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Censorship United Kingdom

BT Ordered To Block Usenet Binaries Index 308

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the keeping-you-free-one-ip-at-a-time dept.
First time accepted submitter eyeoftheidol writes "A judge in the UK has ordered the ISP BT to block access to filesharing site Newzbin2 within 14 days. From the article: 'Wednesday's court order also allows for the blocking of any other IP or internet address that the operators of the Newzbin2 site might look to use to continue to offer copyrighted content to users. In addition the court said BT must foot the bill for the cost of implementing the web block on Newzbin2.'"
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BT Ordered To Block Usenet Binaries Index

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  • Newzbin3!

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by P-niiice (1703362)
      They already have a workaround in place.
      • They already have a workaround in place.

        In the time you typed that, 20 other workarounds came into play. I can't believe that high entities keep trying to stop this.

        This is similar to other things (like stopping terrorist acts by searching people before boarding planes). You can try all you want and make people (or corporations) believe that they are winning (or living safely), but in the end, the overall desire is going to overtake.

        What's the best way to make people want to do something? Tell 'em they can't. Yet we (Humans) keep doing it. L

        • Re:And next.. (Score:4, Insightful)

          by cavreader (1903280) on Wednesday October 26, 2011 @12:14PM (#37845264)
          " stopping terrorist acts by searching people before boarding planes" When it comes to terrorist attacks the fear is not so much about the attack itself it is about who gets blamed for letting the attack succeed in the first place. We never blame the actual terrorists anymore we only blame those who didn't prevent the attack from succeeding. I have not heard of anyone filling lawsuits against Al-Qaeda or any of it's brethren. Instead the airlines get sued and any government official (local or national) any where in the vicinity gets hammered for incompetence.
    • Simply making a "Newzbin3" website could be trivially argued as falling under the Judges comment "Furthermore, I do not consider that the studios should be obliged to return to court for an order in respect of every single IP address or URL that the operators of Newzbin2 may use,", so it would be quickly blocked. Newzbin3 would have to show significant evidence that they have no relation to Newzbin2 in order to not be blocked.

      • Re:And next.. (Score:4, Interesting)

        by durrr (1316311) on Wednesday October 26, 2011 @10:39AM (#37843970)
        What they should do instead is spread some small-sized copyrighted content(or parts of larger works) in Base64 on every single website that allows posting of comments/text and to report this terrible infrignment to both the judge, studios and BT. So that if BT actually complies with the demands they end up blocking 90% of the internet.
      • by residieu (577863)
        But will BT be required to develop some means of identifying Newzbin3 and blocking it when it shows up? Or can they wait for the studios to come tell them about Newzbin3 and then block it. If BT needs to get into the Newzbin hunting business to prevent liability, the studios should be paying them to do it. If it's just blocking known domains/IP numbers, that should be simple.
        • Reading the ruling, its when they are identified, and BT doesnt have to do the discovery - and yes I agree that BT should not be paying for any of this.

      • The biggest problem with this ruling is this, what happens when the studios identify an IP address as being used by the operators of Newzbin2 when in fact it is not?
  • How to block "any other IP or internet address operators of the Newzbin2 site might look to use to continue to offer copyrighted content to users" ?
    What if they change name? Or country? Or whatever?
    Do that judge understand the meaning of this sentence?
    And is it possible in the UK to head a bill in the name of someone because of a judge rule?
    I definitely this is totally insane, unless this is another case of british humour [wikipedia.org]!

    • Re:Totally insane! (Score:5, Interesting)

      by sosume (680416) on Wednesday October 26, 2011 @10:24AM (#37843772) Journal

      "any other IP or internet address operators of the Newzbin2 site might look to use to continue to offer "

      I'd say that covers the full 0.0.0.0/32 block. therefore, BT must terminate its ISP business.

      • Re:Totally insane! (Score:5, Insightful)

        by DarkOx (621550) on Wednesday October 26, 2011 @10:30AM (#37843842) Journal

        I think you mean 0.0.0.0/0 as 0.0.0.0/32 would mean only the address 0 to most of us. I agree with you though considering almost any other address *might* get used to tunnel traffic or host news they must stop permitting access to the Internet.

      • Arguments like yours are why we cant have "common sense" rulings and legislation any more. The sad thing is that you may see that as a good thing.

        • What's common sense? Forcing BT to pay the costs of tracking NewzBin's IP address, which can change every day if they want to?

          Common sense would be dropping this case.

          • by Arlet (29997)

            The IP address can't change too much, or the users wouldn't be able to find the NewzBin site anymore.

