Europol, the European Union’s Agency for Law Enforcement Cooperation, announced that its “Operation IOS X” initiative has shut down more than 30,000 Internet domain names for infringement of intellectual property. IOS, an acronym for “In Our Sites,” is a global operation that was initially launched in 2014.
Europol’s Intellectual Property Crime Coordinated Coalition collaborated with law enforcement entities of 18 European Union member states and the US National Intellectual Property Rights Coordination Center. Also participating in the initiative were Eurojust, the European Union’s Judicial Cooperation Unit, and Interpol.
The siezed domains were not only related to the distribution of pirated video, music and software content, but also that for counterfeit physical goods. Three suspects were arrested and more than €150,000 was siezed.
Read the entire press release at Europol, which identifies the participating initiatives, agencies and countries.
Why it matters
This announcement is the result of years of collaboration between country-level government agencies and international law enforcement, and demonstrates the complexity of digital piracy; which knows no national boundaries. Establishing and maintaining these kinds of collaborations is an ongoing logistical and policy-level challenge.
In November, Europol conducted a two day seminar in The Hague, part of this ongoing effort; which was attended by more than 70 officers and prosecutors from EU member states. Earlier in 2019, Europol conducted an anti-piracy initiative against five TV operators in Bulgaria that were distributing premium TV programming illegally.