One of the most popular torrent sites online, Kickass Torrents (KAT), has just been taken offline after its founder was arrested in Poland by US authorities.
Ukrainian Artem Vaulin, who also served as the site’s main administrator, has been charged with one count of conspiracy to commit criminal copyright infringement, one count of conspiracy to commit money laundering, and two counts of criminal copyright infringement.
The US authorities claim that Vaulin has caused over $1 billion to copyright holders in damages, and now the US wants him extradited to face the charges Stateside.
According to Softpedia, “In addition to Vaulin’s arrest, authorities also seized bank accounts in Estonia and Latvia, servers located in Chicago, and Canada, along with some of KAT’s domains (kickasstorrents.com, kastatic.com, thekat.tv, kat.cr, kickass.cr, kickass.to, kat.ph).”
The website has historically been through a number of rough patches, with a number of its web address being blocked in many countries, and at one point even Google flagged it up as being malicious.
In order to gather evidence and information about how KAT operates, US federal agents apparently bought advertising on the website so that they could collect data about the site’s financial transactions.
The site issues them an email address hosted by Apple. The agents in turn then asked Apple to help them out in capturing Vaulin, which in turn provided a copy of his email inbox.
How big of a blow is it people who make use of torrent sites? Well, the site was so popular that it was the 69th biggest website on the internet in terms of traffic, and even bigger then the infamous The Pirate Bay – around 50 million unique users per month.
If you want to read through the arrest documentation and all the paperwork that goes with it, you can read it below:
[Image – CC by 2.0/junktimers]