Interpol took down over 30,000 piracy-related domains in a global operation
Interpol announced in December 2019 that it has successfully taken down 30,506 internet domains involved in the distribution of pirated and counterfeit goods following a massive anti-piracy operation.
The global operation, dubbed ‘Operation IOS X’, involved law enforcement agencies from 18 EU member states and the United States, as well as the European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO), the US National Intellectual Property Rights Coordination Centre (NIPRCC) and Eurojust.
Result of Operation IOS X
The thirty thousand domains taken down during the operation were proven to be involved in the dissemination of pirated goods, both physical and digital. Interpol noted that many of the websites were implicated in the distribution of counterfeit pharmaceuticals, alcoholic beverages and luxury goods. In addition, some were also involved in the distribution of pirated movies, television shows, music and software.
The operation also led to the arrest of three suspects and the confiscation of more than 26,000 pirated products. Several bank accounts, containing over €150,000, as well as online payment platforms were frozen in the aftermath of the raids.
Genesis of Operation IOS X
Operation IOS (In Our Sites) was launched by Interpol in 2014 with the objective of making the internet a safer place for the public. To enhance the efficacy and reach of the program, the Lyon-based agency invited the participation of various law enforcement agencies from around the world.
In its five year history, 10 wide-ranging IOS operations have been held by Interpol. Last year’s operation, Operation IOS IX, was equally successful and led to the takedowns of 33,654 piracy-related domains.
A parallel operation carried out in the United States in 2018 under the supervision of the US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) led to the takedown of over one million internet domains involved in the sales and distribution of fake automotive goods and electrical components.
Let's hope many more piracy take-down successes are to come in the future.