Hard to bar unauthorised sites on Android boxes, claims agent

Android boxes are updated every few months with the names of the new websites

PETALING JAYA: It is nearly impossible for the government to bar unauthorised movie sites from being accessed through Android boxes, claims an agent who has been in the business since 2014.

Speaking to FMT on condition of anonymity, the agent said operators constantly changed the domain and website names in order to keep the service active.

Suggesting that customers using the services were nearly impossible to catch, the agent explained the procedure: “The Android boxes are remotely controlled; the customer places an empty box in their home, and agents like me add on movies or any entertainment channel from my home.”

The Android boxes are updated every few months with the names of the new websites, he added.

“My customers will inform me if some of the channels are not working. They are usually on VPN (Virtual Private Network) and no one can trace their whereabouts and locations,” he said.

He claimed that there was nothing illegal on the part of the customers as streaming of movies is allowed in the country.

A user can stream the latest movies, TV series, local and foreign TV channels for a very nominal fee. Even the content on premium internet streaming platforms such as Netflix, or from satellite TV Astro, is often uploaded on sites and shared.

Asked about the government’s claim of blocking 246 illegal sites, the agent said illegal websites owners were winning the “cat and mouse game”.

According to a report in The Star, MCMC and the domestic trade and consumer affairs ministry have claimed to block 246 sites streaming illegal content through Android boxes.

For Astro, the agents would immediately restream movies shown on the Malaysian paid TV.

“As Astro is running a show, the Android decoders would restream the same movie. Due to that, the movies are slightly delayed,” he said adding that customers were charged RM290 per year.”

People did not mind paying as they got their favourite Astro channel, plus thousands of other channels from across the world, the agent said.

He claimed that customers recommended his services through word of mouth in Singapore, UK, and even the US.

The Singapore government is said to be mulling a ban on the sale of media streaming boxes to stop consumers from accessing pirated content.

But Android boxes apps are also found in computers and in smart TVs, he said. “Are they also going to ban smart TVs and computers?” he asked with a tinge of sarcasm.