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  1. The UK website blocking bonanza continues with the High Court adding four major movie streaming sites to the country’s unofficial ban list. Six major ISPs are required to block access to Megashare, Viooz, Watch32 and Zmovie, which all have millions of regular visitors. The list of websites that are blocked in the UK for facilitating copyright infringement is getting longer and longer. This week a new High Court ruling orders BT, Sky, Virgin Media, O2, EE and TalkTalk to block access to Megashare, Viooz, Watch32 and Zmovie. Through the sites users can stream Hollywood movies directly, or via links to third-party sites such as Vidspace or Videohub. Viooz is the largest of the quartet and is listed among the 500 most visited sites in the UK. The ruling comes after Hollywood studios filed a complaint that remained uncontested by the ISPs. Because the ISPs have given up on defending their position in court, it is now a mere formality for copyright holders to have a pirate site banned. Represented by FACT and the Motion Picture Association, several major movie studios decided to ask for the blockades after their inquiries to the owners of the sites remained unanswered. “FACT and the Motion Picture Association (MPA) wrote to four websites asking them to stop infringing creative content. Collectively, these sites provide access to an enormous collection of films with no permission from the copyright owners. FACT, supported by the MPA, therefore took this court action,” FACT told TF. The court order, which has yet to be made public, is believed to be similar to the orders against Firstrow, Solarmovie and Tubeplus which were handed down last year. In that verdict the Court clarified that even when a website uses external “hosts” for the infringing content, the linking sites could still be guilty of making content available. “Even where the content could be accessed from the host sites, the Websites make it much easier for members of the public to find what they want. Viewed from the perspective of the user, the Websites do in a very real sense make the content available to the public,” Justice Arnold wrote. Virgin Media confirmed that their received the court order which they will implement in the near future. “We obey court orders when addressed to the company.” spokesperson Emma Hutchinson told us. The MPA told Recombu that the new Megashare, Viooz, Watch32 and Zmovie blockades are expected to go into effect this week. Speaking with TorrentFreak, FACT says that the aim is to steer more people towards legal options, if those are available. “The growth of the legal online market is held back by illegitimate sites,” a FACT spokesperson told TF. “We want an internet that works for everyone, where the creative property of artists and creators is protected along with the privacy and security of all users. The internet must be a place for investment, innovation and creativity and today’s verdict represents a step towards realizing this,” FACT concludes. Whether the present blocks will be more than a drop in the ocean has yet to be seen. There are many other streaming portals that are still available, which means that the movie studios will probably be back in court later this year. —- The full list of sites that are currently blocked in the UK is as follows: Megashare, Viooz, Watch32, Zmovie, Solarmovie, Tubeplus, Primewire, Vodly, Watchfreemovies, Project-Free TV, Yify-Torrents, 1337x, Bitsnoop, Extratorrent, Monova, Torrentcrazy, Torrentdownloads, Torrentreactor, Torrentz, Ambp3, Beemp3, Bomb-mp3, Eemp3world, Filecrop, Filestube, Mp3juices, Mp3lemon, Mp3raid, Mp3skull, Newalbumreleases, Rapidlibrary, EZTV, FirstRowSports, Download4all, Movie2K, KickAssTorrents, Fenopy, H33T and The Pirate Bay. Source: TorrentFreak
