It is the first time that a UK ISP has blocked private torrent sites, without a court order demanding it does it.
The High Court has ordered six UK ISPs to block subscriber access to dozens of the world’s largest torrent sites. The latest order was issued last month after a complaint from the major record labels. It expands the UK blocklist by 21 torrent sites, including limetorrents.com, nowtorrents.com, picktorrent.com, seedpeer.me and torlock.com.
Over the weekend, BT and Sky implemented the new changes, making it harder for their subscribers to reach these sites. But BT appears to have gone above and beyond the court order, limiting access to various other sites.
According to TorrentFreak several users of private torrent sites get an “error blocked” message instead of their favourite sites. These include the popular IPTorrents.com and TorrentDay.com trackers, as well as scene release site Scnsrc.me.
The fact that BT has targeted IPTorrents and Torrentday is significant. Both sites require prospective users to obtain an invite from a current member they have over a hundred thousand active users.
BT used the same error message that is returned when users to try access sites covered by High Court injunctions. It is also the first time that a UK ISP has ever blocked a private torrent site. It is also significant because it indicates that ISPs are now starting to accept that they are not safe havens and have to censor the web.
IPTorrents is still accessible via https and via the site’s alternative .me and .ru domains. In addition, VPNs and proxy servers are often cited among suggested workaround techniques.