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TorrentFreak: News Website Blocked as Piracy, Hacking Resource

Posted by: , 16:59 AEST, Fri August 31, 2018

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News website wrongly blocked for being a piracy, hacking resource
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Image/Photo Credit: IsaacMao @ Flickr, CC

Popular torrent news website TorrentFreak has been blocked in the UK for being a "Criminal Skills/Hacking, News" resources, and in a separate block, for hosting pirated content.

TorrentFreak provides comprehensive reporting on issues related to file sharing, piracy and copyright. It is an authoritative voice in its niche and is often cited by mainstream media sites in their reporting.

However, earlier this month, a reader informed the operators that he was unable to access the site via his hotel's Virgin WiFi network, which classified the site as a resource for "criminal skills/hacking". While such types of sites exists, TorrentFreak cannot be considered to be a site in this category, as it does not provide any information on "criminal skills" and its hacking coverage is only limited to news reporting related to the field of piracy/copyright (featuring stories on events such as the infamous Sony Pictures hack in 2014).

Other readers also provided evidence that TorrentFreak is being blocked by other WiFi providers, including GovWifi, the WiFi network used by UK government institutions. There, TorrentFreak was being false accused of hosting pirated and infringing content.

TorrentFreak has reports suggesting that the block isn't just limited to the UK. TorrentFreak has contacted both Virgin WiFi and GovWifi for clarification, but has yet to receive a reply.

It is very likely that in both instances, the site has been mis-classified into these wrong categories. This kind of block, sometimes a government mandated regime, has been accused of being a form of censorship in disguise. In the case of TorrentFreak and GovWifi, this particularly rings true.

[via TorrentFreak]


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