A 20-year-old man in the UK has been arrested for using a proxy server to access piracy websites that had been blocked by a court.
The arrest took place in Nottingham but was made public by the City of London Police’s Intellectual Property Crime Unit (PIPCU).
“The operation, supported by the Federation Against Copyright Theft [FACT], uncovered evidence of the proxy server providing access to 36 other websites that had been blocked for offering illegal or infringing content, said PIPCU’s statement.
“The domain names of these sites have been voluntarily handed to police and the related web pages now show a police warning banner.”
The man was using the proxy server Immunicity, which was released last year for this very purpose of accessing court-blocked content, and has now been taken down. Some of the sites that could be accessed using it include The Pirate Bay and KickAss Torrents, according to Wired. If you try to access Immunicity now, you are greeted with a message stating: “You have tried to access a website that is under criminal investigation by the UK”.
Wired also gave its thoughts on the take down:
“This is a bit concerning, particularly as Immunicity doesn’t host copyright-infringing content, it merely lets users route their traffic through the proxy network in the same way VPNs do.”
“We will come down hard on people believed to be committing or deliberately facilitating such offences,” says Andy Fyfe, Head of PIPCU.
The young man in question has since been released on bail and this will be an important case to watch for the future of the copyright in the UK.
“This operation is a major step in tackling those providing such services. FACT will continue to support PIPCU in their enforcement activities,” added Kieron Sharp, director general of FACT.