UK Govt. Warns Google, Microsoft & Yahoo Over Piracy

September 2nd, 2014

Developments over the past 12 months have sent the clearest message yet that the UK government is not only prepared to morally support the creative industries, but also spend public money on anti-piracy enforcement.

The government-funded City of London Intellectual Property Crime Unit is definitely showing no signs of losing interest, carrying out yet another arrest yesterday morning on behalf of video rightsholders. In the afternoon during the BPI’s Annual General Meeting in London, the unit was being praised by both government officials and a music sector also keen to bring piracy under control.

“We’ve given £2.5 million to support the City of London Police Intellectual Property Crime Unit, PIPCU,” Culture Secretary Sajid Javid told those in attendance.

“The first unit of its kind in the world, PIPCU is working with industry groups – including the BPI – on the Infringing Websites List. The list identifies sites that deliberately and consistently breach copyright, so brand owners can avoid advertising on them.”

Referencing rampant online piracy, Javid said that no industry or government could stand by and let “massive, industrial scale” levels of infringement continue.

“I know some people say the IP genie is out of the bottle and that no amount of wishing will force it back in. But I don’t agree with them,” he said.

“We don’t look at any other crimes and say ‘It’s such a big problem that it’s not worth bothering with.’ We wouldn’t stand idly by if paintings worth hundreds of millions of pounds were being stolen from the National Gallery.Copyright infringement is theft, pure and simple. And it’s vital we try to reduce it.”

Going on to detail the Creative Content initiative which the government is supporting to the tune of £3.5m, Javid said the system would deliver a “robust, fair and effective enforcement regime”.

But that, however, is only one part of the puzzle. Infringing sites need to be dealt with, directly and by other means, he added.

“Copyright crooks don’t love music. They love money, and they’ve been attracted to the industry solely by its potential to make them rich. Take away their profits and you take away their reason for being. Of course, it’s not just up to the government and music industry to deal with this issue,” he noted.

Putting search engines on notice, the MP said that they have an important role to play.

“They must step up and show willing. That’s why [Business Secretary] Vince Cable and I have written to Google, Microsoft and Yahoo, asking them to work with [the music industry] to stop search results sending people to illegal sites,” Javid said.

“And let me be perfectly clear: if we don’t see real progress, we will be looking at a legislative approach. In the words of [Beggars Group chairman] Martin Mills, ‘technology companies should be the partners of rights companies, not their masters’.”

The Culture Secretary said that when it comes to tackling piracy, the government, music industry and tech companies are “three sides of the same triangle.” But despite that expectation of togetherness, only time will tell if the search engines agree to the point of taking voluntary action to support it.

Source: TorrentFreak, for the latest info on copyright, file-sharing and anonymous VPN services.

Tribler Makes BitTorrent Anonymous With Built-in Tor Network

September 2nd, 2014

boxedThe Tribler client has been around for more nearly a decade already, and during that time it’s developed into the only truly decentralized BitTorrent client out there.

Even if all torrent sites were shut down today, Tribler users would still be able to find and add new content.

But the researchers want more. One of the key problems with BitTorrent is the lack of anonymity. Without a VPN or proxy all downloads can easily be traced back to an individual internet connection.

The Tribler team hopes to fix this problem with a built-in Tor network, routing all data through a series of peers. In essence, Tribler users then become their own Tor network helping each other to hide their IP-addresses through encrypted proxies.

“The Tribler anonymity feature aims to make strong encryption and authentication the Internet default,” Tribler leader Dr. Pouwelse tells TF.

For now the researchers have settled for three proxies between the senders of the data and the recipient. This minimizes the risk of being monitored by a rogue peer and significantly improves privacy.

“Adding three layers of proxies gives you more privacy. Three layers of protection make it difficult to trace you. Proxies no longer need to be fully trusted. A single bad proxy can not see exactly what is going on,” the Tribler team explains.

“The first proxy layer encrypts the data for you and each next proxy adds another layer of encryption. You are the only one who can decrypt these three layers correctly. Tribler uses three proxy layers to make sure bad proxies that are spying on people can do little damage.”

Tribler’s encrypted Tor routing

wtvTMix

Today Tribler opens up its technology to the public for the first time. The Tor network is fully functional but for now it is limited to a 50 MB test file. This will allow the developers to make some improvements before the final release goes out next month.

