Europe cops blitz computer pirates

  • TECH
  • Thursday, 09 Sep 2010

BRUSSELS: Ten people have been arrested in raids across Europe against computer pirates who put illegal copies of movies and television series on the Internet.

Five of the arrests were made in Belgium, where the computer crime unit led an operation that fanned out over 12 other nations, including Britain, Germany, France and Sweden.

The raids neutralised 48 servers distributing illegal material.

In Belgium, the suspects in the illegal filesharing networks were charged with membership in a criminal organisation, computer fraud, hacking and piracy.

“They are between 25 and 30 years old and they knew what they were doing,” investigator Olivier Bogaert told The Associated Press. He said they were not seeking to maximise financial profit through their actions.

“They have the notion that all has to be free,” Bogaert said.

Swedish police, meanwhile, raided seven different locations for suspected filesharing, including the web hosting company PRQ in Stockholm’s suburb of Solna, which has links to both The Pirate Bay, one of the world’s largest filesharing venues, and whistle-blower website WikiLeaks.

A Swedish police coordinator Paul Pinter said the raid against PRQ had nothing to do “either with The Pirate Bay or with WikiLeaks.”

The Pirate Bay has remained in operation despite guilty verdicts in 2009 copyright trial in Sweden, against four men accused of running or financing the site.

By yesterday evening, all suspects rounded up in Sweden were freed, Pinter said. — AP

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