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Turns out The Pirate Bay’s servers weren’t seized after all

By | Published on Tuesday 22 September 2015

The Pirate Bay

Remember when The Pirate Bay went offline for two months after Swedish authorities seized the always controversial file-sharing site’s servers?

So, turns out that never actually happened. Well, the site did go offline for nearly two months, you didn’t dream that. But, say the people currently running the site, only one of their servers was ever seized, and much of the subsequent downtime was precautionary and about refining the service’s back-end operations.

This is according to key TPB overseers who have spoken to Torrentfreak. They say that the headline grabbing server raid that preceding the Bay going offline last December didn’t actually affect any of their servers, with the authorities – deliberately or by mistake – taking machines hosting another piracy operation called EZTV.

However, a Pirate Bay moderator was arrested at the same time, and one server used by the piracy service was taken by the authorities at another location, which contained a platform through which the file-sharing site’s moderators communicated. It was a fear that other moderators could now be targeted by the authorities that led to the whole of The Pirate Bay going offline.

With the authorities themselves issuing relatively little information about the raid and arrest last year, it’s hard to know exactly what went down. Though it did seem odd at the time that one server raid could knock the whole Pirate Bay offline, given the people behind the site had made much in the preceding years about how cloud hosting and other refinements in the way the service works had made it “raid proof”.

Says Torrentfreak regarding why it then took two months for the Bay to get back online: “The TPB team feared that the locations of the servers could have been compromised as well and prepared to move everything over to new cloud hosting providers. Relocating the site proved to be harder than initially anticipated though. In fact, technical challenges were one of the main reasons for the long downtime”.

Those running the piracy site say they have waited this long to explain what went down late last year because they wanted to be certain that their operations hadn’t been “compromised” by the authorities’ actions.