“It’s the first time in Germany that, instead of the shops or marketplaces, it is the ones who make it possible to commit the crimes that will be charged,” Brauer told Deutsche Welle.


“I think it’s a huge success... that we were able at all to get police forces into the bunker complex, which is still secured at the highest military level,” regional criminal police chief Johannes Kunz told the AP. “We had to overcome not only real, or analog, protections; we also cracked the digital protections of the data center.”

PC Mag, citing comments on Hacker News, suggested that the data center was “known as cb3rob and was operated by Cyberbunker, which at one point was home to The Pirate Bay.” Visiting the cb3rob domain currently displays the message, ““This server has been seized by the National Bureau of Criminal Investigations Rhineland-Palatinate on behalf of the Attorney General’s Office Koblenz.” In 2013, Cyberbunker was blacklisted by anti-spam group Spamhaus, which was promptly followed by a massive cyber attack on Spamhaus and Cloudflare, according to the New York Times. Cyberbunker has also claimed that one of its facilities, a Cold War-era nuclear bunker, was raided by a Dutch SWAT team that was totally unable to get past the blast doors. (This story appears to be apocryphal.)


According to Deutsche Welle, service providers can’t be held criminally responsible for hosting illegal content in Germany unless “it can be proven that they are aware of and supporting the illegal activity.” That process may take years, Brauer told the network.

Correction: This article originally stated the bunker was 5,000 square feet; it is 5,000 square meters (or around 53,800 square feet). We regret both the error and the U.S. system of customary units.