Monday, March 06, 2006

pg2 blocks Utorrent.com

Biggest news in the past few days in the p2p world is the Retspan story. Lots of inaccuracies and condemnations of Ludvig Strigeus (aka ludde) over his deal with peerfactor, subsidiary of Retspan, an anti-p2p association. Some claim its the end of the world, that the client will serve Retspan directly, and through the licensing of a single DLL file, ludde is permanently tainted as a traitor to p2p.

To this end, the current version of PG2+blocklist will block attempts to even visit the µtorrent website. The block gives the message "utorrent.com works for anti-p2p RetSpan". Mr. Strigeus described the block as 'ridiculous' and called for it to be removed. One of the admins at PG2, gong by the name "phrosty" blamed it on BlueTack, provider of their blocklist.

Over at BlueTack, admin "fa" appeared unaware of what the connection was between Mr. Strigeus and PeerFactor. When asked why the block was added, with the natural suggestion of "ignorance of what was actually going on" 'fa' replied "fuck you". Then, to Mr. Strigeus, present with me in their IRC channel, " you better pick the peeps you work for a littel better if you wanna make utorrent apps. its staying int"

Clearly BlueTack is not concerned about accuracy in any shape or form. A log of the discussion follows

[16:18.24] <+ludde> can you remove the silly PG2 "utorrent works for RetSpan" thing? I don't work for Retspan and I never will.
[16:30.45] <@fa> well, what is it that you are doing for them then?
[16:32.23] <@fa> or with them
[16:32.28] <+ludde> I'm providing a DLL file to PeerFactor, that they can use to download content through the BitTorrent protocol. It does not have any features for getting IPs or anything from users, it can only be used to download stuff.
[16:32.33] <+Benjones> I think thats been widely published everywhere
[16:32.50] <+ludde> exactly.
[16:33.56] <+Benjones> so, why was the block added?
[16:34.06] <+ludde> ignorance?
[16:34.32] <@fa> fuck you
[16:35.09] <@fa> you better pick the peeps you work for a littel better if you wanna make utorrent apps
[16:35.15] <@fa> its staying int
[16:36.24] <@fa> lol
[16:36.40] <+ludde> fa: utorrent is not related to anti-p2p. I don't see what the reason for the block is.
[16:37.10] <@fa> helping anti-p2p in any way is relating it to it
[16:37.43] <+ludde> I'm not helping anti-p2p. I'm helping a company (separate from retspan) that wants to provide a download service.
[16:37.45] <@fa> and yes, if you did the same for microsoft, you would have made the list as well
[16:38.00] <+ludde> so, microsoft is on the list?
[16:38.01] <@fa> staying in till the source is public
[16:38.27] <+ludde> that is not going to happen.
[16:39.23] <@fa> we have a list jsut for M$ yes
[16:39.46] <+ludde> fa: utorrent is not in any way related to anti-p2p. I'm just selling an "off the shelf" DLL product to PeerFactor, more or less.
[16:39.48] <@fa> they are the biggest anti-p2p organization
[16:40.23] <+ludde> this agreement is not about µTorrent.
[16:40.30] <+ludde> so I don't see why you punish utorrent.
[16:41.57] <+ludde> fa: can you remove the block please? If I was anti-p2p, I would never have created utorrent.
[16:42.32] <@fa> everyone should get to make the Decision for themselves, first they need to see that you have worked with them, then they can choose to use the app or not
[16:42.43] <@fa> the block is the best way atm to show peeps
[16:43.33] <+ludde> why put the decision on the people? They don't have enough information to tell what the deal is about. they just have the information provided by media, which is written in a way to generate attraction.
[16:44.25] <+ludde> this deal is really nothing, they contract doesn't even MENTION µTorrent.
[16:44.27] <@fa> the whole thing is dodgy as hell, they prolly needed that dll to build an anti-p2p torrent app, and you just handed it to them

Phrosty at Phoenix Labs was also present, and said "i don't think it utorrent.com should be blocked, but it's out of control of phoenix labs until we launch our own lists (soon)". As Ludde suggested, its clear that this is a decision made from ignorance. The value of these sorts of programs has never been proven either. Whilst protecting from overt lists might well keep you from the corporate networks, no-one rely on well known sources to search for copyright infringement. If you are relying on these lists to protect you from being found and prosecuted, you're investing in a false sense of security. Whilst they act on empty rumours and show little attention for the facts in compiling their lists, it leaves the question of just what value their lists are.

