After almost two months of untimely and unexpected outage, The Pirate Bay (TPB) finally came back this weekend. But the re-launch of the infamous torrent-indexing website raised a question among those suspicious about this new setup — Is it really The Pirate Bay?
A few days back we reported that The Pirate Bay – a widely popular file-sharing website predominantly used to share copyrighted material free of charge – had made its return to the Internet once again after suffering two months of outage following a police raid in Sweden late last year.
Many users, including I, thought the site left dead as last took down was the longest outage the torrenting site has ever experienced. But history repeats and The Pirate Bay made its way a day before it claimed. Pirate lovers around the world rejoiced while others noticed something very suspicious.
IS THE FBI RUNNING THE PIRATE BAY ?
The truth behind The Pirate Bay, like who was driving the re-emergence of the site or who would be currently running the site, is all not known.
But because it was seized and took down the law enforcement, The Pirate Bay could now be in the hands of the FBI, and brought back online as a "honeypot", or fake site meant to collect evidence about users, including pirated content uploaders.
This is what some Reddit and Twitter users thought about the re-launch of the torrent download site. The comments on Reddit and a tweet by an Anonymous sect called The Anonymous Message also points to a federal honeypot masquerading as The Pirate Bay to catch pirates.
WHAT POINTS TO FBI ?
> "ALERT: STAY AWAY from The Pirate Bay website as we-have gotten reports That It has-been Indirectly Seized by the FBI and is logging IPs," The Anonymous Message tweeted Sunday, but didn't provide any proof of the FBI involvement in The Pirate Bay.
However, the major concern people thought to have is The Pirate Bay’s use of CloudFlare’s CDN (Content Delivery Network) and its SSL service. CloudFlare is a content delivery network that is used by websites with high amounts of traffic in order to protect sites from DDoS attacks and was discovered on the new Pirate Bay upon its return.
Several people voiced concerns that The Pirate Bay, CDN Cloudflare uses in the United States and therefore speculated about a connection to the FBI.
To add more confusion, and create conspiracy, the admin also noted that he had fired all the moderators working for the site, reported Torrentfreak. "Due to severe security issues regarding the old moderator team all moderation has temporarily been disabled," the admin wrote.
THE PIRATE BAY RESPONDED – TPB IS REAL
Today, The Pirate Bay has responded to the concerns about its use of U.S.-based CDN service CloudFlare, explaining that it’s only using Cloudflare temporarily in order to cope with the continued stream of millions of visitors.
> "We have seen that there has been some question to why we are using Cloudflare," TPB says in a statement. "This is only initially to handle the massive load upon the servers. It will be removed shortly."
The second concern was the lack of moderation on TPB. As soon as The Pirate Bay returned, many fake torrents have been posted to the site and without moderators these were not removed. However, TPB operators now explain that the decision to keep the staff out was taken as a security measure.
> In order to deal with the spam and fake torrent problem TPB added a report link to every torrent details page. "Before we sort everything out we have instead added a 'Report link' to all torrents which you can find in the details page," the admin wrote. "We believe that the TPB community can help moderate the site for the time being."