Government Shuts Down BitTorrent Tracker

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Today the Malaysian government ordered prominent webhosting provider Shinjiru to close down BitTorrent site LeechersLair.com. The order came from the Content, Consumer and Network Security Division of the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission.

MalaysiaIt hasn’t been a very good week for BitTorrent trackers, and all the signs are it’s going to get worse. We all know what happened last Friday and yesterday only brought more bad news, as many more trackers in Sweden decided to close.

This morning TorrentFreak was informed of the closure of another long-standing BitTorrent tracker.

Although it doesn’t have the profile of sites like The Pirate Bay, LeechersLair (LL) is a well-established tracker. Launched in 2006, LL has around 18,000 members who enjoy all the usual content. Until today the site was hosted in Malaysia – not any more.

This morning the Content, Consumer and Network Security Division of the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (SKMM) ordered Shinjiru, LeechersLair’s host, to close down the site, citing a breach of Section 41 of the Copyright Act 1987.

SKMM is a government body which enforces the communications and multimedia laws in Malaysia. It informed Shinjiru by faxed letter that if it failed to close LeechersLair, it would be breaking the law. Shinjiru immediately complied and took the site offline.

The government of Malaysia has moved against torrent sites hosted by Shinjiru before, as we reported back in June 2008, but most of them returned elsewhere.

However, there was a worrying development when one of the sysops of another torrent site, tbkresources.org – also hosted at Shinjiru, told TorrentFreak that a hard drive had been attached to their server and it was copying data for use in a copyright infringement case against them. Shinjiru confirmed the report.

At this stage it is unclear if LeechersLair will return, but we will update this post when we have more information. In the meantime other trackers hosted by Shinjiru continue to operate but whether or not they are being monitored is anyone’s guess.

Both Shinjiru and the Malaysian government were given the opportunity to comment, but as yet we’ve received no response.

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