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IP addresses from Vatican linked to internet porn downloads

Data from a torrent monitoring website finds that addresses linked to the Holy See have been downloading explicit material.

Image: Alessandra Tarantino/AP

AN ANALYSIS OF online users of various torrenting websites has found links between internet users in the Vatican and downloads of explicit adult materials.

Torrent news website TorrentFreak says data supplied by the torrent-logging service ScanEye shows regular internet downloads from the Vatican, the headquarters of the Catholic Church.

The downloads mostly relate to TV shows like the US drama Chicago Fire and the supernatural British series Lightfields – and relatively few downloads of recent Hollywood films, which typically make up a lot of internet torrent traffic.

It said the only films that appeared in the Vatican’s download list were the Arnold Schwarzenegger film ‘The Last Stand’, crime drama ‘Snitch’ staring Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson, and the 2003 film ‘Love Actually’.

However, among the titles being downloaded by the Vatican’s IP addresses this year were several adult titles, which are detailed by Gawker.

Journalist Gerard O’Connell told Newstalk’s Breakfast show that the Vatican had questioned the source of the claim, remarking that it had come from only one source and that it had not been substantiated or supported by a second source.

O’Connell also noted that the Vatican had allowed the 6,000 journalists who visited to cover the resignation of Pope Benedict XVI, and the subsequent conclave which elected Pope Francis, to use its internet services freely and without major restriction.

TorrentFreak’s data, however, showed that the two adult titles had been downloaded in mid-January and early February – a week before Benedict surprised the world by announcing his plans to step down from the papacy. This would suggest that the downloads are unlikely to be attributable to a journalist visiting for the conclave.

ScanEye’s data for Irish torrent use for yesterday, April 9, shows the top five most popular downloads as Kodaline’s EP ‘High Hopes’, a Lego version of the Batman movie, video of last weekend’s UFC event which included Irish fighter Conor McGregor, and the latest episodes of ‘Teen Mom 2′ and ‘Dallas’.

Read: Filesharing defendant tells court: ‘You can’t put copyright on porn’

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