U.S. special agents seize 307 websites during 'Operation Fake Sweep'

U.S. special agents seize 307 websites during 'Operation Fake Sweep'

Summary: Most of the sweep ties into a crackdown on illegal NFL-related merchandise leading up to the Super Bowl this Sunday.

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U.S. special agents and officers have seized a total of 307 websites as part of an initiative called "Operation Fake Sweep."

Launched on October 1, the project was led by Homeland Security Investigations within U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).

Most of the sweep ties into a crackdown on illegal NFL-related merchandise leading up to the Super Bowl this Sunday.

As far as the websites go, 16 of them were set up for illegal streaming of the live sportscast, while another 291 domain names were brought down for illegally selling and distributing counterfeit merchandise.

Visitors to these websites are warned that they "will then find a seizure banner that notifies them that the domain name has been seized by federal authorities and educates them that willful copyright infringement is a federal crime."

Along with the websites, U.S. officials also had their hands full after seizing more than $4.8 million in fake NFL merchandise, such as fake jerseys, hats, t-shirts, jackets and other souvenirs.

ICE director John Morton explained in a statement:

While most people are focusing on whether the Patriots or Giants will win on Sunday, we at ICE have our sights on a different type of victory: defeating the international counterfeiting rings that illegally profit off of this event, the NFL, its players and sports fans. In sports, players must abide by rules of the game, and in life, individuals must follow the laws of the land. Our message is simple: abiding by intellectual property rights laws is not optional; it's the law.

Immigration and Customs officials asserted that Operation Fake Sweep will continue through weekend at Super Bowl events and venues throughout the Indianapolis-area and nationwide.

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6 comments
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  • RE: U.S. special agents seize 307 websites during 'Operation Fake Sweep'

    Thank you DHS for protecting the monopoly the NFL has on stupid overpriced garbage with team logos on them.

    Wait, seriously....homeland security? Do the terrorists win if I buy a jersey under $300?
    samalie
    • RE: U.S. special agents seize 307 websites during 'Operation Fake Sweep'

      @samalie
      yes, they win if you buy it from the sweatshops run by the taliban. ;)
      The Linux Geek
  • Think of what would happen

    if the Feds moved with such speed and determination to our southern border, instead of doing Hollywood's dirty work. But no, they rush to the defense of our entertainment and sports millionaires' frat clubs, while ignoring American jobs depletion and this nation's ever expanding welfare state pillared by an alien deluge.<br><br>[i]Immigration and Customs officials asserted that Operation Fake Sweep will continue through weekend at Super Bowl events and venues throughout the Indianapolis-area and nationwide.[/i]<br><br>The Federal Immigration Department protecting Tinsel Town and Jock City as opposed to its own porous borders. What a hoot!
    klumper
    • RE: U.S. special agents seize 307 websites during 'Operation Fake Sweep'

      @klumper Exactly
      MoeFugger
  • Homeland Security? Seriously?

    WTF do fake NFL items have to do with national security?
    Hallowed are the Ori
  • RE: U.S. special agents seize 307 websites during 'Operation Fake Sweep'

    Who needs SOPA when you have ICE?
    wendellgee2