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Authorities will visit UK illegal sport streamers as part of a major crackdown on piracy

In the next weeks, police in the United Kingdom may visit as many as a thousand sports fans suspected of engaging in unlawful streaming.

West Mercia Police conducted an operation codenamed “Raider,” during which they obtained the database of an unlawful streaming platform and used it to identify the users of the service.

The unlawful streaming site located in the United Kingdom was responsible for providing access to movies, TV shows, and sports events via jailbroken set-top boxes, Fire TV Sticks, and paid memberships.

Together with UK law enforcement, anti-piracy group FACT issued a warning to internet users about the dangers of unauthorised streaming, including exposure to malware and other forms of cybercrime.

Copyright infringement cases against ISPs, DNS services, and even the greatest VPN companies reveal that the battle against piracy has lately taken a new turn.

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The issue of piracy extends beyond the law

It’s easy to lose sight of the legal consequences of unlawful streaming. Users who only want to stream a movie or a football game to their own device for free fall into this category.

However, as FACT said, it is critical that individuals be aware of the real potential for legal repercussions.

The business said in a blog post that two people, Paul Faulkner and Stephen Millington, were given a total of 16 months in jail in 2021 for viewing illegal streaming.

Worse still, unlawful streaming has consequences beyond merely criminal accusations.

Gary Robinson, Detective Chief Inspector of the Police Intellectual Property Crime Unit, said, “Accessing films, TV shows, and live sports events from unlicensed sources is unlawful, may expose customers to hazards like data theft and malware, and can help support organised criminal organisations” (PIPCU).

FACT revealed that a recent analysis of 50 illegal streaming sites indicated that all of the evaluated platforms were serving harmful information.

This malware, which includes viruses, adware, spyware, and Trojan horses, may infect users’ devices without them ever having to interact with malicious information. Simply using one of these sites puts you at danger of assault.

About half of UK unlawful streamers reported either being a victim of or knowing someone who had been a victim of identity theft, phishing, financial fraud, or data loss as a direct consequence of their pirate activities, proving that the fears of the public were well founded.

According to Government Agency Intelligence Network National Coordinator Jason Grove, “by working together, sharing intelligence lawfully and efficiently, the network aims to ensure that government agencies and law enforcement will help reduce the risk, threat, and harm from serious and organised crime” (GAIN).

When TorrentFreak (opens in new tab) questioned FACT about the ramifications for the UK streams engaged in the case, FACT replied that no legal persecutions were planned at this moment.