Govt targets pay TV theft

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The Australian Government is looking at new measures which could see pay TV signal theft become a criminal offence.

The Australian Government is looking at new measures which could see pay TV signal theft become a criminal offence.

Attorney-General Philip Ruddock said the proposed laws would criminalise some unauthorised activities that were not currently criminal offences, such as dishonestly accessing a pay TV service in a private home.

“Following a six-month review by my department, the government has decided that criminal penalties should be available against those who access pay TV broadcasts without authorisation and payment of the subscription fee,” Ruddock said.

“People shouldn’t be able to get free and unauthorised access to pay TV when other law abiding Australians are paying for it."

Estimates put the cost to the industry of pay TV signal theft in excess of $50 million per year in lost revenue, according to a statement from the Attorney-General's department.

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