Sweden’s anti-piracy organisation, Antipiratbyrå (APB), established to combat the illegal downloading of copyright-protected films and games, has been accused of illegally downloading copyright-protected films and games – in an attempt to plant evidence against internet service provider Bahnhof.
The APB was behind a raid against Bahnhof two weeks ago, which resulted in the confiscation of servers containing thousands of film, music and games files. APB lawyer Henrik Pontén declared that “this is just the start” and brazenly admitted that the organisation had used a paid infiltrator at Bahnhof.
But on Tuesday Bahnhof released the results of its own internal investigation. According to managing director Jon Karlung, the APB infiltrator had himself carried out over 68,000 uploads and downloads of copyright-protected material on Bahnhof’s servers.
“How can the Antipiratbyrå, which in the form of a lobby organisation works to stop the file-sharing culture, actively pay a person to upload thousands of copyright-protected files to a server which, with the help of the authorities, they then allow to be confiscated,” said Jon Karlung.
“It’s like handing out matches and petrol to a known pyromaniac and then reporting him to the police when he burns a house down.”
The infiltrator had even bought extra hardware for the servers so that there was room for all the files, which included most of the games and films that were released in 2004.
“We have evidence. We have saved the logfiles and chat messages between the infiltrator and the technician,” said Karlung.
Bahnhof has now released the log files to the media and is considering whether to report the matter to the police.
As Expressen pointed out, if APB were found to have planted evidence then individuals there would be facing charges of incitement to commit a crime and of being an accessory to that crime.
That would be another blow to the APB which, since its triumphant international press release announcing the raid on Bahnhof, has found itself the subject of investigations by the Swedish Data Inspection Board and the National Post and Telecom Agency.
The organisation is accused of breaking personal data laws by checking and registering “IP addresses”, unique identifiers for every computer on the internet, as well as laws governing electronic communication.
Shortly after the Bahnhof raid the APB web site was hacked and Henrik Pontén was the subject of a “hate-sms” campaign.
On Tuesday Henrik Pontén was reluctant to comment on Bahnhof’s allegations:
“It’s not a good idea to comment just now. The statement which has been made requires that we really look at this in depth. There are a lot of logfiles to investigate.”