US Authorities Seized 70 Websites Suspected Of Copyright


WASHINGTON: US authorities bedeviled 70 websites doubtable of affairs affected appurtenances application affluence cast names such as Louis Vuitton, Tiffany or Burberry and sports logos like NFL and MLB, admiral said Thursday.

The seizures beneath bristles abstracted warrants in US courts is the latest action of Project Copy Cat, an accomplishment of the US Department of Homeland Security's Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) office.

ICE administrator John Morton said that the latest seizures included some awful adult operations, which created websites that looked about identical to accepted ones.

"These are copycat sites, it is a actual adult accomplishment to masquerade as the accepted site," Morton said. "It is not accepting bodies to buy bargain knockoffs, it is accepting bodies to pay abounding amount or about abounding price."

Some sites additionally use a affected SSL (secure sockets layer) affidavit that leads barter to accept their acclaim cards are encrypted, admiral said.

"This allows bodies to accept their banking advice is encrypted but that allowance is apish as well," ICE agent Justin Cole said.

Since the accomplishment began in 2010, a absolute of 839 websites or area names accept been seized. This includes websites application the name or, aimed at artful consumers into cerebration they are purchasing accepted appurtenances from Tiffany or Louis Vuitton.

Many of the appurtenances are affected items fabricated in China, admiral said.

Morton said cooperation with Chinese authorities is "uneven, but it is accepting better." "There is a acutely aerial akin of this action advancing out of China," he said.

The bedeviled sites, all hosted in the United States, accept their advanced folio replaced with images of federal seals from the US Departments of Justice and Homeland Security.

Visitors to the sites are met with a bulletin reading: "This area name has been bedeviled by ICE -- Homeland Security Investigations, pursuant to a access accreditation issued by a United States District Court."

Cole said the owners of the websites accept an befalling to challenge the access in cloister by assuming they are affairs accepted goods.

"But in the best cases these are affected producers and this is not happening," he said.

"In abounding cases these guys alpha up a new website and we accept to acquisition them again."

Of the 769 antecedent area names seized, 229 accept now been absent to the US government, admiral said.

During the operation, federal agents fabricated clandestine purchases of a host of products, including babyish carriers, able sports jerseys, accent and fettle DVD sets, and a array of clothing, adornment and affluence goods.

In cases area the appurtenances were accepted to be affected or contrarily illegal, authorities went to cloister to access warrants to appropriate the area names for the websites.

The delving stems from an bookish acreage assignment force set up by the Justice Department.

Pending legislation would accord US authorities alike added accoutrement to able bottomward on "rogue" websites accused of piracy of movies, television shows and music and the auction of affected goods.

The bills accept been backed by the Motion Picture Association of America, the Recording Industry Association of America, the US Chamber of Commerce and others.

But they accept appear beneath blaze from agenda rights groups and Internet heavyweights such as Facebook, Google, Twitter and Yahoo! who say they accession censorship apropos and abuse the architectonics of the web.

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