Dutch agency wins 6th AAPA anti-piracy award at Europol IP Crime conference

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The Dutch Fiscal Information and Investigation Service (Fiscale Inlichtingen- en Opsporingsdienst, or FIOD) received the sixth Anti-Piracy Award fron the Audiovisual Anti-Piracy Alliance (AAPA), for taking down an illegal Internet Protocol Television (IPTV) service with over 1,000,000 users across Europe.

Officers from the FIOD searched properties in various locations in The Netherlands, resulting in series of raids carried out across the country as part of an illegal streaming crackdown on May 23, 2023. This operation also saw the closure of Globe Data Centre which distributed the illegal services.

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New Award category

AAPA also introduced a new category this year, giving an award to a public sector body acting in the Europol IP Crime conference host country, namely Portugal. The first such award was presented to Inspeção Geral das Atividades. Culturais (IGAC) and its General Inspector Luis Silveira Botelho.

That award recognised the role played by IGAC in developing and implementing a comprehensive system of blocking orders under the framework provided by the law that entered into force on February 2022. This law regulates to control, remove and/or prevent access to illegal content, allowing, inter alia, for the imposition of blocking orders on ISPs also, thereby preventing the end user from gaining access to the illegal website or streaming service.

Additional recognition

AAPA also presented certificates of commendation to an officer in the Central Bureau for Combating Cybercrime (CBZC) of Poland for his support and action taken to highlight the need for greater priority to be given to fighting IP crime; including the closure of polsharing.com.

Italy, Spain and Bulgaria, previous recipients of an AAPA award, also received Certificates of Commendation for recent accomplishments.

The Awards are given to an individual or team from the public sector for a successful initiative which supports the fight against audiovisual piracy, and were presented at the Europol Intellectual Property Crime conference in Lisbon in late October.

Further reading

AAPA Announces 6th Anti-Piracy Awards.  Press release. October 27, 2023. Audiovisual Anti-Piracy Alliance (AAPA)

Why it matters

“The scale of this operation illustrates clearly why law enforcement must continue to act against illegal IPTV services,” said Sheila Cassells, Executive Vice President of AAPA.  “The inclusion and closure of a major hosting provider reinforces the need for a clear and robust regulatory regime, including, for example, know you customer requirements, to be imposed on such actors.”

Commenting on the IGAC achievement, Mark Mulready, Co-President of AAPA and VP, Cyber Services at Irdeto said: “In presenting this award, we are pleased to acknowledge the steps taken in Portugal to implement an efficient and dynamic system for blocking orders. We have seen from other countries how helpful such blocking orders can be and we hope that countries who have not yet introduced the possibility of blocking orders will take note of the system applied here.”

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