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KickassTorrents domain seized, reappears at old site

The world’s most popular torrent site was knocked offline Monday after losing access to its domain name.

Visitors to KickassTorrents’ homepage were met with error messages, leaving many to wonder if it was curtains for the site.

But just like those running Pirate Bay, which recently made a comeback after a nearly two-month absence from the Web, the folks behind many of the high-profile torrent sites are nothing if not resourceful, ensuring KickassTorrents returned to the Internet before the day was done.

The torrent site had been operating with a Somalian .so top-level domain since November. It was thought to be a safe haven for the site, free from the clutches of copyright lawyers and the like, but on Monday its domain status listing started showing as “banned,” TorrentFreak reported.

However, a short time after disappearing from its .so address, KickassTorrents popped up again at its fomer .to Tongan domain.

It’s not clear why the status change occurred, though it seems likely it was in response to pressure from copyright holders keen to disrupt the site’s operation.

The takedown comes several months after a police raid on a server room in Sweden that saw The Pirate Bay temporarily taken offline. The site’s absence from the Web across much of December and January reportedly resulted in a surge of traffic for KickassTorrents as downloaders sought out alternative services. The Pirate Bay returned to the Internet on February 1.

KickassTorrents, which started life nearly seven years ago, has grown to become one of the world’s most popular websites – and is currently the most popular torrent site – with millions of unique visitors landing on its homepage every day.