“Law enforcement officials on Tuesday launched a crackdown on Internet piracy of software programmes, seizing at least 65 computers.” – Financial Times, Dec. 12, 2001.

Only 299,999,935 Computers Still Left to Confiscate

Washington, D.C. (SatireWire.com) – Government agents from five countries said Wednesday they launched a crackdown on software piracy, seizing at least 65 computers containing stolen movies, computer games and applications. With the confiscations, officials said there were now only 299,999,935 computers in the world housing software that hasn’t been paid for.

your face here
Police released this composite sketch of a suspect believed to be using software that hasn’t been paid for.

While the initial seizures targeted “Warez” groups — a network of people accused of breaking copy protection on games, music and digital video — deputy U.S. Treasury secretary Kenneth Dam warned that the raids were only the beginning of the government’s fight to stop piracy.

“Software firms lose an estimated $12 billion annually as the result of theft, and now that we have broken up the suppliers, we will pursue the junkies,” said Dam. “We will not rest until everyone in possession of programs they have not paid for is brought to justice.”

Asked if the treasury department knows how to find these suspects, Dam said they had some fairly strong leads. “You just open the phone book, start at ‘A,’ and work your way down,” he said.

Dam added that he has already requested search warrants for “Phase II” of the operation, and U.S. District Court Judge Marvin Hamel said he planned to approve the warrants just as soon as he deletes the unregistered shareware from his laptop.

In Tuesday’s action, U.S. customs agents executed 37 search warrants in 27 cities, while agents in the U.K. executed 10 search warrants. Australia, Finland and Norway launched similar raids. Among those suspected of possessing stolen software, said Dam, were corporate executives, computer network administrators, and students. The wider search to come, he said, is likely to also catch software engineers, government employees, and scientists. Also nurses aides, airline pilots, waiters, and theme park actors.

And metallurgists, insurance adjusters, skateboarders, cardiologists, journalists, dance therapists, clergymen, pipe fitters, butlers, headmasters, pharmacists, surveyors, actuaries, barristers, drywall installers, boatswains, decathletes, curators, midwives, osteopaths, pot boys, quilters, bakers, notaries public, stevedores, adults, children, the State of New York, people with a neck, and U.S. deputy treasury secretaries.

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