FAST moves to nab illegal SME software downloaders

Operation Tracker identifies 25 companies where software is being illegally shared

The provisional findings of the second phase of Operation Tracker launched by the Federation Against Software Theft (FAST) in April have identified 25 companies where software is being illegally shared.


FAST calls its system the CCTV of the Internet and it enables the Federation to trace those making software available illegally and the library of what they have on offer including from company connections to the internet. Small- to medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) are among the worse offenders for such activity.


In this second phase of activity, evidence has identified a number of companies from where the files are being shared. Further investigations are being planned.


Unlike previous campaigns FAST has not had to apply to the High Court to order Internet Service Providers to hand over customer details. This was the culmination of the first phase of Operation Tracker. 


Despite the accuracy of Operation Tracker, the emphasis of this action was to focus on organisations and is a warning to directors who prevail over an environment where employees break the law. 


Phase One of Operation Tracker itself has just concluded with several thousand pounds being recovered and 18 identified individuals signing binding undertakings.


John Lovelock, director general of FAST comments: "Tracker works, and if corporates and their management teams think they can either hide from or ignore their liabilities they are going to have to think again. Misuse of software is something directors cannot plead ignorance to. If their staff are using the corporate network for illegal activity, those in charge may be liable. Theft is theft and will be treated accordingly.”


The campaign is founded on FAST's understanding that employees take advantage of their fims' high speed internet access and large storage capabilities in their enterprises for illegal file sharing.


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