Go DirecTV-ly to jail

Here's an Associated Press article detailing an FBI undercover operation that sold over 3,500 "smartcards" for DirecTV systems that would allow users to illegally receive all DirecTV channels. The pirated cards went for up to $425. In case you're unaware, DirecTV is a DSS (digital satellite system) that uses an 18" dish as an alternative to cable TV.

The FBI ran the operation with the full cooperation of DirecTV; they sold the cards through a web site they had set up. They terminated the operation in June of last year, and DirecTV disabled all the pirate cards the next month. The article is a little unclear on whether the FBI went after individuals who bought the cards for personal use, but eleven people have either pleaded guilty or been charged, and apparently all of those purchased and resold the cards.

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