Antipiracy initiatives have been heating up in Sweden over the past couple of years, and now authorities have reportedly raided, and arrested administrators of, a popular private BitTorrent tracker which has been hosted in the country for several years.
XNT.nu, known to members as “Excellent,” was shut down this week following an investigation conducted by Swedish antipiracy group Antipiratbyrån. Search warrants were then issued in Stockholm and Borlänge, which led to the arrest of two of the sites alleged administrators.
The admins likely knew full well that they were in the sights of Antipiratbyrån. XNT.nu was created in 2010, combining the forces of BitTorrent trackers DVDRSource and TVSource, both created from the released code of private tracker SweDVDR, which felt pressure to close after the 2009 Pirate Bay verdict.
But XNT.nu founders let the site grow despite the pressure.
“By January 2010, eXcelleNT had more than 13,000 users but just 600 torrents. By early May 2011, the position was quite different. Although the userbase had remained steady, topping out at just under 17,000 members, torrent count had increased dramatically to between 28,000 and 30,000,” explains sources at TorrentFreak.
Despite the “private” invitation-only nature of the tracker, that rapid growth didn’t do the site any favors.
According to TorrentFreak, computers were seized from the detained admins’ houses in Sweden, while the server that actually hosted the tracker was seized in Germany. The suspects were released after questioning pending further investigation, but the site itself remains offline.