Police in Sweden carried out a raid in Stockholm today, seizing servers, computers, and other equipment. At the same time The Pirate Bay and several other torrent-related sites disappeared offline. Although no official statement has been made, TF sources confirm action against TPB.
For many years The Pirate Bay has been sailing by the seat of its pants so any downtime is met with concern from its millions of users.
This morning, for the first time in months, The Pirate Bay disappeared offline. A number of concerned users emailed TF for information but at that point technical issues seemed the most likely culprit.
However, over in Sweden authorities have just confirmed that local police carried out a raid in Stockholm this morning as part of an operation to protect intellectual property.
“There has been a crackdown on a server room in Greater Stockholm. This is in connection with violations of copyright law,” read a statement from Paul Pintér, police national coordinator for IP enforcement.
Police are staying quiet on the exact location of the operation and the targets involved but the fact that the national police IP chief is involved at this early stage suggests something sizable.
In addition, expert file-sharing case prosecutor Fredrik Ingblad has commented on the raid, further adding weight to the incident.
“There were a number of police officers and digital forensics experts there. This took place during the morning and continued until this afternoon. Several servers and computers were seized, but I cannot say exactly how many,” Ingblad told SR.
Ingblad would not be drawn on any arrests during the operation but TorrentFreak has learned that police may have detained at least one man connected to the site.
While it seems certain that The Pirate Bay has been targeted today, it was not the only casualty. Several other torrent related sites including EZTV, Zoink, Torrage and the Istole tracker are also down.
Update: The Pirate Bay’s forum Suprbay.org is also offline. The same goes for Bayimg.com and Pastebay.net.
Update: According to the police the raid targeted a data center in Nacka which is built into a “mountain.” This suggests that the raid took place at Portlane (pdf).
Breaking news story, more as we have it.
Pirate site The Pirate Bay goes down, then sails for Costa Rica
However, at least a placeholder is alive on a Costa Rican domain—though not much more than that.
TorrentFreak first noted the outage. The site’s reporters said that they had received a statement from Paul Pintér, Sweden’s police national coordinator for IP enforcement, claiming that there had been a raid on a server room owned by The Pirate Bay at a site in Stockholm.
According to earlier reporting from the site, however, The Pirate Bay had moved to a cloud-based infrastucture that used 21 “virtual servers” controlled by a load balancer. The idea, according to The Pirate Bay, was that the distributed architecture would make it “raid-proof,” as the site could simply be moved from domain to domain. Whether that’s the case or not, time will tell.
The Pirate Bay’s Twitter feed has gone dark since Dec. 3. Related sites, such Suprbay.org, are also offline, as are Bayimg.com and Pastebay.net. The mobile version of The Pirate Bay, themobilebay.org, also timed out when PCWorld tried to access it.
Want to learn more about the history of The Pirate Bay? Check out the timeline that TechHive constructed last year.
Why this matters: The Pirate Bay has served both as a rallying point both for those who are too cheap to pay for electronic media as well as more civic-minded folk who used the site as a form or protest against increasingly draconian copyright laws.The Pirate Bay has always touted itself as the “most resilient” pirate site on the Web; we’ll find out exactly how resilient over the course of the next few days, it seems. HaTTiP
Pirate Bay, EZTV Down: Torrent Sites Offline For Prolonged Period Amid Increased Scrutiny Of Illegal Downloading
The Pirate Bay, the Swedish file-sharing site best known for facilitating illegal media downloads over the past 11 years, was knocked offline Tuesday, with users complaining that the usually reliable site was unavailable for more than six hours. No reason for the downtime at thePirateBay.se could be immediately confirmed, though the outage coincided with another popular torrent site, EZTV, being inaccessible.
Complaints first surfaced on social media, with Swedish media sites reporting that the international outage may have been caused by a European police raid on a crucial Pirate Bay data center. Yet concern among pirates came only days after Pirate Bay proxy and mirror services were removed from the Google Play Store.
Update (3:36 p.m. EST): Swedish authorities have confirmed to TorrentFreak that a raid took place in Stockholm early Tuesday as part of a larger effort to protect intellectual property.
“There were a number of police officer and digital forensic experts there,” said Swedish file-sharing prosecutor Fredrik Ingblad, as quoted by TorrentFreak. “This took place during the morning and continued until this afternoon. Several servers and computers were seized, but I cannot say exactly how many.”
Such downtime is fairly common, but nervous downloaders usually find that their favorite sites are back online after maintenance repairs, though in this case the panic had yet to subside after an inordinate amount of time.
“Today’s issue are a little more widespread,” the piracy news site TorrentFreak reported. “In addition to the Pirate Bay, other torrent-related sites such as EZTV, Zoink, Torrage and the Istole tracker are down too. This suggests that there’s a broader technical issue at play.”
A number of domain-tracking sites — including Is It Down Right Now? and CurrentlyDown.com — assert that the Pirate Bay outage applies to international users rather than a single, limited area. Recent outages on Nov. 8 and Sept. 17 lasted for 20 minutes and 50 minutes, respectively.
Along with Google’s decision to proactively remove the piracy apps from its Play Store, this prolonged outage comes amid increased scrutiny on the piracy behemoth, which attracts untold millions of viewers every day. Two of the site’s three original founders have been incarcerated recently, while the third was released from a Swedish prison in November. Their arrests coincided with a lawsuit filed against the Pirate Bay in the site’s normally hospitable home country, which demanded that the site be taken offline for good. HaTTiP
The Pirate Bay and several other torrent websites temporarily disappeared from the internet on Tuesday. Reports say the sites were downed in a raid by Swedish police, which seized servers, computers, and equipment of previously elusive web pirates.
The Pirate Bay site appeared back online late on Tuesday, changing its web domain to .cr (Costa Rica). Prior to that, however, it was reportedly unavailable for hours.
“There has been a crackdown on a server room in Greater Stockholm. This is in connection with violations of copyright law,” police national coordinator for IP enforcement, Paul Pintér, said in a statement, as quoted by TorrentFreak.
Other details are being kept under wraps, including the location of the operation and exact targets.
The operation took place in the morning and lasted into the afternoon, expert file-sharing case prosecutor Fredrik Ingblad told Radio Sweden (SR).
“There were a number of police officers and digital forensics experts there. This took place during the morning and continued until this afternoon. Several servers and computers were seized, but I cannot say exactly how many,” Ingblad said.
There are reports of at least one man being detained in connection to the case, according to TorrentFreak.
Swedish Metro reported that Ingblad initiated the police effort.
Other sites reportedly downed by the raid include EZTV, Zoink, Torrage, and the Istole tracker.
The Pirate Bay’s forums were also offline, including Suprbay.org, Bayimg.com, and Pastebay.net.
In November, police arrested the third and final co-founder of The Pirate Bay, Hans Fredrik Lennart Neij, who spent four years on the run from authorities.
The 36-year-old Swede, known in hacking communities as ‘TiAMO,’ was on his way to Thailand with his Laotian wife when he was detained at a border checkpoint in Nong Khai under a warrant issued by Interpol.
Earlier in September, The Pirate Bay announced new cloud technology which made its servers “raid proof,” adding that the 21 “virtual machines” (VMs) were scattered around the globe with cloud-hosting providers.
The cloud technology reportedly made the site more portable and made the torrent harder to take down.