  2. By Jimmy Nsubuga Friday 24 Jan 2014 4:57 pm A porn movie was filmed on the Frenchay campus (Picture: Google Maps) A university in Bristol has threatened to take a porn producer to court after he filmed X-rated scenes on one of its campuses. University of the West of England (UWE Bristol) was angered after a 23-minute adult video was recorded on its Frenchay campus last summer. The movie featured a man calling himself Johnny Rockard and Xzena, a woman who claimed to be a student at the institution, engaging in sexual acts around the campus. The university later confirmed none of the performers in the video attended the school, although unknowing students were featured in the background. Students Union president Charlie Roper said: UWE Students Union are deeply concerned that this act has happened on campus and are aware that UWE are fully investigating and taking legal action. Mr Rockard seemed unrepentant about filming the porn video and told the Bristol Post it was a public place and he hadnt broken any laws. He later tweeted: Loving the immature little students trying to make heroes of themselves by taking the moral high ground lol. Avon and Somerset Police said they had been notified about the incident and were investigating. http://metro.co.uk/2014/01/24/police-investigate-after-porn-movie-filmed-in-middle-of-the-day-on-university-campus-4275999 :)
  3. January 31, 2014 05:41 Edited time: January 31, 2014 06:21 Documents released by US whistleblower Edward Snowden show the Communications Security Establishment Canada (CSEC) used airport Wi-Fi to track passengers from around the world. Travelers passing through a major Canadian airport were potentially caught up in a vast electronic surveillance net, which allowed the nation’s electronic spy agency to track the wireless devices of thousands of airline passengers - even for days after they had departed the terminal, a document obtained by CBC News revealed. The document shows the spy agency was then able to track travelers for a week or more as the unwitting passengers, together with their wireless devices, visited other Wi-Fi "hot spots" in locations across Canada - and even across the border at American airports. The CBS report said any place that offered Wi-Fi internet access, including "airports, hotels, coffee shops and restaurants, libraries, ground transportation hubs" was vulnerable to the surveillance operation. After reviewing details of the leaked information, one of Canada's leading authorities on internet security says the secret operation was almost certainly illegal. "I can't see any circumstance in which this would not be unlawful, under current Canadian law, under our Charter, under CSEC's mandates," Ronald Deibert told CBC News: The CSES is specifically tasked with gathering foreign intelligence by intercepting overseas phone and internet traffic, and is forbidden by law from collecting information on Canadians - or foreigners in Canada - without a court warrant. As CSEC Chief John Forster recently stated: "I can tell you that we do not target Canadians at home or abroad in our foreign intelligence activities, nor do we target anyone in Canada. "In fact, it's prohibited by law. Protecting the privacy of Canadians is our most important principle." However analysts who have had access to the document say that airline passengers in a Canadian airport were clearly on the territory of Canada. CSEC spokesperson Lauri Sullivan told the Star, an online Canadian news outlet, that the “classified document in question is a technical presentation between specialists exploring mathematical models built on everyday scenarios to identify and locate foreign terrorist threats.” Disclosure of the program puts those techniques at risk, she said. Teaming up with NSA Early assessment of the leaked information indicates the passenger tracking operation was a trial run of a powerful new software program CSEC was developing with help from its American partner, the National Security Agency. The technology was to be shared with the so-called “Five Eyes” surveillance bloc composed of Canada, the United States, Britain, New Zealand and Australia. In the document, CSEC described the new spy technology as "game-changing," saying it could be used for powerful surveillance on "any target that makes occasional forays into other cities/regions." Sources told CBC News the “technologies tested on Canadians in 2012 have since become fully operational.” CSEC claims "no Canadian or foreign travellers' movements were 'tracked,'" although CBC News questioned in its report why the comment "put the word "tracked" in quotation marks." http://rt.com/news/canada-snowden-spying-nsa-airport-442 Not only US, UK, Canada but also most likely all other Anglo-American (AU, Ireland, NZ) Spy agencies involved in this shame, too :) Time will show.
