In 2012, adult industry businessman Robert King embarked on a mission to destroy the “bad players” of the cyberlocker market. At the time, the Australian told TF that he would stop at nothing to rid the world of their influence.
“What I hope to achieve is very simple. I want to tear apart the illegal file locker industry by removing its supply of funds and then ultimately removing its supply of network connectivity,” King said.
“In the main file lockers are simply modern-day ‘fences’ of stolen goods. Just like a thief would take a stolen television or car radio to the pub and sell it for a few dollars, there are thousands of people around the world who take copyright content, upload it to an incentivized file locker, then get a few dollars to as much as $30 for 1000 downloads of that content.”
During the months that followed, King became one of the most hated people in the cyberlocker and linking-site sphere. Within three months of the launch of the campaign, King claimed to have shut down payment processing for more than 500 sites.
For almost three more years, controversy continued to build but suddenly, in April 2015, King announced the shutdown of the project, declaring a victory of sorts. Today, however, an ironic situation of head-shaking proportions has emerged.
It appears to have begun during the summer when King told members of the GFY forum (NSFW) that he’d begun work on a new search engine for porn.
Exactly how Node.xxx started life isn’t clear (Wayback Machine has no archive) but there can be no doubt what purpose it is being put to today. The domain is serving up a fully-fledged pirate streaming link index catering for consumers of every TV show imaginable.
(Update: TF contacted King before publication of this article but received no response. He has since clarified that the DNS of his domain was hijacked, see update below and in the introduction. There is no suggestion that Robert King or his company has ever been intentionally involved in the spread of pirated content.)
Aside from the mere existence of the site, perhaps the greatest irony is to be found in the places where Node.xxx-indexed TV shows are hosted. Yes, of course, they’re all hosted on cyberlocker sites, the same kind of sites King waged war on during his StopFileLockers campaign.
To give a specific example, this page (indexing Gangland Undercover) has a “Click Here to Play” button, which opens up the episode in question which had previously been uploaded to cyberlocker Openload.
A mirror of Node.xxx (which in turn appears to be a clone of watchseriesgo.to) can be found here, should this mystery deepen with the mysterious taking down of the site following the publication of this article.
We’ve asked Robert King for a comment and will update when we receive a response. He has plenty of enemies so while there are other explanations, it’s possible that someone is having some excitement at his expense.
Update 12/29: Comment from Robert King.
“Node.XXX was an adult search engine shut down earlier this year when I shut down all adult related projects,” King told TF
“The screen captures of Node.XXX in your article are nothing like the real Node.XXX looked. The real Node.XXX indexed only adult sites, none with piracy.
“It appears to me that the DNS was hijacked and DNS entries have now been set back to NAME.COM defaults.”
Update: 2 Robert King has explained how he believes this situation came about.
“This is what happened. Node.XXX had it’s DNS served from Cloudflare. The domain was deleted from the Cloudflare account but Name Server entries were not updated,” he says.
“Apparently when this happens some other site using those name servers can capture the traffic from deleted sites that have not updated their Name Servers.”
Update: 3 At the time of writing, Node.xxx is now displaying a domain holder page.