KickassTorrents has been seized by US authorities and its owner arrested for criminal copyright infringement and money laundering. The site is one of the world’s largest torrent tracking sites in the world; at times dwarfing the traffic seen from the infamous Pirate Bay.
Artem Vaulin, a 30 year old Ukrainian, was arrested in Poland for running the site and is currently awaiting extradition to the US. Vaulin is to be charged with conspiracy to commit criminal copyright infringement, conspiracy to commit money laundering, and two counts of criminal copyright infringement.
The complaint filed in the US District court shows that investigators had posed as an advertiser to make contact with Vaulin and revealed a bank account associated with the site. It was Apple that revealed Vaulin’s identity and personal information to investigators when his IP address was cross referenced when he used it to perform an iTunes transaction.
KickassTorrents is currently down, but it looks like several proxies are still operational. We wouldn’t be surprised if it keeps operating, even if Vaulin ends up behind bars in the US. After all, years of criminal proceedings failed to shut down the Pirate Bay.