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site being blocked and then unblocked - repeat as required

Community Veteran
Posts: 3,274
Thanks: 339
Fixes: 12
Registered: 24-10-2013

site being blocked and then unblocked - repeat as required

here's an interesting conundrum
kickass.to - the infamous torrent site.
now sometimes i am able to access this no problems
other times i have the standard "this site is blocked by court order" page.
both of these could occur in the same day, often within hours of each other
my connection never drops during two results, so is this simply down to different traffic routing at different times of the day?
this is not a debate about the legality (or not) of the site, but rather a query about how it can be unblocked at sometime and blocked at other.
for the record i can currently access it with no problems.
my current gateway is gateway ptw-bng02
16 REPLIES
Community Veteran
Posts: 6,824
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Registered: 27-10-2012

Re: site being blocked and then unblocked - repeat as required

If you do a traceroute, does your routing go via BT?
Community Veteran
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Registered: 24-10-2013

Re: site being blocked and then unblocked - repeat as required

at the moment i can access the site
Traceroute has started…
traceroute: Warning: kickass.to has multiple addresses; using 95.215.61.203
traceroute to kickass.to (95.215.61.203), 64 hops max, 72 byte packets
1  dsldevice (192.168.1.254)  1.994 ms  1.336 ms  1.400 ms
2  lo0.10.central10.ptw-bng02.plus.net (195.166.130.203)  25.250 ms  24.419 ms  23.971 ms
3  irb.10.ptw-cr02.plus.net (84.93.249.2)  25.633 ms  24.511 ms  24.027 ms
4  ae2.ptw-cr01.plus.net (195.166.129.4)  24.584 ms  28.035 ms  31.910 ms
5  rou00-blnd01.es.jazztelbone.net (195.66.224.173)  28.361 ms  25.909 ms  27.190 ms
6  141.216.106.212.static.jazztel.es (212.106.216.141)  72.189 ms * *
7  254.216.106.212.static.jazztel.es (212.106.216.254)  150.007 ms  146.232 ms  142.882 ms
8  98.216.106.212.static.jazztel.es (212.106.216.9Cool  151.257 ms  150.062 ms  151.168 ms
9  2.52.14.62.static.jazztel.es (62.14.52.2)  69.497 ms  73.478 ms  70.072 ms
10  *
Community Gaffer
Community Gaffer
Posts: 13,105
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Registered: 04-04-2007

Re: site being blocked and then unblocked - repeat as required

Almost certainly down to the routing. You'll find similar discussion elsewhere on the forums about Pirate Bay.

Bob Pullen
Plusnet Products Team
If I've been helpful then please give thanks ⤵

Community Veteran
Posts: 3,274
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Registered: 24-10-2013

Re: site being blocked and then unblocked - repeat as required

So is routing just down to luck of the draw at any particular time? (Even without a PPP drop)
Superuser
Superuser
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Re: site being blocked and then unblocked - repeat as required

On the basis that connections are going through load balancers and resilient servers / virtual IPs, I suggest that the answer is yes.
Community Veteran
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Registered: 24-10-2013

Re: site being blocked and then unblocked - repeat as required

so then the question would be is, why are sites blocked on some routes and not others?
if an ISP is bound by a court order to block a site then it should be a 100% block and not a block depending on you you happen to be routed at a particular time.
of course, in this instance there is no court order in place against Plusnet, so no court order blocking should be happening at all - but that is another debate entirely.
it would be good if there was a bit of transparency with plusnet on this similar to how sky do it by having a webpage listing the various sites that they have blocked due to court order and when the order was applied.
Community Veteran
Posts: 6,824
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Registered: 27-10-2012

