As Police Investigate Share-Online Operators, Uploaders & Users Could

As Police Investigate Share-Online Operators, Uploaders & Users Could

In October 2019, Share-Online.biz, Germany's largest file-hosting site, was shut down following police raids around Europe. As the investigation into the platform's operators continues, a cybercrime police representative now says that hunting down former content uploaders and regular downloaders at the site remains a "realistic scenario."

In October 2019, Share-Online.biz, Germany's largest file-hosting site, was shut down following police raids around Europe. As the investigation into the platform's operators continues, a cybercrime police representative now says that hunting down former content uploaders and regular downloaders at the site remains a "realistic scenario."

For reasons that aren’t entirely clear, over many years Germany became

disproportionately linked to many file-hosting, streaming, and other

piracy platforms. As a result, anti-piracy investigations have regularly turned into full-blown police operations, often across borders.

Last October, Share-Online.biz, at the time Germany’s largest file-hosting site, found itself in the crosshairs of law enforcement agencies. With up to 10 million users per month and close to three-quarters of visitors hailing from Germany, the site went from thriving to finished after police shut down the site following an investigation by local anti-piracy outfit GVU.

GVU first filed a criminal complaint in 2017 and had to wait more than two years to take down Share-Online but the job isn’t done yet. Authorities seized huge volumes of digital data when the site was taken down last year and it will have to be carefully examined and evaluated as part of the prosecution against the site’s operators.

The state of that analysis became apparent when German publication Tarnkappe spoke with local cybercrime police (ZAC NRW) on Friday. A spokesperson revealed that the investigation is still in progress with charges and/or a trial somewhere off in the distance. The scale of the work ahead appears considerable.

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