The Web Police
At a corporate headquarters, around 11 young people, called "agents," sit in front of computers, scouring the Web for clues. The sophisticated software they use can sniff out even the smallest bit of information, from a single photograph to a short paragraph of information. They are looking for evidence of products that are being sold illegally or through unauthorized channels. But they aren't part of any official law enforcement agency, nor are they private detectives—well, not in the traditional sense. They are agents of Net Enforcers, a company putting the industry on the offensive against transshippers and unauthorized dealers.
Some manufacturers in the CE industry are taking the issue of transshipping very seriously. For example, last year Klipsch, the well-known audio company, went after 83 retailers, primarily Internet-based, that it found to be selling its products illegally. As of this fall, 72 of those companies have halted the sale of any Klipsch product.
Behind the scenes of Klipsch's hunt was Net Enforcers, a small 12-person company started by Joe Loomis, a former consumer electronics design engineer who worked in the mobile electronics industry for companies such as Rockford Fosgate, MA Audio and The Anaba Group.