In honor of tomorrow’s anti-SOPA black out, I am going to teach you how to illegally download material with the lowest likelihood of getting caught. I do offer this caveat: no system is foolproof. I am not responsible if you get caught doing this. This method is pretty damned safe (as you’ll learn below), but we’re dealing with some shifty bastards here. I am not condoning the pirating of copyrighted information; I am opposing the censorship of information. You don’t need to do this, but you need to know how to do this. It’s like hot-wiring a car or picking a lock. The entertainment industry is using our government as an enforcing arm for its private interests. Fuck that noise.
Step 1: Download (and install) uTorrent for Windows, Mac, or Linux.
uTorrent is a BitTorrent client. BitTorrent is a protocol for downloading large files from the Internet. You know these files as movies, music, and software. This method of file sharing connects a user to a “swarm,” which allows him/her to simultaneously download a single file from multiple computers. This allows for optimal speed and lowers the amount of compromised resources on each machine.
Step 2: Join (and install) BTGuard.
For a mere $6.95 per month, you can virtually guarantee yourself anonymous downloading. Using the proxy service BTGuard provides makes it appear as though you’re downloading files from another country (typically Canada or Germany). The company keeps no records of anything, so, even in the event their records are seized, you will not be at risk.
Step 3: Make BTGuard and uTorrent play nice.
This article details how to set up the two programs to get them running in harmony. Lifehacker puts it much better than I ever could.
Step 4: Find a torrent.
Torrents, simply put, are BitTorrent metadata. They contain all the information uTorrent needs to download a specific file. To be extra-secure, use a web-based proxy to access your torrent site. How the fuck do you do that? I thought you’d never ask.
Go to: HideMyAss.com. This site, in essence, does the same thing as BTGuard, only for your web browser. It’s an excellent resource for accessing restricted websites at work or school (fun for the whole family!). It bypasses any web restrictions that might be in place on your network and funnels traffic through a server in a foreign country
Inside of the HideMyAss.com window, go to: http://www.torrentz.eu. Torrentz is the best site for finding public torrents. It aggregates data from all across the Internet. Simply search for a movie, book, album, or whatever and hit enter. It’ll bring up a list of matching results and the sites where the torrent files can be downloaded. When you get to the hosting site (which might be something like The Pirate Bay), look for a link that says “Download Torrent” or “Open Magnet Link.” Once the torrent is downloaded (or the magnet clicked upon), uTorrent should do the rest.
Now you’re stealing media from the entertainment industry and there isn’t much they can do about it. This is what SOPA claims to prevent on a surface level. Seems pretty specific, doesn’t it? Why does the law need to be so far reaching that it can result in the shutting down of any site hosting links to pirated material? Have we already forgotten the public outcry when we learned that Google was abiding by Chinese laws that restricted citizen access to information? This, friends, is the same fucking thing.
Call your representatives. Stop SOPA. Stop PIPA. Stop OPEN.