Law enforcement agents from the US and 10 other countries raided operations of alleged Internet pirates, making at least four arrests and seizing equipment used for illicit copies of films, music and software, US officials said Thursday.
The operation that began early Wednesday dubbed "Operation Site Down" was "designed to disrupt and dismantle many of the leading criminal organizations that illegally distribute and trade in copyrighted software, movies, music and games on the Internet," the US Justice Department said.
The raids were carried out in United States, Canada, Israel, France, Belgium, Britain, Denmark, the Netherlands, Germany, Portugal and Australia, striking what is known as the "warez" community, officials said.
The operation culminated three undercover investigations by the FBI.
No details on the arrests were provided.
Officials said the groups targeted were distributing illegal copies of recent films including Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith and Mr and Mrs
Smith, as well as software such as Adobe Photoshop and Autodesk Autocad 2006.
US officials said the losses from the pirated works exceeded 50 million dollars.
"The theft of this property strikes at the heart of America's economy," said FBI assistant director Louis Reigel.
"It deprives many Americans and others around the globe of their right to be paid for their labor and enjoy the value of their hard work." Source