Hundreds of people arrested and fined for watching Netflix and Prime on torrents and pirate sites

The Italian government, through its police unit for the investigation of financial crimes, has filed a criminal case against 240 subscribers to pirate IPTV services in order to take appropriate action. According to the Guardia di Finanza, most of these users were identified after the authorities detected a seller of these subscriptions.

The Italian authorities have launched a major campaign against the supply and demand of IPTV platforms and other similar services, which make up one of the most important piracy operations worldwide.

A couple of years ago, the Italian police managed to bring down the massive IPTV operation known as Xtream-Codes, with approximately 50 million end users, one of the most important results in terms of the fight against this type of services.

As for the main objectives of the authorities, in February the focus shifted to the detection of end users of these services. A representative of Guardia di Finanza points out that complaints have been filed against 223 IPTV subscribers on the charge of “possession of stolen goods”, which could definitely change the way in which these crimes are combated.

A few weeks ago, several local media outlets in the city of Piacenza reported that 240 people, mostly residents of this locality, were identified as subscribers of a pirate IPTV platform that offers content from platforms such as Sky, Dazn, Mediaset Premium, Netflix and Amazon Prime for only 10 Euros a month.

As mentioned above, investigators managed to file charges against these users after identifying a 60-year-old individual engaged in the sale of subscriptions to IPTV services. Subscription sellers are usually the first contact of the operators of these platforms with potential customers, so they can keep personal records such as names, addresses, email addresses and payment details.

Such appears to have been the case in this investigation, although authorities could also have resorted to sophisticated tracking methods such as financial history investigations and charges to the cards of users of these illegal services.

In case of being found guilty of possession of stolen goods, users could face fines of up to 25,000 Euros and even jail time. The precedent that this case will set remains to be seen, although the authorities hope it will serve to deter those interested in these platforms.

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