It's not been a good week for Artem Vaulin.
The 30-year-old from Ukraine is alleged to run KickassTorrents, the internet's largest, most-used torrenting site. Every day, thousands of files are transferred back and forth on the site, all of which has resulted in Vaulin building up quite a sizeable list of criminal charges in the US, including copyright infringement and money laundering. The site has apparently helped to distribute over $1 billion in pirated files, putting quite the target on Vaulin's illusive head.
Things had been going well for Vaulin, who had moved his operation from country to country - until the most trivial of online actions tripped him up.
He bought something - legally- from iTunes.
The group investigating KickassTorrents noticed that the IP-address used for the iTunes transaction matched that of an IP-addressed used to log on to the KickassTorrents Facebook page. After contacting Apple to obtain the personal details of the user, the authorities were able to track down Vaulin and arrest him in Poland.
The United States has requested his extradition, with Assistant Attorney General Caldwell of the District Court in Chicago stating: "In an effort to evade law enforcement, Vaulin allegedly relied on servers located in countries around the world and moved his domains due to repeated seizures and civil lawsuits. His arrest in Poland, however, demonstrates again that cybercriminals can run, but they cannot hide from justice."
So, if you're a KickassTorrents user, you can expect the lights to go out on its services in the very near future. Best stick to using iTunes - unless you're on the run from international law agencies...