Dutch Internet service provider XS4All, one of the largest European ISPs, provided a chart that reveals the incoming and outgoing BitTorrent traffic on its network from January 2012 to June 2012. The red line signifies February 1st, when Dutch ISPs were forced to block The Pirate Bay's website. Interestingly, the blockade did not hurt BitTorrent traffic it all, XS4All notes torrent traffic actually increased!
This news comes from XS4All, one of the largest European ISPs, which has published a graph of the network traffic associated with the BitTorrent protocol (pictured below). The left side of the graph is January 2012, the right side is June 2012, and the red line signifies February, when Dutch ISPs were ordered to block The Pirate Bay. While it’s hard to make a qualified decision without seeing data from 2011, it definitely seems like traffic hasn’t decreased — and might have even increased slightly. This data aligns with research from the University of Amsterdam, which also found that the Dutch Pirate Bay blockade had no effect on the total amount of BitTorrent traffic.
BitTorrent traffic, as seen by XS4AllThis data strongly conflicts with BREIN — the Dutch anti-piracy lobby — which, just a few days ago, announced with much jubilation that The Pirate Bay is now unreachable by 90% of Dutch users. How can there be such a disparity? There are three likely explanations: a) The UK and Dutch blockades created a lot of publicity (and no publicity is bad publicity); b) The Pirate Bay isn’t the only torrent site, and most torrents are available from multiple sites; and c) Veteran internet users are a lot more savvy than the RIAA, MPAA, and BREIN give them credit for — it’s awfully easy to circumvent the blockade with a proxy or VPN.