Per Gottfrid Svartholm Warg
17 October 1984
|Known for||Co-founding The Pirate Bay|
|Political party||Liberala partiet|
Per Gottfrid Svartholm Warg (born 17 October 1984), alias anakata, is a Swedish computer specialist, known as the former co-owner of the web hosting company PRQ and co-founder of the BitTorrent site The Pirate Bay together with Fredrik Neij and Peter Sunde.
In May 2013, WikiLeaks revealed Svartholm Warg collaborated with the organization for the 2010 release of Collateral Murder, the helicopter cockpit gunsight video of a July 2007 airstrike by U.S. forces in Baghdad. According to WikiLeaks, Svartholm served as technical consultant and managed infrastructure critical to the organization.
On 27 November 2013 he was extradited to Denmark, where he was charged with infiltrating the Danish social security database, driver's licence database, and the shared IT system used in the Schengen zone. Awaiting his court trial, he was being held in solitary confinement. The court trial ended on 31 October 2014 and he was found guilty by the jury and sentenced to three and a half years in prison. He immediately appealed the sentence, but, fearing that he may try to evade his sentence, the judges ruled that he should be held in confinement until the appeal court trial.
After spending three years in different prisons from Sweden and Denmark, he was eventually released on 29 September 2015 and is ready to get back to work again in IT.
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Svartholm Warg co-founded The Pirate Bay in 2003. It was part of the Swedish anticopyright group and think tank called Piratbyrån (Bureau of Piracy) and became a platform for sharing audio, video, software, and electronic games. According to Svartholm, Piratbyrån was involved with the political operations, focusing on rallies, petitions, and lobbying, among others while Pirate bay's goal is to "help people exchange information".
The Swedish police first raided Pirate Bay on May 31, 2006 on suspicion that it operates a business infringement copyright. It confiscated servers and questioned its administrators including Svartholm. On 31 January 2008, The Pirate Bay operators -- Peter Sunde, Fredrik Neij, Gottfrid Svartholm and Carl Lundström (CEO of The Pirate Bay's former ISP) -- were charged with "promoting other people's infringements of copyright laws". The trial began on 16 February 2009. Svartholm, along with Neij an Lundström, defended Piratebay by arguing that they did not profit from piracy since users were not charged for its services and merely relied on website advertising as the source of revenue. On 17 April 2009, Sunde and his co-defendants were found to be guilty of "assisting in making copyright content available" in the Stockholm District Court. Each defendant was sentenced to one year in prison and they were ordered to pay damages of 30 million SEK (approximately EUR3,390,317 or US$4,222,980), to be apportioned among the four defendants. The defendants lawyers have appealed to the Svea Court of Appeal together with a request for a retrial in the district court because of the recent suspicion of bias by judge Tomas Norström. Under Swedish law, the verdict is not lawful until all appeals have been processed.
In April 2009, Svartholm was the subject of an investigation by Swedish prosecutors looking into his role in The Student Bay, a file sharing site specializing in academic texts. Svartholm claimed he had no knowledge of the site. The site was reported by the Swedish Association for Educational Writers in December 2008 claiming it violated copyright law.
In October 2009, Stockholm District Court ordered that Svartholm be banned from operating the Pirate Bay, despite the facts that he was no longer living in Sweden, and the Pirate Bay was no longer located there.
On 30 August 2012, at the request of Swedish authorities, Svartholm was arrested by Cambodian police in the capital Phnom Penh, where he had been living for several years. Cambodia has no extradition treaty with Sweden, but Cambodian police spokesman Kirth Chantharith told the AFP news agency "we'll look into our laws and see how we can handle this case". Subsequently, Cambodian police were reported stating that the Swedish government had requested that Gottfrid be deported in connection with "a crime related to information technology".
Torrentfreak speculated that Svartholm's arrest may have been connected to a 400 million kronor (at the time, approximately US$59M) two-year "democratic development, human rights, education, and climate change" grant from the Swedish government to the Cambodian government. The grant was announced on 5 September 2012.
Gottfrid has since been deported back to Sweden where he served his jail term in the Mariefred prison in Mariefred. He has also been investigated for two alleged instances of hacking, including breaking into the Swedish tax office between 2010 and April 2012, and is also suspected of serious fraud. As of January 2013 , no charges had been filed for these matters yet.
As of early June 2013 Warg was named as a suspect in a Danish case, where millions of personal identification numbers were stolen from a police database. Danish police have asked that Warg be extradited from Sweden, so that he can be tried in Denmark. It was later confirmed that Svartholm would be extradited to Denmark, to undergo a similar trial to Sweden, the timing of which is dependent on the outcome in Sweden. On 20 June 2013, Gottfrid was found guilty of hacking and sentenced to two years in prison. This two-year prison sentence was eventually reduced to one year by appeal. In November 2013, Gottfrid was deported to Denmark and on 31 October 2014 was subsequently sentenced to three and a half years in prison for breaking into computers owned by CSC.
Svartholm Warg started the website Americas Dumbest Soldiers which listed deceased US soldiers in the Iraq War and asked users of the site to rate how "dumb" the soldiers were based on how they died. Fredrik Neij provided Svartholm Warg's site Internet access via a Swedish provider and British Telecom. According to Neij, someone at the US State Department contacted the head of British Telecom, who in turn contacted the head of the Swedish provider, asking them to remove the site. Invoking freedom of speech and parody, they questioned the request, but eventually removed the site.
Media related to Gottfrid Svartholm at Wikimedia Commons