Italy’s new pirate IPTV blocking system Piracy Shield promises to help the fight against piracy, but its rollout has not been smooth.
Italy’s recent efforts to curb IPTV piracy have been met with anticipation and skepticism.
Piracy Shield: Italy’s Attempt to Block IPTV Pirates
When Italy introduced a new law to block IPTV, there was a widespread belief that IPTV pirates would soon be a thing of the past, especially with the commencement of the new Serie A football season on August 8.
However, the reality was quite different. The blocking system was not ready, and the initial technical meetings to discuss security and blocking measures hadn’t even started.
It wasn’t until September 7 that a meeting took place. Attendees included telecoms regulator AGCOM, the government’s cybersecurity experts, anti-piracy groups FAPAV and SIAE, representatives from the football league, and tech giants Amazon and Google.
Notably absent were cloud providers, satellite broadcasters, and VPN companies.
AGCOM emphasized the urgency of the situation, urging more companies to join the initiative and meet the looming deadline.
Introducing Piracy Shield
Despite the delays, the system was christened ‘Piracy Shield’, complete with a shield-shaped fingerprint logo.
Italian tech news site DDAY managed to obtain some screenshots of the system.
While the visuals are basic, the functionality seems straightforward.
The platform operates as an automatic Content Management System that manages tickets.
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Rightsholders can access a dashboard, create a ticket with details of the IPs or domain names to block, and provide digital proof.
One notable feature is the 60-second window to cancel a ticket. Once this time lapses, the blocking request is sent to AGCOM, which checks for completeness.
Surprisingly, AGCOM doesn’t verify the legitimacy of the blocking requests before validating them.
Once approved, various online service providers, including ISPs, DNS providers, cloud providers, and hosting companies, must implement the block within 30 minutes.
Even search giants like Google are required to block or remove content from their indexes.
Automation and Potential Pitfalls
To ensure efficiency, Piracy Shield will be accessible through APIs, allowing rightsholders to automatically create tickets. This automation means that blocks can be triggered without any human intervention.
However, concerns arise when considering the potential for errors or overblocking.
Currently, there seems to be no plan for a blocking ‘whitelist’ containing domains or IP addresses that are essential for the internet’s functioning.
Moreover, while blocking is immediate, unblocking, even for legitimate reasons, will be a prolonged manual process.
Questions about the security of Piracy Shield have been raised.
When inquired about the possibility of viewing the system’s source code, the response was vague, with assurances of third-party penetration tests.
The reluctance to reveal the source code is typical for anti-piracy companies, as they often have proprietary information to protect.
Who’s Behind Piracy Shield?
The developer of Piracy Shield remains a mystery. However, a unique ‘fingerprint’ logo led to a discovery.
Using the Chinese ‘internet-of-things’ search engine FOFA, it was found that the logo is linked to SP Tech S.R.L, an anti-piracy startup with strong ties in Italy.
This connection suggests that SP Tech might be the brains behind Piracy Shield.
Italy’s Piracy Shield is an ambitious project aimed at curbing IPTV piracy.
While its intentions are there, the system’s rollout has been plagued with delays and concerns. The effectiveness of Piracy Shield remains to be seen.
For more information on this story, refer to the report from TorrentFreak.
Legal IPTV Streaming Options
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