Newzbin2 Working To Smash BT Blockade

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Enemy of Hollywood Newzbin says it is working on a software client to allow users to work around BT’s block

Pirated content aggregator Newzbin2 says it is preparing software to work around BT’s high-court imposed blockade.

In July, BT was ordered to block the members-only site using its Cleanfeed system, following successful legal action by the Motion Picture Association, a coalition of top Hollywood studios.

But on Tuesday the site’s owners released the first version of a client software designed to circumvent the block and restore the service, and followed up with an update today.

Newzbin2 said in a blog post: “We are pleased to announce the first Newzbin2 client software. This is targeted at UK users who are likely to get blocked in October. This first version is a bit rushed and so not very polished.”

Blockade buster

The site’s organisers have not revealed how the client works however TorrentFreak has published an account of its own investigations.

“Using network protocol analysis software, TorrentFreak ran some basic tests on the Newzbin2 client,” it wrote.

“Initially the client tries to resolve the site’s domain name to an IP in the usual manner via DNS, but from there, and without going into too many details, an encrypted session is initiated between the client and the Newzbin2 site in a way that Cleanfeed won’t like, rendering blocking impractical and snooping more or less impossible.”

In an email to TorrentFreak, someone belonging to Newzbin2 and calling themselves Mr White said: “We can’t say how our client application works but it uses a number of techniques to utterly defeat Cleanfeed.

“The application also has Agility Technology to break any updated web censorship methods or anti freedom countermeasures.”

It also says the work-around utilises the TOR (The Onion Router) anonymity network, an open source, free to use system that routes traffic through a volunteer network of servers in order to duck surveillance.

The BBC reports that this afternoon a spokesman for BT declined to comment, but did say that the specifics of the court-ordered block were still being debated.

Newzbin2 emerged after its predecessor Newzbin was shut down through an earlier court case. The phoenix site got around this court order by hosting content outside of the UK, a move which forced the MPA to pursue BT as the UK’s largest ISP.

The latest block is due to come in to effect by mid-October and will be enforced with BT’s Cleanfeed system, a blocking tool typically deployed to restrict access to child pornography.

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