4 associated with Prime Focus arrested for Game of Thrones S7 Ep 4 leak

Officers of the Cyber & PAW, Government of Maharashtra, have arrested four persons associated with Prime Focus Technologies, the technology vendor for Star India in the case regarding leak of Season 7, Episode 4 of ‘Game of Thrones’. The episode, which was scheduled to be aired for viewing in the US and India on August 7, 2017 at 0730 hours (local time) was leaked and made available for viewing on the internet. 

In a release issued, Star India, which is HBO’s distribution partner in India for ‘Game of Thrones’, had admitted to the breach and had added that it had initiated forensic investigations at its and the technology partner’s end to swiftly determine the cause. 

Star India and Novi Digital had given a complaint to the office of Special IGP, Brijesh Singh (Cyber), Government of Maharashtra, informing about the leak. 

Officers of the Cyber & PAW, Government of Maharashtra, conducted preliminary enquiry and basis the electronic trail and other technical material, zeroed in on Prime Focus Technologies – the agency contracted by Star India to manage the data, as being responsible for the illegal leakage of the episode. The material collected by the Department, together with the opinion, was sent to the office of DCP (Cyber), BKC, Mumbai for further investigation and necessary penal action in accordance with law. 

At this stage, Prime Focus Technologies came forward and accepting that the leakage had happened at its end, lodged a complaint (FIR) against one of its serving employee and alleging that he along with another former employee and other persons unauthorisedly gained access to the episode and thereafter illegally leaked the same for viewing by the general public over the internet. 

A joint team from the office of Cyber & PAW, Government of Maharashtra and the office of DCP (Cyber), BKC, Mumbai, led by an Assistant Commissioner of Police, swooped in on the Bangalore office of Prime Focus Technologies from where the leakage was apprehended to have occurred and carried out interrogation of the employees throughout the night on August 11, 2017. The investigation revealed complicity and involvement of more persons than those specifically named in the FIR, particularly the ones working in the office and otherwise lawfully having access to the raw data of the series. Investigation was simultaneously being carried out by Police Inspector Sardesai at the Police Station. 

The information and material collected at the Bangalore office and the Mumbai Police station was collated, studied and analysed by the police. On being satisfied that the material collected by the investigating agency sufficiently established the role and involvement of various persons – both, existing and former employees as well as outsiders – arrest of 4 persons was affected on August 14, 2017. 

All the accused persons were produced before the court of Magistrate and have been sent to police custody for 7 days, till August 21, 2017.

In a statement issued, Star India officials said, "We are extremely delighted with the speed and rigour with which the Office of the Special Inspector General of Police, Mr Brijesh Singh (Cyber), Government of Maharashtra and office of DCP Cyber Cell, Mumbai have moved on this investigation."  

The statement further said, "This is the first time in the history of Star India that an incident of this nature has occurred. We are deeply grateful to the police for their swift and prompt action. We believe that valuable intellectual property is a critical part of the development of the creative industry and strict enforcement of the law is essential to protecting it." 


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