From Autonomicon Mk. II
Within the Orion Arm there are a number of organizations and groups that can be defined as interstellar pirates. While the goals and methods of these groups vary, their defining characteristic is the use of illegally armed space vessels.
The Colonization Era
Piracy within the Colonization era was virtually non existent, at this time in history, only the original superpowers of Earth were capable of construction faster then light starships. There were some instances of the Greater German Reich and Soviet Union funding limited raids against each other with armed civilian ships, but these occurrences were extremely rare.
The true birth of piracy within the Orion Arm can be traced to the birth of the Luktopian Confederacy. In 2099, when Lionel Luk purchased the rights to the entire Turnbull System, (later known as Luktopia) he was left without the means to fund the sustain his new found home. The corporate housing established on the only habitable planet quickly fell into decay, and basic needs such as water purification and agriculture was left unattended.
In a desperate move, Lionel promised a safe haven to anyone looking to conduct questionable business, and declared that all companies and corporations would be free of any moral or ethical obligations if they operated within the Luktopian system.
From here, the first groups of armed civilian transport groups, which would later become the primary pirate threat in the region were formed.
As faster then light travel was refined to a smaller, easier to obtain commodity, more and more ships flocked to Luktopia for trade, or worse. For those with a large gray area between right and wrong, work was plentiful, and with the navies of the major powers busy with their own affairs, retribution for a little salvaging or minor heist was non existent.
It was during this era that the first reports of attacks on civilian vessels, conducted not for any political or business purpose, but rather purely for personal gain were reported.
Spread Across the Orion Region
As technology continued to improve, and communication and trade between the inhabited systems of the Orion Region was normalized, it was easier then ever to procure a ship capable of traveling from New London to New Leningrad in a matter of months. Those groups operating outside of the law began to look for bases of operation outside of the Solar Sector, which was becoming increasingly crowded. In the wake of the Tawhid withdraw from the Democratic Federation, and DF-Tawhid-GGR border became a new hotbed for illegal activity.
Piracy across the Orion Region continues to grow at an unprecedented rate, with the escalation of the GGR-Soviet border conflicts, anti-piracy patrols have been moved into combat duty, giving illegal groups an almost free reign at the outer edge of the conflict. While some of the regional powers like the Federal Nordic Cooperative and Centauri Republic have stepped up their anti-piracy efforts, there is little they can do to enforce order in the more undeveloped systems in the Orion Region.