A Half Million Greek Homes Use Pirate Stations to Steal TV Signals

Αssociated Press

(AP Photo/Elise Amendola, FILE)

ATHENS – Some 500,000 households in Greece, which has a population of 10.7 million, are grabbing TV shows and movies from pirate sites that offer torrents for free, the New Democracy government pledging to try to stop it.

That has proved essentially impossible around the world despite stiff penalties and shutting down sites that just pop up again with a new name or domain and with people using Virtual Private Networks (VPN's) to escape being caught downloading.

Deputy Minister Nikolas Giatromanolakis said local cyber law enforcement had already closed more than 300 websites offering such pirated subscriptions, mostly football matches and other pro sports.

He told a radio news program the government will forward a bill to further crack down on the sites, although it wasn't said if there will be any enforcement or prosecution of people who are obtaining the signals without paying the stations who provide them, or for film intellectual property.

Giatromanolakis said the pirate stations would be permanently shut down although that tactic hasn't worked in other countries as they just pop up again and use means to hide themselves from being detected.

It wasn't said if those which were already closed were prosecuted, or where the origins were if not Greece.