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Sky has started Newzbin blocking
Friday 16 December 2011 15:12:41 by Andrew Ferguson

Just over a month ago, three of the major UK broadband providers received letters asking them to block access to Newzbin. It would appear according to Digital Spy that Sky activated its blocking of the service on Tuesday 13th December after receiving a court order.

BT was the first provider to block Newzbin after the courts ordered it to, and subsequent to this the next three largest providers all received letters asking them to also block the service. At the time it was believed that all the providers would wait for receipt of a court order before proceeding with the blocking and this appears to be happening.


Posted by Matt197 over 5 years ago
So it is, I am with Sky and the page just does not load. Using a VPN gets around this as you would expect.

Another pointless action!
Posted by Apilar over 5 years ago
Good riddance.
Posted by velcrohead over 5 years ago
Anyone tried the Newzbin client yet?, If I wasn't in a rush to get out I would try myself.
Posted by royofsaltfleet over 5 years ago
this is pointless, you can just set up a VPN or use a web proxy, a good one is - click Firefox and type in the URL, free proxy!
Posted by idf03 over 5 years ago
Is their blocking as well implemented as BT's:
Posted by GMAN99 over 5 years ago
idf03, BT will have just implemented literally what they were asked to

If they didn't specify s then... :)
Posted by radiomarko over 5 years ago
Joke effort by BT as they don't really care.
Posted by GMAN99 over 5 years ago
They wouldn't want to, no ISP would, they don't want to sell a restricted service. They've done what has been asked and nothing more.

They've complied and blocked what has been asked of them, job done
Posted by aos101 over 5 years ago
royofsaltfleet, that isn't a proxy. It's an iframe in a webpage and would still be affected by the blocking system at Sky.
Posted by tommy45 over 5 years ago
If i ran an isp i would not block it, infact i think that they may find this blocking to be illegal sometime in the future, why should isp's courts pander to the music and film companies,? and why should isp's give a monkey's if whatever measure they have implemented works or not ? these parasites are not the ones keeping isp's in business but it's customers are
Posted by Decision over 5 years ago
I have a Sky and a BE* connection and yes page won't load with Sky but loads fine with BE*. Never use newzbin so no problem.
Posted by Decision over 5 years ago
@aos101 that is correct, need to use something like ninjaclock to bypass Sky's blocking
Posted by lockyatlrg over 5 years ago

Just use the address with the S in and block avoided.
Posted by wifigeek over 5 years ago
Posted by Firefalcon over 5 years ago
And here we go again and the companies involved in the extortion/bribery/etc of ISP's does this because they want people to buy more of their stuff? Guess what, its making me LESS likely to buy and MORE likely to acquire it else where.
Posted by Drefsab over 5 years ago
I wonder if sky are just blocking DNS like they did with BT.
Posted by otester over 5 years ago
Disappointed by Sky, they don't even have to block it (don't use Cleanfeed or similar).


Welcome to the boycott bandwagon.


Probably, so try switching to OpenDNS like everyone should have anyways.
Posted by Drefsab over 5 years ago
im not on sky or BT but just curious :) if more ISP's block things that way just watch everyone switch to 3rd party DNS like openDNS ie googles etc :)
Posted by TWeaKoR over 5 years ago
They do have to block it, regardless of whether or not they have a blocking system in place, as they have a court order telling them to. However, what about that Belgian court case, where the ISP took it to the EU and they ruled that a government can't force an ISP to censor the net? I'm disappointed with Sky for not challenging based on that, kind of makes me reconsider using them at the new house.. I was just about to place the order too.
Posted by creakycopperline over 5 years ago
gmann your pro BT loving comments know no bounds.
Posted by GMAN99 over 5 years ago
Oh creaky I don't care what BT do or don't do. BT have been told to block specific addresses which they have done, I would be saying the same about Virgin if they'd targeted Virgin first.

Its not a failing of BT they've just done exactly as asked (thankfully for its customers), the request was flawed so it went in flawed, its nothing to do with love for BT.
Posted by c_j_ over 5 years ago
"why should isp's courts pander to the music and film companies,?"

Even if there wasn't a court order, how long would Sky survive once the movie companies decided to change the terms of business (e.g. massive increase on movie prices) for Sky?

Puts the Sky monopoly in a tricky position, no?
Posted by otester over 5 years ago

That's probably what happened, Sky got threatened.
Posted by GMAN99 over 5 years ago
That would be very underhand/illegal if that happened? Corporate Blackmail?
Posted by aos101 over 5 years ago
otester Sky do have a blocking system in place as they implement the IWF block list:

I doubt they decided to block it because they got threatened. They were ordered by a court to block it, so they did. I don't think it would be a good idea for Sky to ignore the courts and think the law doesn't apply to them.
Posted by aos101 over 5 years ago

Probably, so try switching to OpenDNS like everyone should have anyways."

