Op In Our Sites – Europol and other agencies seize over 20,500 domains for selling counterfeit products

An joint operation conducted by Europol and other law enforcement agencies resulted in the seizure of more than 20,520 domains for selling counterfeit products.

The operation, dubbed “In Our Sites (Project TransAtlantic VIII),” allowed to seize domains that were offering for sale any kind of counterfeit product, including luxury products, sportswear, electronics, pharmaceuticals and online piracy on e-commerce platforms and social networks.

This is the eighth edition of this global operation against online counterfeiting and IP crimes.

The “In Our Sites (Project TransAtlantic VIII)” operation was conducted by the Europol in association with the Interpol, the US National Intellectual Property Rights Coordination Centre (NIPRCC), FBI, Department of Justice (DOJ), and law enforcement authorities from 27 European Member States.

An Intellectual Property (IP) crime is committed every time someone uses an intellectual property right without the owner’s authorization. According to the Europol, counterfeiting and piracy are the main categories of IP crimes, such kind of crimes is becoming one of the most profitable business for the Organised Crime Groups (OCGs) are increasingly involved in the violation of IPR and darknets have a key role in the criminal ecosystem.

According to the International Trademark Association around $460 billion worth of counterfeit goods were bought and sold in 2016.
“Targeting copyright-infringing websites that market dangerous counterfeit goods to consumers and engage in other forms of intellectual property theft will continue to be a priority for law enforcement,” said acting IPR Center Director Nick.

Strengthening our collaboration with police authorities around the world and leaders of industry will reinforce the crackdown on IP crimes, and demonstrate that there is no safe haven for criminals committing these illicit activities.”

Europol hasn’t disclosed the list of seized domains that now display the official seals from the law enforcement agencies that participated in the operation.

Below the message presented by the visitors:

“This domain name has been seized

Operation in Our Sites-Project TransAtlantic VIII is a coordinated effort by the U.S., European, South American and Asian law enforcement agencies targeting websites and their operations that sell counterfeit goods.”

Europol Operation In Our Sites

This excellent result shows how important and effective cooperation between law enforcement authorities and private-sector partners is, and how vital it is if we are to ultimately make the internet a safer place for consumers. Through its Intellectual Property Crime Coordinated Coalition (IPC³), Europol will continue to work closely with its partners to strengthen the fight against intellectual property crime online and offline.’’ said Rob Wainwright, Executive Director of Europol.

According to data published by the Europol, the agency has seized a total of 7,776 websites in previous “In Our Sites” (IOS) editions.

“A total of 7776 websites have been seized in the previous editions. This year’s operation IOS VIII has seen a remarkable increase of up to 20 520 seized domain names that were illegally selling counterfeit merchandise online to consumers.” reads the press release issued by Europol. “This can be explained by the holistic approach which Europol followed with the aim of making the internet a safer place for consumers, by getting even more countries and private-sector partners to participate in this operation and provide referrals.”

Pierluigi Paganini

(Security Affairs – Europol, In Our Sites)

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