Agencies Crack Internet Piracy Network (IRC)
No need to worry for you people, I think. Sure it’s true, but, also just trying to scare you people away more, I’m sure.
Arrests could come soon after investigators from several agencies made a bust that revealed one of the most sophisticated piracy operations they have ever seen.
Law enforcement officials said the raid was the first of its kind in the country. Thatâ€™s because investigators usually find tangible items like CDs, videotapes and DVDs, but in this case they said they found the â€œbrainsâ€ of a piracy operation and the computers behind it.
The North Carolina Secretary of Stateâ€™s Office, the North Carolina Anti Counterfeiting Association and the Motion Picture Association all participated in the investigation. They searched a nondescript store in Morganton called Harbison Electronics on Tuesday. They said their search revealed a entire room filled with computer equipment they said was being used to get movies, music and pornography illegally.
At the center of this investigation is the storeâ€™s owner Charles Robert Harbison. Investigators said he called himself â€œdr^strangeloveâ€ in Internet chat rooms.
Investigators said the high tech, high security computers in his store were used for pirating thousands of movies, music titles, even Playstation and X-Box games. They said the computer system also incorporated an underground 200 channel Internet Relay Chat (IRC) system.
â€œIt usually goes undetected, thatâ€™s what makes this case unique,â€ said Chuck Hausman, an investigator for the Motion Picture Association of America.
IRC systems are servers that act as virtual meeting places that allow people from anywhere in the world to meet and talk, or even share computer files. Users of these systems join channels that usually have a specific topic of interest associated with them. Once a user has joined a channel they can send messages or files to other people in the same channel. In this case those channels allowed people to obtain pirated copies of copyrighted material, and information on hacking.