Web pirates ready block-busting software

Screengrab of Newzbin 2, BBC
Image caption After going into administration, Newzbin was sold to new owners who resurrected it

Usenet indexing site Newzbin2 is readying software it claims will defeat attempts to stop people visiting it.

In July, BT was ordered to block access to Newzbin2 after legal action by the Motion Picture Association (MPA).

The MPA said the member-only Newzbin2 site brings together pirated movies and music put on Usenet discussion boards.

The block is to be enforced via BT's Cleanfeed system which is more usually used to stop people visiting sites that peddle images of child sex abuse.

Before the block goes into effect in mid-October, programmers who work for Newzbin2 have been working on software they claim will be able to defeat the blocking system.

On 14 September, the first version of the Windows program Newzbin2 members will use to get at the site was released. Versions for Apple's OSX and Linux are planned.

According to file-sharing news site TorrentFreak, Newzbin2 is not willing to reveal how the code attempts to get around the Cleanfeed block.

However, TorrentFreak ran some tests using network sniffing software and found that the program relies on encryption to hide communication between users and Newzbin2.

Another technique it uses is to route all traffic through a well-established system known as TOR, which masks the identity of users and what they are trying to look at.

A spokesman for BT declined to comment on the development. He added that the specifics of the court-ordered block were still being debated.

Sites such as Newzbin2 have become more popular as people keen to get at pirated content move away from better known file-sharing technologies.

The original Newzbin was shut down via an earlier court case but its successor avoided that sanction by setting up shop outside UK jurisdiction.

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