The Pirate Bay’s original domain suspended ‘because of missed email’

Pirate ship wreck

The Pirate Bay’s original .org domain has been suspended after the owner failed to validate contact details for the website.

ICANN, the body responsible for managing internet protocol numbers, took the action after Pirate Bay co-founder and the .org domain’s official contact, Fredrik Neij, did not respond to an annual validation email sent by the site’s registrar, EuroDNS, it is widely reported.

Now, visitors to the torrent site can only see the message: “This domain name has been suspended. This domain name is pending ICANN verification and has been suspended. If you are the owner of this domain you can reactivate this domain by logging into your account.”

However, just because the site is down, it does not mean Pirate Bay is out of action or closed – users can still reach it via its .se domain, to which it moved in 2012, amid fears US authorities may shut down the .org addresses.

One of the risks of the annual verification process ICANN demands registrars carry out with their websites is that an email can go unread, or straight to junk, meaning the recipient does not know they must verify their site’s contact details.

ICANN introduced the process in 2013 in order to improve Whois data, a collection of site owner information collated by an internet protocol, which was blamed for allowing criminals to give fake identities when registering new domains.

TorrentFreak reported that days before the ICANN message appeared, the .org site was unavailable to users, though it is not clear whether this problem was related to the verification issue or not.