your actual question: perhaps, but I seriously doubt the torrent site will care much either way since they can no doubt get away with blaming Sky or the content industry for the blocks anyway. The cynical view is that they'd get far more self-promotion that way too...

Re:Add DNS for "legitimate" sites (1)

houghi (78078) | about 8 months ago | (#44530179)

I have the technical knowledge to run my own DNS server.
I do not have enough knowledge to do the following:
Make a DNS server for a single PC. It shoudl possibly be doing the following:
1) Work like a standard DNS server (e.g. start looking at root for SOA, then go down to find the A record for a site)
2) Stabndard caching of 2 days for IP addresses, perhaps longer for TLDs
3) Override DHCP settings
4) Make it easy to install (double click should be enough)

That way you are no longer depending on your providers DNS, nor depend on any other third party, like Google or any other third party DNS server.

So no matter if it is done by mistake or on purpose, you are not dependent on any third party for DNS.

Having a central DNS server used to be important as traffic was slow and expensive. Now I do not see that as an issue anymore, so the servers can be decentralized.

Any takers?

Re:Add DNS for "legitimate" sites (1)

Jaruzel (804522) | about 8 months ago | (#44530395)

Your idea kinda works....

But:
1. What if the block filter is also blocking the IP address?
2. What if the block filter is scanning the HTTP 1.1 request header that will contain the line 'host: <blocked-domain>' ?

for your concept, I believe it's quite simple to configure a linux distro to be a DHCP server for your network that also does DNS and performs it's own querying of the DNS root servers, so your concept is totally doable technically, i'm just not sure how it well it would work in reality...

-Jar

Easier less complex/less moving parts = hosts (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#44530407)

Less electrcity, cpu cycles & other forms of I/O used too http://yro.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=4075157&cid=44530335 [slashdot.org]

* It's extremely useful in situations like these too, vs. DNSBL's (& dns request logs tracking, plus downed DNS servers too) - Even complimenting them vs. their flaws (vs. fastflux + dynDNS using botnets, the HUGE majority vs. IP addressed ones OR Kaminsky bug redirect flaws (of which 99% of ISP dns servers = unpatched vs. it, even though a fix has been out for nearly 6 yrs. now...).

Less IS more! Good engineering = doing more with less, using a tightly integrated native part of the IP stack to do so as well as offering more speed, layered-security/defense-in-depth, reliability, and anonymity (to an extent) - FROM A SINGLE FILE no less!

To quote the film "I AM LEGEND":

"The premise is, quite simple: Take something designed by nature & reprogram it to work FOR the body, rather than against it..." - Dr. Alice Krippen "I AM LEGEND"

APK

P.S.=> Best part is they're easily FULLY end-user controlled (a simple text file edit with simple easy to understand line entries to either BLOCK sites or speed them up by avoiding remote DNS lookup for host-domain name IP address resolution - nothing more) & no more "added moving parts" or complexity + learning curve... apk

Re:Add DNS for "legitimate" sites (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#44530637)

i don't really understand what you're trying to accomplish.
obviously we have to start getting "complicated" with our helpful solution because
"the man" is reading along. fortunately if you can guarantee an explanation can be
understood beyond the 100 IQ threshold we are safe!
so first lookup (sic) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Comparison_of_DNS_server_software on wikipedia.
then inform yourself about a recursive DNS server.
this will not solve the problem because they are blocking (probably) a IP address x.x.x.x that a script
fetches from a dns server. if this dns server is managed by the people they are trying to block
obviously (bristish) hilarity ensues.
solution then are:
if only the dns lookup is blocked ... use another one.
if the ip is blocked .. ask some other non-blocked ip to fetch it for you. proxy or puppet on a string.
if the ip is blocked ... ask some other non-blocked ip to fetch it for you ... like a TOR exit node.
eztv got onion?
there are other ways to find the hash number of a torrent?
magenta cyan yellow green

Re:Add DNS for "legitimate" sites (1)

SuricouRaven (1897204) | about 8 months ago | (#44531175)

But the provider could trivially intercept and spoof DNS requests. Your plan needs three revisions:
1. Support DNSSEC.
2. Scratch the two-day cache, make it respect the TTL field as normal.
3. Except that in the event of no-domain or fail to receive a response to a query, return the last valid signed record regardless of TTL.

So what you end up with is a perfectly ordinary DNSSEC-complient DNS server, except that of a provider tries to block a domain this will keep on working regardless, at least until the host next changes IP.

All this assumes that Sky's block is DNS based, of course. It probably isn't. Still, a lot of low-cost filters are, so this will at least make filter operators fork over the cash for something a bit more sophisticated.

Re:Add DNS for "legitimate" sites (1)

reve_etrange (2377702) | about 8 months ago | (#44531431)

Just install DD-WRT on your router and activate DNSMasq. You can configure specific hosts for your LAN as well as parameters such as cache duration. The local DNS cache will probably speed things up for you as well.

oooh, big scary corporations! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#44529973)

Blocking trackers for a few people that actually care to go to that site. But you know what's the best site to fetch torrents? Google. What are they going to do? Ban people from accessing Google? Ain't gonna happen, and if it does, the NSA will be pissed!

