Operation Intangibles

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) has joined forces with the Motion Picture Association (MPA) to launch a new initiative aimed at countering digital piracy and protecting a vital sector of the U.S economy.

Through the HSI-led National Intellectual Property Rights Coordination Center, ICE and the MPA jointly signed a Memorandum of Understanding aimed at developing comprehensive strategies to coordinate public- and private-sector efforts that disrupt and combat all forms of digital piracy.

Derek N. Benner, Executive Associate Director for Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), a division of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement which oversees the IPR Center, and Karyn Temple, Senior Executive Vice President and Global General Counsel for the MPA, signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) during a virtual ceremony to commemorate the partnership.

Digital streaming services provide quick and easy access to creative works, such as music, television, movies. However, the growth of digital streaming services has presented new challenges when it comes to law enforcement’s ability to ensure vital copyright protection for the industry. This technology that has provided millions of people access to their favorite shows, has also enabled criminals to turn piracy into a crime that is no longer restricted to the hand-to-hand sale of illegally pirated media.

Digital piracy negatively impacts millions of jobs, results in less taxes being paid, and threatens innovation and creativity. Its effects are felt across multiple industries and includes the cost of corollary crimes on consumers such as the potential damage caused by hidden or embedded malware, as well as identity theft and financial crimes, such as credit card fraud.

When consumers download, stream or share pirated items, including movies and television shows, they deprive U.S. companies and workers of earned income. This illicit activity feeds a criminal enterprise whose profits are used to support other organized criminal endeavors, including violent crime and trafficking.

Annually, IP theft is at more than $1 billion dollars and requires a coordinated, global response to effectively combat it. Around the world, national governments and associations of content producers and distributors are working together to identify and prevent it.

Through Operation Intangibles, HSI is committed to leading the United States' efforts to stop digital piracy and eliminate a vital source of illicit revenue from transnational criminal organizations.


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