OF THE INTERNET
International Law Enforcement Sails After Criminal Warez Groups
Let's get one thing
straight: we're not talking here about kids who make the occasional illegal
download of a popular song from the Internet and share it with friends
(though that, of course, is wrong).
We're talking about
big business--professionals who get up in the morning and put in a day
of stealing copyrighted music, movies, games, and software from the Internet,
processing them, and distributing them through peer-to-peer (P2P) or file-sharing
How do these "businesses" work? Known
as "warez release groups," these syndicates are highly organized:
in music, film, and software industries supply the newest/hottest items
to the groups.
- "crackers" strip
out the embedded source codes and insert new trademarks.
- "Q&A" test
the product to make sure it works.
transmit the items through networks.
only control these day-to-day operations, they also recruit new members,
manage archive sites, and shield their illegal operations from law enforcement
with sophisticated encryption.
What's the harm? Economic
harm. Online piracy and trading of music, movies, business, and gaming
software adds up to lost revenues--enough to put companies out of business,
lose jobs, negatively impact the economy, and, in the end, take money out
of your pockets as the losses are passed on to you, the
consumer, in the form of higher prices.
Not just a U.S.
crime problem. These acts of piracy are executed on an international
stage--and they they need an international law enforcement response.
Last month, they got one: OPERATION FASTLINK, the largest
global enforcement action ever undertaken against online piracy.
On April 21st of this
year, the FBI and our international law enforcement partners conducted
some 120 searches in 31 states and 10 countries to dismantle some of the
best known and most aggressive online piracy enterprises. We seized over
200 computers and servers, including some that actually housed hundreds
of thousands of copies of pirated works. We've identified nearly 100 leaders
in these groups and expect that number to go much higher in the days ahead.
We hope you'll
help. Please take time to learn more about the law and policy
crimes. To report cyber crimes, please contact your local
FBI Field Office or file a complaint through the Internet
Crime Complaint Center.
Related links: FBI
press release | DOJ