Swedish police raid hosting firm PRQ, takes down "pirate" websites

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Swedish police officers recently conducted a raid on web host PeRiQuito AB, or PRQ. Law enforcement officials confiscated four servers according to PRQ owner Mikael Viborg although it’s unclear at this hour which site(s) were hosted on the machines. Unsurprisingly, we are hearing that a number of file-sharing and streaming sites are currently offline. The owner suspects police were investigating intellectual property violations, according to a post on TorrentFreak.

The firm has been a hotbed for controversy for some time as they’ve played host to the Pirate Bay, Wikileaks, the North American Man-Boy Love Association, Pedophile.se and Chechen rebel website Kavkaz Central over the years. The raid coincided with downtime at the Pirate Bay but the team there has since confirmed they are no longer hosted with PRQ and as such, the timing was sheer coincidence. Interestingly enough, PRQ was created by Pirate Bay co-founders Gottfrid Svartholm and Fredrik Neij in 2004.

This is the third time that PRQ has been raided since its inception. Authorities obtained 180 servers in 2006 related to a case against the Pirate Bay. As it turns out, many of those servers belonged to customers that didn’t have any ties to the BitTorrent site. The hosting firm was again targeted in 2010 as part of an operation against file sharing network “the Scene.”

Viborg said he won’t know until tomorrow which sites the police were after. Helena Ekstrand, a spokesperson for the Prosecutor General’s Office, said she was aware of the raid but had no additional information to supply at this time.

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