            Also, since it only costs BT £100 to update the IP address in their filter, that's not too bad.

        • by DarkOx (621550)

          I feel you brother. The trouble is common sense went out the window along time ago when politicians and judges started issuing blanket decisions and broadly applying them without consulting either with a broad cross section of interested parties from all sides of the issue, or attempting to get information from parties that would be disinterested but still informed on the issues; we went off the cliff when people started re-electing them.

          Democracy did die when people discovered they could vote themselves a

      • by Idbar (1034346)
        They should do it. They should block all (or at least corporate) access to internet, and blame the judge. Just to see where does it head to.
      • This reminds me of how flight attendants in the US always say to take with you anything you *might* have brought on board when disembarking. Really? I might have brought my dog, but I didn't. How shall I now take him with me?

    • Usually judges are completely stupid on IT issues, they think they have "supreme power" over the internet as they believe they have "supreme power" over the material world... But nonsense decisions like this are usually caused by simple bribery.
      • "But nonsense decisions like this are usually caused by simple bribery."

        If only, then these judges could be put out to pasture where they belong. Unfortunately its down to simple ignorance. Most people in the UK legal industry including the judiciary are utterly fecking clueless when it comes to technology but they assume because they've got law qualifications (which in their eyes are the acme of intellectual achievment) this means they can become an instant expert in every field of human endeavour.

        They can

    • Ok, I get that "protecting IP" == "shady, evil business" in the slashdot mindset. But are people SERIOUSLY arguing that, given the judge's position, he needs to issue a ruling devoid of common sense? Do you think, given the nature of the internet, that the courts should be able to be crippled and circumvented by a simple change in domain registration costing $8 a pop?

      Come on. You may dislike the judge's position, but arguing that he needs to act like a moron who doesnt understand the internet and the MO

      • I feel it necessary to clarify why I make the point I am making.

        You seem to have a position that this judge's ruling is harmful. It may be so, and if so my hope is that people would rise up and present good arguments against it, convince others, fight against it.

        But when people present bad arguments, and argue against a judge for trying to make sure his ruling is actually enforceable, it does noone any favors. I think it is WORSE to have an unenforceable bad ruling, for several reasons:
        1) if it is not enf

        • We have rampant copyright violation because noone respects those laws nor even understands them, and incredibly harsh examples of producers lashing out at those they can snag. Is this really the direction you want to go?

          No, just the first part.

          • So you want a society where noone respects the law? Thats utterly brilliant, I hope Im around when someone steals your bike and the police says "son, bicycles want to be free. Row Row, fight the power."

            • Strawman. I want a society where no one respects unjust laws.

              By that absolutist logic my country would still be dictatorship. After all, it was illegal to rebel!

              • I want a society where no one respects unjust laws.

                Minor, piddling detail: who decides which laws they want to follow? You see, myself, I tend to think that copyright isnt entirely bad (shorter terms would be better); but most people seem to ignore copyright even on very recent works (last 6 months).

                Im not trying to build a strawman here, but it really sounds like youre arguing for functional anarchy where everyone follows what they see as best.

                If youre trying to make this a "fight unjust laws" thing, perhaps doing more than simply taking the content in a

            • So you want a society where noone respects the law?

              So long as the law includes copyright, and things like it, yes. Any law which endorses social engineering and aggression doesn't deserve respect.

              I want a society where people respect each other, and each others' natural rights—which start with the right to be left alone unless you choose otherwise, and the right to interact with others on a mutually voluntary basis free of any outside interference. The written law has no legitimacy unless it parallels those natural rights. Copyright subverts natural r

              • So long as the law includes copyright, and things like it, yes.

                Bad news for you: Copyright has been included in the law since the founding of the country. There has been no major movement to remove it (AFAIK) in the 200+ year history of this country.

                So if you disagree with it, thats great, but the entire point of goverment and laws is that they sometimes tell us we cannot do certain things because collectively we have agreed that they are good for society. You are able to ignore those laws, but the entire point of the courts is to then issue some form of remedy and

      • by biodata (1981610)
        He didn't limit it to changes of domain name though. He has placed the responsibility on BT to be police, judge and jury in future. Let's say an imaginary property owner comes to BT with a domain name, and a claim that the operators of Newzbin2 are using this domain to provide information about other IP addresses where copyright-infringing material may be held. BT now has to investigate whether the domain is really being used by the operators of Newzbin2 (police work, if this is really a crime), and if s
      • by DarkOx (621550)

        No the judge should have issued the common sense ruling that, BT is not responsible for what someone else hosts on their server, that BT just routes IP packets from their clients to the Internet and back, and possibly provides some other services like mail and DNS. Now I can see if BT was hosting the news server we might say they have some obligation to police what people post there, but that is far as common sense takes it for me.

