Sat Apr 8, 6:04 PM ET


Spanish police arrested 28 people in major operations targeting Internet child pornography and media piracy, police and the interior ministry said.

Police arrested 15 people suspected of involvement in piracy -- mainly computer engineers and members of Internet service companies -- in an operation the ministry described as "without precedent in Europe".

In a separate operation, police arrested 13 men aged 20 to 68, suspected of accessing a file-sharing site featuring a video of an adult raping a nine-year-old girl.

The ongoing anti-piracy operation, run by Spain's Technological Research Brigade, targets the illegal use of peer-to-peer file-sharing programmes to copy music, films, games and computer programmes.

The operation started in October 2005 following complaints from intellectual property organisations. The ministry said the suspects earned 900,000 euros (one million dollars) a year on average from pirating activities.

The latest raids also led to the closing down of 17 Internet sites, the ministry said.

In the separate operation against child pornography users, police tracked the suspects by using Hispalis, a computer programme that provides the names and addresses of Internet users accessing illegal child pornography sites.

The arrests followed an operation in March by Spanish civil security authorities which led to 22 arrests for use of child pornography on the Internet.

An international operation coordinated by these authorities against online child pornography in February led to 108 arrests in 19 European and Latin American countries.


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