European Authorities Conduct Operation Spinoff Against Pirate IPTV Service

By Goran Spasojevic / May 19, 2018

Nearly 150 law enforcement officers in Italy, Spain, Germany, and Switzerland have conducted coordinated arrests as part of the "Operation Spinoff". More than 50 searches were conducted in 20 provinces across Italy's 11 regions.

As for other parts of Europe: in Switzerland, Germany, and Spain – the Polizei Basel-Landschaft, the Kriminal Polizei, and the Policia Nacional coordinated to execute warrants.

The main focus of this joint operation was to shut down a large pirate IPTV service that became famous for pirating various pay-per-view television content from the legitimate distributors.

The investigation has discovered a pyramid-like criminal structure organized around illegal decryption and diffusion of this content on the Internet. At the core of this criminal operation was hardware meant for capturing and storing original content and channels around different locations.

These locations included companies, garages, commercial premises, and private homes. Each location had an equipment created specifically for receiving, decryption, and capturing signals from broadcasters like Sky TV.

GDF raids the Pirate IPTV hardware

Image Courtesy Of: GDF

All of the content was then gathered into the package of channels and sold online to the public for 15 to 20 euros per month. The financial transactions were conducted through prepaid credit cards and other payment web platforms.

At the moment there are around 49 suspects from different countries. Five people were arrested in Italy and are believed to be at the core of this criminal organization. They are being suspected of copyright infringement and money laundering offenses. Four of them were taken into custody while one person remains placed under house arrest.

The authorities are checking up all levels of the business from sellers, through re-sellers, to the end consumers. It looks like the authorities are shifting their attention from torrent and web streaming sites more toward pirate IPTV services like this one today.

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