        The judge should have told the plaintiffs look "If you have problem with thi

    • by X0563511 (793323)

      Just ambiguous wording. If you take the time to read it without being a jackass and intentionally misreading it, it's clear that he means they should go ahead and block any IPs/domains that Newszbin2 moves to. The pivot point of this being around the word "might" - you are reading it as if it read "potentially," which is clearly (from context) incorrect - again assuming you are not intentionally reading it incorrectly.

  • So, I am walking down the street, in the next block someone lifts a wallet and I have to pay for the wallet just because I'm on the same city?
    • by sgt scrub (869860)

      Correct. My wallet had 1,000,000 dollars in it. Please send it next day delivery.

    • by Spad (470073)

      No, if the crime is committed while they're walking across your driveway, then you have to pay the cost of sending the cops out to deal with it.

      • by Canazza (1428553)

        More like someone ran through your garden with a stolen book, and now you have to pay to get a wall put up

      • How about a non-broken analogy, where you are in the business of selling used cars, and the courts tell you it will start holding you liable for selling stolen cars.

        Oh wait, we have laws like that.

        • To unbreak your non-broken analogy. You're selling a map of locations to other people who happen to be selling replicated used cars. Legally on both sides of the pond there is a difference. I'm sure it's still a grey area, but to counter a flawed analogy with another flawed analogy is...well...flawed.
          • To clarify my analogy, the cars are the bits on the internet. ISP provides access to them (selling them for all intents and purposes), and some of them are illegal. It is in their interest, profit-wise, to do so as long as customers desire it, so it is necessary for the courts to dis-incentivize it.

        • Your anaolgy is flawed, unless you can press a button and make an exact duplicate of any car. We're talking about data. Data has to be monitized in a different way; this nonsense of treating data like its a scarce commodity is a flawed system.
      • by gstoddart (321705)

        No, if the crime is committed while they're walking across your driveway, then you have to pay the cost of sending the cops out to deal with it.

        And, in this case, ensure that if that particular thief never commits a crime on any other driveway.

        Essentially, BT is now responsible for anything NewzBin2 does on the internet -- which demonstrates that the judge in this case doesn't understand what is being demanded.

        "I do not consider that the Studios should be obliged to return to court for an order in respect o

    • I would assume that the presumption is that, if BT wants to do business, they need to make sure that the courts do not consider them an accessory to infringement. You can disagree with it, but it is consistent.

  • Fight Club (Score:4, Insightful)

    by DreadPiratePizz (803402) on Wednesday October 26, 2011 @10:12AM (#37843636)
    Looks like someone's been breaking the first two rules of Usenet!
  • by Wowsers (1151731) on Wednesday October 26, 2011 @10:13AM (#37843664) Journal
    Blocking a website is fairly trivial to get around. But if only BT were more interested in blocking all the spam phone calls they pretend they can't block.. because they make lots of money from these spamming phone calls. I can block an IP in hosts, or ads with browser plugins, but BT claim they can't block phone calls even thought THEY know the number. Hypocrites who are only after money.
    • Having some experience of this, I find myself in defence of BT - the vast majority of spam calls in the UK actually originate from foreign countries, and rotate caller IDs with every call (the call centers buy huge blocks of phone numbers and rotate them around destinations - and then simply dump them back to the telecoms companies when they become too stale), and as BT only knows the last exchange before it hits a BT exchange, they can't know its from the same source.

      I had this issue with Virgin Media as w

      • by Xest (935314)

        Just block external telcos that don't behave altogether until they can get their act together.

        Being unable to route calls to a major country like the UK would be enough to destroy any such telco pretty quickly as it's real legit customers bugger off elsewhere. Even better if BT can team up with European/US telcos and implement the ban Europe/US wide.

        Let's be honest, this is basically what the MPAA et al. are pushing on the internet, so if it can be done there why can't it be done for things that the general

  • by drunkahol (143049) on Wednesday October 26, 2011 @10:15AM (#37843686)

    Because some people OR(speed, drive dangerously, fall asleep at the wheel, road rage, drive without insurance, drive without license).

    The list here is quite long. Very few people, in fact, never break any laws on the UK highways.

    Shame on the judge and/or law. Understanding the problem FAIL.