  4. Cops threaten Coventry paedophile catcher Stinson Hunter with legal action 4 Feb 2014 15:13 Warwickshire Police sent crime fighter letter warning him to stop taking law into his own hands Stinson Hunter Police have threatened crime fighter Stinson Hunter with legal action if he doesn’t stop what he’s doing immediately. The online paedophile hunter has been sent a letter warning him he could end up being taken to court himself for taking the law into his own hands. Warwickshire Police’s assistant chief constable Karen Manners criticises the 32-year-old’s methods, saying he “could be compromising police investigations without knowing that you are doing so”. The letter, which has been seen by The Telegraph, also says Hunter’s actions pose a serious risk to his targets and their families - and the evidence he provides is not good enough to secure successful prosecutions. Hunter - who operates from the Coventry and Warwickshire area - has already responded to the letter. It’s the first time the paedophile hunter has been threatened with legal action even though he’s carried out several stings in the last few months. Asked if he was going to stop what he is doing Hunter responded: “No. “Watch the videos - I’m not doing anything wrong, certainly nothing against the law. There are some where I shout a bit, but they were filmed a long time ago. “It’s frustrating. This isn’t just about catching people, it’s about making the government and other agencies realise that this is a big problem. “I don’t want to do this, but I feel that I have to.” The letter goes on to threaten Hunter with a costs order if Warwickshire Police take him to court, potentially saddling him with a huge legal bill. If he doesn’t hang up his video camera for good the force say it will have no option but to consider “injunctive proceedings” against Hunter “to obtain a court order preventing such future conduct”. The letter also states: “As you have previously stated that your motivation for undertaking this activity includes financial reward, we are sure that you would not want to risk being ordered to pay significant legal costs.” But Hunter dismissed that claim, saying he has never been in it for the money. “I don’t make anything from this,” he said. “I got £1,500 from The Sun in February last year, I’ve never hidden that. “I’m not being paid for the documentary.” Warwickshire Police have secured a conviction with evidence provided by Hunter while at least one more case is going through the courts but elsewhere other cases have collapsed. source Stinson on facebook Stinsons utube Stinsons website Video may be deleted at any satge when HD version gets released (it will be on the utube channel below) video facebook (mobile upload) (ITV NEWS) Edit ASSISTANT CHIEF CONSTABLE - KAREN MANNERS (letter) http://youtu.be/x6QETNNY3go
  5. By Matthew Cole First published February 8th 2014, 1:14 am ritish spies have developed “dirty tricks” for use against nations, hackers, terror groups, suspected criminals and arms dealers that include releasing computer viruses, spying on journalists and diplomats, jamming phones and computers, and using sex to lure targets into “honey traps.” Documents taken from the National Security Agency by Edward Snowden and exclusively obtained by NBC News describe techniques developed by a secret British spy unit called the Joint Threat Research and Intelligence Group (JTRIG) as part of a growing mission to go on offense and attack adversaries ranging from Iran to the hacktivists of Anonymous. According to the documents, which come from presentations prepped in 2010 and 2012 for NSA cyber spy conferences, the agency’s goal was to “destroy, deny, degrade [and] disrupt” enemies by “discrediting” them, planting misinformation and shutting down their communications. Both PowerPoint presentations describe “Effects” campaigns that are broadly divided into two categories: cyber attacks and propaganda operations. The propaganda campaigns use deception, mass messaging and “pushing stories” via Twitter, Flickr, Facebook and YouTube. JTRIG also uses “false flag” operations, in which British agents carry out online actions that are designed to look like they were performed by one of Britain’s adversaries. In connection with this report, NBC is publishing documents that Edward Snowden took from the NSA before fleeing the U.S., which can be viewed by clicking here and here. The documents are being published with minimal redactions. The spy unit’s cyber attack methods include the same “denial of service” or DDOS tactic used by computer hackers to shut down government and corporate websites. Other documents taken from the NSA by Snowden and previously published by NBC News show that JTRIG, which is part of the NSA’s British counterpart, the cyber spy agency known as GCHQ, used a DDOS attack to shut down Internet