Several BitTorrent trackers in the Tomsk region in Russia have been shut down. The reason for the takedowns is still unclear. Some suggest that the cybercrime division of the Russian police, also known as “Department K” is behind it. Others think that it is a drastic measure to decrease bandwidth usage by Tomsk’s local ISP.
The Russian police denied that it had anything to do with the closure of the trackers, and refused to release any further comments.
Vadim Andrianov, one of the BitTorrent tracker admins, thinks that the shutdown of his, and other sites could be part of a new anti-piracy campaign. Andrianov is still waiting for an official response from his ISP. He is not worried about any form of legal action, because his site was only offering Open Source software.
Bandwidth management could be an alternative explanation for the closure of the BitTorrent sites. Immediately after the trackers were shut down, p2p traffic dropped drastically, to 20% of what it used to be. Could this be an attempt by Tomsk’s ISP to cut down the bandwidth generated by BitTorrent transfers? It sure is more effective than most traffic shaping devices.