PRESS RELEASE: Landmark investigation by Bundeskriminalamt in Germany
02 March 2016
Illegal streaming part of dark net organised crime
Unterföhring, 1 March 2016 – In the scope of a cross-European raid against operators of so-called “underground economy forums”, the Central Office for Combating Cybercrime (ZIK) of the Attorney General in Frankfurt/Main has issued an arrest warrant against an alleged administrator of illegal streaming platform “istreams.to” at the request of the Federal Criminal Police Office (BKA). The website enabled its users to illegally access to Sky’s sports- and fiction programming against a fixed monthly fee. The platform is no longer available; its operator is being held in custody.
The investigation of the Federal Criminal Police Office against the streaming platform was preceded by a criminal charge issued by Sky Deutschland in 2012 and a continuous preservation and presentation of evidence by Sky. The investigators stroke on 23 and 24 February this year and arrested a 22-year old German from the Münsterland region in Northwest Germany.
The arrest is already the second significant success against the illegal utilization of Sky content within one month. On 10 February, the district court in Verden sentenced a 53-year old card-sharing operator to a suspended 12 months prison sentence. The verdict of the district court is the first judicial sentence of a higher instance in Germany regarding this type of information- and communication crime (“cybercrime”) and can therefore be regarded as a landmark decision for similar cases in future proceedings. The verdict is still subject to appeal.
Dr. Holger Enßlin, Chief Officer Legal, Regulatory, & Distribution at Sky Deutschland: “After the groundbreaking verdict of the district court in Verden, the impressive success of this operation shows that illegal streaming has no future in Germany. Sky has the most valuable programming portfolio in the fields of live sports, films and TV series in Germany and Austria. We will protect our content by any means necessary and work closely with the responsible authorities to ensure that operators of illegal platforms will be treated with the full force of the law. In addition, users of such offerings should realize by now at the latest that with their payments, they are supporting large-scale criminal activities. “
According to the BKA, “The concentrated investigations both domestically and abroad constitute a major breakthrough in the fight against the German underground economy scene and is another proof that the internet does not provide full anonymity – not even the Darknet. Furthermore, they underline the significance of international cooperation in the fight against cybercrime.”