Over 30.000 piracy websites taken down by Europol

On December 2 Europol released a press release revealing that their latest investigation was part of operation “In Our Sites,” or IOS X, which was originally launched in 2014 and that the group claims have already produced several notable results in the fight for a more secure WWW.

While Europol hasn’t revealed the name of the websites that were taken offline following the investigation, it did say that the operation was specifically aimed at domain names used for distributing counterfeit and pirated items, including pirated movies, illegal television streaming, music, software, electronics, and even counterfeit pharmaceuticals.

The police arrested 3 suspects whose names and level of involvement in the operation of the piracy websites have not been revealed. Europol says it tracked down more than 150,000 Euros in bank accounts and online payment platforms and seized 26,000 luxury products.

The participating EU states that took part in the operation include Albania, Bulgaria, Germany, France, China, the United States, the UK, Romania, Netherlands, and several others.

“Europol ’s Intellectual Property Crime Coordinated Coalition (IPC) supported the investigation on the ground by deploying experts with a mobile office. Europol officers carried out real-time information exchange and cross-checks of the data gathered during the course of the action against Europol’s databases. In addition, IPC3 experts organised several online investigation techniques training courses in intellectual property infringements in 2019 with law enforcement authorities all over Europe,” Europol explains in the press release.

While the numbers are certainly impressive, Europol is not providing any information on the piracy websites that were taken down, which most likely means that no major names have been involved in the investigation.

However, Europol claims operation IOS X is so far working like a charm, indicating that “even more countries and private sector partners” are getting involved in its efforts to reduce online piracy.

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