The termination of the Swedish investigation is, in one sense, good news for Assange. But it is unlikely to change his inability to leave the embassy any time soon. If anything, given the apparent determination of the Trump administration to put him in a U.S. prison cell for the “crime” of publishing documents, his freedom appears further away than it has since 2010, when the Swedish case began.
Pirate Bay’s revival seems certain after the torrent site has started to display a logo of phoenix with a timer counting down to 1 February.
The timer was unveiled last week along with a revived but non-functioning site. Now the phoenix, a symbol of rebirth used by the Pirate Bay in previous relaunches of the site, has replaced the iconic battleship logo and the animated waving pirate flag.
On the homepage, the Pirate Bay battleship travels towards a cartoon of an island harbour named “welcome home”, now positioned overlapping the island.
Swedish police have raided and seized computer and server equipment in Stockholm, taking the notorious piracy site the Pirate Bay offline.
The site, which has survived the arrest and jailing of its founders, several attempts to remove it from the internet and blockade by internet service providers (ISPs) in the UK and internationally, has been unavailable for more than 24 hours.
“We had a crackdown on a server room in greater Stockholm because of a copyright infringement, and yes it was Pirate Bay,” said Paul Pinter, national co-ordinator for intellectual property crime at Stockholm County Police.
He said that Rights Alliance, a Swedish anti-piracy group, had made the complaint. Sara Lindback, its head, said that Pirate Bay was “an illegal commercial service” making “considerable earnings by infringing the works of others”.
Servers and computers seized
Sources quoted by BitTorrent news site TorrentFreak have confirmed that the servers seized in the raid belonged to the Pirate Bay. Despite several sites appearing to be the piracy site briefly coming back online, it has not yet been resurrected.
Several sites affiliated with the Pirate Bay, including EZTV, Zoink, Torrage, Istole, bayimg.com, pastebay.net and Pirate Bay’s internet forum suprbay.org, have also been taken offline.
Fredrik Ingblad, a Swedish intellectual property crime prosecutor, said: “There were a number of police officers and digital forensics experts there. This took place during the morning and continued until this afternoon. Several servers and computers were seized, but I cannot say exactly how many.”
It is not known whether Swedish authorities also seized the Pirate Bay domain names as part of their action against the piracy site.
The Pirate Bay has been blocked at the ISP level in the UK since 2012. Users of the site have been able to circumvent the court-ordered block by accessing proxy sites, which replicate the Pirate Bay services and pull data from the main site when a user accesses them operating as a relay.
Many of these proxy sites are still operating despite the primary Pirate Bay site being taken offline, but they have no data of their own and are essentially crippled by the removal of the Pirate Bay from the internet.
Published time: May 27, 2014 16:36
Key digital rights activists – including Edward Snowden and hacker Jacob Appelbaum – have been blacklisted from the Stockholm Internet Forum (SIF) on internet openness and freedom. The move has caused a stir at the gathering and outraged Twitter users.
The third annual European meeting of internet activists kicked off in Sweden on May 26, with its main theme being “Internet– privacy, transparency, surveillance and control.”
But strangely enough, those whose names immediately spring to mind when it comes to the issue of surveillance were not allowed to attend the event.
Former CIA employee Edward Snowden, who revealed the NSA’s mass spying program, was not invited. Neither was journalist Glenn Greenwald, who broke the story.
Hacker Jacob Appelbaum, who found German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s mobile phone number in Snowden’s database, didn’t receive an invitation either.
The conference also failed to invite representatives of WikiLeaks, which repeatedly made headlines worldwide by leaking diplomatic cables.
According to German magazine Cicero Online, the only non-governmental organization among the hosts of the conference – .SE – had made a list of possible candidates and sent it to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs for approval.The ministry vetoed the activists from attending the SIF – the brainchild of Foreign Minister Carl Bildt. Snowden’s name was marked red, the magazine wrote, suggesting that could be code for “do not invite.”