chat rooms used by members of the hacktivist group known as Anonymous. Read the first NBC report on JTRIG and the Snowden documents. Read an earlier exclusive NBC report on the Snowden documents. Civil libertarians said that in using a DDOS attack against hackers the British government also infringed free speech by individuals not involved in any illegal hacking, and may have blocked other websites with no connection to Anonymous. While GCHQ defends the legality of its actions, critics question whether the agency is too aggressive and its mission too broad. Eric King, a lawyer who teaches IT law at the London School of Economics and is head of research at Privacy International, a British civil liberties advocacy group, said it was “remarkable” that the British government thought it had the right to hack computers, since none of the U.K.’s intelligence agencies has a “clear lawful authority” to launch their own attacks. “GCHQ has no clear authority to send a virus or conduct cyber attacks,” said King. “Hacking is one of the most invasive methods of surveillance.” King said British cyber spies had gone on offense with “no legal safeguards” and without any public debate, even though the British government has criticized other nations, like Russia, for allegedly engaging in cyber warfare. But intelligence officials defended the British government’s actions as appropriate responses to illegal acts. One intelligence official also said that the newest set of Snowden documents published by NBC News that describe “Effects” campaigns show that British cyber spies were “slightly ahead” of U.S. spies in going on offense against adversaries, whether those adversaries are hackers or nation states. The documents also show that a one-time signals surveillance agency, GCHQ, is now conducting the kinds of active espionage operations that were once exclusively the realm of the better-known British spy agencies MI5 and MI6. Intelligence officials defended the British government’s actions as appropriate responses to illegal acts. According to notes on the 2012 documents, a computer virus called Ambassadors Reception was “used in a variety of different areas” and was “very effective.” When sent to adversaries, says the presentation, the virus will “encrypt itself, delete all emails, encrypt all files, make [the] screen shake” and block the computer user from logging on. But the British cyber spies’ operations do not always remain entirely online. Spies have long used sexual “honey traps” to snare, blackmail and influence targets. Most often, a male target is led to believe he has an opportunity for a romantic relationship or a sexual liaison with a woman, only to find that the woman is actually an intelligence operative. The Israeli government, for example, used a “honey trap” to lure nuclear technician Mordechai Vanunu from London to Rome. He expected an assignation with a woman, but instead was kidnapped by Israel agents and taken back to Israel to stand trial for leaking nuclear secrets to the media. The version of a “honey trap” described by British cyber spies in the 2012 PowerPoint presentation sounds like a version of Internet dating, but includes physical encounters. The version of a “honey trap” described by British cyber spies in the 2012 PowerPoint presentation sounds like a version of Internet dating, but includes physical encounters. The target is lured “to go somewhere on the Internet, or a physical location” to be met by “a friendly face.” The goal, according to the presentation, is to discredit the target. A “honey trap,” says the presentation, is “very successful when it works.” But the documents do not give a specific example of when the British government might have employed a honey trap. An operation described in the 2010 presentation also involves in-person surveillance. “Royal Concierge” exploits hotel reservations to track the whereabouts of foreign diplomats and send out “daily alerts to analysts working on governmental hard targets.” The British government uses the program to try to steer its quarry to “SIGINT friendly” hotels, according to the presentation, where the targets can be monitored electronically – or in person by British operatives. A slide from the documents taken from the NSA by Edward Snowden and obtained by NBC News. The existence of the Royal Concierge program was first reported by the German magazine Der Spiegel in 2013, which said that Snowden documents showed that British spies had monitored bookings of at least 350 upscale hotels around the world for more than three years “to target, search and analyze reservations to detect diplomats and government officials.” According to the documents obtained by NBC News, the intelligence agency uses the information to spy on human targets through “close access technical operations,” which can include listening in on