Internet

The Mystery of the ‘Torrentz2.eu’ Suspension Is Unfolding in Brussels

Written by Bill Toulas
Last updated July 17, 2020

At the end of last month, ‘torrentz2.eu’ was suspended by the EURid registrar. This move created a wave of anxiety for the operators and the users of other pirating platforms that were trusting the same non-profit organization, as no warnings or explanations were ever provided.

Torrent Freak decided to launch an investigation on who ordered the suspension, and while they managed to find some pointers in Brussels, the fog hasn’t cleared completely.

According to the latest reports, the torrent indexer was suspended after an order from the Belgian Public Prosecutor in Brussels was handed to EURid. Remember, EURid is the operator of the “.eu” top-level domain and is directly appointed by the EU Commission. The registrar was happy to confirm this, but they never shared the actual order with the media.

TF contacted the Prosecutor’s Office directly, hoping to get their hands on a particular order copy. Still, the agency instead pointed them to a 2018 court order from the Commercial Tribunal.

Related: Registrar of ‘Torrentz2.eu’ Suspended the Domain Following Order

A series of communications followed, hopping from the Dutch to the French Commercial Tribunal in Brussels, requesting the order but getting rejected each time. What TF found was that the case was initiated by a lawyer working for the “Hoyng Rokh Monegier” (HRM) firm, also based in Brussels. When the publication reached out to the attorney, they eventually reached the end of the road, as they were denied any further communication.

However, the gathered clues trail led to the MPA’s (Motion Picture Association) local headquarters in Brussels, who have business relations with the HRM law firm. Contacting MPA and asking them to comment on whether they had any involvement in the Torrentz2 suspension yielded no fruits.

In conclusion, a domain was taken down on an order that came after pressure from an unknown entity, on unclear legal grounds, and with no connection to anything specific. For Torrentz2, which immediately migrated its main domain and databases to “torrentz2.is,” the case is closed. They do not expect to receive specific explanations or ever get their “.eu” domain back, so all the rest are just details for them.

However, the public needs to have a detailed explanation when these blocks occur, as understanding on what grounds a domain may get suspended is precisely what makes the difference between operating transparently or following undemocratic approaches. EURid, in particular, should be more careful and more diaphanous when they suspend domains.



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