Fast – the Federation Against Software Theft – has warned that it's about to launch an initiative to track down users of stolen software.

As part of the second phase of Fast's Operation Tracker, the organisation plans to implement technologies that will identify software being made illegally available through company networks.

Fast says this will allow it to trace those making software available illegally and the library of what they offer. Evidence of this will identify the company from where the file is being shared and allow investigative action by the Federation.

In January 2006, 10 ISPs were ordered by the High Court to hand over customer details following a 12-month investigation into the covert sharing of software by PC users. This was the culmination of the first phase of Operation Tracker.

"Up to 145 of the 150 individuals identified following the Court Order for illegally sharing software over P2P (peer-to-peer) networks have already been targeted," Fast claims.

Fast claims its latest wave of action is designed to kick company directors out of complacently allowing their corporate networks to be used for software crimes.

John Lovelock, director general of Fast said: "Corporate liability is something that management cannot afford to gloss over – misuse of software is something directors cannot plead ignorance to. If their staff is using the corporate network for illegal activity, those in charge may be liable. Theft is theft and will be treated accordingly."

Fast plans to emulate the merciless activity of the recording industry in its campaign against file-sharers: "Our message hasn't changed: installing software unlawfully is wrong and... we are coming to get you," said Lovelock.

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