7/21/16: We first announced that KickassTorrents went down due to having domains seized and the owner arrested. This is exactly what happened. The authorities arrested Artem Vaulin in Poland after they had much proof for his connections to KAT and also money laundering. You can read more of this here.
7/22/16: After the first shock of KickassTorrents takedown was over, we looked at things more closely. Lots of things happened during the KAT domain seizure. The authorities didn’t capture all KAT related domains, but still most of the main domains. Several mirror sites still remained online. Many people suggested maybe the main site was taken offline as a precaution. Details in the US court show how bad KickassTorrents got hit. The domain registrar GoDaddy, social media giant Facebook and tech giant Apple all played an important role in getting evidence against the KAT owner. The feds pretended to be a possible advertiser and this lead them to bank accounts. The biggest win against KickassTorrents was probably the Canadian hosting company who had to give away hard discs and an email server. Read more of it here.
7/23/16: It is believed that the torrent site’s connections to United States were the results of shutdown. And it sounds pretty logical due to the fact that the US District Court in Chicago is processing the case. The founder of KAT wasn’t very cautious at first while creating the torrent website cause it wasn’t that popular yet during the time. This is why now several old WHOIS records revealed the name of Artem Vaulin. The torrenting world can be pretty serious and there is no room for mistakes. The rewards of providing torrenting space can be high but so can be the penalties.
Probably a big mistake here was to have servers in the US. Vaulin should have learned from Kim Dotcom and the Megaupload case. After the authorities got into the mail server they could get logs and see who had been logging in. This was the first step that started everything going downhill. KAT also had servers in Canada that ended up being vulnerable. The webhost couldn’t bypass the law so with the right warrant they had to spread everything on the table.
The authorities got a lot of information from Vaulin’s emails. It showed that there were clear connections between Vaulin’s Gmail account, his Apple address and KAT emails. The IP addresses used for logging in to Vaulin’s iTunes account and KAT’s Facebook page matched.
Even the so called anonymous Bitcoin revealed Artem Vaulin after the bitcoin exchange Coinbase gave out information about the transfers to his personal account. We see how many connections KickassTorrents had with the States. It’s obvious that if those things had been kept more to Eastern Europe, the investigation wouldn’t have been that easy for the authorities overseas.
7/25/16: KickassTorrents is still down but their community is very active. The online community has resurrected and people are talking about the headlines. They can’t share files yet, but still being under one roof and discussing the topics, the users have united into one big family. It’s the virtual home of users that makes KAT a legendary torrent site. Few staff members have promised that KAT remains strong and will make an amazing comeback. There are moderators and administrators of the site who all show their support but they don’t seem to have any code of the original engine.
7/28/16: Artem Vaulin, the founder and owner of KickassTorrents who got arrested for connections to KAT and money laundering, has retained Kim Dotcom’s lawyer Ira Rothken. Rothken is believed to be the best option for it as he is helping Dotcom in a case similar to Vaulin’s. The lawyer has said that they are working at the moment to get Artem out of the jail in Warsaw so the man could help with the court case.
7/29/16: Receiving much pressure from movie studios one of the most popular KAT mirror sites has shut down its website. The owner of the mirror site claimed there was no connection to the original KickassTorrents website and told his site was completely safe. Though the Hollywood studios made the site go offline, the owner hasn’t given up just yet.
8/02/16: After the biggest torrent engine KAT went into the dark, a widely used torrent storage cache disappeared from the index. Torcache left several sources without storage space after it vanished from the net. People believe iTorrents will replace it for now.
8/05/16: One of the largest mirror sites for KAT is actually serving the content of the Pirate Bay. Though the mirror site has a design very similar to KickassTorrents, its content has nothing to do with it. Noone knows for sure if the point behind it is to mislead visitors or it just started out, but it sure is interesting to see what will happen next. There have been rumors of KAT having resurrected but this is not true for now.
8/07/16: One of the main domains of KAT operations has been put on sale. The domain’s WHOIS record shows the status for updates and domain changes as forbidden, so it’s very unlikely this domain will get sold. The US authorities probably want all these domains to their possession, at least until the court case is over. Most of the domains related to KAT have already been seized and are showing a warning.
8/08/16: The owner of KickassTorrents, Artem Vaulin is being held in jail in Warsaw, Poland right now. His lawyer Ira Rothken is the same defending Kim Dotcom in the Megaupload case. The defense of Vaulin has asked the US court to drop all charges against the 30-year-old man due to the fact that he was not responsible for other people sharing copyrighted materials online. Rothken has said that the accusations don’t make any sense cause indirect copyright violation is not included in the US law. The defense team of KAT claims that all accusations are based on theories right now and Vaulin should be released from jail as soon as possible.