There has been an increased interest in encryption technologies lately. The Tribler team invites interested developers to help them improve their work, which is available on Github.

“We hope all developers will unite inside a single project to defeat the forces that have destroyed the Internet essence. We really don’t need a hundred more single-person projects on ‘secure’ chat applications that still fully expose who you talk to,” Pouwelse says.

For users the Tor like security means an increase in bandwidth usage. After all, they themselves also become proxies who have to pass on the transfers of other users. According to the researchers this shouldn’t result in any slowdowns though, as long as people are willing to share.

“Tribler has always been for social and sharing people. Like private tracker communities with plenty of bandwidth to go around we think we can offer anonymity without slow downs, if we can incentivize people to leave their computers on overnight and donate,” Pouwelse says.

“People who share will have superior anonymous speeds,” he adds.

Those interested in testing Tribler’s anonymity feature can download the latest version. Bandwidth statistics are also available. Please bear in mind that only the test file can be transferred securely at the moment.

Source: TorrentFreak, for the latest info on copyright, file-sharing and anonymous VPN services.

UK Police Make Third ‘Pirate’ Streaming Arrest

September 2nd, 2014

cityoflondonpoliceSet up in the summer of 2013, the City of London Police’s Intellectual Property Crime Unit has quickly grown to become one of the world’s most active anti-piracy operations.

The unit employs a wide range of strategies, from writing to domain registrars and threatening them, to working with advertisers in order to strangle the revenues of ‘pirate’ sites.

PIPCU also relies on old fashioned police work to deal with sites that fail to heed their warnings to tow the line. This has resulted in several arrests in the UK and the closure of dozens of domains, torrent site proxies in particular.

With key partner the Federation Against Copyright Theft and its members including the Premier League and BSkyB, piracy of TV-destined content has become an area of interest to PIPCU, particularly that involving live sports.

Early Monday, more than 200 miles away from their London base, officers from PIPCU arrested a man in Manchester in the north of England. Police say the 27-year-old is believed to have operated a series of websites which offered access to subscription-only TV services.

PIPCU say that the domains were sports-focused, so given the premium pay TV landscape in the UK it seems probable that they infringed the rights of BSkyB and possibly the Premier League. Police are yet to confirm the details.

While there are no figures available on site visitor numbers, police are using the term “industrial” to explain the size of the operation they shut down yesterday. A reported 12 computer servers streaming global sports were reportedly seized and their operator taken to a local police station for questioning.

“Today’s operation is the unit’s third arrest in relation to online streaming and sends out a strong message that we are homing in on those who knowingly commit or facilitate online copyright infringement,” said PIPCU chief DCI Danny Medlycott last evening.

“Not only is there a significant loss to industry with this particular operation but it is also unfair that millions of people work hard to be able to afford to pay for their subscription-only TV services when others cheat the system.”

PIPCU have not released the names of the sites in question so it’s impossible to assess their significance at this point. However, police are often quick to seize the domains of sites they close down so it’s expected that signs of that will begin to surface during the next few days enabling a more detailed assessment of the shutdown.

As pointed out by DCI Medlycott, yesterday’s arrest is the third involving a streaming site operator in the UK. Although the sites were not revealed by police at the time, TorrentFreak previously revealed that the operator of BoxingGuru.co.uk, boxingguru.eu, boxingguru.tv and nutjob.eu was arrested during April in the north of England.

In May, PIPCU had the domain of the Cricfree.tv streaming portal suspended but its operator was able to bring the site back under a new domain.

Yesterday’s arrest appears to be PIPCU’s first since the arrest of a UK-based torrent site proxy operator in early August.

Source: TorrentFreak, for the latest info on copyright, file-sharing and anonymous VPN services.

Popcorn Time Installed on 1.4 Million Devices in The U.S.

September 1st, 2014

popcornThe Popcorn Time app brought BitTorrent streaming to the masses earlier this year.

The software became an instant hit by offering BitTorrent-powered streaming in an easy-to-use Netflix-style interface.

While the original app was shut down by the developers after a few weeks, the project was quickly picked up by others. This resulted in several popular forks that have gained a steady user-base in recent months.

Just how popular the application is remained a mystery, until now. TorrentFreak reached out to one of the most popular Popcorn Time forks at time4popcorn.eu to find out how many installs and active users there are in various parts of the world.

The Popcorn Time team was initially reluctant to share exact statistics on the app’s popularity across the globe, but they’re now ready to lift the veil.

