Romania Seizes Domain of the World’s Largest Private Torrent Site Filelist.ro Following Criminal Investigation.
Romania is known for having ineffective and lackluster policies in preventing content piracy. It is, in fact, on the USTR’s watch list [PDF] for the year 2020. Therefore, it isn’t too surprising that Romanian authorities are keen on tackling the challenging task of curbing online and broadcast piracy, and the latest incident involving Filelist.ro is clear proof of that.
Reportedly, the domain of Filelist.ro, which has become one of the world’s largest and most popular private BitTorrent tracker platform since its foundation in 2007, has been seized by Romanian authorities.
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With over a million members and between 7.5 to 10 million daily visits so far in 2020, this invite-only platform’s operators are currently in hot waters as they are facing criminal investigation carried out by the Prosecutor’s Office of the High Court of Cassation and Justice.
The main domain of the website Filelist.ro is currently displaying a message in the Romanian language that confirms the website is being investigated. It is definitely shocking for users of BitTorrent who rely upon private trackers for downloading pirated content.
Private trackers are different from public torrent sites like The Pirate Bay. Private trackers can only be accessed by members, who have subscribed for the service, and in return, they get faster download speeds and every type of content can be downloaded.
According to Torrent Freak’s report, the site administrators had already hinted on the website’s two main domains Filelist.ro and Flo.org were being shifted to Filelist.io, which was registered in April, 2020. The new domain is functioning now indicating that the servers of Filelist.ro haven’t been seized.
The news of the site’s seizing was dubbed as a rumor until the website operators made a public announcement confirming the news. The statement read:
“Since the beginning of this site measures have been taken to protect users. Meaning that, even if by one method or another, the authorities seize the server, there are multiple protection and encryption systems to prevent access to the database and/or other files.”
“We care very much about the security and anonymity of our users. No personal data is stored on the server anyway. No allegations have been brought to our attention and we will continue to fight for the right of our users to free speech and communication.”