The file sharing service FS.TO earned monthly from UAH 500 thousand to UAH 1.5 million, and it resulted possible to shut it down not for piracy, but for tax evasion. This was stated in the Telekritika’s interview with Sergey Demedyuk, Head of the MIA Cyber Police Department.
“We managed suspending FS operation not because of its piracy activities, but in view of the fiscal claims, since the company received illegal receipts from advertising sales without paying any taxes to the State treasury. We have been long and carefully documenting their illegal activities, undertaking undisclosed actions like to monitor the correspondence of suspects and their phone talks. We are actually working on this information and examining physical evidence, seized during the search. Their accounts were blocked”, as Mr. Demedyuk reported.
The Cyber Police’s spokesman is also confident that FS would be “revived”, as it has many branches and standby servers outside Ukraine. To avoid these developments, the cyber policemen are eager to expand the practice of seizing servers abroad under the international order, to deprive pirates of the option to restore their mirrors or standby servers.
Mr. Demedyuk also informed that the Cyber Police is criticized for closing FS and Ex.ua by users, who accuse it of “collaborating” with Russia.
“When we closed FS, users accused us of working for Russia, as we allegedly force them to register in the Russian social network “VKontakte” full of illegal content, and to visit Russian pirate sites. We should not follow Russia’s way and block foreign content (the same social network “VKontakte”, for example), as that is wrong. Moreover, the Internet does not work so. You can not ban everything”, as the Head of the Cyber Police points out.
As is known, in November, the Ukrainian cyber policemen stopped the operation of the group of online cinemas FS, incorporating resources like Fs.to, Brb.to, Fs.ua and Cxz.to. The next day, its close-down was announced by the file sharing service EX.UA, and then by the torrent portal Torrents.Net.UA.