Blocking of (my website) via the Piracy Shield Platform

Hello, yesterday evening I received following email from [email protected] but I do not recognize the IP 188.114.97.7 and I wonder if it is any CDN IP of my website or this message is a fake. Please advise.

Message I received:

Blocking of (my website) via the Piracy Shield Platform

On Saturday, February 24, 2024, a Cloudflare IP address was blocked in Italy through the Italian government’s Piracy Shield system. As a result of this action, Internet users in Italy were unable to access tens of thousands of websites. Although the block was removed within hours because of the number of innocent sites affected, we have identified your website as one that appears to have been temporarily blocked.

The Italian Media Regulator (Autorità per le Garanzie nelle Comunicazioni, AGCOM) provides interested parties, including the managers of websites and pages, the right to lodge a complaint regarding blocks implemented through the Piracy Shield Program. Cloudflare believes it is important to document the collateral damage caused by IP blocking in order to expand government awareness of the risks of the practice and hopefully prevent future overblocking. If you would like to submit a complaint, you can submit your own complaint to [email protected] and [email protected], as laid out on the AGCOM website.

To assist you, we have prepared the below template email, in both English and Italian, that may be used to submit your complaint to AGCOM:

Template email to AGCOM:

Re: Blocking of (my website) via the Piracy Shield platform

We write to file a complaint regarding the blocking action ordered by the Autorità per le Garanzie nelle Comunicazioni (AGCOM) of IP address 188.114.97.7 on Saturday, February 24, which rendered our website (my website) inaccessible to Internet users in Italy. While we understand that the blocking order under AGCOM’s Piracy Shield was intended to prevent copyright infringement, our website does not infringe copyright and has never been accused of copyright infringement.

We formally complain about this action and request that AGCOM take immediate steps to prevent any future blocking of our website and other innocent websites.

Re: Provvedimenti di blocco Piracy Shield / blocco del sito (my website)

Scriviamo per presentare un reclamo in merito al blocco ordinato dall’Autorità per le Garanzie nelle Comunicazioni, sabato 24 febbraio 2024, dell’indirizzo IP 188.114.97.7 24, che ha reso il nostro sito web (my website) inaccessibile agli utenti Internet in Italia. Pur comprendendo che l’ordine di blocco previsto da “Piracy Shield” di AGCOM era finalizzato a prevenire la violazione del diritto d’autore, segnaliamo che il nostro sito web non viola il diritto d’autore e non è mai stato accusato di simili illeciti.

Ci doliamo formalmente di questa iniziativa e chiediamo che AGCOM voglia prendere provvedimenti immediati per prevenire qualsiasi futuro blocco del nostro sito e di altri siti web conformi alla legge.

Hi @kamil.ostolski,

You’re receiving this email because one of your Cloudflare zones (only those with the orange cloud activated in DNS settings) is using the 188.114.97.7 Cloudflare Anycast IP.

The Italian authorities AGCOM require all ISPs (Internet Service Providers) operating in Italy to block certain IPs due to piracy compliance violations. This activity is governed by the “Piracy Shield” Law.

Probably this IP is also being used by another Cloudflare DNS zone that violates the Piracy Shield. Authorities require ISPs to block the entire IP along with all other associated domains.

More info here:

2 Likes

Hi @andp97
Thanks for confirming.

2 Likes

I already sent the email.
Hope this is not happening again.

I got exactly the same. I am an admin of a community site (a forum) which I am sure has no copyright violating content. The email contains no details or clues.

One of the two Italian addresses bounces back anyway and so does the Cloudflare address it came from!!!

I wonder if this is purely malicious?

Only perhaps on Cloudflare’s part to influence behavior. Like their previous IsBGPsafeYet campaign it tells half a story and encourages non-technical users to draw to conclusions based on it.

Oligarchs are gonna oligarch.

I have many years ago been summarily blocked by an ISP (Clara, UK) following a copyright claim. It turned out to be bogus, but it caused a lot of trouble because in the UK, the ISP owned the phone line and thus you could not move to another ISP to get the connection back. It was a deal between BT and the ISPs. I finally did it by terminating the phone number :slight_smile:

So this is potentially dangerous. It just takes someone malicious (in Italy in this case) to file a copyright breach claim and suddenly your site is gone. Fortunately I still own my DNS control panel…

No decent ISP behaves like that though and I am sure CF would not either. Anyway it sounds like there were a huge number of CF IPs blocked by Italy.

Q.E.D.

Not saying that there aren’t serious issues with copyright enforcement or the Italian system in place, just that by not providing sufficient context and encouraging users to reach out to protest Cloudflare is pushing a narrative that benefits them.

How does the narrative benefit CF?

CF is providing a valuable service, for free for many of us.

It just takes some 1d1ot to claim copyright infringement, with absolutely no details provided…

What was the claim that led to the block? Was it a valid one? Cloudflare doesn’t say because they don’t know. Nor do they describe the system they are asking you to protest against, thus you’ve assumed there are no checks and balances.

Is it malicious? :person_shrugging:Intentional? Without a doubt.

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