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ThePirateBay comes down due to international pressure

Several days ago, under pressure from the MPAA and other media groups, the Swedish National Criminal Police (SNCP) raided datacenters housing ThePirateBay.org (TPB) servers. TPB is considered the largest BitTorrent aggregator for pirated software.  However, Swedish law does not prevent TPB from hosting the sort of material that it does. The SNCP seized servers belonging to ThePirateBay.org effectively shutting down the popular torrent tracking site.

The SNCP seized the servers as part of an investigation in to alleged copyright infringement being committed by ThePirateBay.org; however the investigators openly admit that they are unsure if a crime has been committed under Swedish law by TPB at this point.

The seizures seem to have been far reaching, impacting all servers hosted by PRQ and not just those belonging to TPB and customers of PRQ are crying foul over the SNCPs actions to seize their servers which were completely unrelated to TPB’s activities. Even though the servers were clearly marked and TPB was the target of the warrant, which someone has posted on Flickr.

The MPAA yesterday released a press release (PDF) praising the actions taken by Swedish authorities however it appears that the celebration may be short lived as TPB has reportedly already purchased replacement hardware and found hosting outside of Sweden and may be operational again in the next few days.

As of yesterday, a message on TPB front page claimed the following:

SITE DOWN - WILL BE UP AND FULLY FUNCTIONAL WITHIN A DAY OR TWO

Since the site was removed, a number of hack-related retaliations have sprung up, including a major denial of service attack that took down the official Swedish Police websiteArs Technica has the scoop on several other retaliations.

Update 6/3/2006:  It appears that ThePirateBay.org is back online after its brief outage. The site has a new IP address which now resolves to 85.17.40.38. A quick whois on the IP indicates that the 85.x.x.x netblock is currently owned by leaseweb.com which is located in Amsterdam and no longer at 83.140.176.135, TPB's previous home.





"I'd be pissed too, but you didn't have to go all Minority Report on his ass!" -- Jon Stewart on police raiding Gizmodo editor Jason Chen's home




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