ICE arrests man for allegedly streaming live sporting events online

Immigration and Customs Enforcement arrested a Texas man Thursday morning on allegations he operated a website dedicated to illegally streaming copyrighted live sporting events over the Web.

Bryan McCarthy, 32, of Deer Park, Texas, was taken into custody at his home and charged with one count of criminal infringement of copyright. ICE claims McCarthy made more than $90,000 by operating channelsurfer.net, which was seized by federal authorities on Feb. 1 as part of a crackdown on online piracy.

"[...] McCarthy allegedly sought to profit by intercepting and then streaming live sporting events, hiding behind the anonymity of the Internet to make a quick buck through what is little more than high-tech thievery," said Preet Bharara, U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York.

According to the criminal complaint, channelsurfer.net served as an online portal to pirated webcasts of NFL, NBA, NHL, World Wrestling Entertainment and Ultimate Fighting Championship events. Since its seizure the site has received more than 1.3 million hits.

ICE said McCarthy registered the domain name in December 2005 and ran it out of his home until its seizure. It claims at the time of the seizure the site was one of the most popular illegal streaming content sites on the Web. If convicted, McCarthy faces a maximum of five years in prison.