Re: site being blocked and then unblocked - repeat as required

Plusnet only block sites on the IWF watch list - this is blocking at ISP level. Beyond that (the peering), isn't something Plusnet have direct control over because the routing is an automatic process. If one of their peers (i.e. BTnet), is blocking a site then there is little they can do about this.
You can see from traceroute that the traffic is going from Plusnet > Jazztel. Plusnet don't chose this route, it happens automatically because it will be the shortest path (AS path). Say Jazztel suddenly stop routing to kickass.to, then Plusnet will change to their next shortest route which might be via BTnet (which is blocking the site).
The DNS records also play a part here because a site like kickass.to will continually be playing around with their hosting.
Edit: Here's an example from me, three traceroutes to kickass.to from the same connection (24 hr apart):
Quote
4  cz-prg01a-ra4-vla2156.net.upc.cz (84.116.221.225)  132.365 ms  105.628 ms  107.433 ms
5  84.116.135.1 (84.116.135.1)  106.964 ms *  109.561 ms
6  uk-lon01b-rd1-xe-1-2-2.aorta.net (84.116.132.17)  106.218 ms  110.055 ms  107.223 ms
7  84.116.133.182 (84.116.133.182)  113.858 ms  106.915 ms  105.564 ms
8  84.116.135.66 (84.116.135.66)  107.071 ms  106.556 ms  129.820 ms
9  bx1-newyork83_pos5_2.net.bell.ca (64.230.187.13)  105.277 ms  121.107 ms  107.303 ms
10  newcore2-newyork83_xe4-2-0.net.bell.ca (64.230.187.157)  139.053 ms
   newcore2-newyork83_xe4-1-0.net.bell.ca (64.230.187.161)  143.798 ms
   newcore2-newyork83_xe4-2-0.net.bell.ca (64.230.187.157)  132.268 ms
11  tcore3-montreal02_pos0-13-0-0 (64.230.187.237)  122.018 ms
   tcore3-montreal02_po0-6-0-0.net.bell.ca (64.230.187.130)  118.512 ms  114.164 ms
12  dis53-montreal02_hundredgige0-2-0-0.net.bell.ca (64.230.91.19)  141.494 ms  117.021 ms  118.293 ms
13  204.101.4.238 (204.101.4.23Cool  138.982 ms  127.459 ms  129.999 ms
14  v3950.ak1c.800sq.as10929.net (209.44.125.53)  115.412 ms  118.706 ms  113.599 ms
15  68.71.58.34 (68.71.58.34)  120.138 ms  123.665 ms  118.887 ms

Quote
4  cz-prg01a-ra4-vla2156.net.upc.cz (84.116.221.225)  16.137 ms  16.525 ms  16.605 ms
5  84.116.135.1 (84.116.135.1)  38.978 ms  16.277 ms  17.401 ms
6  de-fra01a-ri2-xe-4-1-1.aorta.net (84.116.133.11Cool  16.725 ms
   us-was02a-ri1-ge-4-1-0.aorta.net (84.116.130.206)  16.481 ms
   84.116.133.97 (84.116.133.97)  16.384 ms
7  213.46.179.134.aorta.net (213.46.179.134)  16.215 ms  16.052 ms  18.638 ms
8  tenge0-2-0-1.br03.hkg15.pccwbtn.net (63.218.210.142)  333.712 ms  326.874 ms  390.107 ms
9  63-216-142-6.static.pccwglobal.net (63.216.142.6)  409.526 ms  399.181 ms  413.331 ms
10  ae7.bbr02.pn01.hkg01.networklayer.com (50.97.18.175)  405.972 ms  336.560 ms  412.590 ms
11  ae0.bbr02.eq01.sng02.networklayer.com (50.97.18.172)  409.944 ms  363.252 ms  379.686 ms
12  ae6.dar02.sr03.sng01.networklayer.com (50.97.18.203)  409.557 ms  437.346 ms  389.111 ms
13  po2.fcr01.sr03.sng01.networklayer.com (174.133.118.133)  512.557 ms * *

Quote
4  cz-prg01a-ra4-vla2156.net.upc.cz (84.116.221.225)  8.457 ms  8.259 ms  12.051 ms
5  nixcz.retn.net (91.210.16.55)  51.036 ms  26.642 ms  59.906 ms
6  ae3-7.rt.rtc.rix.lv.retn.net (87.245.233.222)  46.956 ms  44.538 ms  52.468 ms
7  gw-baltcom.retn.net (87.245.242.1Cool  44.739 ms  46.891 ms  45.553 ms
8  * * *
9  telenet-foreign.in.altnet.lv (87.99.79.106)  45.766 ms  45.133 ms  45.742 ms
10  core-48-gw.transit.altnet.lv (195.3.144.14)  49.074 ms  53.395 ms  47.053 ms

The first one routes via Canada, the second via Singapore and the third via Latvia.
Community Gaffer
Community Gaffer
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Re: site being blocked and then unblocked - repeat as required

Quote from: chenks76
it would be good if there was a bit of transparency with plusnet on this similar to how sky do it by having a webpage listing the various sites that they have blocked due to court order and when the order was applied.

