A multi-national crackdown on piracy has seen over 37,000 websites shuttered for selling counterfeit goods in the run-up to the big Black Friday/Cyber Monday weekend.
US Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) partnered with law enforcers and industry players from 27 countries worldwide to take action.
In total, 37,479 sites were shut down with the HSI-led National Intellectual Property Rights Coordination Center co-ordinating efforts between industry members, anti-counterfeiting associations and law-enforcers to seize domains via civil and criminal action.
“This effort highlights the global commitment to take aggressive action against online piracy,” said IPR Center director Bruce Foucart.
“The IPR Center will continue to collaborate with international law enforcement and industry to protect consumers from purchasing counterfeit goods online, which could expose sensitive financial information and present a health and safety threat.”
Among the most popular counterfeit items sold each year include headphones, sports tops, toiletries, shoes, toys, luxury goods, mobile phones and electronics.
Interpol and Europol were singled out for praise for their efforts in the take downs.
They mobilized law enforcers from Belgium, Bulgaria, Colombia, Croatia, Denmark, France, former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Luxembourg, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Serbia, Spain and the United Kingdom.
And for the first time in its four years of taking part in these campaigns, Interpol managed to get Argentina, Chile, Japan, Hong Kong, China, Panama, Peru, South Korea and Thailand on board.
Europol had the following in a statement:
“Europol’s role involved organising, coordinating, exchanging and subsequently analysing data among participating countries, and liaising with rights holders from the private sector.
Cooperation with private industry remains crucial and is key to monitoring and reporting IP-infringing websites to the concerned countries via Europol, to ultimately make the internet a safer place for consumers. The participating rights holders represented different sectors, including traditional luxury goods, sportswear, spare parts, electronics, pharmaceuticals and toiletries.”