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Saturday, September 1, 2012

FBI Shut Down Pirated Android App Websites

Surprisingly for everyone, American authorities decided to extend their efforts from torrent trackers and streaming services to the websites that offer pirated Android apps.

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In cooperation with French and Dutch police, the FBI decided to seize domain names of the portals that offer pirated mobile apps. Thus far, it remains unknown whether their admins were arrested or not.

The Department of Justice of the United States has made a statement a couple days ago, saying that they have seized 3 domains associated with offering illegal Android apps. The joint forces of three countries took offline applanet.net, appbucket.net and snappzmarket.com, whose users were very surprised to see the “FBI seizure” banner greeting on the main page.

Although it is only the first time such operations took place, it could just be the beginning. According to Special Agent Brian Lamkin, who led the operation in question, this kind of piracy is a kind problem which won’t be set aside. He explains that the virtual thefts cost businesses millions of dollars and are even able to inhibit the development and implementation of new ideas and apps. The Federal Bureau of Investigation, in cooperation with different corporate and government partners, isn’t just committed to fighting such thefts, but is also well poised to coordinate with the many jurisdictions that are impacted by such activities.

In the meantime, Assistant Attorney General Breuer claimed that cracking down on piracy of the copyrighted works, including popular applications, is considered a top priority of the Criminal Division. Since software applications have become an increasingly important part of our nation’s economy and creative culture, the Criminal Division is now committed to cooperating with their law enforcement partners in the effort to protect the creators of the applications and other forms of intellectual property from Internet users who want to steal it.

As you might remember, “Operation in Our Sites”, launched two years ago, resulted in the seizure of hundreds of domain names by American authorities, but these operations were only focused on the services that offered counterfeit goods or facilitated copyright violation. So, it is yet unclear whether this kind of domain seizures will become a norm or not. 

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