To understand why The Pirate Bay disappeared, we’ll look at them from a routing perspective, noting that without widely accepted routes to their IP space, they will lack global connectivity. TPB operates an autonomous system, AS 51040, which has two Internet service providers, namely, ROBTEX (AS 48285) and Serious Tubes Networks (AS 50066). TPB also has several peers, the most prominent of which is Hurricane Electric (AS 6939). To provide their services, The Pirate Bay originates two IP networks or prefixes: 188.8.131.52/24 (Pirate Networks) and 184.108.40.206/24 (The Pirate Bay). The 220.127.116.11/24 prefix appears to be TPB’s core network, while 18.104.22.168/24 appears to host TPB’s main domains, such as piratebay.net, piratebay.org, thepiratebay.com etc.
The end of the year is approaching which seems to be a harbinger of Internet disasters. Four years ago (on 24 Dec. 2004), TTNet significantly disrupted Internet traffic by leaking over 100,000 networks that were globally routed for about an hour. Two years ago (on 26 Dec. 2006), large earthquakes hit the Luzon Strait, south of Taiwan, severing several underwater cables and wreaking havoc on communications in the region. Last year there was a small delay. On 30 Jan. 2008, more underwater cables were severed in the Mediterranean, severely disrupting communications in the Middle East, Africa, and the Indian subcontinent.
Calamity returned to its customary end-of-year schedule this year, when early today (19 Dec. 2008) several communications cables were severed, affecting traffic in the Middle East and Indian subcontinent. According to a press release by France Telecom three major cables were damaged: Sea-Me-We 4 at 7:28 UTC, Sea-Me-We 3 at 7:33 UTC, and FLAG FEA at 8:06 UTC. It appears that the SMW3 cable was only partially cut, the SMW4 cable was completely cut, while the FLAG cable was “observed down” with no other information given. The location of the cut appears to be between Sicily and Tunisia in a section which is the responsibility of Egypt Telecom. The causes of the cut remained unclear. It seems that ships were deployed to repair the damaged cables, but no ETA was given.