Illegal Set-top Box Sellers Charged In Court

Today, StarHub started criminal prosecution against two guys who distributed illegal set-top boxes. These set-top boxes or decoders allow anyone to watch cable channels without any subscription.

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If you remembered in September last year, I blogged about the illegal decoders being seized in police raid. This time, these two young guys are being charged in Court for being the set-top box dealers.

I find that these distributors totally disregard the law by putting flyers openly in mailboxes and etc. I wonder if it is possible to track down home owners for using them or not.

Of course, the win-win situation, I believe, is that pay TV operators can deliver quality content with a good subscription package. In this way, I think it can deter people from using the illegal ones.

Here is the Media Statement

Illegal Set-top Box Sellers Charged In Court

Singapore, 7 May 2014 – StarHub, the largest pay TV operator in Singapore, has commenced criminal prosecution against two illegal set-top box dealers today. This follows the successful raid of a storage facility by StarHub in September 2013, which uncovered a few hundred illegal set-top boxes.

Foo Yong Chun Shaun 符勇淳, aged 27, and Chen Wenqiang Daniel 陈文强, aged 32,  appeared in Court this afternoon to face charges for criminal offences under the Broadcasting Act in connection with the distribution of the illegal set-top boxes seized at the raid. If convicted, they face a fine of up to S$40,000, or imprisonment of up to 3 years, or both.

Since early 2013, StarHub has been tracking a syndicate that was distributing sales flyers for the sale of illegal set-top boxes that claim to be able to unscramble StarHub TV content. After months of investigation, the importer of these boxes was identified and the raid was conducted with help from the Police.

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“StarHub has, over the years, developed a resilient pay TV network delivering quality content from content creators to our customers,” said Ms Lin Shu Fen, Head of Entertainment & SmartLife, StarHub 星和娱乐与智能生活总监林淑芬. “As part of our continuous efforts to strengthen our network, StarHub recently completed an upgrading exercise migrating our pay TV customers to an enhanced encryption standard, which requires a new security smart card to decrypt our broadcast signals. This renders the illegal set-top boxes ineffective.”

It is a criminal offence to sell, import or manufacture illegal set-top boxes. It is also against the law for consumers to tap into StarHub’s network using illegal boxes, with the intention to intercept and receive the content signals without authorisation. In addition to legal action, StarHub has been deploying technological means to prevent illegal boxes from accessing StarHub’s content.

-END-

About StarHub

StarHub is Singapore’s fully-integrated info-communications company, offering a full range of information, communications and entertainment services for both consumer and corporate markets. StarHub operates a mobile network that provides 4G, 3G and 2G services. It also manages an island-wide HFC network that delivers multi-channel pay TV services (including HDTV, Internet TV and on-demand services) as well as ultra-high speed residential broadband services. StarHub operates an extensive fixed business network that provides a wide range of data, voice and wholesale services. Over Singapore’s fibre-based Next Generation Nationwide Broadband Network, StarHub offers a broad range of home and business broadband plans along with a host of advanced media-rich value-added services, such as IPTV for commercial entities.

Launched in 2000, StarHub has become one of Singapore’s most innovative info-communications providers, and the pioneer in ‘hubbing’ – the ability to deliver unique integrated and converged services to all its customers. StarHub, listed on the main board of the Singapore Exchange since October 2004, is a component stock of the Straits Times Index and the MSCI Singapore Free Index.

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