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Online Journalist Arrested For Piracy

by Rainier on March 8, 2005 @ 3:04 p.m. PST

According to the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, three members of a global computer piracy ring admitted Thursday they shuttled millions of dollars in computer games, movies and software around the world through a coded system of Web sites and chat rooms. One of the three people in question is Seth Kleinberg, Executive Editor of, who apparently was arrested last April as part of Operation Fastlink. Read more for details ...

Yesterday Seth Kleinberg sent out a statement to the press : "I am sure you are aware of last April's "Operation Fastlink." Unfortunately, I made some bad choices, and was involved in the warez scene. I am accepting responsibility for what I did, and pleading guilty tomorrow in the United States District Court in Connecticut.

I am very sorry for what I have done, and after I serve my sentence, I hope I will be able to continue my career in the game industry, and move on with my life. This last year has been incredibly hard for me emotionally, facing the consequences of my bad choices, and I am hopeful for your support, but I'll understand if you want nothing to do with me."

The men pleaded guilty in U.S. District court to federal copyright charges, becoming the first people convicted in what the U.S. Justice Department said was the largest-ever investigation into software piracy.

Their arrests came after FBI agents in New Haven spent more than a year looking into the underground "Warez" community on the Internet.

"It's a competition of different groups racing to release pirated software over the Internet," said Seth Kleinberg, a 26-year-old Los Angeles man who, with a high-school education and a home computer, cracked the computer industry's toughest copyright protections.

Kleinberg, who lives with his dad, faces between five and six years in prison when he is sentenced in July.

He pleaded guilty along with Jeffrey Lerman, 20, a University of Maryland student from Long Island, and Albert Bryndza, 32 of New York.

The investigation, dubbed "Operation Higher Education" spanned across the United States and about a dozen foreign countries, prosecutors said.

The FBI recently built a state-of-the-art computer crimes facility in the New Haven field office to handle Internet investigations.

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