Police use pirate IPTV service to display a warning message to subscribers following the arrest of a 24-year-old man in the UK in June. The UK police are now serving thousands of GE Hosting's subscribers with cease-and-desist notices, referencing theoretical prosecutions under the Fraud Act.
A New Tactic Employed by UK Police
For the first time ever an IPTV Providers, GE Hosting (GE, Global Entertainment), service was taken down and replaced by a warning notice that was displayed on subscribers' TV screens when they tried to view the IPTV content.
The message read "This illegal stream has been seized By Norfolk and Sussex Police,"
"Watching illegal broadcasts is a crime. Your IP address has been recorded. You are instructed to cease and desist immediately from all illegal media streaming."
They didn't stop there. GE subscribers also recieved a cease-and-desist notice to drive home the message that illegal IPTV streaming will not be tolerated.
The cease-and-desist letters that all subscribers recieved
"This letter is intended as notification that Norfolk and Suffolk Constabulary Cyber, Intelligence and Serious Organised Crime Directorate are aware of your households use of an illegal TV streaming service, namely through a provider known as 'GE Hosting',"
"By providing this illegal service, the operators of GE Hosting have committed criminal offenses contrary to the Serious Crime Act, the Proceeds of Crime Act and the Copyright Designs and Patents Act, these are serious offenses which carry a maximum sentence of 14 years' imprisonment."
"Persons whom subscribe to services like the service provided by GE Hosting also commit a criminal offense contrary to s.11 of the Fraud Act which carries a maximum sentence of up to five years imprisonment, and/or a fine, and consequently results in a criminal record."
"We are aware that you/members of your household have been subscribing to this illegal service."
Link to the full letter is here
This is no joke!
It is unclear how the constabulary will monitor a subscribers future activity. How can they break the cease_and_desist notice if the service is already offline? Is this is more of a "muscle flexing" exercise?
What is clear is that the charges are no longer those pertaining to copyright law and are now more serious Fraud charges. It's a huge step up in the age old game of cat and mouse.
All I can stress to you right now is these 2 things for IPTV users;
You need a VPN, we have one in Snapp that will cost you $2.49 per month with coupon CASHOFF at the checkout, it's a small price to pay to ensure that your IP address (and geo-location) doesn't end up in the wrong hands. If for whatever reason you don't like our VPN, that's fine, there are hundreds to choose from, but do choose one.
When you sign up for an IPTV service use an email service that doesn't use your real personal data in the sign up, Yahoo Mail, gmail, any that you can just create without personal data.
For the IPTV providers, if you want to protect yourself and your users, obviously, I am going tell you to use Snapp XC. Your users are protected via access to our integrated VPN service with Pro membership.
You are protected because Snapp does not require you to share your M3U URL with your customers and that's how they track you down