consPIRACY | 12.12.2001 12:55
There have been six UK arrests as part of the US global crackdown on 'warez' software. This is the first time that the 'global reach' of the US law enforcement authorities has acted to protect American leadership in computers and software, considered as "very much at stake".
Operations 'Buccaneer', 'Bandwidth' and 'Digital Piratez' struck at the warez scene in different ways, to remove the hackers, to prosecute the folk that steal the hacked software, and to remove the distributors that compile and sell the distributions.
'Buccaneer' is the prosecution of the 'DrinkOrDie' warez-'group', with members involved in cracking copyright protected software. The 'warez' distribution is by others, the 'DrinkOrDie' folk hack the original software, potentially resulting in a 'warez' release before the commercial release.
This group has members everywhere on the Internet and possibly inside commercial software companies. Therefore, they are within the reach of U.S. law., and hence the UK, Europe and worldwide arrests and investigation.
'Bandwidth' was an operation of a very different kind. The FBI set up a 'honey-pot' to entrap those that are known to enjoy 'warez'. Law enforcement agents participated in creating an apparently active 'warez' scene, only to call time at a later date and use the log files as evidence to prosecute visitors to their 'warez' sites.
'Digital Piratez' was different again, this time involving the infiltration of 'warez' distribution scenes in order to break them up and nab their computers, removing terabytes of master files that could be pirated on to eventually arrive on the black-market.
There have been no UK arrests as part of 'Bandwidth' or 'Digital Piratez', however the clampdown on unpaid-for software does seem to be here. With 'Windows XP' requiring authorisation with Microsoft before use there may well be a time where every '1' and '0' will have to be rented, rather than 'owned' or merely 'stolen'.
Should you be concerned that you may have unauthorised software on your machine, you can download software from the 'Business Software Alliance' at -
(Or another bsa site closer to home...)
Exactly why now is the time to mop up the warez scene has little to do with 'Carnivore', 'Echelon' or the 'Magic Lantern' - tools used as part of the new global legal system. There is no new threat to 'freedom of speech', merely a few hackers prevented from hacking and distributing 'warez'.
Given the events of 9-11 and the heightened state of emergency, why do the law enforcement authorities spend time downloading tens of thousands of movies for the copyright lobby?
For the DOJ report -
BBC article -