In the last year, pressure from the entertainment industries on ISPs and governments to crack down on copyright infringers has steadily increased, resulting in ISPs sending out mass copyright warnings. This, of course, is coupled with the looming specter of three-strikes legislation aimed at disconnecting copyright infringers.
File-sharers on the other hand haven’t been sitting still either, as many have chosen to negate these initiatives by going anonymous.
Users of BitTorrent and other file-sharing networks have increasingly turned to solutions that hide their identities from the outside world, rendering these new anti-piracy initiatives useless. The IPREDator service from the founders of The Pirate Bay opened up to the public this week, and is undoubtedly the most talked about newcomer in this business.
With a beta launch coinciding with the introduction of the controversial IPRED law in Sweden, the service promised to offer users an anonymous connection to the Internet. IPRED gave the copyright holders increased power to track down pirates, and with the launch of IPREDator the creators neutralized this new ‘threat’.
Much like many other comparable VPN services, Ipredator allows users to connect to the Internet while hiding their own IP-address. The interest in services like this is booming. In Sweden alone, an estimated 500,000 Internet subscribers are already hiding their identities online, and that number is expected to rapidly grow in the new year.
Ipredator is currently using the same platform as several other VPN franchises including Relakks, which means it’s not really anything we haven’t seen before. The servers are maintained and provided by Pirate Bay affiliates though, which may be more trustworthy to the average BitTorrent user than a random VPN provider.
That aside, we were told by former Pirate Bay spokesman Peter Sunde that contrary to what the legal page states, no logs of any kind are kept by Ipredator. The text that is in there is a left over from the standard template they got from the provider of the VPN platform.
And, according to Sunde, there will soon be even more advantages and added security to Ipredator.
While Ipredator owes its name to the IPRED legislation, the team behind it is also working to crush the Swedish wiretapping law (FRA) that was introduced earlier. Sunde explained in a recent writeup how they are planning to not only encrypt the connection between individual users and the VPN, but also the entire stream of outgoing data from the VPN until it has passed Sweden’s borders.
This will make it practically impossible for the Government to decrypt the data and find out what’s being sent. “The only thing they can do is to make it illegal to encrypt,” Sunde told TorrentFreak.
“People don’t understand why I want to encrypt the traffic, since they’re already hidden when they connect to our system. But they must understand that the same traffic can be found unencrypted, traveling across borders again,” Sunde told TorrentFreak. “Also, using a VPN outside of Sweden is bad for Swedes, since it will raise a suspicion flag at FRA,” he added.
Although these wiretap-busting plans haven’t been implemented yet, Ipredator does already offer a secure VPN connection. The service guarantees that anti-piracy outfits or even your ISP will be unable to record or spy on your BitTorrent downloads. Ipredator has just opened its doors to the public for those who did make the beta and are interested in giving it a try.