US government clamps down on file-sharing sites

Sites have been illegally offering copyrighted materials such as DVDs, software and CDs

The US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agency on Monday ordered the shutting down of 82 websites including the domain of a BitTorrent meta-search engine.

The federal government said the sites have been illegally offering copyrighted materials such as DVDs, software and CDs, besides other counterfeit consumer goods.

Users trying to access the sites to make an online purchase will find a banner notifying them the domain has been seized by federal authorities, US Attorney General Eric Holder said in a statement published online.

The TorrentFreak blog has posted a list of sites it claims were shut down by the ICE. Other published reports claim the sites are already up and running again under different domain names.

The ICE had used the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) to seize the domain names of the websites, according to a report by the BBC.