Data shared with TorrentFreak shows that most users come from the United States where the application is installed on more than 1.4 million devices. There are currently over 100,000 active users in the U.S. and the number of new installs per day hovers around 15,000.

“At the beginning of August there were between 17-18K installations a day on all operating systems and last weekend there were somewhere between 13-15K a day,” the Popcorn Time teams informs us.

The application has a surprisingly large user base in the Netherlands too, as Android Planet found out. The country comes in second place with 1.3 million installs. That’s a huge number for a country with a population of less than 17 million people.

Brazil completes the top three at a respectful distance with 700,000 installed applications and around 56,000 active users.

The United Kingdom just missed a spot in the top three. The Popcorn Time fork has been installed on 500,000 devices there, with 30,000 active users and 4,500 new installs per day.

Australia, which generally has a very high piracy rate, is lagging behind a little with 93,000 installs thus far, and “only” 6,500 active users.

The statistics above only apply to the time4popcorn.eu application. While it’s probably the most used, other forks such as popcorntime.io also have a large following to add to the total Popcorn Time user base.

The team behind time4popcorn.eu, meanwhile, says that it will continue to add new features and support for more operating systems. They are currently finishing up the first iOS version which is expected to be released in a few days.

Aside from the technical challenges, the developers keep motivated by the large audience they’ve gathered in a relatively short period.

“We really love and appreciate all our devoted users from all over the world, and we want to emphasize to them once more that this is only the beginning of the beginning. We have so many awesome plans for the future,” they stress.

As long as there are no legal troubles down the road, this user base is expected to grow even further during the months to come.

Source: TorrentFreak, for the latest info on copyright, file-sharing and anonymous VPN services.

Hustler Hustles Tor Exit-Node Operator Over Piracy

September 1st, 2014

torFaced with the growing threat of online file-sharing, Hustler committed to “turning piracy into profit” several years ago.

The company has not been very active on this front in the United States, but more so in Europe. In Finland for example Hustler is sending out settlement demands for hundreds of euros to alleged pirates.

A few days ago one of these letters arrived at the doorstep of Sebastian Mäki, identifying the IP-address through which he offers a Tor exit-node. According to Hustler the IP-address had allegedly transferred a copy of Hustler’s “This Ain’t Game Of Thrones XXX.”

The letter is sent by lawfirm Hedman Partners who urge Mäki to pay 600 euros ($800) in damages or face worse.

However, Mäki has no intention to pay up. Besides running a Tor exit-node and an open wireless network through the connection, he also happens to be Vice-President of a local Pirate Party branch. As such, he has a decent knowledge of how to counter these threats.

“All we can do at the moment is fight against these trolls, and they are preying on easy victims, who have no time nor energy to fight and often are afraid of the embarrassment that could follow, because apparently porn is still a taboo somewhere,” Mäki tells TorrentFreak.

So instead of paying up, the Tor exit-node operator launched a counter attack. He wrote a lengthy reply to Hustler’s lawyers accusing them of blackmail.

“According to Finnish law, wrongfully forcing someone to dispose of their financial interests is known as blackmail. Threatening to make known one’s porn watching habits unless someone coughs up money sounds to me like activities for which you can get a sentence.”

Mäki explains that an IP-address is not necessarily a person and that Hustler’s copyright trolling is likely to affect innocent Internet users. Because of this, he has decided to report these dubious practices to the police.

“I am also concerned that other innocent citizens might not have as much time, energy, or wealth to fight back. Because your actions have the potential to cause so much damage to innocent bystanders, I find it morally questionable and made a police report.”

Whether the police will follow up on the complaint remains to be seen, but Hustler will have to take its hustling elsewhere for now. They clearly targeted the wrong person here, in more ways than one.

Source: TorrentFreak, for the latest info on copyright, file-sharing and anonymous VPN services.

ISP Alliance Accepts Piracy Crackdown, With Limits

September 1st, 2014

us-ausFollowing last week’s leaked draft from Hollywood, Aussie ISPs including Telstra, iiNet and Optus have published their submission in response to a request by Attorney-General George Brandis and Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull.

While the movie industry’s anti-piracy proposal demonstrates a desire to put ISPs under pressure in respect of their pirating customers, it comes as no surprise that their trade group, the Communications Alliance, has other things in mind.

