US accused of sinking The Pirate Bay

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Friday, June 2, 2006

The Pirate Bay logo

Debate about the raid on the world's largest Bittorrent site in Sweden continues. According to the Swedish public television network SVT, requests for the closure of "The Pirate Bay" were made at a meeting between the Swedish justice department, police and the U.S. government in April. U.S. officials presented issues relating to The Pirate Bay on behalf of the MPAA.

According to the SVT report, the Swedish justice department asked police to act, which allegedly claimed that the legality of The Pirate Bay was unclear. An official of Sweden's justice minister subsequently contacted the country's head procecutor and head of police, who ordered the raid. Debate is rife in Sweden about whether or not the Swedish justice minister should cave to US demand where the legality of the issue in Sweden is not clear. The justice minister has firmly denied SVT's story and having had any influence on the police action.

According to a statement on The Pirate Bay web site and interview with Slyck News, The Pirate Bay plans to have the site up and running within a few days. There is speculation that the new site will be running in a country other than Sweden.

Henrik Pontén of Sweden's IP protection organisation, Antipiratbyrån, said to Dagens Industri that the main target of the raid was the anti-copyright lobby organisation Piratbyrån and not The Pirate Bay. He has since claimed that he was misquoted.

The Pirate Bay's and Piratbyråns' sites were hosted by the Swedish company PRQ. According to a statement on PRQ's website, "all servers and network equipment was seized in an act of blatant abuse of power by public prosecutor Håkan Roswall". PRQ accuses the police of not only seizing servers hosting The Pirate Bay and Piratbyrån, but also other servers which were unrelated to the two sites. PRQ is planning to sue the Swedish government to get their hardware back and for compensation of economic losses. According to IDG, 9 other sites were taken offline when police seized PRQ's equipment. Expressen.se writes that owners of PRQ were running The Pirate Bay as a hobby project and that was the reason why all servers were seized.

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