This week, Brazil’s Ministry of Justice and Public Security announced that it conducted its first search within the metaverse with the goal of tackling digital piracy and other related crimes involving the theft of intellectual property. The campaign has been named Operation 404 and is the fourth attempt on the behalf of Brazilian authorities to take down cyber criminals located in various states nationwide. The authorities reported that they were successful in removing several false profiles across different social media platforms. In addition, 266 illegal sites were deactivated within Brazil, 53 in the UK, and 6 in the US. The operation also focused on illegal streaming apps, removing 700 from the internet alongside 461 illicit music applications. The platforms boasted millions of active users, according to the government.
Four channels that broadcasted illegal content transmissions were also taken down. Although this is the fourth iteration, this is the first time that Brazilian authorities conducted the operation in the metaverse. Copyright infringement results in an estimate annual loss of $2.8 billion every year, making the issue of importance to Brazilian law enforcement. In addition to the losses, two-thirds of the streaming sources capture user information. Therefore, the piracy impacts the individual as well as the user information is hired.