The studios would like to see a change in copyright law to remove service providers’ safe harbor if they even suspect infringement is taking place on their networks but fail to take action, but the ISPs reject that.

ISP liability

“We urge careful consideration of the proposal to extend the authorization liability within the Copyright Act, because such an amendment has the potential to capture many other entities, including schools, universities, internet cafes, retailers, libraries and cloud-based services in ways that may hamper their legitimate activities and disadvantage consumers,” they write.

But while the ISPs are clear they don’t want to be held legally liable for customer piracy, they have given the clearest indication yet that they are in support of a piracy crackdown involving subscribers. Whether one would work is up for debate, however.

Graduated response

“[T]here is little or no evidence to date that [graduated response] schemes are successful, but no shortage of examples where such schemes have been
distinctly unsuccessful. Nonetheless, Communications Alliance remains willing to engage in good faith discussions with rights holders, with a view to agreeing on a scheme to address online copyright infringement, if the Government maintains that such a scheme is desirable,” they write.

If such as scheme could be agreed on, the ISPs say it would be a notice-and-notice system that didn’t carry the threat of ISP-imposed customer sanctions.

“Communications Alliance notes and supports the Government’s expectation, expressed in the paper that an industry scheme, if agreed, should not provide for the interruption of a subscriber’s internet access,” they note.

However, the appointment of a “judicial/regulatory /arbitration body” with the power to apply “meaningful sanctions” to repeat infringers is supported by the ISPs, but what those sanctions might be remains a mystery.

On the thorny issue of costs the ISPs say that the rightsholders must pay for everything. Interestingly, they turn the copyright holders’ claims of huge piracy losses against them, by stating that if just two-thirds of casual infringers change their ways, the video industry alone stands to generate AUS$420m (US$392) per year. On this basis they can easily afford to pay, the ISPs say.

Site blocking

While warning of potential pitfalls and inadvertent censorship, the Communications Alliance accepts that done properly, the blocking of ‘pirate’ sites could help to address online piracy.

“Although site blocking is a relatively blunt instrument and has its share of weaknesses and limitations, we believe that an appropriately structured and safeguarded injunctive relief scheme could play an important role in addressing online copyright infringement in Australia,” the Alliance writes.

One area in which the ISPs agree with the movie studios is in respect of ISP “knowledge” of infringement taking place in order for courts to order a block. The system currently employed in Ireland, where knowledge is not required, is favored by both parties, but the ISPs insist that the copyright holders should pick up the bill, from court procedures to putting the blocks in place.

The Alliance also has some additional conditions. The ISPs say they are only prepared to block “clearly, flagrantly and totally infringing websites” that exist outside Australia, and only those which use piracy as their main source of revenue.

Follow the Money

Pointing to the project currently underway in the UK coordinated by the Police Intellectual Property Crime Unit, the Communications Alliance says that regardless of the outcome on blocking, a “follow the money” approach should be employed against ‘pirate’ sites. This is something they already have an eye on.

“Some ISP members of Communications Alliance already have policies in place which prevent any of their advertising spend being directed to sites that promote or facilitate improper file sharing. Discussions are underway as to whether a united approach could be adopted by ISPs whereby the industry generally agrees on measures or policies to ensure the relevant websites do not benefit from any of the industry’s advertising revenues,” the ISPs note.

Better access to legal content

The Communications Alliance adds that rightsholders need to do more to serve their customers, noting that improved access to affordable content combined with public education on where to find it is required.

“We believe that for any scheme designed to address online copyright infringement to be sustainable it must also stimulate innovation by growing the digital content market, so Australians can continue to access and enjoy new and emerging content, devices and technologies.

“The ISP members of Communications Alliance remain willing to work toward an approach that balances the interests of all stakeholders, including consumers,” they conclude.

Conclusion

While some harmonies exist, the submissions from the movie studios and ISPs carry significant points of contention, with each having the power to completely stall negotiations. With legislative change hanging in the air, both sides will be keen to safeguard their interests on the key issues, ISP liability especially.

Source: TorrentFreak, for the latest info on copyright, file-sharing and anonymous VPN services.

Top 10 Most Pirated Movies of The Week – 09/01/14

September 1st, 2014

maleThis week we have three newcomers in our chart.

Maleficent is the most downloaded movie for the third week in a row.

The data for our weekly download chart is estimated by TorrentFreak, and is for informational and educational reference only. All the movies in the list are BD/DVDrips unless stated otherwise.

