- Jul 27, 2015
A massive law enforcement operation across Europe has reportedly shut down 5,500 servers used to stream pirated TV broadcasts, live sports, and movies to the public. According to the European Union Agency for Criminal Justice Cooperation, 700 police officers were deployed in 11 countries, leading to the arrest of the alleged boss of an IPTV operation with profits estimated at €10.7 million.
In Italy, piracy-enabled set-top devices are often referred to using the term ‘pezzotto’. In common with many regions, these cheap devices are used by huge numbers of consumers hoping to gain free or cheap access to pirated movies, TV shows, and live sports. Following a massive operation now being reported by Eurojust, the European Union Agency for Criminal Justice Cooperation, successfully operating such a device in Italy and potentially much further afield should now be much more difficult.
Raids on pirate services are nothing new, neither are numerous claims that significant resources have been deployed to carry them out. However, Eurojust is now reporting what appears to be a truly huge operation aimed at taking down a major top-tier IPTV supplier at the behest of authorities in Italy. According to the EU agency, the operation involved coordination between law enforcement specialists from around Europe, including in Bulgaria, France, Germany, Greece, Lithuania, Romania, Slovenia, Netherlands, and Sweden. After a coordination center was established, meetings were held prior to the crackdown to ensure cooperation across borders. Then, in what is being described as a “day of action”, more than 700 police officers from around Europe targeted a piracy streaming operation with servers based in the countries listed above plus Italy and Malta. Eurojust says that in total, 5,500 servers used to illegally transmit TV broadcasts, live sports and films, were shut down following searches at dozens of locations.
700 police officers have shut down 5,500 servers streaming pirated TV, live sports and movies. The alleged boss of the operation has been arrested.