The Entertainment Software Association today hailed the work of U.S. and foreign law enforcement agents and prosecutors for their work in "Operation Site Down," a recent global anti-piracy enforcement initiative that resulted in the dismantling of at least eight major online distribution servers offering millions of dollars worth of illegally pirated games and other works for download.

"We commend U.S. Attorney General Alberto Gonzales, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the U.S. Department of Justice’s Computer Crimes and Intellectual Property Section, U.S. Attorneys’ offices nationwide, and participating foreign law enforcement officials for their tremendous efforts in targeting these online piracy groups, which represent major priorities for the interactive video game industry," said Doug Lowenstein, president of ESA.

The Department of Justice’s action, code-named "Operation Site Down," targeted warez "release" groups, including "Myth," "Vengeance," and "Gamerz," which specialized in the early distribution of pirated games throughout the world via the Internet. U.S. and foreign law enforcement officials conducted close to 100 searches worldwide within a 24-hour period. Searches occurred in the U.S., Canada, Israel, France, Belgium, Denmark, the Netherlands, United Kingdom, Germany, Portugal, and Australia. The investigation has identified more than 120 individuals around the world, including many leaders or high-level members of piracy groups. The Department of Justice expects that additional targets will be identified and pursued during this ongoing investigation.

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