Friday, April 26, 2019

Report Finds Streaming Piracy Poses Cybersecurity Dangers to Consumers

The Digital Citizens Alliance has just published an important investigative report titled "Fishing in the Piracy Stream: How the Dark Web of Entertainment is Exposing Consumers to Harm." The report calls needed attention to the cybersecurity dangers posed to users of illicit streaming devices (ISDs) and piracy apps designed to stream pirated movies, TV episodes, and live video programming content via the Internet. As the report observes, many downloadable piracy apps and apps that are pre-installed in ISDs contain malware. The malware steals user names and passwords, scans user networks, and uploads user data without their knowledge. 

The report's findings are further described in Digital Citizens' press release.

Cybersecurity dangers posed by ISDs and piracy apps were a focus point in the US Trade Representative's 2017 Notorious Markets Report, which I blogged about here. Free State Foundation President Randolph May and I also touched on the problems posed by ISDs and stream-ripping sites and the need for stronger measures to combat them in our Perspectives from FSF Scholars paper, "Modernizing Criminal Copyright Law to Combat Online Piracy."