Running an open platform such as Android means that a lot of applications for the platform are free however, free doesn’t always truly mean ‘free’. Quite often, it’s easier for somebody to get hold of a cracked APK package of a premium app from some corner of the internet, the scary thing is that this is fairly common and really quite easy for people to do. For some time now, piracy on Android has been on it’s way to the forefront, with games like Dead Trigger apparently suffering from piracy. If one thing’s certain, piracy is a problem everywhere and the face that Android is suffering is no surprise.
Now, it seems like the US Government has woken up to the fact that piracy on Android is becoming a real problem. The Department of Justice has seized three domains that belong to websites that were dealing in pirate Android applications, applanet.com, appbucket.net and snappzmarket.com. You can still load the sites as they’re still online but you will be greeted with a notice informing you that piracy is, of course, evil. If you’re at all interested try your hand at navigating to one of the above domains. In the run up to the seizure of the domains the DOJ worked with the FBI in Atlanta as well as authorities overseas in the Netherlands and France.
In order to investigate the sites, the authorities took to downloading thousands of Android applications that are available in Google Play or other legitimate market places. A number of the sites’ servers are hosted overseas, prompting the help from Dutch and French agencies. In the US, nine search warrants were issued.
When approached for comment, an assistant attorney General Sally Quililian Yates had this to say: “We will continue to seize and shut down websites that market pirated apps, and to pursue those responsible for criminal charges if appropriate,” Whether or not people had been arrested as part of the operation hasn’t been revealed.