The Dutch ISP LeaseWeb can’t take the pressure from BREIN anymore. As a preliminary measure they have now ordered dozens of BitTorrent sites – including some big-shots – to pack their stuff before December 1st, leave LeaseWeb and find a new home.
Last week we reported that LeaseWeb forced SumoTorrent to move to another ISP due to pressure from BREIN. In that article we published a list of other potential BRIEN targets hosted by LeaseWeb (we left out dozens of other sites) including mybittorrent.com, btmon.com, btjunkie.org, seedpeer.com, what.cd and waffles.fm.
Over the past few days several admins of the sites in this list confirmed to TorrentFreak that they indeed got a letter from LeaseWeb in which they were asked to move their websites before the end of the month. At this point it is not sure whether the dozens of other, mostly smaller private BitTorrent communities, received a similar letter. A questionable request since BitTorrent sites are not considered to be illegal according to Dutch law.
However, it seems that LeaseWeb has succumbed to BREIN’s pressure as it orders its clients to take all BitTorrent related material from their servers before December 1st. LeaseWeb takes this proactive measure to protect their clients they say, but it’s not needed since the court order that BREIN has applies ONLY to everlasting.nl and not to all other BitTorrent sites
One of the biggest mistakes they made in the process is to hand over the personal details of the SumoTorrent administrator. Somehow LeaseWeb was under the impression that they had to give this information to BREIN, thereby violating the privacy of one of their clients. This mistake also contradicts a statement LeaseWeb gave earlier this week to ISPam.nl, where they said that they are not allowed to give customer information to a third party without a funded request.
One of the big questions right now is where on earth all the BitTorrent sites will go now that LeaseWeb is a no-go. There are still some other options in The Netherlands and countries like Canada and Sweden, but they are slowly running out of alternatives.
LeaseWeb announced that it will appeal the decision in the everlasting.nl case, “LeaseWeb has filed an appeal and will keep fighting for its client’s privacy and right of freedom of expression up to the highest court.” We wish them well.