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EZTV tricks Sky’s pirate site filter into blocking legal website TorrentFreak

Blocked pirate site EZTV has tricked Sky’s web filter to restrict another legal filesharing news website TorrentFreak.

In a move which demonstrates the dangers of collateral damage in blocking websites, EZTV’s owner used GeoDNS to point UK visitors to TorrentFreak’s IP address.

The move caused TorrentFreak’s address to be added to Sky’s blocklist, on and off, for several days after it began last Wednesday.

EZTV tricks Sky’s pirate site filter into blocking legal website TorrentFreak
EZTV’s IP address for the UK was altered to be the same as TorrentFreak

Read Recombu Digital’s report on UK ISPs blocking file sharingEZTV also unsuccessfully attempted the same trick with some of Facebook’s IP addresses, but Sky’s filters weren’t fooled this time.

TorrentFreak’s founder Ernesto wrote: “Opponents of both voluntary and court-ordered blockades have warned about the potential collateral damage these blocking systems may cause, and they have now been proven right. 

“As it turns out blocked sites can easily exploit the system and add new IP-addresses to Sky’s blocklist. As a result TorrentFreak has been rendered inaccessible to the ISP’s four million customers.”

EZTV is the most recent site which Sky and the UK’s other major ISPs have been ordered to block following court action from the Motion Picture Association.

The site’s owner had alerted TorrentFreak to his experiment in advance, and none of the filters at BT, Virgin Media or TalkTalk reacted in the same way.

Sky said: “We are in the process of re-enabling access to Torrent Freak, which was inadvertently blocked due to EZTV pointing one of its URLs at the site.  

“We have a process in place which monitors this type of disruptive behaviour, and when we discover it, we will take the necessary steps to remove any unintended blocks.  To be clear, Sky only ever blocks sites in line with court orders.”


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