Police have raided sites in as many as 14 European countries in a file-sharing investigation. The operation is the culmination of several years of investigation. Several individuals were arrested and computers seized.
One of the inadvertent victims of the raid may have been the Pirate Bay which is currently unavailable. The Swedish ISP PRQ, which has been linked to the Pirate Bay, has been raided as well. However, the two events may be unrelated.
The operation, apparently coordinated by Belgium police forces, is aimed at taking down the Warez Scene, the secretive network of groups and servers at top of the file-sharing food chain.
Scene groups compete to be the first to make content available online, but this content is usually restricted to the private and secretive network.
However, releases typically filter down as those with access to the top servers then share the files on other sites and peer-to-peer networks.
There have been raids in The Netherlands, Belgium, Norway, Germany, Great Britain, Czech Republic, Hungary, Sweden and other countries.
Sweden saw the most activity, with seven locations, including two ISPs, being raided. A number of PCs and servers were confiscated and four people have been detained by the Swedish authorities.
The police also raided Umeå University and the ISPs PRQ and Phomera. The authorities say that all they needed was IP information at these sources and that no one suspected of file-sharing is associated with these organizations.
“At 9:00 this morning, five policemen were here,” PRQ’s Mikael Viberg told TorrentFreak. “They were interested in who were using two IP addresses from 2009 and onwards."
"We have no records of our clients but we’re handing over the e-mail addresses for those behind the IPs. However, it’s rare that our clients have mail addresses that are traceable,” he explained.
PRQ is also associated with Wikileaks, though the authorities have confirmed that the operation had nothing to do with the whistleblower site.