The Federal Court has recently passed new legislation blocking torrenting sites including The Pirate Bay and KickassTorrents, two of the most popular illegal downloading sites available.
A Federal Court order mandated that more than 50 internet providers such as Telstra, Optus and TPG be given 14 days to ban the sites. This can be done by using a range of blocking tools on par with those used for blocking child pornography. DNS blocking, URL blocking and IP re-routing have all been suggested by the Judge as viable methods.
However, many believe that his effort is futile, as there are already numerous videos posted to YouTube on how to get around the blockages. The most popular of these seems to be a VPN (virtual private network), which basically lets you divert your internet traffic though a server in a country where the sites are available.
Founder of the Australian owned VPN service Vanished, has already seen a rise in numbers since the blockages were announced. It’s important to note that use of VPNs are completely legal and regularly used by those who need to establish a secure connection.
Seasoned internet users will have no problem implementing ways to navigate around the blocks, and the general consensus is that this win is more of a ‘symbolic win’. It is certainly an Australian first that will probably be followed by many more such decisions.
It’s unclear if the Federal Court will take action against these loopholes, but the general public seem to think it won’t.