Can I recommend peerguardian? not until their blocklists are compiled by people who know what they're doing.


Ben Jones

27 comments:

  1. [16:44.27] <@fa> the whole thing is dodgy as hell, they prolly needed that dll to build an anti-p2p torrent app, and you just handed it to them

    As if they couldn't get such a library from sourceforge (libtorrent/ctorrent) or some other publically available client ( http://libtorrent.rakshasa.no/ different libtorrent )

    BlueTack's list maintainers need to get their heads out of their asses and look at what's actually going on.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Minutes after posting a link to the story for those in bluetack to read and comment, I get banned from the channel with the comment "see you in hell" - clearly they actually mean "no comment"

    ReplyDelete
  3. well, he did lie about knowing that PeerFactor was an anti-p2p company.

    ---quote---
    (12:43:20) (@segosa) so, since you didn't answer in the thread, did you really have no clue about them before you signed, ludde?
    (12:44:35) (~ludde) I knew that they had done some anti p2p, but I didn't think it was such a big deal.
    (12:44:4Cool (~ludde) and the stuff I was involved it wasn't related to that anyway.
    ---/quote---

    he also doesn't seem to know exactly what he signed the contract for:

    ---quote---
    If the recent deal with PeerFactor turns out to be about limiting file sharing, or making it harder for pirates in any possible or imaginable way, then I will terminate our agreement promtly and concisely.
    ---/quote---

    all of the above quotes can be found in the thread at slyck.com:
    http://slyck.com/forums/viewtopic.php?t=20211">http://slyck.com/forums/viewtopic.php?t=20211">http://slyck.com/forums/viewtopic.php?t=20211

    ReplyDelete
  4. fg is banning people who ask about the block..I hope this fool is removed from the bluetack staff...how is anyone supposed to take bluetack security solutions seriously now..

    kids........

    ReplyDelete
  5. Pay attention to what people DO (work for an anti p2p org) not what they SAY.
    Bluetack is being conservative, as they should (although that dude (fg)
    in IRC should be civil and professional). If you use the blocklists you
    want them to err on the side of caution. The individual can put utorrent
    in an always allow list and no problem.

    ReplyDelete
  6. This FA sounds like a complete asshole to me. I really hope he is someone gone a little crazy in the BlueTack system rather than this being official policy. Is his first name Frieden? I know Frieden always used to have his pants around his ankles whenever checking out a new Azereus release (uTorrent a threat perhaps?) and certainly loves trying to block people and control the internet :D

    ReplyDelete
  7. i'm sorry but i have to agree with the ban. A user can override it in 2 secs anyway if they want to. Until further info is known it is better to be cautious. Yes, IP blocking doesn't remove risks but I would much rather have someone who is against anti-'piracy' firms and those who associate with them deciding who goes on the ban list than the other way around.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Anon: "A user can override it in 2 secs anyway if they want to."

    Bullshit. Whilst many can, how many do you think blindly install and use the blocklists because like sheep they see it as the done thing and believe it makes them safe? They don't really know what they are doing but just followed the link on a forum post and for sure felt safer.

    These are probably the same people who have problems configuring a great, easy to use app such as uTorrent.

    Combine the 2 and you have problems as now said user cannot access uTorrent support or maybe even download it which is doing absolutely nothing towards P2P. With many users having low system specs and the only other alternative for BitTorrent probably being Azeurus how many will then think "This BitTorrent is a load of rubbish" and then switch back to Kazaa or similar where they have a much more higher chance of being busted?

