International piracy sweep targets 'warez' groups

The US Department of Justice and law enforcement officials from 10 other nations have seized more than 200 computers in an...

The US Department of Justice and law enforcement officials from 10 other nations have seized more than 200 computers in an internet piracy sweep.

The agencies conducted 120 searches across the globe, starting last Wednesday, in an effort to break up what the DOJ called "some of the most well-known and prolific online piracy organisations".

Close to 100 people are now under investigation after the sweeps, and as the investigations continue, that number will grow, said the DOJ.

Law enforcement agencies working on the so-called Operation Fastlink conducted the sweeps in 27 states and 10 other countries, including the UK, France, Germany, Israel, Singapore and Sweden.

Operation Fastlink focused on the illegal trade of software, games,films, and music online, sometimes called the "warez" community. The investigations focused on individuals and organisations, known as "warez" release groups, which specialise in the internet distribution of pirated materials.

The operation, directed by the FBI, was assisted by the Business Software Alliance, the Entertainment Software Association, the Motion Picture Association of America and the Recording Industry Association of America.

Grant Gross writes for IDG News Service

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