Verizon Starts Blocking Torrent Sites

For the past couple weeks, there have been complaints from Verizon users that the ISP has started blocking several torrent sites, including Nyaa and Mangadex.

And it seems to be intentional, since the issue hasn’t been fixed in the weeks since it was first reported, despite users informing Verizon. So much for being “America’s most reliable network”.

While two of the biggest sites blocked were anime/manga related, not all of the affected sites specialize in that type of content. Instead, the main thing they have in common, other than being torrent/pirate sites, is that they use the Russian CDN provider and DDoS protection service, DdoS-Guard.

The company is known for ignoring takedown requests and allowing pirate sites to operate freely. It’s been in the news multiple times in recent months because of that and other controversies.

Is this the start of widespread pirate site blocking in the US?

While it happens in other countries, it hasn’t found acceptance in America yet. There have been instances in the past, including by Comcast and Cogent, but they were written off as mistakes and later fixed.

The reasoning – and resolution? – behind this situation with Verizon remains to be seen.

In the meantime, current Verizon users can bypass the blocks with the Tor browser or a VPN. We’ve also got some alternative anime torrent sites listed here.

June 11, 2021

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