SAN JOSE, Calif. – Attorney General Michael Mukasey warned Friday that the huge profits generated from piracy and counterfeiting are increasingly flowing into the coffers of terrorist groups.
In remarks to Silicon Valley executives at the Tech Museum of Innovation, Mukasey said the economy and national security of the United States are increasingly threatened by violations involving copyrighted software code, patented inventions and trademarked properties.
Terror groups are taking their cues from organized crime and increasingly funding their operations from counterfeiting and piracy, he said.
Mukasey said his department is devoting more resources to prosecuting intellectual property crimes, which led to a 7 percent increase in the number of IP cases filed in 2007 over the year before and a 33 percent increase over 2005.
“Criminal syndicates, and in some cases even terrorist groups, view IP crime as a lucrative business and see it as a low-risk way to fund other activities,” Mukasey said. “A primary goal of our IP enforcement mission is to show these criminals that they’re wrong.”
Before Friday’s speech, he met privately with representatives from companies including Apple Inc. and Adobe Systems Inc.
Mukasey did not elaborate on the topics discussed in that meeting. The attorney general also met with entertainment industry executives in Los Angeles a day earlier during this three-day California trip, and did not discuss those talks.
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