Anonymous says 'Expect us, Sweden' after police raid torrent host PRQ

Anonymous says 'Expect us, Sweden' after police raid torrent host PRQ

Summary: PRQ, the former web host for Wikileaks and The Pirate Bay, has gone offline after a copyright-related police raid, drawing threats of retaliation from hacktivist group Anonymous.

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TOPICS: Piracy, Legal, EU
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A clutch of torrent sites went offline Monday after Swedish police raided PRQ, the former web host of The Pirate Bay — prompting threats of retaliation from hacktivist group Anonymous.

Anonymous

The hosting company, famous for its 'no questions asked, no takedown' policy and previous home of Wikileaks, was raided late yesterday as part of an investigation into copyright infringement. The CEO of Stockholm-based PRQ, Mikael Nyborg, told Swedish news bureau TT that the police wanted to examine four of its servers.

Dozens of torrent sites were affected by the seizure of PRQ's servers, including Torrenthound.com, Linkomanija.net and several sports streaming sites, according to Torrent Freak.

The Swedish file-sharing site Tankafetast.se is thought to be the primary target of the PRQ raids, TT reported. The site appears to have taken itself offline, and its .com homepage now just links through to the Facebook page of Sweden's Pirate Party.

"We are party-independent, but on a grey day like today, it feels like the Pirate Party might be the only freedom fighter we have left in Sweden," TankaFetast.com said on its Facebook page.

PRQ, now back online after the raids, was established by two co-founders of The Pirate Bay, Fredrik Neij and Gottfrid Svartholm. Svartholm is being held in custody on suspicion of hacking Swedish IT service provider Logica, after being extradited from Cambodia last month and arrested upon arrival in Sweden.

Anonymous response

Like PRQ, The Pirate Bay has been down since Monday. However, according to a post on its Facebook page, the outage was caused by "power problems". "We have not been raided. We are not shutting down," it said.

Anonymous, which initially believed The Pirate Bay outage was caused by the PRQ raids, responded by posting a message on YouTube warning the Swedish government to "expect us". 

In the message posted on Monday, Anonymous took credit for a number of distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks on "Swedish government or affiliated sites" that occurred a month ago, and made threats to repeat the attacks in retaliation for the PRQ raid.

On Monday, several high-profile Swedish sites were simultaneously hit by a DDoS, which police suspect was launched in retaliation for Swedish prosecutors' efforts to extradite WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange. The websites affected belonged to three major banks in Sweden, the Swedish armed forces, news bureau TT, and Sweden's protection and preparedness agency MSB. It is not known if the attacks were launched by Anonymous.

Topics: Piracy, Legal, EU

Liam Tung

About Liam Tung

Liam Tung is an Australian business technology journalist living a few too many Swedish miles north of Stockholm for his liking. He gained a bachelors degree in economics and arts (cultural studies) at Sydney's Macquarie University, but hacked (without Norse or malicious code for that matter) his way into a career as an enterprise tech, security and telecommunications journalist with ZDNet Australia. These days Liam is a full time freelance technology journalist who writes for several publications.

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5 comments
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  • Let us do our illegal things in peace, or we'll take you down.

    sounds like what terrorist do.

    What does that make Anonymous?
    William Farrel
    • I see the point,

      Intentionally "taking down" government services with ddos attacks is definitely an attack on gevernment property. It's also a little silly; firstly because ddos isn't particularly big or clever; in hacking terms it's a bit like saying I couldn't pick the lock, so I went out and bought a hammer to smash it with. But also because the point at which you are more aware than ever that police search warrents are being issued, would pretty much be the time to lay low. But I suppose they have a point to prove, and a cause to defend; that they should be able to do whatever they like.

      It's just a mental attitude I've never been able to follow; how does the fact something exists as electonic data make it more okay to steal it than if it's in a box in a shop? Most of us have, at one time ir another downloaded or streamed pirated or copywrited content illegally, the same as most drivers have broken the laws of the road at some point, but that's not to say it's okay or should be allowed by the laws.

      Over the years I've heard all the arguments behind it; it always comes down to the same thing; "I want to do whatever I like, and it's wrong for there to be any consequencies" the biggest irony I've found in my years of IT is that nearly all of these evangelical pirates I've met are always working on a new way to make money without a job; a website, a scam, a peice of software, whatever, but always through making something they can sell... And boy do they get protective of their creations...
      MarknWill
      • You say that as if people never owned VCRs.

        Or never recorded the radio on a cassette tape. Hell, rental stores themselves are a bit like this (and you better believe people were all up in arms when those first came out). If someone steals a physical item from a shop, that shop loses money because of the loss of the product. If someone downloads something illegally, the original is still there. This put it into a wishy-washy area, because a lot of people will download something they have no intent (or indeed, CAN'T, due to lack of funds, availability, whatever) to ever buy, which leads to no loss of money for the creator. Now, obviously this isn't true of everybody, so there is a financial hit, but it's absolutely not 1 to 1.
        Aerowind
      • The problem of inverse supply and demand

        The "problem" with digital media is ofc that it throws the whole "supply and demand" thing on its head.

        If there for instace happens to be 10 boxes of something in a shop and someone takes one box, then there are only nine boxes left on the shelf.

        No matter if the box was removed by a someone stealing it or by someone buying it, the supply goes down and because of that the value of the remaining boxes go up (not that shops tend to set their prices day for day depending on the individual days inventory like that, but the principle around pricing follow these rules and does take these things into account on a greater scale). Its the simple supply and demand rule: the greater the demand, the smaller the supply. The more people want something the higher the value of that something gets, because there is fewer of that something available.

        If however there are 10 files of something and someone were to "take" one, then there is suddenly 11 files around.

        The more people want the file, the more it will be shared, the more instances of it there will be in the world. Nothing ever gets taken away, just added to. The principle here is really the inverse of the above: the greater the demand, the greater the supply. This ofc means that by the rules of supply and demand, the value of a digital file should go down the more people who has it. If we are talking about something hugely popular, like the latest single from a top rated band or artist or something like that, then the acctual value of that song ought to reach as close to 0 as to not really make a difference in a matter of days, hours or possibly even minutes of release.

        In fact, as long as there is as much as one single instance of digital media readily available, then the supply of that instance of media is per definition infinite and the value ought to reflect this. The only way to stop this automatic inflation is by artificially limiting the supply. By treating it like a physical object. Something it is not.
        Daniel Sjöberg
    • really?

      Sounds like world governments to me. @.DeusExMachina. is correct about your ability to miss the point
      robertmacewan