Feeds

Jury convicts DirecTV pirate on DMCA charges

Unlawful decryption device

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Reducing security risks from open source software

A US jury this week convicted a Florida man for selling illegal cable TV descrambling hardware. This is the first jury conviction under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA).

Thomas Michael Whitehead, 38, of Boca Raton, Florida, was found guilty of three counts of violating the DMCA. His role in selling hardware used to pirate DirecTV broadcasts also earned a conviction on two counts of selling unlawful decryption device and one count of conspiracy.

Whitehead faces up to 30 years in jail and fines of up to $2.75 million when he returns for sentencing before US District Judge Christina Snyder on January 26, NBC reports.

The jury accepted the prosecution case that Whitehead paid crackers $250 to month help him stay ahead of security measures introduced by DirecTV in creating counterfeit cards used to access its services. Creating devices that circumvent copyright protection measures is a violation of the DMCA.

Whitehead was charged earlier this year at the conclusion of an undercover FBI investigation, called Operation Decrypt, into cable TV piracy.

Prior to Whitehead's conviction, a number of people also arrested in Operation Decrypt pleaded guilty to various offences, including violations of the DMCA. ®

Related stories

DirecTV attacks hacked smart cards
DMCA invoked in DirecTV hack
DirecTV mole to plead guilty
DirecTV dragnet snares innocent techies
Racketeering suit filed against DirecTV

Mobile application security vulnerability report

More from The Register

next story
LibreSSL RNG bug fix: What's all the forking fuss about, ask devs
Blow to bit-spitter 'tis but a flesh wound, claim team
Microsoft: You NEED bad passwords and should re-use them a lot
Dirty QWERTY a perfect P@ssword1 for garbage websites
Manic malware Mayhem spreads through Linux, FreeBSD web servers
And how Google could cripple infection rate in a second
NUDE SNAPS AGENCY: NSA bods love 'showing off your saucy selfies'
Swapping other people's sexts is a fringe benefit, says Snowden
Own a Cisco modem or wireless gateway? It might be owned by someone else, too
Remote code exec in HTTP server hands kit to bad guys
British data cops: We need greater powers and more money
You want data butt kicking, we need bigger boots - ICO
Crooks fling banking Trojan at Japanese smut site fans
Wait - they're doing online banking with an unpatched Windows PC?
NIST told to grow a pair and kick NSA to the curb
Lrn2crypto, oversight panel tells US govt's algorithm bods
prev story

Whitepapers

Top three mobile application threats
Prevent sensitive data leakage over insecure channels or stolen mobile devices.
The Essential Guide to IT Transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIO's automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise.
Mobile application security vulnerability report
The alarming realities regarding the sheer number of applications vulnerable to attack, and the most common and easily addressable vulnerability errors.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
Consolidation: the foundation for IT and business transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.