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Bahnhof slams antipiracy ambush

Swedish antipiracy agency receives death threats

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Swedish ISP Bahnhof is considering legal action after it emerged that illegal material uncovered in a raid on its premises was placed there by a paid informant of the antipiracy group that mounted the operation.

Swedish anti-piracy organisation Antipiratbyrån has confirmed to The Register that it has used a paid informant, dubbed Rouge, who is active in Sweden’s piracy underground, but also claims that underground activity in the country had dropped significantly since the raid.

The two organizations have been locked in a public slanging match since Antipiratbyrån, together with Swedish officials, raided Bahnhof’s Stockholm offices on 10 March.

Speaking to The Register, Jon Karlung, Banhof’s CEO, claimed that the pirated materials found on its servers were placed there by Rouge. “He logged in from outside,” he said.

Karlung said that Rouge’s activities had potentially compromised the ISP’s systems: “We don’t know what this guy has been doing.”

Bahnhof was “the victim of a badly arranged ambush”, said Karlung, which had only resulted in what Swedish police viewed as “a low priority case”.

“Maybe we will take legal action against Antipiratbyrån,” he said.

Henrek Pontën, a lawyer with Antipiratbyrån, confirmed that the agency had engaged Rouge to give it an in to the piracy underground in Sweden. He said Rouge had had contact with others inside Bahnhof.

“What is true is four servers were taken by police [from Bahnhof],” said Pontën, and that one of these had pirated material on it.

But Antipiratbyrån now appears at least willing to consider that Bahnhof may itself have been a victim of Sweden’s piracy underground.

“We don’t agree with the picture Bahnhof has made,” said Pontën, but he said the two organizations were working to “clear things out.”

Whether Bahnhof had been an unwitting victim of Rouge, illegal activity in Sweden had dropped since the raid, said Pontën. “The scene in Sweden is totally quiet right now.”

This may in part be because Sweden’s digital underworld has turned its attention to Antipiratbyrån.

Pontën confirmed the organization’s web site has been under attack since the raids. In addition, he said, Antipiratbyrån’s office had come under physical attack and he had received death threats. ®

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