Nexus23 Team Up To Provide
a Better IP Blocklist
BlueTack, the longtime pioneer of IP filtering and Blocklist management, is beginning to face some stiff competition. Nexus23 Corp. makes and updates since years an ipfilter available on sourceforge.net which has not fame but only because it is not promoted by many popular sites but still it comes promoted by I-blocklist , P2PConsortium.com , P2Pforums.com and Shareheaven.net
P2P filesharers are already familiar with IP Blocking in some form or another – whether it be through Phoenix Labs’ enormously popular PeerGuardian2 software, the Azureus’ SafePeer plugin, and even the ubiquitous IPfilter.dat file that can be imported into ÂµTorrent and eMule.
Building a Better Mousetrap – An Improved IP Blocklist
We interviewed KarlX – the CEO of Nexus23 Corp. who has a lot to say about blocklisting:
[email protected]: Do you block most of the “Anti-P2P” organizations?
KarlX: Yes, we block 99% of the real enemies.
[email protected]: What about the other 1%?
KarlX: The remaining 1% is escaping from our sight or
[email protected]: Do you focus heavily on Anti-P2P blocking?
KarlX: Yes, and also those who support them.
[email protected]: Why is it that you’re doing this? Obviously it’s not
KarlX: If in the real world an organization like the CIA
shouldn’t spy on citizens, why in the Cyberworld
should this be any different?
[email protected]: Why such a focus on accuracy in your blocklist?
KarlX: We update the blocklist every ten days, or sooner.
-Incorporate only real threats; as opposed to adding
entire ranges on speculation.
-Shrink the list for improved load time, faster
checking and less memory consumption.
-Faster ‘swarm speeds’ in BitTorrent.
-A very low percent of common (innocent) ISPs
-Having the help/reports of many users we could
make our ipfilter ever better and better, so the
popular convinction that only the Bluetack ones are
good ipfilters does not pay our hard work on this .
The efficacy of IP blocklists and how well they perform has always been somewhat controversial – but most won’t contest that IP blocking does, in fact, work to some degree. Studies have shown that you will be tracked by anti-P2P organizations without the utilization of blocklists; but there is no confirmation to conclude that users are 100% safe. And let’s be frank – Anti-P2P groups are not looking to shakedown everyone; rather, just make examples out of the ones they can catch easily.
Nexus23’s goal is to compile the most complete, up-to-date and efficient blocklists.
Paranoia & Power – the Driving Force?
As KarlX so simply puts it, “The legends behind the ipfilter which are summarized only with one word: paranoid.” He continues, “Who has this trust can overreact abusing of this power as BlueTack is doing”. When you control the most popular P2P IP blocklist in use, you hold a very powerful position of trust. And let’s face it – we don’t ask too many questions when we fire up PeerGuardian – we simply assume that it will do it’s job. BlueTack currently holds a monopoly on the lists, but this is soon to change.
One opponent to BlueTack is Ben Jones at Neuron2Neuron, who states, “If Bluetack were serious about what they were doing, and wish to actually build some credibility, perhaps they could start by standing behind their decisions. Starting by revealing who they are, and acknowledging personal responsibility for their blocks.” Well said. BlueTack has taken harsh criticism for banning innocent ranges in the past.
Aside from unblocking harmless IP ranges, KarlX made available his ipfilterX for Peerguardian users with the goal of compiling the most complete, up-to-date and efficient blocklist.
Nexus23 is working to slim-down the existing IP blocklists to a more manageable state. The current lists by BlueTack are so overly bloated, But is it working too well? Yes, according to experts in the field – especially if your lists comes from BlueTack.
KarlX has received thousands of emails from angry citizens who’ve somehow managed to get themselves erroneously a part of the current blocklists; primarily through well-established eD2k servers. He can’t explain to them why they’ve been blocked (aside from being part of a larger IP range that has been tagged), but he sheds some light on who blocked them. eD2k servers use a IP blocklist known as emulepacio. Users should be very aware of the blocklists they incorporate into eMule, and which “mods” they use. If you use BlueTack / eMulepacio lists, expect to find some of your favourite eD2k servers being blocked, as well. Think you’re being blocked? Why not check at www.blacklistmonitor.com.
So what makes the Nexus23 blocklists so special? Well, for starters, they don’t needlessly block entire countries and mega-corporations. BlueTack has previously blocked the entire IP ranges of Yahoo.com, MicroSoft, Apple, and the entire United Arab Emirates & Kuwait. KarlX speculates that even China’s IP ranges are more than likely blocked. In a time where China is fighting oppression and needs help – what point does it serve for BlueTack to block them?
KarlX is working hard to establish his blocklists as the default standard currently being offered through PeerGuardian 2, and doesn’t have far to go.
Nexus23 already has an IPFilter.dat file for µtorrent, and even one for eMule.
Both are available for download on the sourceforge website.