Operation 404: brutal attack against piracy with hundreds of websites closed

The Brazilian authorities have reported the results of a new wave of what is known as ” Operation 404 “, a series of massive raids against piracy networks that on this occasion have had the support of the Unit for Crimes against Intellectual Property of the UK Police, Latin America MPA and US Entertainment Software Association.

As a result, 200 illegal streaming and gaming websites, 128 domains and 63 music apps have been blocked and there have been 11 arrests .

New wave of Operation 404

The fifth wave of Operation 404 has been described by the Brazilian Ministry of Justice and Public Security as an “international mobilization” coordinated by the MJSP, through the National Secretariat of Public Security (Senasp), with the support of police officers in eight state.

“The objective is the removal of audio and video content, such as games and music, blocking and suspension of illegal streaming websites and applications, de-indexing of content in search engines and removal of profiles and pages on social networks. In this 5th phase, eleven people were arrested : four in São Paulo, two in Paraná, one in Bahia and four in Minas Gerais” , reports the MJSP announcement.

In the states of Pernambuco, São Paulo, Paraná, Minas Gerais, Rio Grande do Sul, Bahia, Ceará, and Rio de Janeiro, search and seizure warrants were executed to locate computer equipment.

“199 illegal streaming and gaming sites and 63 music apps were also removed, in addition to blocking 128 domains,” the ministry says. In addition, a total of six “messaging app channels” with more than 4,000 subscribers were seized, allegedly for distributing music that had not been officially released.

International anti-piracy operation

The local operation of the Brazilian forces received important international support in this fifth phase of Operation 404 . Authorities say they collaborated with the UK Police’s Intellectual Property Crime Unit and the British Embassy, the Peruvian intellectual property protection agency INDECOPI, MPA Latin America, the anti-piracy group Alianza and the industry group US-based video game developer known as the Entertainment Software Alliance (ESA), the organizers of E3.

You’re starting to see an ad targeting visitors to seized sites and domains . In addition to the groups listed above, it reveals involvement from the UK Intellectual Property Office, the Alliance for Creativity and Entertainment, Brazil-based music industry group APDIF and global music industry group IFPI.

Operación 404

According to the latest figures, Operation 404 has led to the blocking of 1,974 websites and 783 apps since it began in 2019 . The names of the sites and applications are never mentioned in the published material.

During a Justice Ministry press conference on Tuesday, there was a clear effort to associate pirte sites with malware and a “certainty” that people who download music or watch pirted streams would see their private information exposed.