18 month sentence for German card sharer
A district court in Lower Saxony, Germany has jailed a 51-year-old man who was charging third parties to provide them with pay-TV programming illegally obtained from pay-TV operator Sky Deutschland. Services were provided to the third parties via card sharing. The defendant was sentenced to eighteen months’ imprisonment without parole for commercial computer fraud carried out in partnership with others. The ruling has been appealed.
Sky and conditional access partner NAGRA tracked this case over a number of years, working closely together on intensive intelligence-gathering, suspecting that the same offender had sold such illegal offers via the Internet on several occasions.
On the basis of their findings, the Central Office for Combating Information and Communication Technology Crime of the Verden public prosecutor’s office commenced proceedings that led to the identification and successful prosecution of the perpetrator.
Dr Andreas Rudloff, Vice President Platform Services and Security at Sky, described the verdict as “a further decisive step” in the fight against information and communication technology crimes. “Once again, a clear sign has been given that the perpetrators of these illegal activities will be brought to justice. Close cooperation between the companies affected – Sky Deutschland and NAGRA in this case – during the preliminary investigations in the black market and the persistent investigative work by the law enforcement authorities have shown that decisive, focused action leads to success,” he noted.
Pascal Métral, Vice-President Legal Affairs at NAGRA and Kudelski Security, said the sentence sent a strong signal to pirates and cyber criminals, whereby pay-TV piracy and cybercrime are considered as severe offences and punished as such. “This decision is the result of efficient cooperation between Sky Deutschland and NAGRA and thorough investigation by the cybercrime unit of the Verden public prosecutor’s office. NAGRA is continuing the battle against piracy and cybercrime to support its customers in Germany and elsewhere around the globe,” he declared.
According to Sheila Cassells, Executive Director of AAPA, the case shows that persistence and tenacity pay off and demonstrates also the benefits of collaboration amongst AAPA members. “Very importantly, the case has confirmed that card sharing is a computer fraud and associated investigation techniques should be applied,” she observed.