Secret Blocked Web Sites … Scary Stuff!
I can’t remember where I picked this article up from, probably twitter or something, maybe Facebook. Anyway, I have lifted the text below from this article on TorrentFreak – Pirate Bay Proxy Now Included in Secret ISP Blocklist.
If governments and/or big companies get control of the internet who will the good, the bad and the ugly be then?
It’s not to do with whether you agree or not with torrent sites and digital piracy it’s to do with the the fact that there is a secret list of blocked web sites at all. Right or wrong, up to now the internet has been a pretty much unrestricted space even if it’s a case of the good, the bad and the ugly. Once you start restricting things where do you draw the line? Who decides? It’s an eternal discussion but once governments and / or large companies get control of the internet things are never going to be the same again and what you can and can’t see will then be decided for you. If blocked web sites are in a secret list then you won’t even know about what you can’t see!
There are plenty of inexpensive options for companies and families to filter what can be seen on the internet if they want to protect their children or prevent internet abuse at work for example and it’s not necessary or desirable to filter it for all of us without us having any say in it.
You Could Be Next
Torrent web sites are used to being blocked and always seem to find their way around things but they are big enough and capable enough to handle themselves.
If secret lists of blocked web sites start to appear on a country or global scale and a lot more web sites start to appear on it then the next thing you know is that an underground internet might start to appear and much more sinister things might start to happen there. When things are no longer monitored by the public eye they become much more difficult to control. Remember prohibition?
Join The Fight
There are many great causes to support. These days you might say that the internet is the breathe of life for free speech so consider protecting it. If the internet is controlled by secret lists of blocked web sites it could be you next, it could be your web site blocked without you even knowing why or how.
Do you trust your government with this sort of thing … do you? Do you trust large companies to look after your interests or, their interests!
Just a few links to places where you can lend your support for this and many other very worthy causes:
In the UK a range of sites are now blocked including The Pirate Bay, KickassTorrents, H33T and Fenopy. But despite very public High Court orders the true extent of the censorship is unknown as the actual URL blocking list is being kept out of the public eye. However, through an unexpected turn of events last week, TorrentFreak discovered that at least one independent domain not operated by any of the sites in question is also being censored.Although they complain extremely loudly about piracy in the United States, the major record labels have never tried to have a domain blocked there.
Instead they’ve focused on countries around Europe and have achieved many of their site blocking successes through the UK High Court.
The blocks against The Pirate Bay, KickassTorrents, H33T and Fenopy (and before them Newzbin2) are controversial and widely circumvented, but perhaps of most concern is the way they are being implemented.
While the various and extremely detailed High Court rulings are available for public consumption, the actual list of domains being supplied by the record labels to the ISPs is not. This lack of transparency has done nothing to convince critics that there’s nothing to hide but through a series of coincidences, TorrentFreak discovered that perhaps there is.
Early last week The Pirate Bay switched to a new Greenland domain and within hours strange things began to happen. Many Pirate Bay proxy sites ceased to function and displayed ISP blocking pages instead, causing a flurry of emails from readers concerned that proxies were also becoming censorship targets.
Suspicious that the domain switch and the proxy problems were connected, TorrentFreak spoke with the operators of PirateReverse, one of the proxies that had ceased to function. In short, a technical issue with the way the new TPB domain was configured caused the proxies to pass information to the ISPs that they would not normally receive. This led to the proxies being blocked.
However, before we received this information we spoke to UK ISP Virgin Media to see if they were blocking the TPB proxies. We sent a list of URLs representing the apparently blocked sites and after a few days a spokesperson responded.
“We are only blocking those sites we are required to block by the court order,” we were told. “As a responsible ISP, Virgin Media supports the clear, legal framework put in place to protect against copyright infringement and we continue to comply with court orders specifically addressed to the company.”
However, it seems that at least one site not operated by The Pirate Bay is present on the High Court order and is currently being blocked.
“To clarify, http://tpb.voxanon.org/ is blocked as per the court order,” Virgin Media told TorrentFreak.
TorrentFreak asked Virgin if they were able to supply us with a full copy of the list of URLs they are being asked to block. We were told that they could not.
So, we moved onto the BPI, the organization supplying the URLs to the High Court and ISPs on behalf of the labels. We wrote to Director of Communications Adam Liversage and explained what we had discovered and again asked for a copy of the list. We received no response.
It is not in dispute that the High Court has found that The Pirate Bay, KickassTorrents, H33T and Fenopy contravene the Copyright Act and therefore should be blocked. Whether people like that or not, that’s a fact.
The big issue here is why the blocking list is being kept out of the public eye. The Voxanon site is indeed a Pirate Bay proxy, but there is no mention of that site in the High Court order and no ruling that it operates illegally. In addition to the concern that mores sites will eventual creep onto this list it raises the specter of more blocklists being created in future, again with no public accountability.
If there’s to be any confidence that these High Court orders are in the public interest, then there’s nothing to hide. And, let’s face it, if all the list contains is a rundown of domains owned by these sites it’s not going to make exciting reading. So why not publish the list?
Thanks for reading this far.
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The Secret List Of Blocked Web Sites
The Secret List Of Blocked Web Sites