    Perversly BlueCrap are doing many many bad things for P2P with this ban.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Just add 207.142.136.045 (www.uTorrent.com) to your exclusions.txt and forget about it.

    ReplyDelete
  10. I don't think Bit Torrent is 100% safe anyway. And as far as content being non corrupted I've got good results by simply turning on the secure channels in BearShare. Even EDK has received too much attention from the anti p2p companies.

    ReplyDelete
  11. DreadWingKnight said, why didn't they get a dll from an Open source project. All of the open source projects are Open source as long as you follow the user agreement, and one of the key points of the open source license is that the software Made from it must be open source.

    So by utorrent being Closed source, the company could use it for whatever they chose, without having to give up their source code. Its actually quite simple why they chose Utorrent, its one of the only closed source bittorrent clients out there.

    ReplyDelete
  12. FIH said:
    ---quote---
    With many users having low system specs and the only other alternative for BitTorrent probably being Azeurus
    ---/quote---


    yeah, there's not any other clients out there other than uTorrent and Azureus, right?

    why couldn't they use BitTornado, Mainline, ABC? you are not restricted to using one or two clients.


    if someone can't configure bittorrent or an ip blocking program correctly, they probably shouldn't be using either. all it takes is a little effort and reading and you can be using bittorrent in less than a couple of hours.

    ---quote---
    "This BitTorrent is a load of rubbish" and then switch back to Kazaa or similar where they have a much more higher chance of being busted?
    ---/quote---


    if they're using any program for infringing copyrights, they run the risk of being caught. I have no sympathy for people who get caught. if it's illegal in your country, you run that risk.


    ---quote---
    Perversly BlueCrap are doing many many bad things for P2P with this ban.
    ---/quote---


    and how is Ludvig not doing bad things for P2P when he signs a contract with a company which floods networks with fake files, and contributes to people having a higher chance of getting busted? (since you seem so concerned about kazaa users and such being busted) seriously, look at the logic you're using here, it's very flawed.

    ReplyDelete
  13. Why doesn't he just open the source and let everyone know what it's all about???

    ReplyDelete
  14. Anonymous: why should he make it open-source? He is managing the program fine by himself, he doesn't need extra help. Opening it would just open the program to clones, DHT hacks and all sorts of other things he doesn't want to happen to the program.

    ReplyDelete
  15. Why doesn't BlueTack make their software Open Source?

    How do you know BlueTack's software isn't spying on you? You trust 12 year old kids who like using the F word too much with your security? bwhahahahaha

    ReplyDelete
  16. That Slyck article has been updated somewhat. But they still try to act like µTorrent has been sold when it hasn't. Only a .dll file containing the BitTorrent protocol written in C++. Since you can only get it in python from Cohen.

    People won't stop complaining about this company flood p2p networks in the past. This is a valid point. Now I would like someone to explain to me how this is a problem for BitTorrent? How to you flood a .torrent with fakes?

    ReplyDelete
  17. As a long time follower of the lowlife anti-p2p organizations, I feel the block is justified. If a list is not slightly paranoid, it will never be effective to any degree. It's not 100% to begin with. The deal is creepy but happens all the time. PG would be nuts to take any chances about what may come down the road possibly due to an unknown aspect of this deal. It's called selling your soul to the devil. You may be fine in this world but you do pay the price. Helping such an organization is enough to show possible malicious intent in the future. It may not happen, but I did say these lists must be paranoid to help at all. I'm sure actual anti-p2p organizations have asked for a removal also which explains the person's sarcasm. I'm sure anyone wanting off the list gets treated the same. That being said, it is sooo easy to remove the block that some rants here are rediculous. I've had to unblock a few sites I've used for years. Just unblock it and only the actual IP used for the website will be unblocked and no harm should come of it. This news is big, but some of the rants here can be solved by a right click.

    ReplyDelete
  18. There's a difference between being paranoid and being ignorant.

    ReplyDelete
  19. Type :
    T h e d i o n a r a p t n a r o n g i

    in utorrent help/about screen if you want to know the truth...

