FBI's covert "Operation Site Down" targets top international warez and piracy sites
Friday, July 1, 2005
The U.S. Department of Justice has announced actions taken in eleven nations as part of the FBI's covert "Operation Site Down". The infiltration of so-called 'Topsites' resulted in searches, arrests, and seizures in Australia, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, France, Germany, Israel, the Netherlands, Portugal and Great Britain in addition to the United States.
Messages in response posted on a communications page for warez users read:
- RiSCISO, Myth, TDA, LND, Goodfellaz, Hoodlum, Vengeance, Centropy, Wasted Time, Paranoid, Corrupt, Gamerz, AdmitONE, Hellbound, KGS, BBX, KHG, NOX, NFR, CDZ, TUN, and BHP were all hit, and were all hit hard.
- EdN not pre'ing for awhile, investigations still going on!
An email lists people targeted, updated in Mountain Time (UTC-7) at 6:31pm, 6:36pm, 6:38pm. The last update is at 6:41pm.
The FBI began the sting in 2003, offering hosting for software cracks and movies. As the covert site infiltrated the underground warez and piracy community, it was repeatedly expanded to provide storage for an increasingly large collection of pirated material. Eventually it held some 27 terabytes of copyrighted files, including 188 copyrighted software titles valued at more than US$300,000.
In the U.S.A. William Venya, 34, of Chatworth, Calif., Chirayu Patel, 23, of Fremont, Calif., Nate Lovell, 22, of Boulder, Colo., and David Fish, 24, of Watertown, Conn were all arrested on criminal complaints of copyright infringement and conspiracy to commit copyright infringement.
- Associated Press. "Online Pirates Nailed in Sting" — , 02:10 PM Jun. 30, 2005 PT
- "Operation Site Down" — , Friday 1st July 2005
- Shannon McCaffrey, Knight Ridder. "Internet piracy crackdown leads to arrests, works worth $50 million" — , Thu, Jun. 30, 2005
- By Pete Carey, Mercury News. "FBI sting busts piracy net" — , Thu, Jun. 30, 2005 - requires registration
- U.S. Dep't of Justice Press release: "JUSTICE DEPARTMENT ANNOUNCES INTERNATIONAL INTERNET PIRACY SWEEP"
- Scene communication board
- email message
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