As investigators probe the reasons behind the leak of an episode of popular TV series Game Of Thrones, it has emerged that one of the four IT professionals arrested for allegedly leaking the episode may have illegally accessed the episode before official release to please his girlfriend. The Information Technology (IT) professionals have told the police that they were curios about the fourth episode of the ongoing season seven of Game Of Thrones and had, hence, accessed it illegally. In fact, police investigations have revealed that one of the accused, Alok Sharma, had also passed on the leaked episode to his girlfriend.
Apart from the several angles being probed by the police, it is also being checked if Sharma, along with four others, had leaked it to please his girlfriend. So far, the police have not found any link hinting towards any monetary benefits. The four Bangalore-based accused were produced before a court on Monday and were remanded to the custody of BKC cyber police till April 24. An official, who was part of the probe earlier, said, “Initially, there were suspicions that one of the accused had accessed the episode as his girlfriend wanted to see it. The girlfriend had then passed it onto others, one of whom uploaded it online.”
A senior officer with the cyber police that is probing the case, however, said, “While it is true that one of the accused, Sharma, did send the link to his girlfriend, it is one of the angles we are probing. He sent the links to other accused as well,” the officer said. He added, “The investigation is still in progress. However, so far, it appears that they had leaked it for self-consumption. We are now trying to find out who uploaded it online.”
An officer said, “Of the four accused, Mohammad Sohail was the first one who accessed the episode. Alok Sharma then accessed it and the accused then shared the links amongst themselves.” “We are now, however, contacting the internet service providers to find out who uploaded the episode online and the reason behind the same.” Apart from Sohail and Sharma, the police have also arrested Abhishek Ghadiyal and Bhaskar Joshi on August 14.
The fourth episode of the ongoing seventh season of Game of Thrones was leaked online on August 4 before its official airing date of August 7. The HBO series also airs on Hotstar, Star India’s streaming service. The cyber police, after registering an FIR in the matter, zeroed in on Prime Focus Technologies — the agency contracted by Star India Private Limited to manage the data – as being responsible for the illegal leakage of the episode.
Prime Focus Technologies came forward and accepting that the leak 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 others, unauthorisedly gained access to the episode and, thereafter, illegally leaked it to the general public. The police teams then went to the Bangalore office of the agency from where they arrested the four IT professionals for leaking the episode.