Wednesday, 21 December 2016 06:34

Users easily get past Telstra torrent site blocks: report Featured

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Telstra has implemented blocking of websites that link to material that allegedly infringe copyright but users are easily able to get past it, according to a published report.

The Torrent Freak website said Telstra was using DNS to block users, as required by the judgment issued by the Federal Court on 15 December.

But, the report said, users were switching to Google's DNS, the address of which is well-known, and hence getting around the block.

Others, who were concerned that Google logs data, were using OpenDNS which is owned by Cisco, the report said.

The judgment required that five sites — The Pirate Bay, Torrentz, TorrentHound, IsoHunt and SolarMovie — be blocked within 15 business days of the judgment being handed down.

Laurie Patton, head of Internet Australia, the peak body for Internet users, has said of the judgment: "You close them down and they reappear in no time on another site and/or with another name – it's called ‘whack-a-mole’. What's more, anyone with a modicum of technical knowledge can always find a way to access what they want, lawfully or unlawfully."

The costs of blocking the sites have to be borne by the rights holders, with the court have determinbed that it would cost $50 to block each domain.

The site blocking has to be done under court supervision.

Changes to the copyright laws in 2015 made it possible for content owners to apply to the courts to seek injunctions against ISPs so that they would have to block sites that were deemed to be infringing the content owners' rights.

The court also ruled that content owners would have to pay the costs of the case.


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Sam Varghese

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Sam Varghese has been writing for iTWire since 2006, a year after the site came into existence. For nearly a decade thereafter, he wrote mostly about free and open source software, based on his own use of this genre of software. Since May 2016, he has been writing across many areas of technology. He has been a journalist for nearly 40 years in India (Indian Express and Deccan Herald), the UAE (Khaleej Times) and Australia (Daily Commercial News (now defunct) and The Age). His personal blog is titled Irregular Expression.

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