Fed dismantled movie site was told about an investigation months ago * TorrentFreak


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As part of a new initiative to fight internet piracy and counterfeiting, the US government yesterday took action against nine web portals suspected of showing first-run movies. Not only were domain names targeted, but assets were seized from bank accounts, PayPal and others. One site, NinjaVideo, was warned by TorrentFreak months ago that it was being watched.

Following last week’s threats from US Vice President Joe Biden and US IP Enforcement Coordinator Victoria Espinel against those offering unauthorized movies and music, yesterday saw indications of the first clear action.

Under the banner “Operation on our sites”, authorities have targeted nine domains that allegedly offered first-run films without the consent of the copyright holders, a serious criminal offense under US law.

“Copyright infringement occurs on a massive scale on the Internet, causing billions of dollars in losses to the US economy,” said Preet Bharara, the US attorney for the Southern District of New York, whose office dealt with warrants authorizing seizures. of seven of the domains.

The seven domains entered are TVShack.net, Movies-Links.TV, FilesPump.com, Now-Movies.com, PlanetMoviez.com, ThePirateCity.org and ZML.com.

The feds left a message

In addition to the domain seizures, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) officers seized assets from 15 bank, PayPal, investment and other advertising accounts. Four residential search warrants were also executed.

The other two targeted domains – NinjaVideo.net and NinjaThis.net – belong to the hugely popular streaming service NinjaVideo. Authorities said the site was subjected to a months-long operation that resulted in the seizure of their domains and website content.

“This investigation resulted in the execution of federal search warrants for their content and domain name on servers in the United States and the Netherlands. HSI agents also executed four residential search warrants in North Carolina, New Jersey, New York and Washington, ”the ICE announcement said.

At TorrentFreak, this announcement did not come as much of a surprise. Several months ago, we were informed that NinjaVideo was being closely watched, but we had no idea the US authorities were behind it.

In March, we learned that the Dutch police had arrived at Ecatel, the host of NinjaVideo in the Netherlands. Our sources said the servers were removed for review, but then returned. TorrentFreak contacted Ecatel who told us that “your sources have given you a lead far removed from the truth”.

We also reached out to NinjaVideo and gave them the few details we had, but after email exchanges it became clear that NinjaVideo could not or would not pull from the information we provided. Without any absolute clear information or citable sources, we were unfortunately forced to abandon our planned article.

Now, three months later, NinjaVideo is one of nine websites targeted by the US government. As is often the case, however, not all websites surrender without a fight. At least two sites have already adapted.

Movies-Links.TV, is operational under the new domain name of Watch-Movies-tv.info and TVShack.net is now located at TVShack.cc. Both are hosted by former Pirate Bay bandwidth provider CB3ROB and both are mentioned in a previous MPAA copyright notice.

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