    ReplyDelete
  20. @fa can shove a dildo up his ass

    ReplyDelete
  21. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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  22. As far as I can see it an independent anti-p2p organizations should be the least of your worries, YOU are being watched!!!! Big Brother,and the FBI types are the people you should worry about.Recording your IP address is a great way to catch you sure, however new spyware and other malicous and
    intrusive programs that are being seen EVERY DAY are recording more than your IP and your browsing habbits (and sending the info to, uhhh I don't know). Being NAIVE to the bigger picture makes you ignorant. Microsoft is a fine example of a company more than willing to share your personal and confidential info with whom they please, They have lawyers writing EULA's in ways that allow them to spy on you with YOUR permission so you can't even claim they spied or stole your info. If the "company" believes you are ripping them off how will they stop you, Copyright infringement laws. I think we all know who enforces the laws..... The bigger picture suggests you should be affraid to pirate software but the choice remains your own

    ReplyDelete
  23. Its not just torrent sites being blocked by this anti p2p tool, they block edonkey dervers and th winmx application peer caches, when asked why there was a lot of childish abuse and they have even gone so far as to remove the incriminating threads on their site , folks can find the links on slycks forum to the pulled threads in the winmx section.

    Basically the real issue is the blutak guys are amateurs who have no clue about much of what they block, instead relying on a team of users to continuously add new numbers to the list, few if any are ever removed,the list currently stands at blocking one third of the entire IP adress space and climbing, are we really to believe that the enemies of file sharers operate from the 900 million IP addresses ?

    As Ben stated while these guys play at running a blocklist they are a waste of time, worse when handed a list of IP's used by macrovision they delayed their addition to the blocklist until every one has been discontinued, this alone speaks of infiltration amongst their ranks ... or just stupidity.

    ReplyDelete
  24. The first time I found out about this was when I went to port test and the web page told me to check my PG2 settings to allow it.

    Like hell I'm going to change my PG2 settings.

    I agree totally with "@fa". If you are associated/affiliated with any anti peer 2 peer association you should be on the list even if your association is indirect. Considering the "covertness" of the recent anti P2P organisations (MPAA, RIAA) and their methods, they should have known better.

    I'll continue to use uTorrent for a little while longer, but if this issue doesn't sort itself out within the next month or so (I will be keeping PG2 and port checking), I'm sorry, but I'm gona switch to Azureus.

    ReplyDelete
  25. There are far too many self-appointed 'experts' leaving comments on here. If you really want to know the facts then you should do your own research. Calling BlueTack a bunch of 12 year old kids is in itself childish. That being said it was right to block utorrent if only on principle, working to help out anti-P2P orgs for for own profit is bound to have consequences.

    ReplyDelete
  26. Well it could be right if there was just a small suspicion they could be working with anti-p2p, they should be blocked. At least it lets the peeps know that there is a risk. But to add a personal users IP on the list for having a negative comment about the way Monk was handling the recent banning of honest hubs on the DC++ Community. Monk(aka fa)admitted his error, but instead of trying to fix it, and reduce the harm done by his own mistake, he simply would ban anyone that complained or left a negative comment like i did after seeing he banned the guy for asking who would pay for his transfer? So he banned him then me as example, that you should not complain if your IP gets on the list, even if they made a mistake. I was put on level 1 list but I am not from any anti-p2p agency, im a DC++ file sharer and hub owner. Do you think I should be on the list cause he doesnt like people to complain on his lame work lately? Banning honest hubs that has nothing to do with anti-p2p at all, more the opposite under false presumptions is already bad, not allowing these hubs to be taken off the list is worst. And what is worst and worrying is that he can block any one he wishes to and leave comments in the reason : hub owner is a jerk! Now we should worry more about bluetack than utorrent as now anti-p2p can see I am a hub owner, and may soon be prosecuted. Way to go! And you claim you dont work for anti-p2p and accuse others to do so!
    The block on utorrent was done on behalf of anti-p2p agencies is not far from possible at this point, dont you think peeps?

    ReplyDelete
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