Ireland: IPTV pirates targeted
March 10, 2023
By Colin Mann
Action is being taken across Ireland to crack down on illegal streaming. Legal warnings are being delivered in person, by post, and by email to individuals across the country involved in providing illegal access to premium TV content, including from Sky and the Premier League.
The cease-and-desist notices instruct those running the services to immediately cease all illegal streaming activity otherwise risk facing the consequences, including criminal prosecution. They were issued to addresses including, Mayo, Limerick, Meath, Offaly, Dublin, and Wexford between the end of February 2023 to mid-March.
The action has begun to have an effect with a number of illegal streaming services already taken down. It is expected more disruption will ensue.
These legal notices form part of a broader targeted campaign in which more action in Ireland will follow to disrupt and shut down organised and sophisticated piracy networks.
“Illegal IPTV service providers are a significant problem in Ireland,” commented Keiron Sharp, CEO at FACT. “This is criminal activity, and those involved are not concerned about the risks their streams pose to consumers.”
“In research carried out last year by cyber security experts Webroot, it was found that of 50 illegal streaming sites analysed, every single one contained some form of malicious content – from sophisticated scams to extreme and explicit content. FACT and its partners are determined to disrupt these criminal operations and protect consumers,” he stated.
As well as being illegal, accessing content this way poses serious risks to consumers. Research carried out by Dynata in 2022 shows that almost half (49 per cent) of respondents who illegally stream say they or someone they know has been a victim of scams, ID theft, fraud or data loss.
This action comes as FACT continues to work with law enforcement to crack down on illegal streaming services in the UK, many of which also have customers in Ireland.
In January 2023, FACT and police visited homes across the UK, serving notices to individuals to cease illegal streaming activities immediately and informing users of the associated risks, including criminal prosecution.
And more recently, the City of London Police led a crackdown on illegal streaming networks, resulting in arrests in Scotland and London.