Sky Broadband Blocks Imgur Instead of Torrent Site

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By Tarun Mazumdar | December 17, 2013 3:56 PM EST

For a long time over the weekend the famous Imgur file-hosting website vanished for millions of UK users. Rumours floated that Imgur had been added to the Internet Watch Foundation censor list, but soon things cleared and it was revealed that the site was unavailable for the users of Sky Broadband (internet service provider). According to TorrentFreak, the ISP tried to block a torrent site but ended up blocking Imgur.

After major Hollywood Studios and recording labels resorted to legal actions, the six main ISPs in the UK have banned many file-sharing websites.

YIFY - Torrents, one of the major file sharing sites known for distributing small movie rips was also banned by the ISPs in the UK.

BT, Virgin, TalkTalk, Sky and many more ISPs are using different techniques to block the torrent websites like The Pirate Bay, YIFY and more. Each ISP is using its own ways. Techniques that worked on one ISP may fail on another. Yet, YIFY managed to unblock by using the services of CloudFlare as a front-end to the caching servers of YIFY along with other backroom tweaks. The entire unblocking process resulted in the blocking of Imgur.

The long discussions of StackOverflow and Reddit revealed that on Saturday Imgur was inaccessible to all the users of Sky Broadband in the UK.

Sky has an automated blocking system that takes into account the DNS records of torrent sits in order to block them again while switching IP addresses or servers.

"Sky regularly pull IP addresses listed on our DNS servers and adds them to their block list. This block list is then used by an advanced proxy system that redirects any requests to the blacklisted IP addresses to a webserver that the ISP owns which returns a blocked page message," explained YIFY.

When YIFY started using CloudFlare servers in Australia, Sky noted these IP addresses and blocked them, believing that they were YIFY's. Imgur uses the same IP addresses and that led to the seizure. The site went offline, and the customers were left disappointed.

It was only yesterday that Imgur was unblocked by Sky Broadband. 

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