RSS feed for the weekly movie download chart.

Ranking (last week) Movie IMDb Rating / Trailer
torrentfreak.com
1 (1) Maleficent 7.4 / trailer
2 (2) Godzilla (Webrip) 7.1 / trailer
3 (5) The Fault in Our Stars 8.3 / trailer
4 (…) Neighbors 6.7 / trailer
5 (…) Think Like a Man Too 5.6 / trailer
6 (4) Divergent 7.2 / trailer
7 (3) Captain America: The Winter Soldier 8.1 / trailer
8 (7) 22 Jump Street (TS) 7.8 / trailer
9 (6) X-Men: Days of Future Past (HDrip/TS) 8.4 / trailer
10 (8) The Prince 4.6 / trailer

Source: TorrentFreak, for the latest info on copyright, file-sharing and anonymous VPN services.

The Next-Generation Copyright Monopoly Wars Will Be Much Worse

August 31st, 2014

copyright-brandedWe’ve been manufacturing our own copies of knowledge and culture without a license for quite some time now, a practice known first as mixtaping and then as file-sharing.

Home mass manufacturing of copies of culture and knowledge started some time in the 1980s with the Cassette Tape, the first widely available self-contained unit capable of recording music. It made the entire copyright industry go up in arms and demand “compensation” for activities that were not covered by their manufacturing monopoly, which is why we now pay protection money to the copyright industry in many countries for everything from cellphones to games consoles.

The same industry demanded harsh penalties – criminal penalties – for those who manufactured copies at home without a license rather than buying the expensive premade copies. Over the next three decades, such criminal penalties gradually crept into law, mostly because no politician thinks the issue is important enough to defy anybody on.

A couple of key patent monopolies on 3D printing are expiring as we speak, making next-generation 3D printing much, much higher quality. 3D printers such as this one are now appearing on Kickstarter, “printers” (more like fabs) that use laser sintering and similar technologies instead of layered melt deposit.

We’re now somewhere in the 1980s-equivalent of the next generation of copyright monopoly wars, which is about to spread to physical objects. The copyright industry is bad – downright atrociously cynically evil, sometimes – but nobody in the legislature gives them much thought. Wait until this conflict spreads outside the copyright industry, spreads to pretty much every manufacturing industry.

People are about to be sued out of their homes for making their own slippers instead of buying a pair.

If you think that sounds preposterous, that’s exactly what has been going on in the copyright monopoly wars so far, with people manufacturing their own copies of culture and knowledge instead of buying ready-made copies. There’s no legal difference to manufacturing a pair of slippers without having a license for it.

To be fair, a pair of slippers may be covered by more monopolies than just the copyright monopoly (the drawing) – it may be covered by a utility patent monopoly, a design patent monopoly, possibly a geographic indication if it’s some weird type of slipper, and many more arcane and archaic types of monopolies. Of course, people in general can’t tell the difference between a “utility patent”, a “design patent”, a “copyright duplication right”, a “copyright broadcast right”, a “related right”, and so on. To most people, it’s all just “the copyright monopoly” in broad strokes.

Therefore, it’s irrelevant to most people whether the person who gets sued out of their home for fabbing their own slippers from a drawing they found is technically found guilty of infringing the copyright monopoly (maybe) or a design patent (possibly). To 95% or more, it’s just “more copyright monopoly bullshit”. And you know what? Maybe that’s good.

The next generation of wars over knowledge, culture, drawings, information, and data is just around the corner, and it’s going to get much uglier with more stakes involved on all sides. We have gotten people elected to parliaments (and stayed there) on the conflict just as it stands now. As this divide deepens, and nothing suggests it won’t, then people will start to pay more attention.

And maybe, just maybe, that will be the beginning of the end of these immoral and deeply unjust monopolies known as copyrights and patents.

About The Author

Rick Falkvinge is a regular columnist on TorrentFreak, sharing his thoughts every other week. He is the founder of the Swedish and first Pirate Party, a whisky aficionado, and a low-altitude motorcycle pilot. His blog at falkvinge.net focuses on information policy.

Book Falkvinge as speaker?

Source: TorrentFreak, for the latest info on copyright, file-sharing and anonymous VPN services.

Patent Allows Watermarking of Already Encrypted Movies

August 31st, 2014

encryptionWhile the name Verance might not be particularly well known, the company’s anti-piracy technology is present in millions of DVD and Blu-ray players and the media they play.

