Homeland Security cracks down on cyber piracy

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Shirley Jahad/KPCC

John Morton, assistant secretary for the U.S. Department of Homeland Security speaking at Disney Studios about a crack down on Internet piracy.

Homeland Security came to Hollywood today. Federal authorities say Internet crooks are undermining the U.S. economy.

Officials announced another crackdown on cyber piracy in the film and TV industries.

Federal authorities came to a Walt Disney Studios soundstage and stood alongside Hollywood executives to say they are going after cyber crooks. Homeland security officials say the film business is a bedrock of the U.S. economy and a great American export — from the "Wizard of Oz" to "Toy Story" to "Shrek."

Still, you may wonder … Why is the department of homeland security using federal muscle to protect Shrek?

“The reason the Department of Homeland Security is protecting Shrek is because we are all about protecting the homeland. We’re all about protecting American interests,” says John Morton, assistant secretary of DHS.

And what's good for the green ogre is good for America?

“If you don’t think undermining Hollywood’s ability to produce a "Shrek," undermining the creativity that goes into creating a "Shrek," undermines the United States," Morton says, "you are sadly mistaken.”

That's why the feds launched Operation in Our Sites. Under the effort, authorities have already shut down more than half a dozen Internet sites that had been providing millions of illegal movie downloads each month.

Morton says the film and television industry creates more than two million jobs. He says piracy is a fast growing form of organized crime. And he says pirates simply steal. They don’t pay wages or invest in new shows.

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