telephone calls and tapping hotel computers as well as sending intelligence officers to observe the targets in person at the hotels. The documents ask, “Can we influence hotel choice? Can we cancel their visits?” The 2010 presentation also describes another potential operation that would utilize a technique called “credential harvesting” to select journalists who could be used to spread information. According to intelligence sources, spies considered using electronic snooping to identify non-British journalists who would then be manipulated to feed information to the target of a covert campaign. Apparently, the journalist’s job would provide access to the targeted individual, perhaps for an interview. The documents do not specify whether the journalists would be aware or unaware that they were being used to funnel information. The executive director of the Committee to Protect Journalists, Joel Simon, said that the revelation about “credential harvesting” should serve as a “wake up call” to journalists that intelligence agencies can monitor their communications. Simon also said that governments put all journalists at risk when they use even one for an intelligence operation. “All journalists generally are then vulnerable to the charge that they work at the behest of an intelligence agency,” said Simon. The journalist operation was never put into action, according to sources, but other techniques described in the documents, like the Ambassadors Reception computer virus and the jamming of phones and computers, have definitely been used to attack adversaries. In Afghanistan, according to the 2012 presentation, the British used a blizzard of text messages, phone calls and faxes to “significantly disrupt” Taliban communications, with texts and calls programmed to arrive every minute. In a set of operations that intelligence sources say were designed to stop weapons transactions and nuclear proliferation, JTRIG used negative information to attack private companies, sour business relationships and ruin deals. The British cyber spies also used blog posts and information spread via blogs in an operation against Iran. Other effective methods of cyber attack listed in the documents include changing photos on social media sites and emailing and texting colleagues and neighbors unsavory information. The documents do not give examples of when these techniques were used, but intelligence sources say that some of the methods described have been used by British intelligence to help British police agencies catch suspected criminals. The documents from 2010 note that “Effects” operations, GCHQ’s offensive push against Britain’s enemies, had become a “major part” of the spy agency’s business. The presentation from 2012 illustrates that two years later GCHQ had continued to shift its workload from defending U.K. cyber networks to going on offense -- targeting specific people or governments. The British government’s intelligence apparatus, which also includes MI5 and MI6, had a role in the 2010 Stuxnet computer virus attack on Iran’s nuclear facilities, according to sources at two intelligence agencies. GCHQ would not comment on the newly published documents or on JTRIG’s “Effects” operations. It would neither confirm nor deny any element of this report, which is the agency’s standard policy. In a statement, a GCHQ spokesperson emphasized that the agency operated within the law. “All of GCHQ's work is carried out in accordance with a strict legal and policy framework,” said the statement, “which ensure that our activities are authorized, necessary and proportionate, and that there is rigorous oversight, including from the Secretary of State, the Interception and Intelligence Services Commissioners and the Parliamentary Intelligence and Security Committee. All of our operational processes rigorously support this position.” Journalist Glenn Greenwald was formerly a columnist at Salon and the Guardian. In late 2012 he was contacted by NSA contractor Edward Snowden, who later provided him with thousands of sensitive documents, and he was the first to report on Snowden’s documents in June 2013 while on the staff of the Guardian. Greenwald has since reported on the documents with multiple media outlets around the world, and has won several journalism awards for his NSA reporting both in the U.S. and abroad. He is now helping launch, and will write for, a new, non-profit media outlet known as First Look Media that will “encourage, support and empower … independent, adversarial journalists.” First published February 8th 2014, 1:14 am Matthew Cole . . Matthew Cole is an investigative producer for NBC News focusing on national security matters. He joined NBC News in 2013 after three years as an investigative producer for ABC News. He has reported from... Expand Bio http://www.nbcnews.com/news/investigations/snowden-docs-british-spies-used-sex-dirty-tricks-n23091
