DISH Network Comes Down Hard on Satellite Pirates

Jason Loomis
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In the ongoing battle between those who produce television shows and movies and those who view them for free, DISHnetwork is sending a strong message to pirates. This message comes in the form of seizing a satellite, blacklisting pirates and filing federal lawsuits. DISHNetwork recently announced it has sued 31 people who allegedly used unauthorized satellite devices to steal video content. The company also claims to have seized a large, sophisticated pirate satellite operation.

The action, taken by DISHnetwork and in conjunction with the U.S. Department of Justice [DOJ], represents the most aggressive anti-piracy program to date, according to the company. By filing lawsuits against these satellite pirates, the company is demonstrating its resolve to ensure only paying customers have access to the more than 175 channels available via satellite.

To remove signal theft from its networks, DISH employs an ongoing automated investigative and analytical process. The company deploys an operation known as "Project Charlie," which uses the company's proprietary tools and methods to harass anyone engaged in piracy.

To date, 31 people have been sued, 50 have been arrested, 9 have been criminally convicted and 26 have been jailed or have entered the federal Witness Protection Program.