16 November 2017
Reporter: Barney Dixon

Illicit streaming devices in the UK fail to meet electrical safety regulations

Illicit streaming devices entering the UK have failed to meet the national electrical safety regulations, according to findings from the Federation Against Copyright Theft (FACT) and Electrical Safety First.

A report produced by the joint initiative found that 100 percent of illicit streaming devices entering the UK fail to meet principal elements of safety objectives in the 1994 Electrical Equipment Safety Regulations.

The UK Intellectual Property Office (IPO) has estimated that more than one million illicit devices were sold across the UK in the last two years.

Steve Curtler, product safety manager at Electrical Safety First, commented: “This year consumers thinking about buying an illegal streaming device for Christmas need to know that by plugging them into their TV they could be potentially be putting themselves, their home and their family at risk.”

He said: “We urge anyone with one of these devices to unplug it and stop using it immediately. Not only are these devices breaking the law, but they could be putting your loved ones at risk.”

FACT director general Kieron Sharp added: “The fact that so many illegal streaming devices have all failed to meet UK safety standards is shocking.”

He stated: “Alongside the risks of exposing your home network to damaging malware and your children to inappropriate content, it should now be clear that the dangers these illegal devices pose far outweigh any benefit of buying them.”

According to a IPO-commissioned study, approximately seven million UK internet users are accessing illegal content, with fully loaded IPTV boxes and stream ripping among the most popular means.

The sale of such illicit streaming devices has been banned across social media sites such as Facebook and ecommerce marketplaces such as Amazon.

One provider of IPTV boxes, Kodi, has come under fire from various rights owners associations and enforcement bodies since a Court of Justice of the EU ruling earlier this year that held that the sale and use of illicit streaming devices is illegal.

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