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posted by martyb on Thursday March 19 2015, @05:41PM   Printer-friendly
from the How-will-the-CloudFlare-Crowd-Fare-Down-There? dept.

We had this interesting juxtaposition of submissions in our queue today. On the one hand, pols in Australia are on the verge of passing a law that would "herald the ISP-level blocking of 'oversease pirate sites.'" And, on the other hand, it appears that in the UK, The Pirate Bay has found a way to bypass UK-mandated ISP filters. It will be interesting to see how these play out over time.

Aussie Site Blocking Law to Be Passed

The Copyright Amendment (Online Infringement) Bill was today cleared for introduction into the Australian parliament. In a whirlwind of activity it's expected to be passed this week and will herald the ISP-level blocking of "overseas pirate sites". The body representing the country's ISPs has expressed disappointment at the complete lack of consultation.

Early December 2014, Attorney-General George Brandis and Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull asked the Cabinet to approve the development of a new legal mechanism which would allow rightsholders to obtain site blocking injunctions against ISPs. And now, just three months later, it is all systems go.

"The power will only apply to websites outside Australia as rights holders are not prevented from taking direct action against websites operated within Australia," the Government said.

Full coverage over on Torrentfreak and ITNews.

TPB (and others) Amusingly Unblocked in the UK

After The Pirate Bay switched to CloudFlare's SSL service it is no longer being blocked by most UK Internet providers. Subscribers of BT, EE, Virgin and TalkTalk can reach the site without problems via the default https address. The "bug" also affects secure versions of other blocked sites, but not all.

"I believe it's because of how CloudFlare works, Simply put when you enable HTTPS Strict on CloudFlare they remove the HTTP Header from the request during HTTPS Connections, thus when they try to inspect the header to a list of 'banned' websites it won't register." Rainbows' (a TPB proxy) operator tells TF. "So any site that uses CloudFlare, has a properly configured and signed SSL Certificate and enables HTTPS-Strict under CloudFlare should be able to evade the ban that's imposed by Virgin and perhaps other providers."

What further complicates the matter is the fact that it's harder to block The Pirate Bay by its IP-address, as the true location is hidden by CloudFlare's network of addresses now.

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The UK government plans to penalize tech companies like Facebook and Google that fail to curb the spread of harmful content on their platforms. As promised, the country is seeking to empower an independent regulator to enforce the rules which target violent material, posts encouraging suicide, disinformation, cyber-bullying, and child exploitation. Over the coming weeks, the government will consult on the types of punishments available to the new watchdog, including fines, blocking access to sites, and holding senior members of tech companies accountable for their failures.

Both Facebook and Google have previously denied responsibility for the content published on their sites, evoking the communications act in the US to overcome lawsuits accusing them of enabling terrorism and spreading extremist views. But calls for big tech to be regulated have grown in recent years following a spate of controversial incidents, the most recent of which was the live-streaming of the mass shooting in New Zealand on Facebook.

Related: UK Security Agents Get Censoring Privs at Youtube
UK ISPs Block Sites that List Pirate Bay Proxies
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  • (Score: 2) by TLA on Thursday March 19 2015, @06:02PM

    by TLA (5128) on Thursday March 19 2015, @06:02PM (#160063) Journal

    First hand eyeball experience of VM still aggressively blocking TPB not just the site, trackers as well. Thank fsck for dynamic host tracking.

    Excuse me, I think I need to reboot my horse. - NCommander
  • (Score: 2) by MichaelDavidCrawford on Thursday March 19 2015, @09:30PM

    by MichaelDavidCrawford (2339) Subscriber Badge <> on Thursday March 19 2015, @09:30PM (#160129) Homepage Journal

    the UK ISPs could just be ordered to block cloudflare. Won't someone think of the children?

    Yes I Have No Bananas. []
    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 19 2015, @09:42PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 19 2015, @09:42PM (#160134)

      Oh my, please yes... block cloudflare! That piece of junk should be taken down!

    • (Score: 2) by isostatic on Friday March 20 2015, @10:26AM

      by isostatic (365) on Friday March 20 2015, @10:26AM (#160321) Journal

      Won't someone think of the children?

      Don't worry, people like Jimmy Saville, Rolf Harris, Fred Talbot, Cyril Smith have that in hand.

  • (Score: 3, Interesting) by Robotron on Friday March 20 2015, @11:49AM

    by Robotron (3099) on Friday March 20 2015, @11:49AM (#160339) Homepage

    For anyone in the UK having difficulty accessing TPB, here's a long list of proxies. I can verify that some continue to work on Virgin Media:

  • (Score: 1) by Pr. L Muishkin on Friday March 20 2015, @05:34PM

    by Pr. L Muishkin (5143) on Friday March 20 2015, @05:34PM (#160492)

    Just tried this on my Virgin Media phone, (it was blocked previously,) I can now access TPB on it again. I'll update later with regards to my Virgin Media fibre connection later if no-one else has.

    • (Score: 1) by Pr. L Muishkin on Friday March 20 2015, @10:11PM

      by Pr. L Muishkin (5143) on Friday March 20 2015, @10:11PM (#160598)

      Yup, fibre's good too, welcome back to my screen TPB, I've missed you so.