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Swedish police raid Stockholm web host

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Swedish police raid Stockholm web host
10:36 CEST+02:00
Swedish police on Monday raided Stockholm-based web hosting company PRQ – previous hosts to The Pirate Bay and whistle-blowing site WikiLeaks.

On Monday afternoon, Swedish police stormed into the offices of PeRiQuito AB (PRQ) in what is believed to be part of an investigation into filesharing violations.

“They came and picked up a few of the servers,” confirmed Mikael Viborg CEO of PRQ to news agency TT.

According to Viborg, the search warrant was related to intellectual property violations and he confirmed to that four servers were impounded in Monday's raid.

The raid meant that a number of PRQ-hosted filesharing sites, including torrenthound.com, linkomanija.net and tankafetast.nu were offline, according to tech news website TorrentFreak.

PRQ was started by Pirate Bay co-founders Gottfrid Svartholm Warg and Fredrik Neij and currently hosts or route several file sharing sites.

The raid came the same day that several Swedish government agencies and companies were hit by a cyber attack.

It is still unclear why the company was raided on Monday, but The Pirate Bay told TorrentFreak it is no longer hosted by PRQ.

PRQ has also served as a host for WikiLeaks , although the whistleblowing website reportedly stopped using the company in 2010.

However, according to Forbes magazine, Viborg had said WikiLeaks was still hosted by PRQ as of last summer.

One of the PRQ founders, Svartholm Warg, was arrested in Cambodia last month under suspicion of copyright crimes, and is also being charged with hacking into the Swedish IT security company Logica in the spring, accessing confidential information from the Swedish Tax Authority (Skatteverket).

However, internet researcher, Marcin de Kaminski told news website Nyheter24 that it is difficult to speculate what the police are looking for this time:

“PRQ are known to host things that no one else wants to host, no questions asked.There has been talk about paedophiles, Chechen rebel sites, filesharing pages and internet drugs. Any of these could be the target," he told the news site.

“Until we know what servers have been taken it is no point speculating.”

The raid came the same day as several Swedish government agencies and businesses had their websites crippled by a cyber attack.

While no one has claimed responsibility for the attacks, Swedish police have claimed they are likely connected to the ongoing case of WikiLeaks-founder Julian Assange, who is wanted in Sweden to face questioning in a sex crimes investigation but has thus far avoided extradition from the UK.

Monday's raid was not the first time that PRQ has been the target of Swedish authorities.

In 2006 Swedish police confiscated 180 servers, leading to the court case against The Pirate Bay and in 2010, when targeting an infamous filesharing network.

TT/The Local/rm

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