EUROPE (CelebrityAccess MediaWire) — Police in 14 countries across Europe took part in a major coordinated raid on file sharing website hosts that may have been two years in the offing. According to TorrentFreak.com, the raid may have left the largest and most widely-used torrent sites such as BitTorrent only sporadically available or completely offline.
One of the sites hit in the raid was reportedly PRQ, a hosting site in Sweden that services the Wikileaks website. WikiLeaks has been in the news of late for releasing classified data pertaining to the U.S. military in Afghanistan and Iraq. PRQ has since denied that WikiLeaks servers were targeted in the raid but admitted that they did hand over email addresses associated with a list of IP addresses requested by the police.
According to Fast Company, other targets in the raid included sites in The Netherlands, Belgium, Norway, Germany, the U.K., The Czech Republic and Hungary. The sites that have been knocked offline or otherwise impaired include BitTorrent, The Pirate Bay, BTJunkie, Mediafire and Waffles.fm. Another invite-only music site that filled the niche left by Oink, is also down, but insiders tell Ars Technica that the outage is related to technical issues rather than the raid.
The primary focus of the raid appears to have been an informal international file sharing organization known as 'The Scene', which breaks copyright protection and distributes illicit copies of software, music and movies among its members.
Norwegian newspaper Aftenposten that one man has thus far been detained based on a traced IP address obtained during the raids. The man had allegedly been a participant in the file sharing organization via IRC (Internet Relay Chat) and will likely face criminal charges. – CelebrityAccess Staff Writers