Security

‘Obenetwork’ Tells Court It’s a VPN Firm That Holds the IP of TPB

By Bill Toulas / June 16, 2020

Last week, we covered the news about a Swedish ISP (internet service provider), ‘Obenetwork,’ being dragged in court due to the ‘Rights Alliance’ believing that it had ties with ‘The Pirate Bay’ (TPB). The anti-piracy group wanted to discover the real IP address of the notorious torrent indexing platform and to finally locate the servers that have been keeping it online all these years. ‘Obenetwork’ appeared in front of the court judge, and denied any connection with TPB. Instead, they told the court that the target IP address is operated by OVPN.se, a VPN service provider based in Sverige, Sweden.

This complicates the case that was brought in court by “Svensk Filmindustri” and “Nordisk Film,” who had the audacity to warn the authorities that Obenetwork would destroy evidence if they were given the time and the opportunity to prepare for this injunction. They even suggested that a fine of about $10k should be imposed in the case the ISP decided to delay the process and not hand over all the records it held. But none of this ever happened, and Obenetwork claims that they had nothing to fear anyway.

The ISP believes that this is a case that wasn’t actually targeting 'The Pirate Bay' or that the targeting was poorly executed. Presenting a false IP address in the court, which clearly belongs to an anonymous VPN provider, is a sure way to face a dead-end, so the real motive may have been to defame Obenetwork. The ISP told the court that it was unfair from their side to run the case in fast-track mode, and not bother to even ask them any questions prior to the hearing, which contributed to this calumniation.

Even worse for the TPB hunters, they are now unlikely to find anything about the real IP address they were after. OVPN keeps no logs anywhere, so they would have nothing to share with a court. The VPN firm doesn’t even use hard drives on its servers. Moreover, they don’t have their own Address Space numbers, so the IPs that are announced belong to servers located in various places in the world, not the client who is using the service. The clients are using a public IPv4 add-on, which they purchase without providing any identification data, so OVPN has no way to check retroactively who owns a particular IP address.

All that said, this urgent legal action was carried out in vain, had no useful evidence to move forward, and highlighted a poor technical understanding from the prosecution’s side. Obenetwork has every right to object what they were forced to go through, and may now demand damage compensation from the film companies.



For a better user experience we recommend using a more modern browser. We support the latest version of the following browsers: For a better user experience we recommend using the latest version of the following browsers: