The Pirate Bay Issue - English Translation

Thursday, June 01, 2006

The police took the wrong servers

Säkerhet & Sekretess, a swedish computer magazine focused on security, has published this article. In short, it's about all the servers that were taken in the raids, even though they had no connection to The Pirate Bay at all.

*** *** *** Start translation
The Police seized the wrong servers in the raid against The Pirate Bay

The police has seized many servers not affiliated with The Pirate Bay. But the police refuses to even reveal who, what or what the raid was directed at.

The police took many servers during the raid yesterday. Neither the prosecutor* Håkan Roswall nor the press contact of the police will reveal at who the razzia was really targeted. As it seems, the police went in and seized all the servers in the perimiter, without determining to whom they belonged.

One of the servers confiscated by the police was a Counter Strike gaming server owned by the gaming association Birdie.org, which was physically residing in one of the web service providers the police raided. Another was a private server run by Lezgin Bakircioglu [See the article translated from SvD].
- The gaming server was the prize in a competition held in Uppsala during the weekend. Fifteen 16-year olds had just won it. It was their machine, Lezgin Bacircioglu says.

The prosecutor*, Håkan Roswall, says he can't even answer the question on who or what the razzia was targeted.

According to Port 80 that had servers of The Pirate Bay in their server rooms, the search warrant said The Pirate Bay was the target. According to a source close to Henrik Pontén [head lawyer of Antipiratbyrån, sorely hated by swedish file sharers], the target was the web service provider PRQ. On the web site of The Pirate Bay, it says the police showed a search warrant on The Pirate Bay, and that they [the police] were shown which servers belonged to The Pirate Bay. Despite the fact that these servers were clearly marked [as being TPB], the police also brought servers belonging to Piratbyrån with them. According to The Pirate Bay, they are separate organisations.

Police spokesman Ulf Göranzon says:
- There is an investigation in progress, and we can't reveal under which circumstances we struck, or against whom. The purpose is to secure evidence to investigate suspicions of crime against the copyright law. The investigation is protected by law of secrecy, says Ulf Göranzon.

The police have published a web site where they encourage people who have had their servers seized to call 08-401 04 11 or fax a description of the server and its contents to 08-401 04 14. Since not even to staff answering that phone will tell us what the raids were all about, it's hard to know who can claim their innocence. Anyone wanting their property back will just have to call and hope they're not suspected of copyright crimes.

Säkerhet & Sekretess encourages everyone affected by this razzia to contact us. Among these are regular citizens who have had their e-mail [server?] confiscated, their web shops closed down, their World of Warcraft guild web page eradicated, and the british company Gameswitch, which has written a very critical protest against the seizure of their servers from PRQ by the swedish police. One of the employees of Gameswitch says equipment worth 90 000 crowns [about US $12 200], and the police won't answer their questions. They only have an invitation to fax in their information to the prosecutor about what their machine contains.

Among the sites that are gone are:

http://www.snabbstart.com
http://www.fragbite.com
http://www.istheshit.net
http://www.planka.nu
http://www.snatta.nu

http://www.anstalten.nu
http://www.prq.se
http://www.muffinmiltia.net
http://www.ccnordic.net

Many of those who have contacted us are upset as they feel as though they were criminals simply because they placed their servers at a low-price company.

Jonas Eriksson from Umeå writes:

I've been in contact with the police, but the only reply I got was that I had to send a fax in, and they would determine if the release of my server was to be prioritized. This is because they're low on resources.

You'd think that "You've taken my server without any just cause. Give it back before jk [justitiekanslern, an instance for reviewing actions of the law enforcement] eats you alive" would be sufficient, but apparantly not in this case. Furthermore, it's higly notable that the police performed a raid which is bigger than they can handle themselves.

Apparantly, the police, in spite of clearly marked servers, have clearly crossed the line concerning what servers were seized. The reason for this can only be speculated in. A broad definition? Incompetent investigators? A conspiracy of Antipiratbyrån, who are rumoured to have been represented both now and at the raid at the Internet service provider Bahnhof a year ago?

Another reader writes:

We are struck by this, and have no relation to TPB or any "Piracy activities" whatsoever. Our service were planned to be launched withing 2 weeks, and is mainly directed to an audience with an interest in computer games, with some news and a community. The servers are using unix and open source code exclusively.

We chose prq about a month ago, mostly because of their priceworthy operation service. I called the police yesterday and was told to write and fax a letter to them. I [have] done that, and I'm waiting for an answer about what's going on with my servers.

Fabian Mossberg writes:

I run a community called Anstalten.nu, and we're about 120 000 members wondering what the police's interest in our servers is. A meeting place on the web for youth, where you can discuss politics, friendship, music, books and movies. There has been no illegal content on our site, and, most importantly, we have absolutely NO connection to PirateBay, except the fact that we APPARANTLY were located at the same place.

For us operating these sites this means big problems. Partly because we lose out on all the new members (about 2-3 hundred a day), but more importantly, all our active members are finding other places to hang out right nu, and there's a risk that we'll be losing members. This is critical to us.

I thought Sweden was a democracy, a country where the work of the police force worked, but here, many young business owners have been sorely aware of the ignorance of the police. Photos of The Pirate Bay's servers have been available on their site, so it shouldn't have been hard to identify those.

PLEASE, help us to spread this problem through the news reports!

This article will be updated as we get more information.
*** *** *** End translation

Notes
*Prosecutor is åklagare. The original article said kammaråklagare. I don't think there's much of a difference, though.

I won't be updating the translation. The additions will probably be the list of web sites that are down, so check the list in the original article out every now and then.

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