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The complexity of the fight against digital piracy in Italy

Technical and legal challenges in blocking online piracy using IP and CDN filtering systems in Italy

The article discusses the technical and legal issues of the Piracy Shield anti-piracy tool, highlighting how blocking CDN IPs can limit access to legitimate content. It offers more precise filtering methodologies.

This pill is also available in Italian language

The Piracy Shield, introduced by the Communications Regulatory Authority (AGCOM), has sparked much discussion regarding its effectiveness and legal and privacy implications. The system uses IP address and FQDN filtering to combat digital piracy in Italy. However, this methodology raises questions about how it inadequately and unspecifically affects access to legitimate content, as well as how it may unintentionally censor sites with no direct ties to illegal activity.

The role of CDNs and the impact of IP blocking

Content Delivery Networks (CDNs) optimize the delivery of web content by distributing the load across different servers, thus masking the original IP of the service. Blocking a single IP of a CDN, which may be in use by multiple legitimate services, causes significant problems. The direct consequence is that IP blocking can undermine access to various legal web resources, increasing complications for users and service providers without effectively addressing piracy.

Practical example: the interaction between users and CDN

Let's consider the case of a user accessing "", served by a CDN. The requested domain can be managed from a completely different address such as "", which belongs to the CDN. This demonstrates how IPs associated with the CDN can serve multiple legitimate domains, making blocks based on IP addresses alone untargeted and harmful.

Tips for an effective approach to blocking

It is essential for AGCOM to adopt a more sophisticated and accurate filtering method. One trick could be to analyze CNAME records to better distinguish services and specifically block FQDNs linked to illicit content within CDNs, without affecting other innocent services. Careful implementation of these techniques could improve the effectiveness of the Piracy Shield, while simultaneously reducing violations of privacy and freedom of expression.

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04/16/2024 10:06

Editorial AI

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