Swedish Police raid Web Host PRQ

Swedish police raid former Web host for Pirate Bay, Wikileaks

Owner of Internet service provider PRQ believes police investigations into his company have to do with sites that deal in illegal file-sharing.

by Dara Kerr
October 1, 2012 7:14 PM PDT

The Swedish police seem to be going straight to the source in their battle against copyright infringement. According to Forbes, the country’s authorities raided the Stockholm-based Web host PRQ, which is known for hosting some of the most popular outlaw sites on the Internet, including the Pirate Bay, Wikileaks, the North America Man-Boy Love Association, Pedophile.se, and the Chechen rebel site Kavkaz Central.

It’s unclear why police raided PRQ, but its owner Mikael Viborg told the Swedish news outlet Nyheter24 that he believes the investigation had to do with intellectual property violations, according to TorrentFreak. Viborg also said he wasn’t sure which sites the authorities were after.

“Yes, they’re looking for four servers,” Viborg told Nyheter24. “It is the first time since 2010 they have done this.”

PRQ was raided twice before, once in 2006 and another time in 2010. Both raids had to do with investigations into allegedly illegal file-sharing. PRQ is known for having a “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy when it comes to hosting sites that are unpopular with the authorities.

“Generally we don’t know who our customers are,” Viborg told Forbes. “By Swedish law, we’re not required to.”

Apparently, PRQ no longer hosts the Pirate Bay, but the file-sharing site was coincidentally down today because of a power outage, according to TorrentFreak. In March, Swedish authorities requested that the hosting site Binero, where the Pirate Bay was registered at the time, divulge the personal details of whoever registered the site’s domain name. Binero refused to comply with the police requests unless a proper warrant was served.

According to TorrentFreak, two of the three Pirate Bay founders created PRQ in 2004. One of them, Gottfrid Svartholm Warg, was arrested in Cambodia last month and extradited back to Sweden. Once back in Europe, he was charged for participating in a cyberattack on Logica, an IT firm that services Sweden’s tax offices.

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