Pirate IPTV Raids Shut Down “80 Percent” of Illegal Transmissions in Italy

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Police in Italy say they have shut down a major IPTV network responsible for around 80 percent of illegal IPTV supply in the country. Operation Black Out was carried out by 200 specialists in 11 regions following an investigation into sellers on Telegram and other social networks. The network is believed to have generated around 15 million euros in revenue every month.

Italy’s love of the pirate streaming world is well documented and authorities there have placed themselves at the forefront of high-profile enforcement actions. From the 2019 closure of Xtream-Codes, a service that still protests its innocence, through to several other major shutdowns, Italian police are determined to reduce the use of illegal set-top boxes, known locally as “pezzotto”. According to the Polizia di Stato (State Police), a new enforcement action has caused significant damage to the supply of pirate IPTV services in Italy. The investigation began when the Postal Police of Catania discovered sellers of pirate IPTV services on Telegram, social networks, and on various ‘bot sites’.

As the inquiry broadened, a technical investigation led to the sources of the pirated content, including what is being described as an important “power station”, presumably a network of distribution servers acting as the driver for a large proportion of the content being accessed in Italy The State Police now report the fruits of this investigation. In an operation that deployed 200 specialists across 11 regional divisions of the Postal Police (Catania, Palermo, Reggio Calabria, Bari, Naples, Ancona, Rome, Cagliari, Milan, Florence, Venice), authorities say they have dismantled a broad and complex criminal infrastructure, from both organizational and technological perspectives.
While raids on IPTV suppliers and resellers are not uncommon in Europe, Italian authorities have gone a step further by warning that buyers of illegal subscriptions will be targeted too. At the time of writing, users aren’t being described as targets in this matter but given the scale and Italy’s track record, it cannot be ruled out.
 
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