LOS ANGELES (CBS)— Hundreds of websites have been shut down on what is traditionally the biggest shopping day of the year for online retailers.
Federal customs and law enforcement officials took advantage of “Cyber Monday” to announce a major operation that they claimed results in “American jobs lost, American business profits stolen and American consumers receiving substandard products”.
U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), the National Intellectual Property Rights Coordination Center (IPR Center), the Department of Justice and the FBI Washington Field Office participated in “Operation In Our Sites”.
“We have seized 150 website domain names as a result of this operation, all websites engaged in counterfeiting and pirating violations,” said John Morton, Director of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
The majority of the seized domain names appear to be linked to counterfeit sports clothing distributors along with several DVD- and handbag-related domains.
Visitors to the sites are greeted with a banner notifying them that the website has been seized and that copyright infringement is a federal crime.
In a similar action in 2010, authorities seized 82 domains ranging from a hip hop music linking site to a BitTorrent meta-search engine.