There’s no official confirmation yet, but it appears that Orange has blocked its customers from accessing the world’s biggest Bittorrent tracker – the Pirate Bay. Orange subscribers first starting reporting problems accessing the site last Friday, and since then Orange has been very vague – not providing any solutions to customers, and not confirming or denying the block.
Orange’s PR company states:
“Our understanding is that Orange doesn’t block access to any sites other than those identified by the Internet Watch Foundation, that relate to illegal child abuse imagery. However, we’re looking into this and will update you again as soon as we can.”
However, French customers are also reporting the same block, so it seems unlikely that this is a technical problem, especially as people can access the site fine when viewed with a proxy. If you’re an Orange customer, click over the jump to find out how to get onto the site in this way.
What you need to do is use a proxy to access the site. A proxy is a website that takes traffic, and re-routes it. It works because you’re not accessing the blocked site, and the blocked site can be freely accessed by the proxy. Many people use proxies to get around work internet filters, or view geographically-limited content.
Two sites that Torrentfreak recommend are Blockedsiteaccess.com, and Megaproxy. I’d also add Hateadmin to that list. All three work the same way – just put the url that you want to visit in the box, and off you go.
Be aware, however, that everything you do through a proxy can be monitored, so be sure that you trust the site with whatever information you’re putting through it. If you’re a high-ranking politician, and you’re downloading S&M porn, then it might not be wise to use a public proxy. Just saying…
If the block turns out to be permanant, and not a technical issue, then I, for one, won’t subscribe to Orange in the future. Blocking your customers from doing what they want to on the internet, especially as there are many legal files on the Pirate Bay, is not how to conduct business, whatever pressure you’re facing from the entertainment industry trying to cope with their dying business models.