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Pirate Bay on the move
Pirate Bay: We've set sail for North Korea

Pirate Bay: We've set sail for North Korea

Published: 05 Mar 2013 07:53 GMT+01:00
Updated: 06 Mar 2013 06:46 GMT+01:00

Filesharing site The Pirate Bay claims to have relocated to North Korea after legal threats led Sweden's Pirate Party to cut off the site's internet access.

However, experts later dismissed the purported North Korea move as a hoax.

"Today, a new chapter is written in the history of the movement, as well as the history of the internets," the popular filesharing site said in a statement released on Monday.

"Today we can reveal that we have been invited by the leader of the Republic of Korea, to fight our battles from their network."

The announcement comes just a week after the Swedish chapter of the Pirate Party, which had been hosting The Pirate Bay since 2010, decided to cut the site's internet access and instead provide connectivity via servers belonging to Pirate Party chapters in Norway and the Catalan region of Spain.

The Pirate Bay characterized their "virtual asylum" in North Korea as a "truly ironic situation".

"We have been fighting for a free world, and our opponents are mostly huge corporations from the United States of America, a place where freedom and freedom of speech is said to be held high," the group said.

"And to our help comes a government famous in our part of the world for locking people up for their thoughts and forbidding access to information."

However, experts cast doubt on The Pirate Bay's claims shortly after they were made public, explaining the site's IP address doesn't appear to trace back to Pyongyang.

A number of tech news outlets cite an analysis by a programmer based in Austria known as Will which takes the wind out of the pirates' claims, explaining he traced the address to a different location in Asia.

"I cannot certainly say where TPB is hosted now, but it must be Asia and it seems to be Phenom Penh, Cambodia," Will wrote.

According to the TorrentFreak tech news website, the North Korean routing scheme is likely used to "hide the Pirate Bay's true location".

"The cloud servers behind it are still believed to be hosted elsewhere in the world," TorrentFreak writes.

"The site does indeed route through a North Korean netblock at the moment. Whether it is sanctioned by the authorities, or if there is perhaps some hacking and hijacking trickery involved is unclear."

On Tuesday, Anna Troberg, head of the Pirate Party in Sweden took the media to task for reporting on the Pirate Bay's prank without first verifying the story.

"I'm a little surprised that so many fell for the hoax," she wrote in a blog post.

"The Pirate Bay is good at two things: at keeping their site up and at making fun of the establishment."

She also criticized "political know-it-alls" who took aim at the Pirate Party as being "dictator-lovers" in the wake of initial reports about the North Korea move that eventually proved to be false by net activists who "spent a little time digging".

"Within a few hours they had verified what many of us suspected from the beginning: The Pirate Bay is having a laugh," Troberg wrote.

By the end of Tuesday, The Pirate Bay announced on its Facebook page that the North Korea move was faked.

"We hope that yesterdays little hack proved that we know the internet better than our enemies. Since about 40 percent of the entire internets traffic consists of torrents enabled by us, you can almost say that we ARE the internets," they wrote.

"We've also learned that many of you need to be more critical. Even towards us. You can't seriously cheer the 'fact' that we moved our servers to bloody North Korea."

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