Apple Helped Shut Down World’s Largest Torrent Site


A legal purchase from the iTunes Store brought troubles for the owners of the world’s biggest torrent site, KickassTorrents (KAT). As reported by TorrentFreak, the 30-year-old Ukrainian Artem Vaulin a.k.a “tirm”, the person who is suspected to be the owner of KAT, was arrested yesterday in Poland and charged for criminal copyright infringement and money laundering. The US now awaits his extradition.


The legal documents reveal that Apple has contributed to the investigation by handing over personal details of Vaulin after the investigator in charge of tracking down the people behind KAT linked the email address he discovered in the WHOIS lookup to an Apple ID. This one was allegedly used by Vaulin to operate KAT. This Apple ID appears to tie all the pieces together in the Vaulin copyright infringement case.

“Records provided by Apple showed that conducted an iTunes transaction using IP Address on or about July 31, 2015. The same IP Address was used on the same day to login into the KAT Facebook,” the complaint reads.

Vaulin now faces charges of illegally distributing “well over $1 billion of copyrighted materials” the legal document reads.

The and .TV domains will likely be seized by Verisign, while the main .CR domain and others will likely be seized as warrants will be issued and sent to the respective authorities.

You can read an in-depth coverage of the complaint on TorrentFreak by following this link.


  • Anthony ?

    This one’s click-bait IMO. Complying with a court order to provide the purchase history for a particular email address doesn’t necessarily qualify as “helping’ if you ask me. It was the investigators who were the ones who drew the lines between the email address and the buyer, not Apple. Odds are the guy has a purchase history with numerous other online services as well, so technically they “helped” shut down KAT as well…

    Personally I’d suggest the second paragraph should state “Apple has complied with the investigation” as opposed to stating they “contributed”.

  • FragilityG4

    So let me understand this. When Apple has a vested interest in something (i.e. People buying from iTunes instead of downloading from torrents) Apple will cooperate and hand over our personal information — but when it doesn’t affect their bottom line and is just something for, I don’t know national security, they take the moral high ground and show how they protect our privacy. Give me a break.

  • swotam

    There’s a pretty substantial difference between complying with a court order to release transaction information about iTunes purchases for a specific email address, and agreeing to provide the US Government with a custom version of iOS that would allow them to get into pretty much any Apple device they felt interested in looking at whenever they felt like it.

    Odds are Apple had no knowledge of what lawsuit the subpoena was for beyond whatever might be considered “need to know”, and I’m pretty sure the courts aren’t required to disclose much beyond “here’s what we want, please comply”.

    I think it’s a bit of a stretch to assume that Apple somehow chose to comply with this particular request because the target of the investigation was related to illegal downloads.

  • FragilityG4

    I don’t think it’s a stretch. Lots of money involved. No matter how you spin it the optics are that Apple thinks $$$ is more important than public safety. I think it’s safe to assume Apple knew exactly what was going on when the court order was presented.

  • definingsound

    Are there successful prosecutions of torrent site owners? The piracy is performed by the torrent users – not by the torrent aggregator.

  • FragilityG4

    The Pirate Bay guys went to jail.