PRESS RELEASE: German court sentences card sharing operator to 18 months in prison for computer fraud

07 January 2014

The district court in Stolzenau (Lower Saxony, Germany) has pronounced a clear verdict in a criminal case against a 51-year-old man who was charging third parties to provide them with pay-TV programming illegally obtained from the pay TV company, Sky Deutschland. Services were provided to the third parties through card sharing. The defendant was sentenced to eighteen months' imprisonment without parole for commercial computer fraud carried out in partnership with othersThe ruling has been appealed.



Following Sky and NAGRA's consistent measures to combat information and communication technology crime, the  companies' expert tracked this case for a few years. It was suspected that the same offender had sold such illegal offers via the internet on several occasions. Sky and NAGRA, the manufacturer of one of the content protection systems used by Sky, worked closely together on intensive intelligence-gathering. On the basis of their findings, the Central Office for Combating Information and Communication Technology Crime of the Verden public prosecutor's office commenced proceedings that led  to the identification and successful prosecution of the perpetrator. 

Dr. Andreas Rudloff, Vice President Platform Services & Security at Sky said that "The verdict is a further decisive step in the fight against information and communication technology crimes, also known as cybercrime. Once again, a clear sign has been given that the perpetrators of these illegal activities will be brought to justice. Close cooperation between the companies affected – Sky Deutschland and NAGRA in this case - during the preliminary investigations in the black market and the persistent investigative work by the law enforcement authorities have shown that decisive, focussed action leads to success." 

Pascal Métral, Vice-President Legal Affairs at NAGRA and Kudelski Security said that: “This sentence sends a strong signal to pirates and cyber criminals, whereby pay-tv piracy and cybercrime is considered as severe offences and punished as such. This decision is the result of efficient cooperation between Sky Deutschland and NAGRA andthorough investigation by the cybercrime unit of the Verden public prosecutor's office. NAGRA is continuing the battle against piracy and cybercrime to support its customers in Germany and elsewhere around the globe.”

Sheila Cassells, Executive Director of AAPA, commented that: “This case shows that persistence and tenacity pay off and demonstrates also the benefits of collaboration amongst AAPA members. Very importantly, the case has confirmed that card sharing is a computer fraud and associated investigation techniques should be applied.”