- Associated Press - Wednesday, February 1, 2012

KIEV, UKRAINE (AP) - Ukrainian authorities have shut down a popular file-sharing website saying it violates copyright laws, officials said Wednesday.

Interior Ministry spokesman Volodymyr Polishchuk said that Ex.ua was closed Tuesday after complaints from Microsoft, Adobe and other companies. The ministry said it has confiscated 200 servers that were used to support the website and law enforcement agents were questioning 16 of its employees.

The Recording Industry Association of America has named Ex.ua among the world’s worst Internet piracy sites.

Soon after Ex.ua went down Tuesday, the Interior Ministry’s own website became inoperable, which Polishchuk said was likely the work of hackers. The Ukrainian presidential website went offline Wednesday and a presidential spokesman also blamed it on hackers.

Ex.ua representatives could not be immediately reached for comment.

Millions of Ukrainians have uploaded and downloaded music, movies, and software from the website since it was founded in 2009.

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