Feeds

Jury convicts DirecTV pirate on DMCA charges

Unlawful decryption device

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Using blade systems to cut costs and sharpen efficiencies

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

Boost IT visibility and business value

More from The Register

next story
Secure microkernel that uses maths to be 'bug free' goes open source
Hacker-repelling, drone-protecting code will soon be yours to tweak as you see fit
14 antivirus apps found to have security problems
Vendors just don't care, says researcher, after finding basic boo-boos in security software
How long is too long to wait for a security fix?
Synology finally patches OpenSSL bugs in Trevor's NAS
Israel's Iron Dome missile tech stolen by Chinese hackers
Corporate raiders Comment Crew fingered for attacks
Only '3% of web servers in top corps' fully fixed after Heartbleed snafu
Just slapping a patched OpenSSL on a machine ain't going to cut it, we're told
Roll out the welcome mat to hackers and crackers
Security chap pens guide to bug bounty programs that won't fail like Yahoo!'s
HIDDEN packet sniffer spy tech in MILLIONS of iPhones, iPads – expert
Don't panic though – Apple's backdoor is not wide open to all, guru tells us
Researcher sat on critical IE bugs for THREE YEARS
VUPEN waited for Pwn2Own cash while IE's sandbox leaked
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Application security programs and practises
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
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.
Securing Web Applications Made Simple and Scalable
Learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.