Nearly one thousand websites have been seized by law enforcement agencies following the international operation In Our Sites (IOS) VI. The websites were offering for sale counterfeit merchandise online to consumers.
The operation was coordinated by the United States Customs and Border Protection with the support of the Europol and Interpol and targeted offending Top Level domains.
It is the first time that the Interpol brought its support through eight of its member countries (Argentina, Chile, Japan, Hong Kong, China, Panama, Peru, South Korea and Thailand) as part of an ‘In Our Sites’ operation.
“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.” states the announcement issued by the Europol about the In Our Sites (IOS) operation.
The international joint effort involved authorities in 27 countries including the UK, Denmark, France and Spain. Copyright holders including tech companies, entertainment industry houses, and fashion outfits provided their support to the operations conducted by law enforcement.
The law enforcement bodies shut down 37,479 copyright-infringing websites selling counterfeit goods to coincide with the Cyber Monday.
“This effort highlights the global commitment to take aggressive action against online piracy,” says Bruce Foucart director of the Homeland Security’s National Intellectual Property Rights Coordination Center. “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.”
This is the sixth ‘In Our Sites’ conducted by the authorities, according to the official statement issued by the Europol this coordinated effort is the largest counter copyright and fraud operation of its kind for both the US Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency and Europol.
“Operation IOS VI followed a new format, in line with the EU Action Plan on the enforcement of intellectual property rights, which resulted in the triggering of seven additional operations. Moreover, several new cases are expected to be initiated due to the huge demand from the rights holders in private industry.”
|IOS I||Websites selling counterfeit merchandise taken down by authorities in Europe and the USA|
|IOS II||328 internet domains selling counterfeit products targeted by law enforcement|
|IOS III||690 internet domain names seized because of fraudulent practices|
|IOS IV||188 internet domain names seized for selling counterfeit products|
|IOS V||292 internet domain names seized for selling counterfeit products|
(Security Affairs – In Our Sites Operation, counterfeit merchandise)