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Over 1 Million IPTV Users Blacked Out by Police

Italy IPTV blackout

Italian authorities have claimed to have targeted 13 individuals for operating illegal IPTV Services which ultimately led to over 1.3 million people being “blacked out” from watching live television during Euro 2024.

Italy’s “Guardia di Finanza” carried out 14 searches in Italy and other locations where individuals were allegedly operating illegal IPTV streaming platforms. This came after a complaint from Sky Italia who thanked the GdF for their diligence.

CEO Andrea Duilio had the following statement regarding the operation.

We thank the Milan Provincial Command of the Guardia di Finanza for this important anti-piracy operation. Countering this criminal phenomenon is a commitment that involves us all and the The work of law enforcement is essential to protect the audiovisual industry and the millions of subscribers who choose legality.

While there have been various praises and remarks about GdF’s operation, no arrests have been made and there are no photos or details about any equipment being seized during the “raids”.

Unlike other IPTV takedowns in the past, it appears that the alleged operators used an innovative way to transmit these live streams.

According to a press release, these individuals broadcast channels ” through the exfiltration of the decoding keys, necessary for the decryption and “unencrypted” viewing of all the channels and television schedules of the main and most important broadcasters which then, through the use of virtual servers, hosted by national and foreign internet service providers, were disclosed and intended for individual users of illegal IPTVs”.

It goes on to talk about the anonymity of this operation:

The investigative activity, made more complex by the use of VPN (Virtual Private Network) systems to anonymize communications, concluded with the identification of 13 people suspected of the crime envisaged by the art. 171 ter of the Copyright Law, as well as Illegal access to computer systems and possession of access codes and Computer fraud and the blacking out of pirated sites, while further investigations are underway in order to fully identify the individual users who are recipients of the Illegal IPTV

What’s even more interesting to note is the number of people that the GdF says were “blacked out” because of this shutdown. In their report, it states that over 1.3 million users lost access to their live content service.

However, this number seems a bit skewed as the latest report from the AAPA (Audiovisual Anti-Piracy Alliance) estimated that roughly 1.14 million people in Italy used illegal IPTV Services which means that this blackout would have removed access to everyone in the country using one of these providers.

A tweet posted by GdF has also raised some eyebrows as there is no ties between this alleged operation and the video depicted.

With no physical evidence or arrests, it is difficult to know whether or not the claims from the GdF are real and accurate. It will be interesting to see any future developments about this case and others in the future.

We want to know what you think of this story. Use the comment section below to tell us what your thoughts are!

This story was originally published by TorrentFreak. You can find the press release from Guardia di Finanza at the link below.

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Notable Replies

  1. Now that’s interesting. A quote in the article mentions that they were operating behind a VPN and still got caught. I like to see the details about that. I noticed the link to the VPN reference in the article is for SurfShark. Is this a warning that there is a problem with SurfShark? Are they now collaborating with law enforcement?

  2. Avatar for TXRon TXRon says:

    An operation like this wouldnt use a standard vpn for transmission, too many issues would arise. If anything its a plant to discouage vpn usage by end users…,.

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