Pirate Bay founders, due to speak, go missing in action

Peter Sunde and Fredrik Neij were due to speak at Hack in the Box but never arrived

Get your conspiracy theories ready: Two founders of The Pirate Bay were due to speak at the Hack in the Box security conference in Kuala Lumpur on Wednesday, but didn't show up.

The 3 p.m. speaking slot for Peter "brokep" Sunde and Fredrik "tiamo" Neij was cancelled. Their talk was titled "Data is Political."

A popular tweet by F-Secure's Mikko Hypponen written around the time their talk was to commence read: "The Pirate Bay founders Peter 'brokep' Sunde and Fredrik 'tiamo' Neij were stopped in Bangkok on their way to #HITB2012KUL. Talk cancelled."

"All we know is they didn't show up," said Mei Ling Foo, a Hack in the Box coordinator. Foo said she didn't have contact details for the two, joking they're both "invisible." She said she wasn't sure what city they were departing from.

The absence of the duo is perhaps not entirely surprising given their association with The Pirate Bay, the popular search engine used to find torrents, or small information files that allow the downloading of content from the BitTorrent peer-to-peer system.

In February, the Swedish Supreme Court declined to hear an appeal from The Pirate Bay founders, who were found guilty of violating copyright. On appeal, Neij was sentenced to 10 months in prison and Sunde to eight months. Also sentenced were Carl Lundström and Gottfrid Svartholm Warg.

Warg, who was sentenced to one year, was arrested in Cambodia on Aug. 30. He was deported from Cambodia and returned to Sweden. He is being held without charge there while prosecutors investigate his alleged involvement in the hacking of the IT company Logica.

Hack in the Box conference goers can still get a piece of The Pirate Bay, however: One of a few dozen items up for sale in a charity auction is a t-shirt that was owned by Neij with the website's ship-at-sail logo. It is signed by him as well and was previously auctioned at Hack in the Box in 2008.

Send news tips and comments to jeremy_kirk@idg.com

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Jeremy Kirk

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