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Department of Justice plans to crack down on counterfeits sold online

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These days, people are resorting to the internet for most of their shopping. Who can blame them; the experience is far more convenient, and often cheaper, than going to traditional brick-and-mortar retail stores. One of the problems with this, however, is how easy it is to find and buy counterfeit goods online, and the US Department of Justice wants to put an end to that. Attorney General Loretta E. Lynch has announced a plan to fight intellectual property crimes in the country, which includes a grant funding of 3.2 million dollars for local and state law enforcement agencies. The idea behind the strategy, led by the FBI, is to work with third-party marketplaces (such as eBay or Amazon) to make sure they have "the right analytical tools and techniques to combat intellectual property concerns on their websites."

But there's more to the plan than that. Lynch also mentioned the Target and Sony hacks, using them as an example of how the web has shed light on a different depth of crimes. "The digital age has revolutionized how we share information, store data, make purchases and develop products, requiring law enforcement to strengthen our defenses against cybercrime -- one of my top priorities as Attorney General," she said in a statement. "High-profile instances of hacking -- even against large companies like Sony and Target -- have demonstrated the seriousness of the threat all business face and have underscored the potential for sophisticated adversaries to inflict real and lasting harm."

Ultimately, the Justice Department says, its new strategy will give law enforcement and companies the tools to better identify and crackdown on all aspects of counterfeit products -- including distribution, manufacturing, advertising and the sale of them. "Crimes will then be investigated by the FBI and other partners of the National Intellectual Property Rights Coordination Center and finally prosecuted by the Department of Justice."

[Image credits: Associated Press]

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