  6. The UK website web blocking bonanza continued today with the High Court adding two major movie streaming portals to the country’s unofficial ban list. Six major ISPs have been ordered to block access to SolarMovie and TubePlus, two streaming portals with millions of regular visitors. The ruling comes after Hollywood studios filed a complaint that remained uncontested by the ISPs. In recent years the UK has become the easiest country in the world in which to have a website censored on copyright grounds. With several successful court orders in hand it is now a mere formality to have a torrent site or streaming portal blocked under Section 97A of the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act. Today another round of blocks was announced in a case initiated by the Motion Picture Association (MPA). The High Court ruled in favor of the major movie studios who had filed demands for six major Internet providers to block subscriber access to the streaming sites TubePlus and SolarMovie. As in previous cases the ISPs did not contest the case in court, while the sites in question were not given express opportunity to defend themselves. This means that both sites will be blocked by BT, Sky, Virgin Media, O2, EE and TalkTalk in the near future. TubePlus and SolarMovie are two of the most popular streaming sites and are ranked as the 558th and 346th most-visited websites in the UK respectively. Worldwide the streaming portals are estimated to have dozens of millions of visitors every month. UK movie industry anti-piracy group FACT is happy with the ruling, which they say will help to protect the work of rightsholders. According to FACT both TubePlus and SolarMovie were contacted, but the sites repeatedly ignored takedown requests from copyright holders. “FACT’s members create exciting entertainment for audiences of all ages and we work to protect the jobs of tens of thousands of people in the UK and the investments made in new content,” a FACT spokesman told TorrentFreak. “All of the sites in recent actions have been asked to comply with UK and international law and have refused to do so.” Solarmovie.so The movie studios are not the only ones cheering on the new verdict. Christine Payne of the UK actor’s union Equity described the ruling as “a great step forward in the fight to ensure creators’ rights are respected online.” “These websites steal creative works for their own, untaxed, profit whilst paying nothing back to creators themselves. It is right and proper that legal, proportionate action be taken to tackle these sites to help turn the tide of widespread online copyright infringement,” Payne added. The UK Pirate Party and several civil rights groups have been more critical of the ever-growing list of banned sites. In particular, they are worried about the lack of transparency as most court orders are not made public. “In the Pirate Party we have always maintained that website blocking is dangerous. Where does this end?” UK Pirate Party leader Loz Kaye previously told TorrentFreak. FACT told us that an end to site blocking requests is not in sight, on the contrary in fact. Alongside other entertainment industry groups they will continue to file new cases against “pirate” sites. “Sites that continually allow infringing material to be hosted, linked or streamed can be in no doubt that sanctions will be taken against them,” FACT explained. And so the game of Whack-A-Mole will continue, and undoubtedly more websites will be added to the country’s unofficial ban list in the months to come. Source: TorrentFreak
  7. With copyright holders seriously getting into their web-blocking stride in the UK, it is now impossible to access any of the most well known torrent sites from a regular web browser without tweaks. TorrentFreak took a look at some of the world’s most popular torrent and streaming sites in order to figure out which ones remain uncensored in the UK and along the way we discovered a few other items of interest. While Hollywood and the music industry are currently working hard to have dozens of millions of infringing links removed from Google, they are increasingly trying to cut off users’ access to those links by way of website censorship. Interestingly this is being driven by United States-based companies yet no sites have yet been blocked in their homeland. Instead, the major studios and recording labels have zoomed in on Europe – the UK in particular – and between them have had close to 30 sites blocked by the country’s major ISPs. Users of BitTorrent, streaming and other file-sharing sites in the UK are soon going to have to get used to a new reality. Currently none of the top 10 torrent sites listed in our 2013 chart are available by direct means. Furthermore, the MPA are slowly but surely taking out the top streaming sites while the BPI concentrates on some of the big MP3 download portals. To find out what kind of a dent these actions have had on accessibility, TorrentFreak took a look at the list of top 30 torrent sites in the world to see which ones remain unblocked in the UK. We used Alexa ranks to put them in general order, which is sufficient for this exercise. Later we’ll take a look at one or two other interesting findings. 