Every licensed Blu-ray playback device since 2012 has supported the technology which is designed to limit the usefulness of pirated content. Illicit copies of movies protected by Cinavia work at first, but after a few minutes playback is halted and replaced by a warning notice.

This is achieved by a complex watermarking system that not only protects retail media but also illicit recordings of first-run movies. Now Verance has been awarded a patent for a new watermarking system with fresh aims in mind.

The patent, ‘Watermarking in an encrypted domain’, begins with a description of how encryption can protect multimedia content from piracy during storage or while being transported from one location to another.

“The encrypted content may be securely broadcast over the air, through the Internet, over cable networks, over wireless networks, distributed via storage media, or disseminated through other means with little concern about piracy of the content,” Verance begins.

Levels of security vary, Verance explains, depending on the strength of encryption algorithms and encryption key management. However, at some point content needs to be decrypted in order for it to be processed or consumed, and at this point it is vulnerable to piracy and distribution.

“This is particularly true for multimedia content that must inevitably be converted to audio and/or visual signals (e.g., analog format) in order to reach an audience,” Verance explain.

While the company notes that at this stage content is vulnerable to copying, solutions are available to help protect against what it describes as the “analog hole”. As the creator of Cinavia, it’s no surprise Verance promotes watermarking.

“Digital watermarking is typically referred to as the insertion of auxiliary information bits into a host signal without producing perceptible artifacts,” Verance explains.

In other words, content watermarked effectively will carry such marks regardless of further distribution, copying techniques, or deliberate attacks designed to remove them. Cinavia is one such example, the company notes.

However, Verance admits that watermarking has limitations. In a supply chain, for example, the need to watermark already encrypted content can trigger time-intensive operations. For this, the company says it has a solution.

Verance has come up with a system with the ability to insert watermarks into content that has already been compressed and encrypted, without the need for decryption, decompression, or subsequent re-compression and re-encryption.

In terms of an application, Verance describes an example workflow in which movie content could be watermarked and then encrypted in order to protect it during distribution. The system has the ability to further watermark encrypted content as it passes through various supply chain stages and locations without compromising its security.

“In a forensic tracking application, a digital movie, after appropriate post production processing, may be encrypted at the movie studio or post production house, and sent out for distribution to movie theaters, to on-line retailers, or directly to the consumer,” Verance explains.

“In such applications, it is often desired to insert forensic or transactional watermarks into the movie content to identify each entity or node in the distribution channel, including the purchasers of the content, the various distributors of the content, the presentation venue and the time/date/location of each presentation or purchase.”

Verance believes that being able to track distribution points, sales locations such as movie theaters or stores, and even end users will be a big plus to adopters. Those up to the complex analysis can see how the company intends to work its magic by viewing its extremely technical and lengthy patent.

Source: TorrentFreak, for the latest info on copyright, file-sharing and anonymous VPN services.

KickassTorrents Goes Secure, Encrypts Traffic For All Visitors

August 31st, 2014

KATLike most Internet users, torrent site visitors prefer not to have their browsing habits exposed to third parties.

One way to prevent this from happening is by using SSL encryption. This is supported by more and more sites, and last year Google even went as far as encrypting all searches by default.

Most of the larger torrent sites such as The Pirate Bay and Torrentz also offer SSL support. However, KickassTorrents is the first to force encryption. This means that everyone who visits the site will now be sending data over a secure https connection.

TorrentFreak spoke with the KickassTorrents team who told us that the new feature was implemented by popular demand.

“We’re just thinking about those people who will feel safer when they know all the data transferred between them and KAT is completely encrypted. People requested it, so we respond,” the KAT team informs TF.

SSL encryption will prevent one’s boss, school, or ISP from monitoring what pages are visited what data is sent or retrieved from the site. However, it’s still possible to see that the KickassTorrents domain was accessed, and how much time was spent there.

Also, it’s worth emphasizing that it doesn’t anonymize the visitor’s IP-addresses in any way, as a VPN or proxy might.

That said, enabling encryption is a good way for KickassTorrents to offer its users a little more security. On top of that, Google recently noted that it would prioritize SSL encrypted sites in its search results, something the site’s operators probably wont mind either.

Source: TorrentFreak, for the latest info on copyright, file-sharing and anonymous VPN services.