MANILA, Philippines – Popular torrent file site Kickass Torrents (KAT) appeared to be offline after United States authorities announced it had arrested the alleged owner of the site.
Torrenting news website TorrentFreak reported on Thursday, July 21, that Artem Vaulin of Poland was arrested in Ukraine and charged with conspiracy to commit criminal copyright infringement, conspiracy to commit money laundering, and two counts of criminal copyright infringement.
According to the criminal complaint from the US District Court in Chicago, American authorities posed as advertiser to the site, which revealed a bank account associated with KAT.
It also said Apple gave over personal details of Vaulin once investigators cross-referenced an IP address used for an iTunes transaction with another IP address used to login to KAT’s Facebook account.
In a statement, Assistant Attorney General Leslie Caldwell said that Vaulin was "responsible for unlawfully distributing well over $1 billion of copyrighted materials."
Caldwell added, "In an effort to evade law enforcement, Vaulin allegedly relied on servers located in countries around the world and moved his domains due to repeated seizures and civil lawsuits."
The statement said that KAT "receives more than 50 million unique visitors per month and is estimated to be the 69th most frequently visited website on the Internet. – Rappler.com
Victor Barreiro Jr is part of Rappler's Central Desk. An avid patron of role-playing games and science fiction and fantasy shows, he also yearns to do good in the world, and hopes his work with Rappler helps to increase the good that's out there.