UAE blocks illegal TV websites

Decision comes after fans accessed sites to watch the Euro 2008 championships for free

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By  Vineetha Menon Published  September 14, 2008

The UAE Ministry of Economy has ordered the disruption of ten websites that allowed users to illegally view satellite television channels without subscription.

It’s the latest move in a national anti-piracy campaign that has intensified over recent months.

“We received communications that illegal operators were broadcasting unsubscribed Euro 2008 matches and other programs over the internet and promptly coordinated with enforcement authorities to conduct a raid. We were able to identify 10 foreign internet links and immediately ordered the disruption of local internet connections to these addresses,” said a source from the UAE Ministry of Economy

Access to 10 Korean-based internet addresses have been disrupted since the initiative began in June. When probed for specific websites, the client declined to comment for ‘privacy reasons’.

“Cases of pay TV piracy have been increasing in the UAE, with dishonest operators showing more confidence that they can elude the law and the efforts of authorities concerned to prevent this crime,” said Mohammed Ahmed Bin Abdulaziz Alshihhi, MoE undersecretary.

Under the government’s new pay television anti-piracy program, the Ministry will contact internet service providers to block access to illegal websites based on complaints received by concerned authorities.

The Ministry has also issued orders to all national ports of entry and federal customs to confiscate illegally imported decoder boxes, which are being used to obtain satellite television signals for free.

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