FBI Takes Down Three Domains for Alleged Android App Piracy

The FBI is cracking down on several sites this week that it says have engaged in facilitating Android app piracy. The Department of Justice has seized and locked down the applanet.net, appbucket.net, and snappzmarket.com domains and placed a warning on the sites in question. They claim that these domains have been found to be engaging in "illegal distribution of copies of copyrighted Android cell phone apps." While previous piracy-related domain seizures have been handled by Immigration and Customs Enforcement as part of "Operation in Our Sites" initiative, these new operations were handled directly by the FBI.

"Cracking down on piracy of copyrighted works—including popular apps—is a top priority of the Criminal Division," said Assistant Attorney General Breuer in a press release. "Software apps have become an increasingly essential part of our nation’s economy and creative culture."

The FBI says its agents downloaded "thousands of copies of popular copyrighted mobile device apps" to verify the charges against the sites. Dutch and French law enforcement officials coordinated with the FBI because many of the domains were hosted on foreign soil.

Source: ARS Technica

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