The U.S. Government has arrested the alleged owner of KickassTorrents, the world’s largest torrent site.
And as a consequence the site is no longer accessible.
A 30-year-old Ukrainian was arrested in Poland today and is charged with criminal copyright infringement and money laundering. In addition, a federal court in Chicago has ordered the seizure of several KAT domain names.
Ukrainian citizen Artem Vaulin, who runs KickassTorrents, is accused of dealing in more than US$1 billion (€900,000) worth of illegal content and has been charged with copyright infringement and money laundering. The website is currently down.
The circumstances of his capture are somewhat ironic. TechCrunch points out that the 30-year-old’s IP address was traced when he legally downloaded material from iTunes and Apple turned over his personal details from the purchase to US investigators. He was subsequently picked up by police on arrival at Warsaw airport.
With millions of unique visitors per day KickassTorrents (KAT) has become the most-used torrent site on the Internet, beating even The Pirate Bay.
In a criminal complaint filed in U.S. District Court in Chicago, the alleged owner is charged with conspiracy to commit criminal copyright infringement, conspiracy to commit money laundering, and two counts of criminal copyright infringement.
In addition to the arrest in Poland, the court also granted the seizure of a bank account associated with KickassTorrents, as well as several of the site’s domain names.
Following the news that KickassTorrents (KAT) has been shut down and its owner arrested, another big torrent website has disappeared from the Internet. Popular streaming portal Solarmovie went offline overnight without explanation and it seems possible that connections to KAT are to blame.