Re:oooh, big scary corporations! (4, Informative)

firex726 (1188453) | about 8 months ago | (#44530131)

FYI this site is not a tracker or place to download torrent files; it's a new sites that posts articles, and only articles relating to filesharing.

The whole article in a post (4, Informative)

ConaxConax (1886430) | about 8 months ago | (#44530067)

I'm a Sky user in the UK, and I am here to post the text of the article:

"Website blocking has become a hot topic in the UK in recent weeks. Opponents of both voluntary and court-ordered blockades have warned about the potential collateral damage these blocking systems may cause, and they have now been proven right. As it turns out blocked sites can easily exploit the system and add new IP-addresses to Sky’s blocklist. As a result TorrentFreak has been rendered inaccessible to the ISP’s four million customers.

stop-blockedFollowing a High Court ruling last month, six UK ISPs are required to block subscriber access to the popular TV-torrent site EZTV.it.

The actions EZTV faces are not the first taken against a torrent site in the UK. The Pirate Bay, KickassTorrents and several other “pirate” sites have been blocked by previous court orders and remain inaccessible by conventional means.

However, over the past couple of days Sky subscribers noticed that the blocklist had been quietly expanded with a new site that’s certainly not covered by any court order – TorrentFreak.com.

Our site first became inaccessible on Wednesday night, only to be unblocked 14 hours later. However, about an hour ago it was again added to the blocklist.

The recent blocking spree is causing confusion among Sky subscribers who have no idea why TorrentFreak is longer accessible. However, we can confirm that the problem lies with Sky’s filtering software that is supposed to enforce the court-ordered torrent site blockades.

The owner of EZTV informed TorrentFreak that he used Geo DNS to point UK visitors to TorrentFreak’s IP-address. Soon after there were reports that our website had become inaccessible to Sky users."

The fun that can be had (5, Informative)

TheP4st (1164315) | about 8 months ago | (#44530075)

EZTV should have their DNS servers point to SKY's IP addresses and sit back and watch as hilarity ensues.

Re:The fun that can be had (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#44530577)

And a new major newspapers would have been good.

so... what (0)

juenger1701 (877138) | about 8 months ago | (#44530183)

am i supposed to be surprised that it actually works? cause a piracy filter blocking a site focused on torrents isn't a huge supervise

Re:so... what (2)

Opportunist (166417) | about 8 months ago | (#44530219)

It's not a site that gives you torrents. It's a site that gives you news. And once we block information, the slippery slope just gets lubed a bit more.

Making information and getting it illegal is and was the hallmark of any and every dictatorship in history, from fascism to communism. Part of that right to speak is the right to listen, without, it's pointless. By that logic, even the Soviet Union had a freedom of speech, as long as you were alone and nobody would listen in. It just was not allowed to say anything when someone else could hear it.

Re:so... what (1)

X.25 (255792) | about 8 months ago | (#44531553)

am i supposed to be surprised that it actually works? cause a piracy filter blocking a site focused on torrents isn't a huge supervise

What exactly is a "site focused on torrents", exactly?

Do you even know what you are talking about, or you are working as a guy operating filter in Sky?

Saw similar with Virgin (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#44530291)

A month or two back not long after they blocked TPB I was getting the same 'this website is blocked by court order' page for Golden Old Games (GOG.com) when I went there to purchase a game. It only happened for a day but I bet that was similar fallout from the blocking scheme.

I wonder how many other people saw that? I wonder how many people who saw that then thought GOG was a pirate site charging money for old games without the correct licenses? I wonder how long before somebody sues for loss of trade over and damage to reputation over these fault filters.

Custom Hosts files get you around DNSBL's (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#44530335)

By bypassing dns altogether since hosts = 1st thing IP stack references for host-domain/subdomain resolutions by default:

---

Microsoft TCP/IP Host Name Resolution Order:

http://support.microsoft.com/kb/172218 [microsoft.com]

PERTINENT QUOTE/EXCERPT:

"The client checks to see if the name queried is its own.

The client then searches a local Hosts file, a list of IP address and names stored on the local computer.

A sample hosts file, Hosts.sam, is installed with the TCP/IP protocol showing the proper format.

Domain Name System (DNS) servers are queried.

If the name is still not resolved, NetBIOS name resolution sequence is used as a backup. This order can be changed by configuring the NetBIOS node type of the client."

---

* :)

(I don't agree with stuff like Torrents or other piracy online though...)

APK

P.S.=> Creating such a custom hosts file? Easy (per "yours truly"):

---

APK Hosts File Engine 9.0++ 32/64-bit:

http://start64.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=5851:apk-hosts-file-engine-64bit-version&catid=26:64bit-security-software&Itemid=74 [start64.com]

---

Short synopsis/summary - Custom hosts files give users of them great benefits in added better:

---

1.) Speed (blocking adbanners & hardcoding your favorite sites into them - faster than remote DNS lookups)

2.) "Layered-Security/"Defense-in-Depth" (vs. known malicious sites/serves/hosts-domains that serve up malware or are malscript bearing - blocking spam/phish malicious links also, & host-domain names are used more BY FAR vs. IP addresses (like 99%:1% ratios due to fastflux & dynDNS using botnets))

3.) Reliability (vs. Kaminsky bug vulnerable DNS servers, 99% of which are STILL unpatched vs. it & worst of all @ the ISP level + vulnerable as hell vs. FastFlux + Dynamic DNS using botnets (or even DOWNED DNS servers too))

4.) "Anonymity" to an extent (vs. dns request logs + DNSBL's you may not like too - which is the case here since DNS is employed to do the blocking).

