BT's Newzbin block doesn't work

BT has begun blocking access to the Newzbin website to all its customers after the movie industry won an order from High Court, forcing BT and other ISPs to censor certain websites. The only trouble is: it doesn't work.

Newzbin is a site that brings together content found on Usenet networks, including pirated copies of movies, games and software, which the movie lobby says has cost it millions in lost profits.

And users of the website, it seems, have already found a way round the blockage, utilising a method highlighted by the site's owners in September.

"Newzbin have offered their customers a client for over a month that they claim will bypass Cleanfeed. However we're not in a position to comment on whether that claim is true or not," said a BT spokesman.

Newzbin claims over 93 per cent of its UK user base has downloaded and is using the tool to circumvent BT's CleanFeed blocking application. While initially it said that it wasn't willing to comment on how the circumventing software works, it is being reported that it uses a combination of encryption and TOR technology to get around the block.

The ban, awarded to a consortium of Hollywood studios under teh aegis of the Motion Picture Association, is a first in the UK. Many privacy organisations have been worried about the block, claiming that it represents a restriction of free speech.

"Newzbin2 shall go on, its users shall continue to access the site and its facilities," the Newzbin team told the BBC.

"Nothing has changed and they [the MPA] have no change after paying millions of dollars in legal fees," it added.