Court approves Australian #siteblock on The Pirate Bay, Solarmovie, Torrentz, TorrentHound, IsoHunt, and others
Australian Federal Court has ordered that 61 websites associated with The Pirate Bay, IsoHunt, TorrentHound, SolarMovie, and Torrentz, be blocked by Australia’s internet service providers (ISPs). Australian internet users have been rebelling against the court order en masse and reporting their dismay using the Twitter hashtag: #siteblock. The site blocks have been enacted under a law that was passed in 2015. This is the first use of the law, the Copyright Amendment Bill, which had mostly passed from Australian netizens’ minds.
Under the new ruling, Australia’s federal court orders ISPs to “take reasonable steps to disable access” to the list of piracy related sites. ISPs will have until the end of the year to block site access to The Pirate Bay, IsoHunt, TorrentHound, SolarMovie, Torrentz, and their proxies/mirrors. The good news is that rights holders are not allowed to ban IP addresses or domain names willy nilly, and will still have continued court oversight for each individual site banning.
Australian #Siteblock, and other countries’ site blocking in general, is about censorship
Australia isn’t the only country that blocks access to certain websites within their borders. There is also variation between the types of Internet blocks that we have seen. Some countries, such as Vietnam, target social media platforms in an effort to avoid Arab Spring type events, while others target piracy and pornography sites. In nearby India, many torrenting and streaming sites related to torrenting are also blocked; and on these blocked sites, Indian ISPs threaten viewers with 3 years of jail. However, an Indian judge has also clarified that visiting such sites or even using a VPN to visit these sites is not illegal or punishable. The same is still true in Australia.