Cyber expert argues blocking not the answer to Internet safety and piracy

Mar 06, 2013 by Julie Hörnle

(Phys.org) —Last week (1 March 2013) it was reported that Internet piracy had been handed a blow after three file sharing sites were facing the chop under a quick fire order from the High Court.

KAT, H33T and Fenopy will be blocked by six Internet Service Providers (ISP) under the new ruling which means that Sky, BT, EE, Talk Talk, Virgin and O2 must cut off access to these sites or face a contempt of court action.

The decision to block these sites is in contrast to the six months it took to take action against The last year. The action was brought by an alliance of record companies and other bodies representing gaming, film and book publishing. Their action was unopposed by the six ISPs.

Julie Hőrnle is a qualified solicitor and an expert in Internet law and cyber space law at Queen Mary. She said: "These orders follow in the steps of other blocking orders, which have been issued in respect of the Newzbin service and the Pirate Bay in the past few years. However the more interesting question is whether these blocks are effective. A search on Google for "Pirate Bay blocked" will immediately result in instructions on how to circumvent the block, even for the technologically unsophisticated user.

"A further danger is that blocks which are used by the major Internet access providers undermine the blocking system established by the Internet Watch Foundation in order to block content, as it will give higher profile to these circumvention techniques.

"The money spent on obtaining these orders would be better spent on other initiatives. Blocking is not the solution for the copyright challenges posed by the Internet. It is time for a public discussion on this issue."

Explore further: Snapchat gets $537 million in fresh funding

Related Stories

Dutch court: service providers block Pirate Bay

May 10, 2012

(AP) -- A court in The Hague, Netherlands has ordered Internet providers to block the The Pirate Bay website or face large fines, a ruling that means accessing the Swedish-born site directly will soon be impossible for most ...

Norway court snubs call to block The Pirate Bay

Nov 06, 2009

A court in Norway on Friday rejected calls from the entertainment industry to force communications giant Telenor to block its customers from accessing popular file sharing website The Pirate Bay.

Finnish record label petition to block Pirate Bay

May 26, 2011

Finnish record labels said Thursday they filed a petition in court to block access to The Pirate Bay, a popular Swedish website that provides access to copyrighted music, movies, and other material.

Recommended for you

US judge jails Silk Road mastermind for life (Update)

May 29, 2015

The American convicted of masterminding the criminal website Silk Road was sentenced in court Friday to life in prison over the online enterprise that sold $200 million in drugs to customers worldwide.

Slow start, gradual improvement for US Internet gambling

May 28, 2015

Internet gambling is off to a slow start in the United States, with banks hesitant to handle credit card payments for online bets and some politicians and casino moguls pushing to ban it, but there remains potential for great ...

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.