Joint Action Sees Illegal Streaming App Taken Down
Illegal mobile application Mobdro has been taken down in an operation between Europol and the Spanish National Police.
The application, which had more than 100 million users, was available on several websites and platforms and was streaming videos and TV channels which included Premier League and LaLiga football matches.
Europol supported the Spanish National Police (Policía Nacional) to dismantle a criminal group distributing illegal video streams. The investigation also involved law enforcement authorities from Andorra and Portugal.
The investigation started in October 2018 when the Spanish National Police received complaint reports from the Alliance for Creativity and Entertainment, Football Association Pretoria, the Premier League and the Spanish Football League (LaLiga) about a mobile application illegally distributing video streams.
The investigation identified a number of connected websites and platforms located in Spain and Portugal with connections to servers in Czechia. The Spanish company behind the illegal activity earned its profits through advertisements. Through the computer infrastructure and power, they were able to sell user information to a company related to botnet and DDoS attacks. Investigators estimate the overall illegal profits at more than €5 million.
The Premier League has one of the most comprehensive anti-piracy programmes in the world and continues to fight against piracy of its content, working with broadcast partners and authorities to bring down illegal streams and investigate and prosecute suppliers of illegal streaming devices.
Premier League Director of Legal Services Kevin Plumb, said of the investigation: “Mobdro’s criminal enterprise amounted to long-running and large-scale theft. These raids show we and our colleagues at ACE are committed to taking action against piracy, regardless of location.
“The protection of our copyright is hugely important to the Premier League and our broadcast partners, as well as the future health of English football.”
Charles Rivkin, chairman and CEO of the Motion Picture Association, said: “We are proud of our cooperation with the Premier League in this investigation and we send our congratulations to the Spanish National Police Cybercrime Central Unit and Europol.
“Such partnerships between content creators and local authorities are essential in protecting our members’ interests around the world.”