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McAfee Patents Tech That Could Block Access to Pirating Sites

by Adriana Lee | April 24, 2013April 24, 2013 11:30 pm PST


Torrenters and other piracy fiends, take note: Software security firm McAfee has patented a technology designed to discourage people — possibly even block them — from getting hold of illicit torrent files and ripped movies or music.

According to the patent filing titled “Detect and prevent illegal consumption of content on the internet,” the system would use a continuously updated blacklist of websites or links that are known sources of pirated content. McAfee is interested in integrating that into its SiteAdvisor toolbar, which would launch one or more actions whenever a visit to one of these sites is detected.

The system may issue a warning that the requested site may violate copyrights, inform users of places where they can purchase the content legally and/or block off access to the website entirely.

Warnings and prompts could be enough to dissuade unknowing users or occasional piraters. But nothing short of completely blocking off certain websites will work for hardcore users intent on getting their goods for free. So the masses probably wouldn’t rush to adopt this for their own personal use. However, it’s not hard to imagine employers, schools and parents flocking to this to curb illicit staff or adolescent behavior. As such, if this solution ever comes to market, it would be targeted toward both businesses and individuals.

Adriana Lee

Adriana is the resident writer-slash-culture vulture who has written about everything from smartphones, tablets, apps, accessories, and small biz...