---

Enjoy!

... apk

Re:Custom Hosts files get you around DNSBL's (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#44530455)

Some ISPs are blocking by IP, not domain.

They'll switch hosting providers then.... apk (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#44530715)

Per my subject: That allows this to work via hosts usage to bypass DNSBL's done by host-domain names... and will, of course, allow these filesharing sites to work vs. this also.

* Always more than 1 way to "skin a cat"...

( & you can BET that's what these filesharing sites will do, or have to do, to circumvent this ).

APK

P.S.=> I didn't see that in the article summary here though (what you mention in using IP address based blocks) & I didn't read the source article either though - However/Again though:

That IP addressed blocking you speak of?

VERY simple to bypass for these file-sharing sites by them switching hosting providers - then you get their IP address & equate it to the host-domain name in your hosts file & voila - done (I do NOT agree with PIRACY though, by any means)...

... apk

Heh - They used an even "sneakier" way (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#44531127)

http://tech.slashdot.org/story/13/08/10/1519211/the-pirate-bay-launches-browser-to-evade-isp-blockades [slashdot.org]

* Like I said earlier here to you -> http://yro.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=4075157&cid=44530715 [slashdot.org] "Always more than 1 way to skin a cat" (besides doing what I noted in switching their hosting providers, which hosts would work for since it's host-domain name based, but hosts won't work vs. firewall outbound/inbound ISP level rules based on IP addresses).

APK

P.S.=> Big "Cat & Mouse" game is all this is... you take what people want from them in this arena (computing)? They figure out a way to do an "end run" around it...

... apk

Re:Custom Hosts files get you around DNSBL's (1)

RotateLeftByte (797477) | about 8 months ago | (#44530479)

Yeah but....

I've now come upon two separate Windows 7 systems where the \windows\system32\drivers\etc (the etc) bit was suddenly now a hidden directory.

WTF??????

Is this MS getting into bed with the Gov and hiding the very place where you can 'fix' your system to bypass the filters....?

Wouldn't matter with my program... apk (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#44530549)

It does the job for you (as long as you run it as admin class user) since that allows for bypass of UAC (I decided NOT to use 'impersonation' routines in my code, & the shortcuts you make for it can do it anyhow in their options)...

As far as you NOT seeing the %WinDir%\system32\drivers\etc subfolder?

That's a simple matter of altering your folder view options in CONTROL PANEL (I hate the defaults hiding things, but that's to protect users vs. themselves, especially "delete crazy" types, lol) -> Appearance and Personalization -> Folder Options -> Show Hidden Files and Folders (checking off "Hidden Files and Folders", "Show Hidden Files and Folders" in the popup dialog box).

And, there ya go...

APK

P.S.=> This works excellently vs. DNSBL's that work on host-domain based blocks, downed, or redirect flaw (Kaminsky bug unpatched on 99% of the world's DNS servers for more than 1/2 a decade now, worst @ ISP level, even though a patch has been out that long)... apk

Re:Custom Hosts files get you around DNSBL's (1)

SuricouRaven (1897204) | about 8 months ago | (#44531215)

Editing the hosts file on Windows also tends to result in antivirus software triggering. Understandable: Very few users these days have reason to edit the hosts file, but it's a very common target for malware (Redirect banking sites to pick up passwords, or redirect ad banner servers to those operated by the malware authors) so any editing of the file will be flagged as suspicious. A few times I've had Windows itsself revert the file to default automatically, but that was under Vista - I don't know if 7 does that or not.

Re:Custom Hosts files get you around DNSBL's (1)

Zontar The Mindless (9002) | about 8 months ago | (#44530501)

This time I was able to detect an APK "MY LEET HOSTS FILE YADDA YADDA" post after reading just the very first line.

Damn, I'm getting good.

That is fine... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#44530597)

TorrentFreak is a Honeypot for the industry anyways. If you like getting flagged, use torrentfreak.

SKY customers being blocked (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#44531145)

SKY is operated (largely) by NEWS Corp aka Murdoch and Fox news

So CAN WE PLEASE HAVE A BLOCK ON the SUN Newspapers Website and FOX news -

That would at least be some positive achievement out of this shambles

I live in the UK and I see a totally inept, totally technophobic government try to work the 21st century with 19th century tools and mentality.
We have 2 little rich boys trying to run a country that is in a shambles because they don't understand anything - basically.
Oh and to keep the balance - the other lot aren't much better
Too many lawyers and PR executives and not enough techies - or anyone who has actually had to work for a living - in our government.

Am I the only one... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#44532421)

... who thinks they should have added Sky's website once they figured it out? "ISP accidentally blocks itself" might get more mainstream news attention on how poor of an idea this is.

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