As of today, the Kuwait government ordered ISPs to block access to 20 BitTorrent sites. The ultimate goal of the state of Kuwait is to ban all BitTorrent sites in an attempt to reduce piracy, but this is not likely to happen anytime soon.
As in most countries, BitTorrent sites have gained a lot of popularity over recent years in Kuwait. BitTorrent sites are frequently visited, not only with the nationals, but also with the many foreign employees who are stationed there. Most foreigners use BitTorrent as a replacement for the Tivo they have at home, so they can catch up with the latest TV-shows.
However, this is about to change – or is it?
United Networks, a large ISP active in the Kuwait area, has recently notified its customers about the new torrent site filter. They write: “The Ministry of information has today sent us a letter announcing they will be blocking all Torrent sites. This is due to piracy laws of the State of Kuwait and to protect the intellectual property of the pirated content on these sites.”
BitTorrent site filters are not new, last year Turkey blocked The Pirate Bay, a week ago the Danish ISP Tele2 had to do the same. Protesting does help sometimes, a few months ago, Mininova (not included in the Kuwait list) was blocked by an ISP in Dubai, a country in the same region as Kuwait. Only a few days later, the ISP in question decided to unblock Mininova as many customers complained, and threatened to move to another service provider.
It is unlikely that the Kuwait government will respond in the same way, but perhaps this is not needed anyway. If you take a look at the list of 20 torrent sites that was released today, you’ll probably understand that the state of Kuwait is not really up to date on what’s going on in the BitTorrent community. They missed most of the bigger BitTorrent sites, and several sites they listed ceased to exist months ago.
The Kuwait 20….
www.demonoid.com (has been offline for a while)
www.meganova.org (is no more, redirects to SeedPeer)
www.nfo.com.il (not loading)
www.torrent-base.dl.am (redirects to Usenext)
www.zonamule.com (parked domain)