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Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Torrentspy Bans US Visitors; Privacy Issues Cited

In a surprising move, BitTorrent mega-portal Torrentspy has suspended the search function for users in the US. User privacy issues and possibly conflicting US and European privacy laws were the apparent reasons behind the decision.

But despite the message, it isn't just the search function, but the entire index of torrent files that is being blocked. Effectively, no US visitors will be able to use Torrentspy to download torrents. Time to switch to a good proxy or VPN?

According to Alexa, 15.5% of Torrentspy users originate from the US. Whether this ban on Americans will be fatal for the site is uncertain.

Update: It looks the whole case revolves around a US court order for Torrentspy to turn over user data stored in server RAM to the movie studios. Since Torrentspy no longer operates in the US, they don't have to comply.

The entirety of the explanation follows:

Sorry, but because you are located in the USA you cannot use the search features of the Torrentspy.com website.Torrentspy's decision to stop accepting US visitors was NOT compelled by any Court but rather an uncertain legal climate in the US regarding user privacy and an apparent tension between US and European Union privacy laws.

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