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New cyber crime police unit arrests UK man over illegal streaming sites

A 27-year-old man from Manchester has been arrested on suspicion of running illegal sports streaming websites.

The arrest was made by the recently launched Police Intellectual Property Crime Unit (PIPCU), tasked with tackling offences committed via an online platform.

Read more: Man jailed for nearly three years after pirating Fast And Furious 6 (opens in new tab)

The man is accused of operating a number of sites enabling unlawful free access to pay TV services. According to WIRED (opens in new tab), estimates suggest that the sites are contributing to a loss of more than £10 million to subscription services.

The City of London Police sent its PIPCU team to arrest the suspect at his home, where the authorities discovered an "industrial size streaming operation." The property contained 12 computer servers used for streaming high-profile global sporting events.

The equipment has now been confiscated, in what has become the unit's third arrest in relation to online streaming.

Recently appointed head of the PIPCU, DCI Danny Medlycott, said that the practice affects more than just the copyright holders.

"Not only is there a significant loss to industry with this particular operation but it is also unfair that millions of people work hard to be able to afford to pay for their subscription-only TV services when others cheat the system."

The new police unit only launched in September 2013, but has already been busy confronting online crime. Last month, it arrested a 20-year-old Nottingham man for running a proxy server that allowed access to blocked sites.

Read more: 2,500 websites selling dodgy knock offs shut down by Police (opens in new tab)

While the PIPCU is a part of the City of London Police, it is tasked with protecting UK industries from intellectual property theft and so operates across the nation as a whole.

Barclay Ballard
Barclay Ballard

Barclay has been writing about technology for a decade, starting out as a freelancer with IT Pro Portal covering everything from London’s start-up scene to comparisons of the best cloud storage services.  After that, he spent some time as the managing editor of an online outlet focusing on cloud computing, furthering his interest in virtualization, Big Data, and the Internet of Things.