Technology websites have cast doubt on claims by file-sharing site The Pirate Bay that it has moved to North Korea after being ejected from Sweden.
The Swedish Pirate Party was providing the file-sharing site with the bandwidth it needed until the Rights Alliance, backed by the biggest music and film companies, threatened to sue.
In a post on its website, The Pirate Bay said North Korea had offered a safe harbour, but tracking searches by technology websites indicate this may not be true, according to the Guardian.
The Pirate Bay said it had been persecuted for beliefs of freedom of information around the world.
"We have been fighting for a free world, and our opponents are mostly huge corporations from the United States of America, a place where freedom and freedom of speech is said to be held high," The Pirate Bay said.
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“Today we can reveal that we have been invited by the leader of the republic of Korea, to fight our battles from their network.”
But The Next Web said that although a traceroute identifies an IP address in North Korea, it appears that The Pirate Bay has hijacked a couple of IP addresses, set up a fake Border Gateway Protocol (BGP) advertisement and generated an artificial delay.
“The individuals behind The Pirate Bay are unlikely to trade speed for the chance to say the site is hosted in North Korea. They are more likely to hack around and can claim it regardless of whether it’s true,” the report said.
Analysts of the traceroute data have concluded that The Pirate Bay’s announcement hinting that is has relocated to North Korea is an elaborate hoax to cover the fact that it is still being hosted in Europe.
The Pirate Bay has employed several tactics to avoid detection by the authorities. In February 2012, the group started using magnet links instead of torrents, and in October the group moved into the cloud in order to improve its services, lower costs and evade shut-down.