Newzbin2 pirates prepare to sink BT web block
App weighs anchor to scuttle censoring landlubbers
Pirate site Newzbin2 has cooked up a software client that it says will help UK users defeat a block on the site that is due to be enforced in October.
Hollywood studios and the Motion Picture Association won a case in the High Court in July that sought to force BT to stop Britons from accessing Newzbin2. It was presumed that BT would employ its online censorship system Cleanfeed, normally busy blocking child pornography sites, to keep UK netizens from downloading movies, music and applications using Newzbin2.
“We are pleased to announce the first Newzbin2 client software,” spokespirate "Mr White" told TorrentFreak. “This is targeted at UK users who are likely to get blocked in October. This first version is a bit rushed and so not very polished. As time goes by we shall improve it and add features.”
"We can't say how our client application works, but it uses a number of techniques to utterly defeat Cleanfeed," he added.
Network protocol analysis software, which TorrentFreak used to run some "basic tests" on the Newzbin2 client, showed the pirates' app could defeat known features of Cleanfeed.
At the time the court order was made, BT argued that even if it was instructed to block the site, it would still be possible for determined users to get around the block. In the court document of the judge's ruling, counsel for BT said:
Indeed, the evidence shows the operators of Newzbin2 have already made plans to assist users to circumvent such blocking. There are at least two, and possibly more, technical measures which users could adopt to achieve this.
A BT spokesperson told The Reg it couldn't comment because the specifics of how the court order will be obeyed have yet to be decided. ®
yeah, reminds me of the way antibiotics have been made ineffective by inappropriate use.
So our courts have basically given impetus to create a tool to get around child-porn blocking.
Stop the pirates, but don't anyone think about the children.
Well done all.
@AC 11:55 - Really? That's how you view it? Seriously?
Personally the way I see it is this, most people accepted that it was reasonable to deploy a censorship technology (Cleanfeed) to help try and prevent access of child porn (effectiveness is a different argument). How many of those would have accepted it if the scope was a bit broader? What they've done is taken a system designed to stop us stumbling across some nasty shite and shoehorned in something completely unrelated and _nowhere_ near as potentially damaging (if you buy the slippery slope theory, that is).
I'm not defending Newzbin, let's face it they know full well what they are doing, but it's the idiot of a judge who thought it appropriate to allow use of a technology aimed at blocking child porn to protect the interests of media companies.
Are Newzbin right to release methods of bypassing Cleanfeed? No, but BT's friggin counsel told the court that this would be the end result. Talk about making a ruling without any thought of the future.
Until this ruling, if I posted "This is how you bypass Cleanfeed" I was either a pedo or helping them. Now that information is going to be more readily available.
Most determined pedo's could probably already bypass Cleanfeed anyway, but now that the cat is out of the bag on how to do it, as a society we get to watch the Government do something 'proactive' which will probably also impact heavily on those who have no interest in seeing that material anyway.
So yeah, Newzbin are wrong, but if the Judge had actually used his brain and his ears, perhaps it could have been avoided.