Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Belgacom and Telenet Ordered to "DNS Block" Pirate Bay - Is this effective?

Torrent Freak reports that "A court has overturned a 2010 ruling which said that blocking The Pirate Bay at the ISP level was “disproportionate”. The Antwerp Court of Appeal sided with the Belgian Anti-Piracy Federation in their quest to force two ISPs to block subscriber access to the world’s most famous torrent site. Belgacom and Telenet must now implement a DNS blockade of the site within 14 days or face fines"

Recent experience (see related posts below) shows that trying to black list web sites is problematic, as subscriber have ways to bypass it, or false-positive (over-blocking) errors are made by the ISPs - due to the use of too-simplistic blocking methods.

Related posts:
  • Argentina: ISPs Block 1,000,000 Blogs Instead of One - here
  • Ofcom: "All site blocking techniques can be circumvented" - [The Leaked Document] - here.
According to Ofcom's document:
For site operators and end users with a sufficient incentive to engage in circumvention DNS blocking is technically relatively straightforward to bypass: 
  • the blocked site may offer services such as Virtual Private Networking, which is where encryption and other security measures are deployed to ensure that the data cannot be viewed by third parties (DNS name resolution may occur within the VPN providers network thereby bypassing the ISP based DNS site-blocking);
  • the end-user can change their DNS name servers to 3rd party DNS name servers
  • users may use anonymous web proxy or other anonymising services which are not reliant on the ISP DNS servers; or
  • name resolution may be performed locally by adding an entry to a hosts file (IP address resolution information can be obtained from websites running a web-enabled equivalent of “nslookup” command).
See "Belgian ISPs Ordered To Block The Pirate Bay" - here and BAF's press release "BELGACOM EN TELENET VEROORDEELD TOT HET BLOKKEREN VAN ‘THE PIRATE BAY’ - here.
Source: Ofcom

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