    • by sgt scrub (869860)

      Your publicly claiming there is a brit that has not driven drunk?!? You surely meant to post anonymously. :P

    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by Arlet (29997)

      There's a difference between a few people misbehaving on the freeways, and a site that's mostly made/used to aid in piracy.

      • Quite right, one of those things can kill people and the other is about entertainment.
      • by Xest (935314)

        Yes, one can cause loss of life, the other can't.

        I'll leave you to figure out which is which, it shouldn't be too hard.

        Oh, and a few people? try something more like 30 out of the 32million or whatever people in the UK that drive. Hardly just a "few". Don't try and pretend only a "few" people have never broken the speed limit, never run a red light even if by a fraction of a second, never driven with a tyre tread below the legal limit, never driven with two bulbs out, never undertaken because the fast lane s

        • by Arlet (29997)

          Yes, one can cause loss of life, the other can't. I'll leave you to figure out which is which, it shouldn't be too hard.

          Why is the distinction relevant ? Do we only have rules against things that cause loss of life ?

    • Your argument would have more merit if 99% of people OR(speed, drive dangerously, fall asleep at the wheel, road rage, drive without insurance, drive without license) on the highways...

      Lets face it, the ratio of legit content to non-legit content on these sorts of sites is astronomically weighted one way.

    • by Tharsman (1364603)

      Funny you bring this poor example because the idea behind it is actually accurate.

      Secret roads between state and country lines that are used for illegal smugling are actually closed/barricaded/blocked when found, just like this site is being blocked.

      On the other hand, the example you give would only be appropiate if the government was asking for the internet as a whole to be blocked, obviously not the case.

    • by BitZtream (692029)

      Because some people OR(speed, drive dangerously, fall asleep at the wheel, road rage, drive without insurance, drive without license).

      You do realize that WE DO TRY TO BLOCK ALL OF THOSE THINGS. RIGHT?

      Shame on your for failing to understand the basics of reality. Perhaps you should as your local police office WHAT they do, then come back and try again.

  • by TheDawgLives (546565) <http://www...suckitdown...org> on Wednesday October 26, 2011 @10:15AM (#37843696) Homepage Journal
    "In addition the court said BT 's customers must foot the bill for the cost of implementing the web block on Newzbin2."

    There, I fixed it for you.

  • Monkeys and keyboards... just in case an infinate number of monkeys recreate something
  • This is it, then (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Catbeller (118204) on Wednesday October 26, 2011 @10:21AM (#37843750) Homepage

    The end of the internet, as I used to prophesize on Slashdot over ten years ago. It will become cable TV and a wiretapped phone, along with the history of everything we access. And with IPV6, we will get assigned personal IPs - there will be enough for every amoeba on the planet to be tracked. And don't bother telling us about how we will hack around it- that will be an international felony, and they will show us what happens to people who think they're cute. Ask Kevin Mitnick or Assange.

    • by Dunbal (464142) *

      It will become cable TV and a wiretapped phone, along with the history of everything we access.

      No, it will become a network of VPN's sharing encrypted traffic, and you will never find out about the good sites because you're not invited.

      • It'll become both. The internet will split - the controled, Disneyfied internet for the majority of people, all heavily policed, tracked and filtered. The internet of corporate governance. Then there will be the internet of the geeks, hidden in lower-level protocols and encryted connections, accessible only to those will the will and skill to find it.
        • by AlXtreme (223728) on Wednesday October 26, 2011 @10:53AM (#37844190) Homepage Journal

          Your use of future tense surprises me.

        • by BitZtream (692029)

          1995 called, they want your 'The internet is going to hell' statements back.

          The internet will be what we (as a planet) want it to be, nothing more, nothing less. You probably won't get your way because there are more people who think and operate rationally than there are people like this particular thread who think that because they can't use the internet to hide and steal shit that its ruined.

    • by Arlet (29997)

      Well, we can be thankful that content producers are also mostly generating crap that's not worth downloading anymore.

    • This is the reason why we can't have nice things. A global communication network with very little to no barrier of entry? Why, that would mean people could actually communicate without us knowing!
      Welcome to darknets, sneakernets and other things that will keep the Internet alive for those who know. It was fun while it lasted.

  • by Neil_Brown (1568845) on Wednesday October 26, 2011 @10:43AM (#37844038) Homepage

    Four bullet point overview:

    • 1.) BT must block access to the "Newzbin 2" website, including amending the blocking rules in effect to ensure blocking, when the studios notify it of a change of IP address and similar by Newzbin 2. (No further court order required for these changes)
    • 2.) The order extends to any downstream services which BT operates which incorporate CleanFeed. It does not apply to BT's access services and upstream divisions.
    • 3.) BT must pay the costs of the solution.
    • 4.) BT must pay the costs for defending itself in the case, since it was insufficiently neutral by virtue of opposing the order.

