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Three indicted in San Diego in attempted theft of satellite TV programs

July 13, 2009 |  5:08 pm

Three men have been indicted in San Diego for an alleged scheme to break the encryption code that providers of satellite television use to keep people from watching programs without paying.

Indicted by a federal grand jury were Jung Kwak, 33, of Oceanside, and Phillip Allison, 35, and Robert Ward, 54, both of Seminole, Fla.

The three allegedly conspired to hire computer hackers to break the code used by EchoStar's DISH network. According to prosecutors, Kwak planned to use free service as an inducement to encourage people to buy a satellite receiver box from his company, Viewtech, Inc.

Kwak allegedly offered a reward of $250,000 if someone could bring him one of the "smart cards" sold by Echostar. The three have been charged under the Digital Millenium Copyright Act.

-- Tony Perry in San Diego