Sparvar.org is (was) a popular file sharing website that targets internet users from Sweden and has servers in Canada. It is not surprising for a file sharing website to have serves in Canada considering Canada’s liberal internet laws.
Surprising is the fact that Canadian law enforcement authorities raided Montreal-based Netelligent Hosting Services and confiscated their servers hosting Sparvar.org.
According to the official Netelligent website:
“Founded in 2000, Netelligent Hosting Services provides a complete range of customized, scalable hosting solutions specializing in dedicated hosting, colocation and bandwidth services”
Sparvar.org has managed to gain a steady following with a global presence and the raid was headed by Stockholm based internet protection group called ‘Rights Alliance’. Rights Alliance was able to motivate the Canadian government by quoting the Canadian Copyright Modernization Act in 2012.
According to the official Rights Alliance website:
“Rights Alliance works mainly against different forms of internet crime. The organization has its background in Svenska Antipiratbyrån. Our coworkers have been working against internet crime for more than a decade. We work for both local and international clients and cooperate with several international organizations”
Sparvar.org seems to be more of secret online file sharing group than a general website open for everybody. People can be found searching for invites to the website’s service on internet forums – indicating that the website had an invitation-only system.
It is still unclear why such action was taken against a file sharing website that is supposed to have no more than ten thousand users. There are much more larger file sharing websites currently on the internet that could have been targeted through such an operation.
This brief introductory video about Sparvar.org was uploaded on Vimeo 4 years ago:
Some believe that action was taken against Sparvar.org because it was expanding rapidly and the attempt was meant to nip the file sharing website in the bud. Further reports are awaited by Rights Alliance and the Canadian government to confirm the motive behind the move because the evidence that warranted the raid still remains unclear.
It is because of incidents like these that torrent websites like PirateBay are working on distributed database models so that it becomes virtually impossible to take them down. File sharing is an undeniable technology and necessity.
This seems to be the start of a movement against torrents and file sharing websites, as evidenced by the recent news that the Australian Government plans on banning Torrents in the near future as well
At the same time, internet users around the world are left with no option but to use VPNs in order to secure their identity when they use file sharing websites. VPNs help hide users’ identity by encrypting their data and switching their IP addresses with from a pool of shared-IP addresses drawn from VPN servers located in countries around the world.