Sky Broadband has quietly started blocking access to proxy services that allow people in the UK to access torrent websites such as The Pirate Bay (TPB) and Kick Ass Torrents (KAT), previously closed off by a legal ruling.
Since a High Court ruling in the UK in April 2012, the UK’s largest ISPs – Sky, Everything Everywhere (now just known as EE), TalkTalk, O2, Virgin Media, and later, BT – have been forced to block access to The Pirate Bay for their subscribers.
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As a result a number of proxy services flourished, allowing customers of these ISPs to access the website, as well as others like KAT.ph, H33T and Fenopy, that were subsequently covered by later court orders.
However, Sky Broadband has now silently started blocking access to these proxies, effectively cutting off access to the websites for its customers. According to TorrentFreak, Sky subscribers began noticing that their access to the proxies was blocked over the weekend.
The specific domains on the court order block list aren’t public knowledge but are regularly updated to include new domains and IP address by solicitors acting on behalf of the rights holders, who do so by informing the ISPs of the new domains to be blocked periodically.
It’s hard to know for certain whether other ISPs will follow suit and restrict access to the proxies but one source familiar with the matter told The Next Web that the blocks will be extended to other ISPs as they are a result of the most recent additions to the block list, rather than a decision taken only by Sky Broadband. The source said the list now includes proxies for the first time, but only if their sole purpose is to provide access to a blocked website.
According to TorrentFreak, some of the proxies rendered inaccessible include pirateproxy.net, fenopyreverse.info, h33tunblock.info, h33t.uk.to, kickassunblock.info, katproxy.com, movie2kproxy.com, as well as a site called torrentproxies.com that lists available proxy sites.
Sky, the BPI (British Phonographic Industry) , Virgin Media and BT had not returned a request for comment at the time of writing.
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