'Kickass' Somali pirates get their asses kicked by Japanese ass-kickers
.so .you .thought .you .were .invincible .eh?
KickassTorrents clearly thought Somalia would be a good place to set up shop, given the ungovernable country's long association with pirates.
But just two months after the hugely popular file-sharing site shifted from its kickass.to address to kickass.so, the team has had to go back to its previous domain – after kickass.so was "banned" from the web by its registry.
Following the takedown of The Pirate Bay in December (and following suspicions that the revived site may be under surveillance), Kickass became the biggest torrent-search site on the internet, servicing millions of visitors every day.
As part of what it said was an annual domain move, and following Google's new anti-piracy mechanisms which caused a huge drop in its traffic, the group decided to head to Somalia's .so and make use of its readily available country-code top-level domain name (ccTLD).
What Kickass didn’t realize is that while Somalia is a lawless backwater, the dot-so registry backend is run by Japanese company GMO Registry.
GMO Registry is part of the huge GMO Internet group and so about as far from the poorly functioning Somali government as you can get. It took a few months, but the domain has been seized, and Kickass has been forced to backtrack to kickass.to, which already has 1.7 million blocking requests against it.
Exactly how kickass.so came to be torn off the internet is unclear – all the registry reports is:
Domain Name:KICKASS.SO Domain Status:BANNED
Meaning nameservers can't resolve the domain to an IP address, so no more searching, downloading and pirating of copyrighted stuff for you – unless you know the IP or can find another file-sharing site, of which countless exist.
But it just goes to show: things online are not always as they appear in the real world. ®