EE first mobile network to block access to hacking sites

Image credit: Media Associates International

Yesterday, July 12, the British Phonographic Industry (BPI) won an extension to the UK scheme to block music piracy sites and apps after a long campaign.

The BPI estimates that online piracy costs the music industry the equivalent of £200million a year.

For a long time, cases in the UK High Court have led to judgments that have forced fixed broadband ISPs to block more than 70 sites and apps.

These include Torrent file sharing sites, streaming sites, Sci-Hub, and sites that sell counterfeit products. However, these blocks did not apply to mobile operators.

But now it’s changing and EE is the first to start blocking because mobile networks are much more capable than they were when the first blocking orders were issued a decade ago.

Mobile data connections are faster and more reliable than ever, and a quarter of people now connect to the internet via 3G, 4G and 5G rather than broadband and Wi-Fi. increased risk of music piracy.

BPI General Counsel Kiaron Whitehead

The BPI has confirmed the imposition of the blocking of pirate music sites and applications on mobile network users, starting with EE.

EE already blocks about 75 pirate music sites on its fixed network at the request of the BPI. Now they will have to apply this to their mobile network as well.

However, providers usually introduce these blocks with network-level methods. Therefore, by using virtual private networks (VPNs), third-party encrypted DNS servers, and proxy servers, digital hackers can still bypass these restrictions.

So these blocks cannot be expected to stop anyone who actively seeks to download content through piracy sites. But we can expect them to discourage occasional infringement by a considerable margin for those who can give up without trying more technical workarounds.

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