TELECOM Digest OnLine - Sorted: Police Raid Bit Torrent Site; Shut it Down; Take Away Computers

Police Raid Bit Torrent Site; Shut it Down; Take Away Computers

Lisa Minter (
Wed, 25 May 2005 17:43:14 -0500

Government shuts down Web site used to steal "Star Wars: Revenge of
the Sith." Federal agents and movers busy all day Wednesday hauling
away computer equipment, servers, other files.

NEW YORK (CNN/Money) - Federal agents launched a crackdown Wednesday
on users of a popular new technology used to steal the latest "Star
Wars" movie and other large data files, according to immigration

The campaign was described by government officials as the first-ever
criminal action against operators of the file-sharing program known as

BitTorrent, described as Hollywood's version of the Napster scourge
that rocked the music industry several years ago, has been used by
Internet users to download massive files, such as movies and video
games, quickly and far more easily than they could in the past.

BitTorrent captured headlines last week when it was revealed that
"Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith" was available for free

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement announced in a statement a
crackdown against top members of a file-sharing network that is based
on BitTorrent and calls itself Elite Torrents.

Government agents said the onslaught included 10 search warrants and
the shut down of a central Web site used to coordinate all
file-sharing activity on the Elite Torrents network.

That Web site,, had a selection of copyrighted works
that government officials described as "virtually unlimited."

The sixth and final installment of the "Star Wars" franchise was
available for downloading on more than six hours
before it was released on theaters Thursday after midnight, according
to the government statement.

Within 24 hours, more than 10,000 copies of the "Star Wars" film had
been swiped.

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