PRQ Police Raid Takes Down Dozens of File-Sharing Sites
Police have raided the Swedish hosting company PRQ today, possibly looking for servers connected to copyright infringement. PRQ was founded by Pirate Bay co-founders Gottfrid Svartholm and Fredrik Neij and is known to host or route many file-sharing sites. The target of the raid has not been confirmed by the authorities, but The Pirate Bay team informs TorrentFreak that they are no longer using PRQ’s services.
A raid against Swedish hosting company PRQ has been confirmed today. Due to the action by police many file-sharing and streaming sites are now down or inaccessible.
All sites hosted on the 80.88./19 net are currently unavailable, including but not limited to the torrent sites 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.
Many private BitTorrent sites that use PRQ’s services are also affected.
The PRQ raid coincided with downtime at The Pirate Bay but TorrentFreak is informed that this is unrelated. The Pirate Bay says it’s not using PRQ’s services and attributes the downtime to a power failure.
PRQ owner Mikael Viborg told Nyheter24 that the police were looking for particular hardware.
“Yes, they’re looking for four servers,” he said. “It is the first time since 2010 they have done this.”
The raid wasn’t plain sailing. The police first arrived on Monday hunting for hardware behind certain IP addresses. However, due to a technical error PRQ’s systems were down and the hardware could only be identified when the systems were restored today.
At this point in time Viborg cannot say which sites or services police are targeting, but he believes the investigation is related to intellectual property violations.
“No, I have not been told,” he said earlier. “Police are sitting in the office now but I have to wait until tomorrow. Then I can find out what is happening.”
Helena Ekstrand at the Prosecutor General’s Office said she was aware that a raid took place today but has no further information at this point.
This is not the first time that PRQ has been raided. In 2006 Swedish police confiscated 180 servers in The Pirate Bay raid, servers that mostly belonged to customers that were not connected to the BitTorrent site.
At this point it is unclear when the sites hosted or routed via PRQ will come back online.
Update: The PRQ website and several streaming sites are back. The majority of the other file-sharing sites remain offline for now. It’s still unknown what the target of the raid is.
Update: RLSLOG is back online and told TorrentFreak that they are not hosted at PRQ. They do use a routing service that uses PRQ’s services, but RLSLOG says the downtime was caused by an unrelated issue.
Update: TorrentHound informed us that they will return soon.
Update: The PRQ website has gone offline again.
Update: linkomanija.net and the sports streaming sites atdhenet.tv, hahasport.com, sportlemon.tv and stopstream.tv are back.