KickassTorrents owner gets pinched; awaits extradition to U.S.

Entertainment / Movies / Music / Tech / TV

Just days after a French high court decided that Bing and Google shouldn’t censor torrents from search results, the owner of the largest torrent site on the web (KickassTorrents) gets pinched in Poland. KickassTorrents was started back in 2008 when The Pirate Bay was going hot and heavy. After The Pirate Bay was unceremoniously chopped at the knees, KickassTorrents took the mantel of the largest torrent site on the web in 2015. The irony of Vaulin’s capture is it was accomplished with a legitimate iTunes purchase and not through file sharing.

Vaulin was captured in Poland and is being held and charged with criminal copyright infringement and money laundering. He is being accused of reproducing and sharing approximately $1 billion dollars worth of copyrighted material. It took a few agencies and companies working together to track down and find Vaulin including the US Department of Homeland Security, the Internal Revenue Service, Facebook and Apple. The operation began with a fake ad being ordered and placed on the KickassTorrent site that directed visitors to an undercover site setup by the government.

After gathering evidence about several domain names and WHOIS information the government approached Facebook and Apple for data it needed in the investigation. The data provided confirmed the data gathered through the fake ad placed on the Kickass site and it was enough to find Vaulin’s location and initiate an arrest. Vaulin was captured in Poland and is awaiting to be extradited to the United States to face the charges the U.S. government has on him.

Homeland Security has already asked that the seven KAT domains named in the complaint are forfeited for their role in facilitating piracy. Verisign is expected to seize the .com and .tv domains, while Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty (MLAT) requests will be sent to registrars in Costa Rica, Tonga and the Philippines. Homeland Security then expects those sites to be redirected to a server of its choosing.

While KickassTorrents is still up, it’s likely that won’t last long now that the government has the operator and is taking control of domain names. What do you think of Vaulin’s capture? Let us know in the comments below or on Twitter, Facebook and Google+.

  Source: Engadget
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