Singapore court orders illegal streaming site blocking
March 1, 2022
By Colin Mann
The Asia Video Industry Association’s Coalition Against Piracy (CAP) has commended the Singapore High Court for granting an Order to block 30 illegal streaming sites and almost 150 associated domains responsible for the distribution of considerable quantities of illegally streamed content in Singapore.
The Order was obtained by CAP members, BBC Studios, Discovery Communications, LaLiga, the Premier League and TVB International against illegal streaming sites that were offering access to some of the most sought-after content including premium sports, drama and entertainment. The Order covered the greatest number of sites and domains yet sought by CAP members. Under the Order, Internet Service Providers must disable access to these illegal sites and their associated domains.
The Order is part of CAP’s ongoing campaign in Singapore and around the region against illegal streaming sites. “Illegal streaming sites are simply illegal,” asserted CAP’s General Manager, Matthew Cheetham. “Piracy is not a victimless crime and hurts not only content providers but also consumers who can be exposed to viruses and malware when accessing illegal sites, including malware that can access a user’s sensitive data such as banking details.”
The Order comes shortly after the release of a new study commissioned by CAP, Time to Compromise. The study showed that a typical user visiting illegal streaming sites could be infected by ransomware, several trojan horses, and other Advanced Persistent Threats (APTs) within 42 seconds on a Windows machine, and 78 seconds for an Android device. The results support the hypothesis that there is a nexus between illegal streaming sites and malware infections, where site operators generate significant revenue from allowing malicious ads to be placed on their sites. Malware authors can in turn gain access to consumer PCs and mobile devices, and all of the data held in storage, including access to banking login details and other sensitive logins.
A study on the online content viewing behaviour in Singapore, commissioned by CAP and conducted by YouGov shows that blocking sites is effective with the percentage of Singaporean consumers accessing illegal streaming sites and using Illicit Streaming Devices (ISDs) dropping in recent years. “Enforcement is key but so is consumer education,” said Cheetham. “This Order carries a dual purpose in not only blocking access to illegal content but also informing consumers that the sites are illegal.”