After five months of tracking down counterfeit goods and pirated music sources, U.S. authorities have finally brought to a halt cyber operations of websites that are guilty of the crime. As spokeswoman of the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency under the Department of Homeland Security, Cori Bassett says that her agency had implanted court-ordered seizure warrants on dozens of domain names that are accused of distributing pirated movies and counterfeit products. Bassett refuses to give further comments on the details of execution, saying that an investigation is still ongoing.
Meanwhile, a popular Bit Torrent file sharing protocol site called Torrent Freak had been rumored to post a list of a number of sites which had been targeted by the ICE. The list includes around over 70 domain names that have been shut down by the enforcing agency. The post also informs users of how copyright infringement is tantamount to a federal crime punishably by law. A penalty of give years imprisonments plus a quarter of a million dollar fine shall be imposed on violators who distribute pirated material, while trafficking counterfeit goods is punishable by up to ten years in prison plus a two million dollar fine for the perpetrator.
Starting June this year, around nine websites were apprehended by ICE for distributing pirated movies. This includes the subsequent closure of bank, advertising and PayPal accounts named under the sites that had been raided. The operation is appropriately named “Operation In Our Sites” and will be speared towards all items being distributed on the Internet. Apart from music and movies, ICE will be going after counterfeit medicine, software, games and electronic gadgets.