To get round the blocking on Sky, changing to OpenDNS may not work. I think the Sky IWF blocking system works by sending all web traffic for the IP addresses of blocked sites through proxy servers which check the requested URL against the block list, and either proxy the request and allow it or block it. Using OpenDNS won't avoid your traffic going through those proxy servers which perform the blocking.
Posted by otester over 5 years ago

VPN to the rescue then.
Posted by russianmonkey over 5 years ago
Has anyone actually read the article?

Sky is blocking BEFORE a court order was issued for them to block the site.

This smacks of Sky just crumbling to some poxy letter. Or they just couldn't be bothered fighting it in court.

At least BT went to court and fought it.
Posted by wifigeek over 5 years ago
No proxy/VPN reqd. Just put with the above ip into your hosts file. Sky do indeed filter by ip address so dns workarounds won't work.
Posted by Firefalcon over 5 years ago
I wonder how long it'll be before the IWF becomes less about censoring childporn and just censoring the net to the whim of media industries like SOPA in the USA.
Posted by luckypeterpiper over 5 years ago
At the risk of sounding computer illiterate (I pretty much am and have only just started to use one) what is Newzbin? And how can ANY national court block the internet? Surely if the host of the site is outside UK borders then they aren't subject to UK law? This smacks of yet more censorship a la China and Google.

If the music and film industries don't want people to illegally (allegedly) access their stuff then they should stop ripping customers off by charging extortionate prices for plastic discs.

Posted by GMAN99 over 5 years ago
^ newsgroups - predate the world wide web, used for messaging. World wide web succeeds newsgroups as a messaging platform and people upload non-copyright and copyright material to newsgroups to share with others (pre-dates torrents + p2p)

Newzbin - Paid for newsgroups search engine (think Google) indexes content on newsgroups servers (Newzbin does not hold any copy/non copywritten files) and makes it easy to download all parts of a download in one click
Posted by oliver341 over 5 years ago
It appears that Sky is simply dropping all traffic sent to Newzbin's current IP address, If this is Sky's chosen method of blocking, it could mean in the future that innocent websites hosted on the same IP address could be affected.
Posted by otester over 5 years ago

Not just computer illiterate I see, if your under 18 I can forgive you being politically illiterate as well, go google and read CDPA 1988 and DEA 2010.

Also you can access unauthorized material legally (just downloading not uploading).
Posted by oliver341 over 5 years ago
Turns out Sky are in fact overblocking with their Newzbin IP block. will not load on Sky, it's a mirror of Wikileaks and has no content related to Newzbin and as such should not be blocked.
Posted by djfunkdup over 5 years ago
@ otester.Wind your neck in need to talk to the guy like that..
Posted by tommy45 over 5 years ago
The way that sky/easynet have in the past implemented filtering has always been broken, always bocking a whole domain and not just what was supposed to be filtered i guess they are not planning on fixing it then, All this blocking/filtering just serves as a catalyst in inciting some people to rebel even more, i for one will not have those greedy pigs dictate to me
Posted by Firefalcon over 5 years ago
The pure idea of filtering and blocking is a broken concept, its a fools endeavour.
Posted by ianbb over 5 years ago

What part of

"Sky activated its blocking of the service on Tuesday 13th December after receiving a court order."

did you not understand?
Posted by Drefsab over 5 years ago
In some ways I love seeing attempts like this to block things, at least this one is a little more than a DNS block but still bypassed in moments.

All these small baby steps in blocking do is help the less tech savy people become aware about blocking in general and thus people start reading and getting clued up about how to get around the more serious blocks.
Posted by andrew (Favicon staff member) over 5 years ago
I am finding it very interesting socially, to see a rush of comments on something as minor as this, versus just one or two people posting on infrastructure announcements.

Dare one suggest that perhaps a lot of people might not have bothered with broadband if no filesharing existed?
Posted by SEJ001 over 5 years ago
Oh well, easy stuff then.....

OpenVPN with an enycrpted tunnel to a VPN of your choice (anywhere in the world by choice, depending which VPN service provider you choose)............StrongVPN is a good one.
Posted by monkeyarms over 5 years ago
@andrew - perhaps censoring parts of the internet isnt "minor" to eveyone? From small acorns etc.
Sure some people might not bother with the internet if file sharing didnt exist, but "a lot" is subjective.
Posted by otester over 5 years ago

Reason why this country is in such a mess in the first place is due to past generations ignorance so please forgive my distaste for it.


This is news to me then, BT was forced to block because operate Cleanfeed, unless the court now no longer distinguishes (means we are all screwed now).


