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Federal agencies are cracking down on websites allegedly selling counterfeit goods, according to an article from CNET. In honor of Cyber Monday, the article says, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security says it joined forces with international law enforcement authorities to nab 132 domain names that were supposedly hawking bogus sports jerseys, DVD sets, jewelry and clothing.
The takedown was carried out under two operations – “Project Cyber Monday 3” and “Project Transatlantic” – and these types of sweeps during the holiday season have become a ritual of sorts for the government. Last year, more than 130 sites were taken down during a similar operation.
The global effort resulted in seizures from foreign-based domains ending in .eu, .be, .dk, .ro, and .uk, and it was also coordinated with DHS offices in Maryland, New York, Colorado, Texas, New Jersey and California. Targeted sites were allegedly selling luxury items that the agents bought in undercover purchases. Once the copyright holders confirmed the goods were counterfeit, federal judges issued seizure order of the domain names, the article says.
This year, the Federal agents also identified PayPal accounts that could have been associated with the websites. If more than $175,000 in proceeds was funneled through an account, it was targeted for seizure, CNET notes.
The Cyber Monday crackdowns are part of a bigger government initiative called “Operation In Our Sites,” which, in February, took down 307 websites that either allegedly live-streamed sports or sold fake NFL paraphernalia.
According to the DHS, roughly 1,630 domain names have been seized since the umbrella operation launched in 2010.