SAN JOSE, California -- Attorney General Michael Mukasey talked tough on intellectual property crime, telling Silicon Valley executives here Friday that the theft of their inventions poses a threat to the nation's "health and safety" and fosters terrorism.And in a move designed to show that it is doing its part in the global war on terrorism, China announced today a crackdown on counterfeit designer handbags coming across the border from Tibet. OK, we made that last part up. April Fool's!
"Every new technology we create can be abused -- whether it's a common identity thief looking for a new way to steal your bank account information, or an international terrorist looking to advance a murderous plot," the United States' top law enforcement official said here at TheTech Museum of Innovation.
Mukasey said U.S. anti-counterfeiting authorities are coordinating with the European Union, Asia, Canada, and a host of other countries he termed "hacker havens" like China and Romania.
"FBI agents teamed up with the Royal Canadian Mounted Police in an initiative targeting the distribution of counterfeit Cisco computer networking equipment manufactured in China," he said. "So far we've had more than 400 seizures of counterfeit hardware and labels with an estimated retail value of more than $76 million -- and the investigation is still ongoing."
He said the DOJ has trained and provided technical assistance to thousands of foreign prosecutors, investigators and judges in more than a hundred countries, and urged Congress to adopt legislation "that would criminalize attempted copyright infringement, and add important investigative tools such as granting courts the authority to issue wiretap orders in criminal counterfeiting and piracy investigations."