Newzbin2 gets around ISP website blocking with new client

Newzbin2 is introducing a new client in an effort to work around the court-ordered website blocking that will soon be put into effect. Newzbin2 staff isn’t discussing exactly how the new software client works but it appears to get around BT’s website block using a suite of techniques including encryption.

The UK ISP BT was ordered to make use of their child pornography software to block subscriber access to Newzbin2 after a complaint was put forth by the Motion Picture Association. The actual block isn’t supposed to take effect until sometime after mid-October but users feared that it was implemented early after a DNS server issue disrupted site access.

Apparently that DNS issue was just the kick Newzbin2 staff needed to push forward their implementation of promised anti-blocking measures. Today the team behind the site, TeamRDogs, released Newzbin Client which is specifically designed to circumvent BT’s Cleanfeed software. It should be noted that the client is currently Windows only, with OSX and Linux versions promised.

“We are pleased to announce the first Newzbin2 client software,” said Newzbin2′s Mr. White.  “This is targeted at UK users who are likely to get blocked in October. This first version is a bit rushed and so not very polished. As time goes by we shall improve it and add features.”

So how exactly does this thing work? Well, Newzbin2 isn’t specifically saying. White did say in an email,

“We can’t say how our client application works but it uses a number of techniques to utterly defeat Cleanfeed.”

“The application also has Agility Technology to break any updated web censorship methods or anti freedom countermeasures.”

TorrentFreak took the client for a spin and dug into some of the network packets with the help of protocol analysis software. The site confirmed the client does defeat a number of the Cleanfeed measures. The client first tries to resolve the domain of Newzbin2 the traditional way, with DNS. If this fails TorrentFreak says “without going into too many details, an encrypted session is initiated between the client and the Newzbin2 site in a way that Cleanfeed won’t like, rendering blocking impractical and snooping more or less impossible.”

Additionally the client offers connection to the website via the TOR anonymity network and provides tools to access other resources like IMDb and search engines. The client is still being iterated on and more features are to be added to make the method more reliable as the October site block looms.