The Great Firewall of Belgium is Back!

Banned Pirate BayWaaaaaaarning! Evil leechers! Internet censorship is back in Belgium! The “DNS blocking” technique was already applied in Belgium in 2009 to block access to some controversial websites (read my old post here). Today, we learned that the “Belgium Antipiracy Federation” finally won its court case against two major Belgian ISPs. Now, they have two weeks to implement DNS filters to prevent their customers to reach the well-known torrent search engine The Pirate Bay (and others in a near future). “For sure, it will greatly reduce the amount of illegal stuff downloaded every day!” (with an ironic tone)

To be clear, I don’t support copyright infringement but even more censorship! While a huge debate about “Net Neutrality” is ongoing at the European level, why implement some stupid and ineffective filters? The principle of “Net Neutrality” states that all Internet traffic should be treated equally. For me, Internet Service Providers must stick to their primary job: provide an “Internet pipe” to their customers. Another violated principle is the principle of presumption of innocence. By forcing ISPs to implement controls, the BAF assumes that everyone is guilty and downloads monthly gigabytes of illegal data?

The implementation of a DNS filter won’t prevent people to access the censored websites: Alternative public DNS (8.8.8.8, 8.8.4.4, 208.67.222.222, 208.67.220.220), VPNs, proxies, direct access via the IP addresses (http://194.71.107.15) are some solutions that more and more people master. What about the “low profile” Internet users who even don’t know what a torrent or a DNS is? They won’t be affected (hopefully). To resume: on the left, you won’t notice any change and on the right, you already use alternative ways to access the evil prohibited websites. So? Why lose time and money with such stupid filters? OkTxBye!

Links (in Dutch):

4 comments

  1. It depends how blocking is made. ISP may proxy all DNS traffic (not possible? non ethical? IIRC this was (and still is) recommended way for ISP to fight spam), so DNS query can be filtered before passing it to external DNS. Of course it won’t solve VPN/tunneling issue, but VPN/tunneling is not so easy as changing DNS server, and will make slower/more expensive.

    Anyway, I guess current goal is not to block the traffic. It’s to change the law and – first of all – the way of thinking.

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