1. YIFY-Torrents Ranked 890 worldwide by Alexa, surprisingly YIFI Torrents has somehow managed to remain unblocked in the UK. Quite why this growing site is being left to flourish is unknown, especially since a request to block the site was made six months ago. 2. RARBG According to data obtained from meta-search engine Torrentz.eu, RARBG has a relatively small database of around 400,700 torrents. Despite that figure being dwarfed by the availability on other lower-placed sites in this list, RARBG has a global Alexa rank of 1,986. 3. LimeTorrents Targeted by the RIAA back in 2011, LimeTorrents has continued business as usual ever since. The site has a clean design and a reported 3,395,599 torrents. Alexa ranks the site 6,515. 4. Torrents.net Just slightly less popular than LimeTorrents in terms of traffic, Torrents.net has a similar sized database of just over 3.4 million torrents. 5. Torlock Created in 2010, Torlock has a database of more than 1.25 million torrents. However, the site claims that there are zero fake files in its listings. In fact, they are so confident this is the case that they offer $1 for every one a user can find. 6. TorrentFunk According to the site’s records, TorrentFunk has more than 5.5 million torrents in its databases, which is more than any site in this ‘unblocked’ top 10. Alexa ranks the site 10,398 in the world. 7. YourBitTorrent YourBitTorrent claims to be the “ONLY non-egoist torrent website.” The site says that since 2003 it has donated to multiple large organizations that care for the interests of animals. It has more than 4.1 million torrents and has just added a feature to add torrents to Putdrive accounts for downloading on any device. 8. SeedPeer According the site’s stats, SeedPeer currently carries around 4.7 million torrents, 186,000 of which are verified as definitely not fake. Overall the site’s torrents are being serviced by more than a billion seeds. The site is ranked 12,634 by Alexa. 9. Vertor Vertor is one of the few torrent sites to concentrate on having only quality torrents, i.e none that are fake, locked by passwords or containing a virus. The site claims to run on five dual-core servers with 8 GB RAM and currently hosts just over a million torrents. 10. FulldLs With a claimed 3.39 million torrents in its database, Fulldls takes the final spot in the top 10 unblocked list. To give an idea of just how far the rankings of sites readily available in the UK have dropped due to ISP blocking, Fulldls has an Alexa ranking of 26,536. The top 10 position in our pre-blocking chart earlier in the year was taken by H33T with an Alexa rank of 1,430. Other findings To complete our investigation, TorrentFreak examined every site currently listed in Alexa’s chart of the Top 500 most-visited sites overall in the UK. Notably, streaming portal PrimeWire.ag is ranked 209 in the UK having quickly grown in popularity following domain issues. Other unblocked streaming sites riding high include Watchseries.lt (Alexa UK #278) and Vodly.to (Alexa UK #301). SolarMovie.so is currently placed at #364 but will soon be blocked by the leading ISPs. Since The Pirate Bay is blocked to around 90% of UK internet subscribers, it comes as no surprise that people are looking for workarounds. Clearly many are accessing the site through PirateProxy.se, a proxy now listed as the 241st most popular site in the UK. Also riding high (Alexa UK #413) is Come.in, a multi-site proxy that unlocks several sites including TorrentReactor, ExtraTorrent, KickassTorrents and The Pirate Bay. Interesting, VPN provider HideMyAss is now the UK’s 415th most popular site. Conclusion It is almost certain that the BPI and MPA will be back time and again to have fresh sites blocked in the UK and will continue to do so until the top 50 to top 100 sites have been added to the country’s unofficial blocklist. Whether this will encourage people towards official outlets is not yet clear, but the rise of the proxy and VPN services listed above (and tools such as PirateBrowser) shows that there is definitely a desire to circumvent rather than succumb to bans. Source: TorrentFreak
