Advanced Television

Italian football piracy ring busted

December 19, 2023

From Branislav Pekic in Rome

Italian authorities have dismantled a major football piracy ring, arresting 21 suspects and blocking illegal streaming signals for popular subscription-based services including Sky Italia, DAZN and Netflix.

The criminal organisation, estimated to earn millions monthly, operated across Italy and abroad, distributing protected content through illegal IPTV and live streaming websites.

Spearheaded by the Catania prosecutor’s office and cybercrime units, the investigation uncovered a carefully structured organisation with members spread throughout the country. They used encrypted communication, fake identities, and forged documents to conceal their illegal activities.

Police raided locations across Italy, seizing equipment and shutting down the illegal streaming infrastructure. This effectively cut off access to pirated football matches and other protected content for the organisation’s vast user base.

The 21 suspects face various charges, including criminal association, computer fraud, and unauthorised access to computer systems. The Catania prosecutor’s office emphasizes the long-term nature of the illegal activity, finally disrupted by this decisive operation.

Authorities also identified social media channels, forums and blogs where the organisation advertised their illegal streaming services.

The success of the operation relied on close collaboration between the Catania prosecutor’s office, the Postal Police’s cyber security centers in several Italian cities, and other police units.

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