EXCLUSIVE: The Australian Federal Police and several State Police forces are working with Microsoft in an effort to launch a coordinated global attack against software piracy and people who are selling counterfeit goods, online sources have said.The assault on piracy and the illegal sale of counterfeit branded goods, including unlicensed software bundles, fake mobile iPhones, Sony and Canon digital cameras, as well as music and DVDs, is expected to take place next week, with Microsoft confirming that it is working with Australian government agencies and law enforcement officials in over 70 Countries.
Collectively the law enforcement agencies are hoping to noble over 300 people, including several in Australia who have been targeted following several months of online surveillance.
Australian Police is hoping that they have enough evidence to lay civil and criminal actions against several alleged counterfeiters who are selling goods online.
At this stage, the Australian Federal Police is refusing to Comment.
The campaign by Microsoft is part of a campaign that the company is internally calling “Consumer Action Day”.
Several software companies have told ChannelNews that they are aware of the imitative and that the sale of fake software is hurting sales at a retail level. Recently Microsoft said that many illegitimate programs come bundled with spyware, viruses and other malware that can make PC users vulnerable to privacy leaks and other problems.
During the past 12 months and following the release of Windows 7, Microsoft has been able to use its Windows Genuine Advantage anti-piracy detection technology to identify IP addresses of persons trying to register illegal or pirated software, say sources.
Microsoft recently said that it has received more than 150,000 voluntary reports from people who discovered that they unwittingly bought pirated programs.
“Consumers have somewhat been an untapped resource in the battle against software piracy,” said David Finn, Microsoft associate general counsel for anti-piracy and anti-counterfeiting. “I think they’ve been underappreciated and unknown, but they are actually a natural remedy to software piracy, because they’re increasingly frustrated and angry about the connection to viruses and malware.”