Police have started a piracy crackdown of Facebook users across England, Wales and Northern Ireland. Facebook, being more than a social media platform, offers users a forum to sell and promote products and services. Governmental authorities and the police have conducted this crackdown to stop pirated and infringed products.
In the last few weeks, law enforcement authorities have raided dozens of locations across UK and Northern Ireland. They have issued over 200 warning letters and 24 cease and desist letters to individuals engaged in the buying and selling of counterfeit and infringed products. So far, the twelve raids by the authorities have not resulted in any arrests, but the tracking and taking down of such users is on the high.
Popular Items being Sold and Bought on Facebook
Among the wide range of products that were being pirated and sold through Facebook, the most frequently sold/bought items included t-shirts, mobile phones, tablets, links to infringed movie and TV show sites, and pirated Android streaming boxes. Android streaming boxes were among the major products that were being counterfeited as the device offers users access to movies and sports streaming channels illegally.
Will Facebook become the next PirateBay?
According to the UK government's IP Crime Report, Facebook and other social media channels have become the channel of choice for online pirate activity. Many torrent websites have already faced this wrath as Pirate Bay's Facebook account was closed last year in December. Similarly, other torrent websites such as ExtraTorrent had their Facebook accounts suspended. Nick Boles, a Minister at the Department of Business, Innovation and Skills said that copyright infringed and counterfeited products pose a threat to the legitimate businesses, threatens jobs, and also cause real damage to the consumers.
Extent of Information Exposure remains Unknown
This latest crackdown could leave your Facebook details exposed as well. Whether or not you purchased or sold any pirated product or service, the mass surveillance and other crackdown techniques used by the authorities could severely threaten your Facebook privacy and your account could be suspended.