Chilling effect: how ICE tackles the criminals


US Immigration and Customs Enforcement has taken strides in recent years to tackle counterfeiting and piracy, but its achievements have not come without controversy.

Richard O’Dwyer could spend 10 years in a US jail if he is found guilty of committing online piracy. The British student, who set up filesharing website TvShack, has never set foot in the US.

His arrest and pending extradition followed an investigation by US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officials, who claim he infringed US rights owners’ copyright. ICE oversees the National Intellectual Property Rights Coordination Center (IPR Center), which coordinates the US government’s response to IP crimes.

Set up in 2000, the centre brings together government agencies such as the FBI and other bodies including Interpol. Erik Barnett, deputy director of European aff airs at the IPR Center, insists that it only targets genuine criminals and will continue to clamp down on IP ‘theft ’.

ICE, anti-counterfeiting, piracy, customs, domain names, file-sharing