Illegal Android download sites seized by US DOJ

Summary:Three of the most prominent Android piracy sites have been shut down and seized by the U.S. Department of Justice.

FBI Seizure notice (600x450)

That's the warning greeting visitors to three popular Android sites that have been distributing illegal apps for smartphones.

Android may be an open platform but that doesn't stop pirates from illegally providing apps. Several big sites have operated out in the open, but that's been shut down by the U.S. Department of Justice.

According to PC World Applanet, Appbucket, and Snappzmarket are now offline, with the latter two displaying FBI seizure notices. The shutdown is the result of an operation between the FBI, Justice Department, several Attorneys General, and French and Dutch law enforcement agencies.

The Feds downloaded thousands of copyrighted apps from the three sites over the course of the operation.

Android has been popular with both malware authors and app pirates due to its widespread distribution. The activity caught the eyes of federal investigators who went to work. 

“Criminal copyright laws apply to apps for cell phones and tablets, just as they do to other software, music and writings.  These laws protect and encourage the hard work and ingenuity of software developers entering this growing and important part of our economy.  We will continue to seize and shut down websites that market pirated apps, and to pursue those responsible for criminal charges if appropriate,” said U.S. Attorney Sally Quillian Yates.

The entire statement is available on the U.S. DOJ web site.

Topics: Mobility, Security


James Kendrick has been using mobile devices since they weighed 30 pounds, and has been sharing his insights on mobile technology for almost that long. Prior to joining ZDNet, James was the Founding Editor of jkOnTheRun, a CNET Top 100 Tech Blog that was acquired by GigaOM in 2008 and is now part of that prestigious tech network. James' w... Full Bio

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