Newzbin2 blocking order, questions over SSL etc

James Firth james2 at
Thu Oct 27 11:05:54 BST 2011

Francis Davey wrote:
> > James Firth said:
> >> So, what if Newzbin2 go HTTPS/SSL? Surely Cleanfeed can't match a
> URL from
> >> an encrypted HTTP GET request?
> >
> > To the best of my knowledge (which was pretty comprehensive but may
> now be
> > out of date) BT's system only looks at HTTP, not HTTPS.
> >
> That seems to be what Richard Clayton thought:
> Though as he's on this list, I imagine he might have a view.

It was a multi-part question. It was apparent though not 100% clear to me in
the judgement that any blocking should be for an IP address *and* URL. 

Important, as I wrote in my blog, because there could be additional IP
addresses adding to the block list (paras 10-12) for [other] sites whose
predominant purpose is to facilitate access to Newzbin2, ie sites offering
any specialised client for Newzbin2.  

Such sites may well be transient and use IP addresses for a short period
only, and I found no mention of any process for IP addresses to be removed
from the blocking order.  Therefore such "Other IP addresses and URLs" may
remain on BTs block list for an indeterminate period. At least URL matching
will limit the impact of this, although the "IWF/Wikiepdia effect" will
remain a problem.

The judge seemed to say (para 6) that BT should be required to use IP
address re-routing, not blocking. He mentions over-blocking but doesn't
explicitly state (from my reading) that URLs must then match before access
is denied.  But assuming this is the intention, then surely the ruling is as
good as useless if Newzbin2 move to SSL?

James Firth

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