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WikiLeaks’ web host raided by Swedish police

Published time: October 02, 2012 14:58
Edited time: October 02, 2012 19:00
Image from brisbanewikileaksdefence.blogspot.com

Image from brisbanewikileaksdefence.blogspot.com

The Stockholm-based web host for WikiLeaks and The Pirate Bay has been raided by Swedish police. Four of the firm’s servers were seized, though it remains unclear exactly who was being targeted.

The Stockholm-based web host PeRiQuito AB, or PRQ, was targeted by police on Monday, the company’s owner Mikael Viborg told local media.

"PRQ.se, one of a number of ISPs used by WikiLeaks has been raided by Swedish police; 4 servers seized. Police still in office," WikiLeaks tweeted on Monday.

A large swatch of filesharing sites, including The Pirate Bay and PRQ’s own website have been down since the raid, though Viborg says the technical issues were unrelated to the seizure of the servers.

Other bittorrent sites which are currently unavailable include torrenthound.com, linkomanija.net and tankafetast.nu, release blog RLSLOG.net, and the sports streaming sites atdhenet.tv, hahasport.com, sportlemon.tv and stopstream.tv, Torrent Freak reports.

Viborg says the search warrant was related to intellectual property violations, though it remains unclear whose servers were impounded.

The Prosecutor General’s Office confirmed that a raid had taken place, but did not provide any additional information.

Several Swedish government agencies and businesses were the victims of cyber attacks in the days leading up to the raid. No one has claimed responsibility for the attacks, though Swedish police claim they are linked to the ongoing sex crimes investigation against WikiLeaks-founder Julian Assange.

PRQ became infamous for its maximalist approach to free speech issues concerning its policy on hosting.

Among its 2,000 or so clients, the firm has hosted WikiLeaks, the North America Man-Boy Love Association (NAMBLA), Pedophile.se, and the Chechen rebel site Kavkaz Central.

The Pirate Bay said PRQ is no longer their host, though Viborg said WikiLeaks was still hosted by PRQ as of last summer, Forbes reported.

“Even though I loathe what they say, I defend them,” Viborg told Forbes last August regarding his pro-pedophile clients. “We don’t cooperate with the authorities unless we absolutely have to.”

PQR was founded by The Pirate Bay members back in 2004 and has been raided by police on two separate occasions.

In 2006, Swedish police confiscated 180 servers in connection with an investigation targeting The Pirate Bay. A second raid occurred in 2010 targeting a filesharing network known as “The Scene.”

The Pirate Bay and PRQ co-founder Svartholm Warg was extradited to Sweden last month to serve a one-year sentence for breaching copyright laws. He is also being charged with hacking into the Swedish IT security company Logica, a firm that services the Swedish tax office. The tax numbers of 9,000 Swedes were later leaked online, making headlines around the country.

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