By EDRi

This article is also available in:
Deutsch: [Italienisches Gericht sperrt BitTorrent-Seite | http://www.unwatched.org/EDRigram_9.9_Italienisches_Gericht_sperrt_BitTorrent-Seite]

On 21 April 2011, an Italian court ordered all Italian ISPs to block the
BitTorrent search website BTjunkie considered by the public prosecutor as
one of the most prominent havens for pirated media. BTjunkie IP addresses
and its domain name were to be made inaccessible by all Italian ISPs by
blocking users’ access to the site.

The court order follows an investigation by the Guardia di Finanza (GdF),
the Italian police body responsible for cybercrime. The authorities claim
that BTjunkie was one of the most frequently visited BitTorrent sites in the
country and blame the BitTorrent site for the failure of the Italian
pay-per-view TV-station Dahlia TV, which had to close down in March 2010 due
to financial problems.

This comes after the permanent blocking of The Pirate Bay in 2010 after a
long legal action started in 2008. Although The Pirate Bay won an appeal
with the Court of Bergamo which ruled that no foreign website could be
censored for alleged copyright infringement, the Supreme Court reviewed the
case and ruled that ISPs could be forced to block BitTorrent sites, even if
they were not hosted in Italy or operated by Italian citizens.

Therefore, according to the decision by the Supreme Court, sites offering
torrent files linking to copyrighted material are considered as being
engaged in criminal activity .

“I’m disappointed with the Italian judicial system. We will do our best to
fight for Italian people’s right to communicate. At the moment I can suggest
to try any of the other popular torrent sites and checking TorrentFreak
later for an update on alternative methods for accessing BTjunkie from
Italy”, stated BTjunkie’s owner to TorrentFreak who also stated he did not
intend to appeal the decision.

Yet, very soon after the court decision has been made public, a new and
ad-free proxy site, proxyitalia.com, was launched allowing
Italians to browse an uncensored web and access BTjunkie, as well as The
Pirate Bay.

This only shows the futility of blocking actions. Hundreds of thousands of
Italian BitTorrent users still use The Pirate Bay website against the
national blocking order and there are dozens of other options.

Italian Court Orders All ISPs to Block BTjunkie (21.04.2011)
http://torrentfreak.com/italian-court-orders-all-isps-to-block-btjunkie-110421/

BTJunkie – access blocked (only in Italian, 22.04.2011)
http://punto-informatico.it/3140477/PI/News/btjunkie-accesso-inibito.aspx

Internet: operation of the Financial Guard against piracy (only in Italian,
21.04.2011)
http://www.ansa.it/web/notizie/regioni/sardegna/2011/04/21/visualizza_new.html_898741154.html

BTjunkie Starts Proxy to Bypass Italian Blockade (25.04.2011)
http://torrentfreak.com/btjunkie-starts-proxy-to-bypass-italian-blockade-110425/