Generally the infrastructure announcements don't affect the majority, hence the lack of comments.
Posted by oliver341 over 5 years ago

I would also suggest that the demand for FTTC and speeds above 10meg, beyond broadband enthusiasts who just like to see this stuff in action, is largely driven by downloading pirated material. From what I've heard, BT's half-hearted Newzbin block can be circumvented as easily as changing http to https. Going after piracy in a big way would surely hit their Infinity sales hard.

But back to my point, Sky's method of blocking by IP will surely mean innocent sites will be blocked. Sky really need to review this.
Posted by andrew (Favicon staff member) over 5 years ago
The weekend saw a market in Birmingham close due to the sale of fake goods, is that not censorship?

Newzbin has some 700,000 members, I am willing to bet a lot of them are inactive, e.g. journo's looking to see what is on the system.

Censorship of opinions/facts/information is not good, is newzbin in that arena? Or is it in the arena of providing membership to easy to use copyright material download links?
Posted by oliver341 over 5 years ago

Enter "grey area" and "thin end of the wedge". Censorship is fairly black and white, it either exists or it doesn't. Few would argue that child porn should not be blocked. It invariably spreads from there though, it was inevitable that piracy was next. But then what's next?
Posted by andrew (Favicon staff member) over 5 years ago
@oliver341 it is a sign of the internet maturing. Books and all other media have had similar, and eventually a reasonable status quo is arrived at.

I would much rather have it going via court orders, than private agreements. Many ISP's quietly stopped providing a newsgroup server, in main due to the large cost of disk space to cope with alt.bin.*
Posted by GMAN99 over 5 years ago
andrew, its probably down to peoples dislike of being told what they can and cannot do, I'm not a Sky customer but it still annoys me, not even the fact they are blocking Newzbin its about where we go from here, what will ISP's be required to block next.
Posted by Pigmaster over 5 years ago
Just reading this article and tried to see what newzbin is.. I am on SKY and using and both fail but going to does work though you have to accept the broken ssl cert.
Posted by Pigmaster over 5 years ago
Blocking sites via court action only means the judge listens to the money men(music/movie) but fail to take ordinary folk into consideration. I know of 2 companies that delivered their legal software via torrents but due to blocking their sales have drasticly reduced. Can these companies now sue the UK courts for loss of revenue.
Posted by andrew (Favicon staff member) over 5 years ago
Newzbin is Usenet not torrents, so should not affect torrenting.

Alternative non-hosted delivery solutions are available, so not sure how you could pursue for loss of revenue. Torrents by their nature are very variable, and reliant on people making their copy available.
Posted by otester over 5 years ago

Copyrighted material is still information like it or not.
Posted by andrew (Favicon staff member) over 5 years ago
Do I consider it a basic freedom to be able to access films and music for free?

No. Do other people think that this content should be free?

On the internet everything is information, including the access details to peoples bank accounts, we all want those protected, so why should owners of copyright material not be able to protect their income?
Posted by Firefalcon over 5 years ago
At the same time does that warrant wholesale censorship of the internet?

These same "copyright holders" are off using said copyright laws to gain a monopoly/stranglehold other services.

Although piracy is frowned upon neither should extortionate behaviour and abuse be accepted from the "copyright holders" who refuse to keep with the times. When they do get something which is with the times they start choking it for all its worth. Legal services now struggling, MPAA forced netflix to charge more and now the RIAA is wanting grooveshark dead.
Posted by Firefalcon over 5 years ago

Not to mention the niches which the copyright holders aren't willing to provide a service for, i.e high quality music, DRM free content, etc.
Neither side is right and that said im siding with pirates in favour of freedom of choice and diversity. Maybe, just maybe if the copyright holders werent such crooks and scum they might get some sympathy, but no.
Posted by carverdoone43 over 5 years ago
All this broadband stuff reminds me of CB Radio back in the 1980's, as soon as it was made legal is almost disappeared and I think the more policing of the internet that takes place with unwanted advertising this will go much the same way.
Posted by otester over 5 years ago

IPR is an attempt to turn ideas into a product so it can be monopolized (anti-free market), just look throughout history, copyright was originally used by the church to oppress the people then book publishers.

I sense a conflict of interest anyways since you are a publisher of information and your own copyright policy speaks for itself.
Posted by creakycopperline over 5 years ago
vpn and proxy, problem solved.
Posted by astik over 5 years ago
This so called 'block' is totally, utterly and completely ineffective. But what concerns me is that Special Interest Groups, (SIGS) are able to get court orders to block access to sites. In its defence it has improved things in the sense that software has been developed/improved to get around these blocks so good for development and has improved my knowledge of the internet by researching and learning about these blocking and anti-blocking systems. Neccesity is the Mother of Invention, as always.
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