Gottfrid Svartholm

Gottfrid Svartholm

Swedish computer specialist
Country: Sweden

  1. Biography of Gottfrid Svartholm
  2. The Creation of 'Americas Dumbest Soldiers'
  3. The Pirate Bay and Legal Troubles
  4. Arrest and Deportation

Biography of Gottfrid Svartholm

Gottfrid Svartholm, also known as anakata, is a Swedish computer specialist. He was one of the co-owners of the hosting company 'PRQ' and one of the founders of the world-renowned torrent tracker 'The Pirate Bay', along with Fredrik Neij (also known as TiAMO) and Peter Sunde (known as brokep). Svartholm was born on October 17, 1984, and on June 20, 2013, at the age of 28, he was found guilty of hacking attacks and sentenced to two years in prison.

Gottfrid Svartholm

The Creation of 'Americas Dumbest Soldiers'

Svartholm launched the website 'Americas Dumbest Soldiers' which listed the deceased US soldiers in the Iraq War. Users of the site were asked to rate the intelligence of each soldier based on how they died. Fredrik Neij provided Svartholm with internet access through the Swedish provider 'British Telecom'. According to Neij, someone from the US State Department contacted the head of 'British Telecom' who then reached out to the Swedish provider, demanding the site be shut down. While the Swedish provider doubted the legality of this request, the site was eventually closed.

Gottfrid Svartholm

The Pirate Bay and Legal Troubles

In November 2003, Svartholm, along with his colleagues, participated in the launch of the torrent tracker 'The Pirate Bay'. He also developed the program 'Hypercube' used to manage and support the platform. On January 31, 2008, Svartholm, Neij, Sunde, and Carl Lundström, the CEO of 'The Pirate Bay's' internet provider, were charged with "assisting in copyright infringement by other people." The trial began on February 16, 2009, and on April 17, the defendants were found guilty by the Stockholm District Court of aiding in the unlawful distribution of copyrighted content.

Each of the four defendants was sentenced to one year in prison and ordered to pay a total fine of 30 million Swedish krona (approximately 3,390,317 Euros or 4,222,980 US dollars). The fine was proportionally distributed among the four defendants. Their lawyers appealed the verdict, citing bias on the part of the judge who presided over the trial. Under Swedish law, the verdict is not legally binding until all appeals have been processed.

In April 2009, Svartholm became the subject of an investigation by the Swedish prosecutors for his alleged role in the creation of 'The Student Bay', a file-sharing website specializing in the distribution of academic texts. Svartholm denied any involvement with the site, which was also accused of copyright infringement.

Arrest and Deportation

In October 2009, the Stockholm District Court prohibited Svartholm from participating in any activities related to 'The Pirate Bay', even though he was no longer residing in Sweden, and 'The Pirate Bay' had relocated to foreign servers. In October 2011, Svartholm was sentenced to imprisonment for failing to appear in court.

On August 30, 2012, at the request of Swedish authorities, Svartholm was arrested by the Cambodian police in Phnom Penh, where he had been living for several years. Although Cambodia does not have an extradition treaty with Sweden, the Cambodian police decided to cooperate with Swedish authorities and extradite Svartholm on charges related to IT crimes. Speculation arose that Svartholm's arrest might be connected to a grant worth 400 million Swedish krona (approximately 59 million US dollars) that Cambodia received from the Swedish government for democracy development, human rights, education, and climate change. The grant became public knowledge on September 5, 2012.

Svartholm was deported to Sweden and is currently serving his prison sentence at Mariefred Prison. In early June 2013, he became a suspect in a case involving the theft of personal data from Danish police databases. Denmark requested his extradition from Sweden after he completes his sentence. Additionally, on June 20, 2013, Svartholm was found guilty of hacking into 'Nordea Bank', stealing money from customers' accounts, and compromising the databases of 'Logica', resulting in the public exposure of thousands of individuals' data. These incidents added an additional two years to his prison sentence.