    Summary (with some of my opinions...):

    Background: In July, BT was injuncted to block access to the Newzbin 2 website, which had previously been held to infringe copyright. The decision today related solely to the order itself, and procedural / cost aspects.

    The order requires BT to block access to the Newzbin 2 website (including at any future addresses it uses, as notified by the studios to BT (para. 10)). It applies to any downstream services which BT provides which implement - whether as an option or not - BT's CleanFeed system, which allows certain traffic management and filtering capabilities. It does not apply to BT's access services and upstream divisions.

    The court heard arguments as to the differences (or similarities) between a Norwich Pharmacal order and an Art. 8(3) injunction (which is the mechanism here). Whilst Arnold J ruled in favour of the studios, that there are differences, he ruled that the "intermediary has not committed any legal wrong." (para. 30)

    BT was also found to be liable for the costs of implementing the solution. At para. 32, Arnold J held that: "BT is a commercial enterprise which makes a profit from the provision of the services which the operators and users of Newzbin2 use to infringe the Studios' copyright. As such, the costs of implementing the order can be regarded as a cost of carrying on that business."

    In effect, the cost of bearing the outcome of the injunction is the cost of the shield provisions of Arts. 12-14, 2000/31/EC. BT was also effectively penalised for defending itself, per para. 54, with the court holding that defending itself against an order such as this - the first of its kind in the UK - was insufficiently neutral. I struggle with this, as it would seem to hold that access providers are unable to defend themselves against threats such as this for fear of not being "neutral" on an issue which, unsurprisingly, is contentious for an ISP.

    The full wording of the order appears at the end the judgment (para. 56), in the following terms:

    "1. In respect of its customers to whose internet service the system known as Cleanfeed is applied whether optionally or otherwise, the Respondent shall within 14 days adopt the following technical means to block or attempt to block access by its customers to the website known as Newzbin2 currently accessible at www.newzbin.com, its domains and sub-domains and including payments.newzbin.com and any other IP address or URL whose sole or predominant purpose is to enable or facilitate access to the Newzbin2 website. The technical means to be adopted are:

    (i) IP address re-routing in respect of each and every IP address from which the said website operates and which is notified in writing to the Respondent by the Applicants or their agents; and

    (ii) DPI-based URL blocking utilising at least summary analysis in respect of each and every URL available at the said website and its domains and sub-domains and which is notified in writing to the Respondent by the Applicants or their agents.

    2. For the avoidance of doubt paragraph 1 is complied with if the Respondent uses the system known as Cleanfeed and does not require the Respondent to adopt DPI-based URL blocking utilising detailed analysis.

    3. The Respondent shall not be in breach of paragraph 1

    • by cdrudge (68377) on Wednesday October 26, 2011 @11:00AM (#37844316) Homepage

      4.) BT must pay the costs for defending itself in the case, since it was insufficiently neutral by virtue of opposing the order.

      So if BT didn't defend itself, staying sufficiently neutral, they automatically would have been ruled against and had to implement it. From BT's point of view, they were fucked from the beginning. There was no way to oppose them having to do something AND remain neutral.

  • How come the studio's get to become judge if something could be possibly related to this newsbin2 site? What if they decide that slashdot.org is in fact a front for newsbin2? Does BT have to close access to slashdot.org then? I see plenty of reasons for BT to not obey this court order and wait for the trial that follows when they disobey.
    • by biodata (1981610)
      Welcome to the new privatised legal system. Some big corporations don't trust the real legal system to be fair [biased in their favour], so they are establishing a privatised shadow legal system by the back door, where other corporations take over the roles of investigation, judgement, enforcement.
  • Free Speech (Score:4, Interesting)

    by alexgieg (948359) <alexgieg@gmail.com> on Wednesday October 26, 2011 @12:33PM (#37845538) Homepage

    It'd be interesting for the sake of spicing things up if all these services, and the groups behind them, used "free speech" and similar terms as part of their names. The mainstream media would have a field day spreading news about an UK judge banning a site called "FreeSpeechNews" by "Team Combatants of Liberty", much more so at least than about him banning something as esoteric-sounding as "newzbin" by some guys who cal themselves dogs. Just imagine the headlines!

    Even pirates should lean the value of marketing. Use it for your own advantage. It might not be glamorous, but it's worth the effort.

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