Italy has targeted a total of 27 BitTorrent and cyberlocker websites in the biggest file-sharing crackdown since 2010. According to a TorrentFreak blog post, the public prosecutor of Rome ordered Italian ISPs to block sites such as Rapidgator, Uploaded, Bitshare, NowVideo and VideoPremium.
“The domains of sites linking to torrent files, in order to download illegal copies of music and movies, have been seized [blocked] this week as ordered by a preliminary investigation of the Judge of Rome, at the request of the public prosecutor, following an investigation of the Italian Cybercrime Police,” a statement from the prosecution reads.
Several of these websites are still accessible in the U.S., but the prosecutor has indicated that it will take this case internationally in order to completely shut down the domains. A complete list of the seized domains has not been officially released.
The last crackdown of this scale occurred in May 2010, when U.S. Department of Homeland Security seized more than 70 file-sharing domains.
The action from the Italian government comes as the latest blow to Internet freedom activists, who say these sorts of crackdowns suppress freedom of speech and endanger legitimate websites. Last week, several prominent technology companies -- including Google, Apple and Facebook -- came out in support of the controversial Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act, or Cispa, which advocates say gives too much power to the government to monitor Internet browsing.