With millions of views per month, DanishBits (DB) was one of the most popular private torrent trackers on the web.
As its name suggests, the site operated from Denmark and it mostly served visitors from the Scandinavian country, where it was more popular than public torrent sites.
A few days ago this reign came to an end. All of a sudden the site became unreachable and, according to several people close to the fire, this is the result of an investigation into the site’s operators.
One staff member informed TorrentFreak that one of the owners was arrested earlier this month. While this has yet to be confirmed by the authorities, a message posted on Pastebin, confirms the trouble.
“Dear users, with pain in our heart we must inform you that DB as you all know it, and which you all have loved, unfortunately seems to have reached the end of the road,” the note reads, translated from Danish
“We have been informed that important people behind DB have unfortunately been caught by the long arm of the law. These people were in charge of running the site and the current downtime is simply due to the fact that they are not present to solve them.”
The statement leaves some wiggle room, as there is no official confirmation of any arrest. We have reached out to a source close to law enforcement who confirmed that something is indeed going on, but no information can be shared at this moment.
Servers Were Encrypted
The DanishBits staffer informed us that the privacy of users was secured. No data was leaked as the servers are still online and encrypted. However, the man who was supposedly arrested was the only person with full access and the rest of the staff can’t control the servers.
This statement is backed up by the note that was posted in public which mentions that “all servers run full encryption and it’s practically impossible to access data, even if the servers behind the page should be seized.”
Technically, the site’s owner could still access the server and hand over information voluntarily, but that’s all speculation at this point.
For now, it seems unlikely that DanishBits will return. Without access to the database, the site will have to start from scratch which is a monumental task. While some staffers still have a glimmer of “hope,” that may mostly be wishful thinking.
Other Trackers Take Over
The message they shared in public reads like a farewell note too. The staffers thank all people who have supported the site over the years and apologize for initially remaining quiet during the downtime. Several comeback options were considered, but none were viable.
“We wanted to exhaust all our options before we announced this out, it is of course not our wish that the site should go this way,” they write, encouraging competing trackers to open their doors to new users.
“All staffers would also like to send a request to the remaining Danish trackers (ShareUniversity and Asgrd) to open up signup so that users on DB can find a new place and download their daily content.”
This message was heard, it seems, as both trackers are open for registration at the time of writing.
Update: Shortly after we published this article the Danish anti-piracy group Rights Alliance confirmed that it reported the service to the police back in 2016.