FBI and Apple Team Up to Shut Down KickassTorrents
Published Jul 21, 2016If you happen to consume your media via less-than-legal means, you may have noticed that one of your favourite websites recently disappeared from the web. KickassTorrents, a site that recently surpassed the Pirate Bay in popularity, is gone — and its alleged founder has been arrested.
As Torrent Freak reports, the presumed website founder Artem Vaulin was arrested in Poland, and the United States is requesting his extradition.
In a criminal complaint filed in Chicago, Vaulin was charged with conspiracy to commit criminal copyright infringement, conspiracy to commit money laundering and two counts of criminal copyright infringement.
In order to catch Vaulin, the FBI posed as a potential advertiser. Through that interaction, they found a bank account associated with the site.
Apple then cooperated with the FBI to hand over an IP address used for an iTunes transaction. The same IP address was later used to sign in to the KickassTorrents Facebook page.
Assistant Attorney General Leslie R. Caldwell said, "Vaulin is charged with running today's most visited illegal file-sharing website, responsible for unlawfully distributing well over $1 billion of copyrighted materials. In an effort to evade law enforcement, Vaulin allegedly relied on servers located in countries around the world and moved his domains due to repeated seizures and civil lawsuits. His arrest in Poland, however, demonstrates again that cybercriminals can run, but they cannot hide from justice."
Stay tuned for more information on the KickassTorrents arrest as it becomes available.