Warning To People Using Amazon Fire Sticks As Crack Down On Illegal Streamers Announced

Intelligence officers are already knocking on people's doors...

Written byBen Hayward
Published on
Read time3 min read

A word of warning to anyone who uses Amazon Fire Sticks to illegally stream TV, an official crackdown could see those who refuse to stop breaking the law prosecuted. 

With rising costs, the illicit streaming of premium content such as Netflix, Amazon Prime, Disney+ and Sky Sports has become increasingly popular in recent years, with millions of people estimated to be skirting restrictions and accessing content illegally.

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However it seems like the chance of landing yourself in court for breaking copyright law is set to increase after a 2022 survey revealed that 19 percent of respondents had illegally streamed or downloaded content in the past three months. 

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A popular way of doing this is via modified Amazon Fire Sticks, and while owning them is not illegal, using them to watch restricted access content like Sky Sports breaches copyright law. 

As a result of the increase, the Federation Against Copyright Theft (FACT UK) is not only issuing cease and desist letters, but is sending officers to the doorsteps of those suspected to be illegally streaming content.

FACT said it has seen a 'significant' increase in the number of reports of illegal streaming over the previous 12 months, meaning more and more neighbours and friends are whistleblowing on those they know.

A spokesperson for FACT UK said: “FACT constantly monitors the digital landscape to combat illegal streaming activities in the UK and Ireland. We utilise a range of methods to identify individuals engaged in unauthorised businesses that offer access to illegal streams.

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“One of these methods is through our partnership with Crimestoppers to make it as easy as possible to report illegal streaming, and over the past year, we have seen a significant increase in the number of reports directly linked to Fire Sticks and illegal streaming.

“These reports are then investigated by our Intelligence Unit, and followed up with a rolling programme of action which includes issuing 'Cease and Desist' letters and conducting nationwide 'Knock and Talks’.

“These home visits, undertaken in conjunction with law enforcement, serve to inform individuals about their activities and the immediate need to cease and desist or face further action or prosecution.

“We also work In close collaboration with law enforcement to gather further evidence to actively pursue legal actions against these criminal entities."

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But a knock on the door from FACT UK isn’t all you could be risking… Specialist in cybercrime investigation, Dr John Dempsey, told MailOnline that users cannot be sure of their online safety.

He said: “Your personal data may be sold - this includes contact details such as email addresses, IP address, home address, credit card numbers.

“A Fire Stick contains an 'operating system' which can be infected by malicious software, which could then infect any device it is connected to - this may give a criminal access to other devices that are connected to your home network.

“The person selling the Fire Stick may even have included vulnerabilities or backdoors that allow them to access your network and collect network data.”

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