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Google bans Torrent Chrome apps

Recently Google removed a bunch of extensions which directly allowed user to access content on pirated sites. The official reason cited by Google is, “We don’t allow products or services that violate third-party terms of service, or products or services that encourage, facilitate, or enable the unauthorized access, download, or streaming of copyrighted content or media.”

The apps in question allowed a user to directly access the index of the torrent site. By using their extension you could have directly accessed the search results generated by sites like thepiratebay, kickass torrents and torlock .

TorrentFreak says that it was unfair since if a user types Linux, he will get Linux results from the torrent index. One of the most common defense a pirate enthusiast raises is that “Linux is distributed via torrents” or “Linux uses torrent”.

Since this statement piqued my curiosity, I did search “Linux” on these sites. It led to links to outdated distros (Sabayon 3.5.1 & Pardus -2008?), bootleg/insecure Operating Systems (Official Chrome OS with Cinnamon 1.6!?!), malicious software (2MB atunes .exe installer for Linux), links to pirated reading material (books,magazines) and a bunch of pirated software for Linux . Either way 96%-100% of the links displayed by these torrent indexes lacked relevance or linked to copyrighted material.

This goes to prove that these torrent indexes lack relevance or credibility and shouldn’t be trusted for “Linux” related downloads the very least.

While it is a fact that most popular distros offer torrent as an alternative to regular download, it’s another fact that most of them are not indexed on these sites for security concerns. Use of Linux as a defense to maintain these sites is improper.

Google was well within its rights to remove these extensions. From the security point of view, its better that people don’t have direct access to their indexes.

Source: Torrent Freak

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UX developer . Linux Mint User. Avid otaku .

10 Comments

  1. They should also throw stones into the ocean to stop the waves, it would be as effective. Support your local pirate party, because sharing isn’t stealing.

  2. Not a bad point but the bigger issue isn’t about downloading torrents, it’s about the ability to censor content, whether it is torrents sites, or the news. As these laws become more strict, they are used to cover more kinds of content. Like the atrocity about to happen in England that allows the government to literally censor anything it wants (a la China). And which was brought about under the guise of protecting children from kiddie porn (which doesn’t even make sense). The question of copyright is something that needs to be legally revised as our current laws have become outdated. Though I understand that under the current laws this move is legit, it’s what it opens the door for which is far more frightening. And I’d far rather see copyrights being trampled on, than have my news censored. And though they probably shouldn’t go together, because of how laws work with censorship, they do. That’s why things like the pirate browser, and tor are so essential as more and more restrictions get put on the internet. Even more low key site unblockers like torch browser are helpful at getting around some of these restrictions. It’s important for information to flow freely. If the average person understood the concept that copyright laws don’t have to be attached to other measures of censorship, but are, and that, we can separate them, then perhaps I’d be more for these restrictions. But the world doesn’t work that way and people are easily led. Sometimes in order to maintain the more important part, we must be willing to give up something else.

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