The most popular torrent site in the world, KickassTorrents, has gone offline today. The alleged owner has been arrested in Poland at the request of the United States governments, and domain names connected to the site have been seized.
Artem Vaulin, a 30-year-old Ukranian living in Poland, is the suspected owner of the site and is facing extradition to the United States. He is facing two counts of criminal copyright infringement, one count of conspiracy to commit money laundering, and one count of conspiracy to commit criminal copyright infringement.
In a statement on the matter, assistant attorney general Leslie R. Caldwell stated that Vaulin is "charged with running today’s most visited illegal file-sharing website, responsible for unlawfully distributing well over $1 billion of copyrighted materials."
Authorities managed to arrest Vaulin by posing as a potential advertiser, which led to his bank account being exposed. Combined with cross-referencing IP addresses used to access various KickassTorrents accounts, the government believes they found the owner of the site.
Vaulin managed to keep KickassTorrents successfully operating for so long by hosting the site on a wide range of servers and domains. Whenever a copyright owner alleged infringement, KickassTorrents used a lengthy and confusing process in an attempt to keep as many torrents active as possible.
Right now it appears that all of KickassTorrents' domains and proxies are down. It's not clear when, or if, the site will return.