US Government Shuts Prominent Android Piracy Sites

The US Department of Justice said, “this is the first time website domains involving cell phone app marketplaces have been seized.”

Three domains: applanet.net, appbucket.net and snappzmarket.com were seized, the orders for which were given by federal courts through a joint operation involving FBI, the US DoJ, Dutch and French law enforcement officials and several US attorneys’ offices. Beyond the seizures, nine search warrants were also executed across six districts in the US on Tuesday. The reason for involving international law enforcement agencies was that these domains often dubbed as “alternative online markets” were hosted in other countries.

During the operation, FBI agents downloaded thousands of copies of popular copyrighted mobile apps from the alternative online markets which are suspected of distributing copies of such copyrighted software without permission from the developers, the department said.

Lanny A. Breuer, assistant attorney general for the Justice Department’s Criminal Division said, “Cracking down on piracy of copyrighted works – including popular apps – is a top priority of the Criminal Division.”