Operation Site Down–The Latest Warez Group Bust (vintage 2005)

The FBI conducted another major International bust of warez groups involving 90 searches and four arrests. The DOJ press release. AG Gonzales’ statement. The AP story. This is only the latest of a string of major busts of warez trading groups, including the 2001 bust of the Fastlane group, the 2001 bust of Pirates With Attitude, the late 2001 Operations Buccaneer/Bandwidth/Digital Piratez, the 2003 Operation Safe Haven, the 2003 Operation Cybernet and the 2004 Operation Fastlink.

As I’ve written previously, the war against warez is ultimately futile. With sufficient enforcement, eventually we can put all of the warez traders behind bars, literally removing them from society to prevent their actions. Otherwise, the threats of criminal enforcement have had no measurable deterrence. Despite the apparent futility of criminal sanctions in preventing warez trading, I’ve predicted that the DOJ will continue to hunt down and bust warez traders to show Congress that it is taking advantage of the shiny new criminal copyright infringement laws that Congress keeps handing it.

The 2001 DOJ press releases bear a striking resemblence to the latest DOJ press releases. As a result, I predict that in 2008, the DOJ will bust a warez trader group and include in its press release the following statements:

* warez traders are responsible for worldwide copyright infringement [the Site Down press release: “the Department is striking at the top of the copyright piracy supply chain – a distribution chain that provides the vast majority of the illegal digital content now available online”]

* the DOJ will take down anyone who engages in theft that hurts the American economy [the Site Down press release: “The theft of this property strikes at the heart of America‚Äôs economy”]

* no warez trader is safe from the long arm of the DOJ {the Site Down press release: “law enforcement can and will find – and we will prosecute – those who try to use the Internet to create piracy networks beyond the reach of law enforcement”]

Some things never change.