Just got home from a day of running errands and saw this:
The Department of Justice announced Thursday that it has conducted a major action to shut down MegaUpload, a popular file-sharing site widely used for free downloads of movies and television shows.
After receiving indictments from a grand jury in Virginia for racketeering conspiracy, conspiracy to commit copyright infringement and other charges on Jan. 5, federal authorities on Thursday arrested four people and executed more than 20 search warrants in the U.S. and eight foreign countries, seizing 18 domain names and an estimated $50 million in assets, including servers run in Virginia and Washington, D.C.
MegaUpload is a “digital locker” that allows users to store files that can then be streamed or downloaded by others. Its subsidiary site MegaVideo became very popular for the unauthorized downloads of movies and TV shows. Users whose uploaded content proved particularly popular were paid for their participation.
In a joint statement, the Justice Department and FBI called the action “among the largest criminal copyright cases ever brought by the United States.”
And it looks like Anonymous has taken notice:
By all appearances, hacker group Anonymous isn’t too happy with the Department of Justice’s move to take down file sharing site MegaUpload today, because it’s now claiming that it’s knocked the DOJ’s site off the internet — and for what it’s worth, we’re not able to load it. Likewise for Universal Music, one of the labels most directly opposed to MegaUpload’s existence, along with the RIAA’s and MPAA’s websites. Anonymous is apparently saying that there’s “more to come,” so it would seem that organizations that are in very public support of MegaUpload’s demise are going to be best served to have their IT departments on high alert this afternoon.
But what interests me most about this entire story is that this was done (right or wrong) without SOPA/PIPA laws. It turns out that the laws we have actually work if they are enforced. This action today was one of the loudest indictments of what the corporate whores in Congress are considering there has been. Hopefully people will ask Lamar Smith and Patrick Leahy why the new, Draconian laws are needed when the old ones seem to be working just fine.