On December 11, 2001, a long-running undercover operations culminated with the execution of over 30 search warrants across the United States and Canada. This undercover operation, code-named Operation Bandwidth, was a two-year covert joint investigative effort to gather evidence to support the identification and prosecution of entities and individuals involved with illegal access to computer systems and the piracy of proprietary software utilizing "warez" storage sites on the Internet.
Bandwidth was a joint effort of the Defense Criminal Investigative Service (DCIS), the Environmental Protection Agency Office of Inspector General (EPA-OIG), and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), and supervised by the U.S. Attorney's Office for the District of Nevada. It created a warez site, controlled and monitored by the undercover operation, as a means of attracting predicated targets involved with the distribution of pirated software. The undercover warez site has been accessed to transfer over 100,000 files, including over 12,000 separate software programs, movies and games.
Over 200 different individuals participated in the software pirating efforts. Those individuals were able to attain first-run movies, the latest computer games, and versions of notable [[software] products even before they were publicly introduced. As a result of Operation Bandwidth, thousands of copies of pirated software are expected to be removed from circulation, as well as the seizure and forfeiture of the computer hardware and servers used to facilitate the crimes.