  8. The RIAA’s brand new “notorious sites” submission to the United States Trade Representative reveals that in two days time some of the world’s largest file-sharing sites will become blocked by Internet service providers in the UK. On October 30, meta-search engine Torrentz.eu, torrent indexes ExtraTorrent and BitSnoop, and cyberlocker search site FilesTube will all be blocked at the ISP level. Responding to a request from the Office of the US Trade Representative (USTR), on Friday the MPAA submitted a new list of so-called “notorious markets.” The MPAA’s report listed many of the usual suspects such as The Pirate Bay, KickassTorrents, ExtraTorrent and Torrentz, plus a selection of file-hosting sites such as Netload, ExtaBit and PutLocker. A little while ago TorrentFreak obtained a copy of the RIAA’s submission and aside from doubling up on some of the same sites listed by the MPAA, it also delivers a surprise. Torrent site blocking imminent The RIAA says that in just 48 hours time a new wave of site blocking will take place in the UK covering not only the usual BitTorrent indexes, but also dedicated search engines in the torrent and file-hosting space. On October 30, ExtraTorrent will be blocked by the UK’s leading ISPs, presumably following action by the major labels of the BPI. ExtraTorrent has suffered at least two anti-piracy setbacks in the last week, first when City of London Police convinced its registrar to take its domain and second when Google removed the site’s homepage from its search results. The second indexing site to be blocked on Wednesday will be BitSnoop, which earlier this year was the eighth most-popular torrent site in the world. The RIAA says that since the site provided no way for rightsholders to make contact the decision was made to have ISPs block the site instead. The third site to be rendered inaccessible this week will be Torrentz.eu. What is unusual about this development is that Torrentz is a so-called meta-search engine, in that it carries no torrents of its own but searches other torrent sites instead. Nevertheless, the site still complies with DMCA takedown notices, a fact acknowledged by the RIAA. “[Torrentz] is currently hosted by Canadian providers. The site complies with take down notices by removing the torrents identified in those notices which provide access to infringing files. The site can take up to several days to remove infringing files following a request by right holders,” the RIAA explain. In the rest of the USTR submission on torrent sites the RIAA lists many of the usual suspects, including The Pirate Bay, KickassTorrents, Torrenthound.com, Fenopy.se, Monova.org, Torrentreactor.net and Sumotorrent.sx. Many of these sites are blocked around Europe already. As usual, two resilient trackers from Bulgaria – Arenabg and Zamunda – also get a mention. Cyberlockers and related search engines While there are plenty of file-hosting sites to choose from that could certainly be considered rogue (refusing to take down content etc) it’s again somewhat of a surprise that this week a copyright-compliant site will become blocked at the ISP level. FilesTube is the most popular search engine for file-hosting sites and as such has been absolutely hammered by rightsholders looking for links to be taken down. It is by far the most targeted domain in Google’s Transparency Report with 9,242,032 URLs removed, double its closest ‘competitor’. Interestingly the RIAA admits in its report that Filestube does respond to takedown notices. However, the industry can’t keep up so the implication is that this is FileTube’s fault. “Industry reports links to infringing materials to the site operator, but any action by the operator is ineffective as the speed of the takedowns cannot match the speed at which new links are added,” the RIAA writes. Along with the sites listed above, FilesTube will be blocked by the UK’s top six ISPs on Wednesday. Other hosting sites singled out for detailed criticism by the RIAA include bannedhost.net, 4Shared.com, ZippyShare.com, Rapidgator.net, TurboBit.net and a selection of lesser known sites located in the Czech Republic. Three other sites are mentioned in passing – FreakShare.com, BitShare.com and Extabit.com. “We greatly welcome this initiative designed to expose businesses who operate notorious markets for infringing materials, and who generally either directly profit from the sale or other distribution of infringing materials, or who profit from facilitating such theft—in many cases through the sale of advertising space,” the RIAA writes. “Quite simply, there is no place for open and notorious theft in a civilized world, regardless of how that theft is accomplished. Addressing the conduct of these notorious markets for piracy will go a long way towards promoting the rule of law, fuelling creativity and innovation, and maintaining US economic competitiveness,” the industry group concludes. Meanwhile, every single site listed in the notorious market reports of both the RIAA and MPAA remain 100% accessible from all of the ISPs in the United States. Source: TorrentFreak
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