Site blocking efficacy: Australia

21 Feb 2018

This report was produced for Australian Screen Association (ASA) to give an initial assessment of the efficacy of the site blocking of 5 sites implemented in Australia in December 2016, using data from 1 October 2016 up to 31 March 2017.

The report is split into two sections. Part one of the report analyses the impact of site blocking on the sites which have been blocked so far within the country. The usage changes of these sites in Australia is then compared against global usage to evaluate the effectiveness of blocking in relation to each other and to the usage of a global control group.

Part two focuses on the piracy landscape in Australia specifically. This section provides data and analysis regarding the piracy landscape in the country, looking at the most used content infringing sites in the region.

The key points from this report are as follows:

• Site blocking in Australia has resulted in an overall usage reduction of 71.7% to the 5 sites affected by the blocking order when comparing usage in March 2017 to December 2016 when blocking was implemented, and by 72.1% since October 2016. This finding is consistent with usage patterns identified in other countries where usage decreases by around 70% initially;

• The usage of the top 50 sites in Australia has decreased by 7.7% since October 2016. The decreased usage of the now blocked Pirate Bay has contributed to this;

• The percentage of traffic to the blocked sites via proxies has increased by 43% since December 2016, when the blocking regime began. Usage of proxies has also increased in Australia over this period, this increase is primarily due to uptake in the usage of dedicated Pirate Bay proxies to circumvent the blocking of the site. Though proxies display an increase, the combined usage of the blocked sites and their associated proxies has decreased by 59.6% since blocking began in December 2016

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