Authorities may visit around 1,000 UK sports fans involved in illegal broadcasting over the next few weeks amid a massive crackdown on piracy.
As part of the so-called Operation RiderWest Mercia Police seized a database of the illegal streaming platform, which allowed officers to track the names of subscribers benefiting from the illegal service.
The UK-based illegal streaming platform was responsible for providing entertainment and sports content via mod boxes, Firesticks, and subscriptions.
Anti-piracy organization FACT (Opens in a new tab) I teamed up with UK police forces to not only remind users that illegal streaming is a crime, but also to warn them of the online dangers associated with it, such as malware and other cyberattacks.
All of this shows how the fight against piracy has taken a turn lately, as ISPs, DNS services and even the best VPN providers are increasingly being dragged to court on grounds of copyright infringement.
We are pleased to be working with @factuk, ROCUWM and the State Agency Intelligence Network (GAIN) to raise awareness of the risks associated with illegal broadcasts. 📺💻 Find out more 👇 https://t.co/JgOZi79rUTJanuary 10, 2023
Hacking – is not just a legal matter
When it comes to illegal broadcasting, it’s easy to overlook the potential criminal charges. This is especially true for those users who simply seek to watch a movie or soccer match on their own device for free.
However, as FACT points out, it is important for people to understand that there is a concrete risk of criminal prosecution.
“In 2021, two individuals, Paul Faulkner and Stephen Millington, were sentenced to a total of 16 months in prison for viewing unauthorized streams,” the company noted in a blog post. (Opens in a new tab).
What’s worse, legal charges are only one side of the coin with illegal broadcasting.
“Accessing movies, TV series and live sporting events from unauthorized sources is illegal, can expose consumers to risks such as data theft and malware, and can help fund criminal groups,” explained Gary Robinson, the police’s chief of detectives for Intellectual Property Crime. the organization”. Unit (PIPCU).
FACT reports that a recent investigation of 50 illegal streaming sites found all of the platforms analyzed to display malicious content.
From viruses and adware to spyware and Trojan horses: this malware can infect users’ devices without them having to click on dangerous content. Having access to these types of platforms is enough to run the risk of being attacked.
Users confirmed such predictions, with around half of illegal streamers in the UK reporting that they have been or know someone who has been a victim of identity theft, phishing, financial fraud or data loss as a result of hacking-related activities.
“By working in partnership, sharing intelligence lawfully and effectively, the network aims to ensure that government agencies and law enforcement will help reduce the risks, threats, and harm from serious and organized crime,” said Jason Grove, National Coordinator at the Government Intelligence Agency. Network (GAIN).
When asked about the implications for the UK operators involved in the case, FACT told TorrentFreak: (Opens in a new tab) that no legal persecution is planned at this stage.