The Italian Tax Police performed a raid in different Italian cities to fight a card-sharing network offering Sky Italia and Mediaset Premium packages, reports the AAPA.
Quoting Italian news sources, the Audiovisual Anti-Piracy Alliance said that Sky Italia provided technical support for the operation. The operation took place last month.
The card sharing network operators offered service packages and television broadcasts for less than 80% of the legitimate offer price. The network also offered customer support 24 hours a day, seven days a week; on-line, by telephone and at home.
The damage to the market has been estimated at around a million Euros. Nine people associated with the pirate activity have been accused and 83 customers identified. The large police search also led to the seizure of several decoders and computer equipment and dozens of hard drives, which are used both by the members of the card-sharing network and customers.
The investigation, which lasted about a year, resulted in seizing computer terminals connected to the network which was the base of the operations from where they decoded encrypted audiovisual signals and streamed in real time via the web to customers. Several servers, all located outside Italy, were used to “support” the quality of the distributed signals.
In a related development, a Dutch court has sentenced a group of card-sharing pirates.