The Federation Against Copyright Theft (Fact) has announced a crackdown on so-called dodgy boxes which allow users to access entertainment such as exclusive sporting events for free.
Counties of focus include Mayo, Limerick, Meath, Offaly, Dublin, Wexford, Cork, Wicklow, Tipperary, Kilkenny, Kildare and Donegal.
It is understood that the crackdown will focus on the supply chain rather than targeting individual users with CEO of Fact, Kieron Sharp, saying that “Illegal IPTV service providers are a significant problem in Ireland,”.
“This is criminal activity, and those involved are not concerned about the risks their streams pose to consumers,” he said.
Fact conducts investigations into copyright theft including tracking illegal content providers, supporting due diligence checks, and finding online criminals
At the beginning of March City of London Police made four arrests in a similar crackdown across the water.
The Police Intellectual Property Crime Unit (PIPCU) at City of London Police said it and its partners “executed a series of raids across the country as part of a crackdown on the supply of illegal streaming services.”
During the operation four premises in London, Glasgow, Edinburgh and Stoke were searched and four people were arrested on suspicion of involvement in the illegal streaming of premium content, including Sky channels.
Computer equipment, laptops, and phones were also seized during the operations with police saying they believe the illegal streaming service had more than 500,000 customers.
Detective Chief Inspector Gary Robinson, from the Police Intellectual Property Crime Unit (PIPCU) at City of London Police, said:
“Organised criminal groups often view the distribution of illegal streaming services as a low-risk, high-reward crime which can be used to fund other serious forms of criminal activity. At the same time, it can expose end users to the risks of data theft, fraud and malware.
“We hope that this period of action sends a clear message; PIPCU will continue to work with partners across law enforcement and the industry to take action against those who provide illegal streaming services and protect consumers against the risks associated with using them.”