If you hit the block this is exactly what you see.

Bob Pullen
Plusnet Products Team
If I've been helpful then please give thanks ⤵

Community Veteran
Posts: 3,274
Thanks: 339
Fixes: 12
Registered: 24-10-2013

Re: site being blocked and then unblocked - repeat as required

yeah i know, but that doesn't tell me that the court order was applied to plusnet, because it wasn't.
that just tells me that the particular website had a court order applied, in this case, to BT due to the routing at that particular time hitting BT at some point.
so that link is actually misleading.
i'm not a BT customer, i'm a plusnet customer, so any court order applied to BT should not apply to any plusnet customer.
just like any court order applied to Sky/Talk Talk/Virgin/EE would also not apply to any plusnet customer.
Superuser
Superuser
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Re: site being blocked and then unblocked - repeat as required

So if access to illegitimate material has been prohibited via one route, do you believe that accessing the material by another route makes the access legitimate?
I think you are missing the point here - the court has decided that distribution of the material is illegitimate and is seeks to enforce rights by blocking access.  One might argue that facilitating access by another route is a contempt of court.
Community Veteran
Posts: 3,274
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Registered: 24-10-2013

Re: site being blocked and then unblocked - repeat as required

yes i agree, if it's deemed illegitimate then it should be blocked on ALL routes.
are plusnet in breach of a live court order? if the court order is against plusnet then yes they are.
however, in this instance, the court order is not against plusnet, so they are not currently in breach of any court order as no court has ordered plusnet to block access to the site.
court orders are applied to individual ISPs, i'm not aware of plusnet being the subject of any court order - unless plusnet can show otherwise (hence the transparency).
sky provide access to public webpage that shows the court orders that have been applied to them, the date applied, and the sites affected.
can plusnet do the same?
if they do have an active court order in place to block this particular site then they are in breach of it.
Community Veteran
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Registered: 27-10-2012

Re: site being blocked and then unblocked - repeat as required

I think you're missing the point - Plusnet cannot show you something they're not doing.
If a peer blocks the site, then Plusnet can try and ascertain why that's happening (which they've done in the case of BT). But it's an uphill task given the number of peers/routes etc. It's hard for them to control things once the traffic leaves their network.
Community Veteran
Posts: 3,274
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Registered: 24-10-2013

Re: site being blocked and then unblocked - repeat as required

no point being missed... your point is the same as mine.
plusnet are not blocking any sites, but plusnet customers are being pseudo-blocked due to another ISP having one (and it's the ISP not the wholesale side of BT that has the court order).
from what i can see, there is only one peer/route that has this issue, and it's the BT one.
Community Veteran
Posts: 3,274
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Registered: 24-10-2013

Re: site being blocked and then unblocked - repeat as required

Quote from: AndyH
If you do a traceroute, does your routing go via BT?

it's blocked again, and this is the tracert
which looks the same as when the site was accessible......
Traceroute has started…
traceroute: Warning: kickass.to has multiple addresses; using 95.215.61.203
traceroute to kickass.to (95.215.61.203), 64 hops max, 72 byte packets
1  dsldevice (192.168.1.254)  2.035 ms  1.646 ms  3.358 ms
2  lo0.10.central10.ptw-bng02.plus.net (195.166.130.203)  124.941 ms  253.908 ms  24.507 ms
3  irb.10.ptw-cr02.plus.net (84.93.249.2)  144.618 ms  25.168 ms  24.873 ms
4  ae2.ptw-cr01.plus.net (195.166.129.4)  25.522 ms  34.312 ms  25.342 ms
5  rou00-blnd01.es.jazztelbone.net (195.66.224.173)  25.360 ms  25.991 ms  33.593 ms
6  * * 141.216.106.212.static.jazztel.es (212.106.216.141)  56.682 ms
7  254.216.106.212.static.jazztel.es (212.106.216.254)  59.081 ms  61.219 ms  55.727 ms
8  98.216.106.212.static.jazztel.es (212.106.216.9Cool  61.747 ms  62.204 ms  64.125 ms
9  2.52.14.62.static.jazztel.es (62.14.52.2)  77.913 ms  62.022 ms  63.140 ms
10  * * *
11  95.215.61.203 (95.215.61.203)  64.297 ms  61.979 ms  62.065 ms