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Clones of proxy server taken down by police begin to emerge

By | Published on Tuesday 12 August 2014


Clones of proxy service Immunicity have begun appearing online, less than a week after the original was taken offline by the City Of London Police’s IP Crime Unit, PIPCU.

As previously reported, PIPCU took a number of proxy services offline last week and arrested one man in connection with him running a server that enabled others to circumvent blockades put in place by internet service providers under court order to stop people accessing piracy websites. In seems that the service that man was running was Immunicity.

Officials have confirmed that a 20 year old man from Nottingham was arrested for operating a proxy which gave access to 36 blocked websites in total. He was released on bail shortly afterwards and it remains unclear what, if any, charges will now be brought against him.

Although Immunicity remains offline (a holding page informing users that they have “tried to access a website that is under criminal investigation by the UK”), TorrentFreak reports that at least two clones of the proxy, using the same or similar names, have already sprung up, offering the same functionality free of charge.

A key criticism of web-blocking has been that getting around the blocks is not at all difficult for those willing to find out. Though content owners would argue that making users of illegal content jump through extra hoops to do so, as well as educating them that what they’re accessing is illegal, makes it worthwhile.

However, if two new services emerge from each that is taken down, it’s not clear who exactly is in the lead in this game of cat and mouse. Also, The Pirate Bay claims that its userbase has doubled since 2011, despite the increase in web-blocking at ISP level in the UK and elsewhere.