Linked by Thom Holwerda on Thu 19th Jan 2012 23:00 UTC
Legal And bam, MegaUpload.com is no more. The FBI has arrested four people behind the popular file-sharing website, and is looking for three more, in a worlwide investigation into the website. Apparently, the site is super-dangerous - the indictment behind the arrests minces no words. As a countermeasure, people claiming to be from Anonymous took down the websites of ViaCom and the Department of Justice. Update: Ars has analysed the indictment. It's pretty damning, but does have a few weird odds and ends. Update II: And more and more sites are falling by Anonymous' hands. Largest operation in their history.
Order by: Score:
US law is now worldwide law
by kragil on Thu 19th Jan 2012 23:09 UTC
kragil
Member since:
2006-01-04

Everybody on this planet needs to learn about US law now, because otherwise the FBI will bust your ass for stealing songs from Universal Music and you will be send to Gitmo and you will get tortured without a fair trial, because you are a illegal copyright infringing combatant.

Brave new world.

Reply Score: 20

v RE: US law is now worldwide law
by earksiinni on Fri 20th Jan 2012 01:20 UTC in reply to "US law is now worldwide law"
RE[2]: US law is now worldwide law
by ephracis on Fri 20th Jan 2012 07:23 UTC in reply to "RE: US law is now worldwide law"
ephracis Member since:
2007-09-23

Your sarcastometer must be broken. ;)

Reply Score: 3

earksiinni Member since:
2009-03-27

I don't think that OP was being sarcastic, since that would mean that he doesn't actually think that U.S. laws/policy are unfair. Rather, he was attempting hyperbole...

...but even hyperbole has a limit, after which you discredit yourself. Hyperbole works when the audience knows that the speaker, despite her extremeness, fundamentally has the right idea. If you push it too far, the intentional distortion begins to suggest that the speaker's understanding is distorted or that he has an agenda.

OP's comment was pretty much the garden variety America-scapegoating you see on OSNews. Which is a shame, because the real solution to these problems comes when citizens stop blaming foreign countries for their misdeeds (which no doubt happen) and start harnessing that energy to holding those local agents responsible for collaborating with bad policies accountable.

Reply Score: 2

ephracis Member since:
2007-09-23

With recent events I could see why someone would think that US laws has become something to joke and hyperbole about.

Of course there are laws in the US that most certainly the OP will agree with. But trying to decipher the intention of the OP I would say that he was using a combination of sarcasm and hyperbolism.

That would be my best guess at why he is now at +5 in votes.

Reply Score: 5

Bill Shooter of Bul Member since:
2006-07-14

Obviously hyperbole, but the US has jurisdiction over the state of Virginia, where megaupload had some servers for some incredibly stupid reason. If they server jail time, it will be in a country club.

Reply Score: 2

Really!?!?
by mrstep on Thu 19th Jan 2012 23:23 UTC
mrstep
Member since:
2009-07-18

"This is obviously way more important than dealing with the rampant corruption in US Congress or the gross financial misconduct on Wall Street which has cost the people of the US hundreds of millions, if not billions of dollars."

If not billions? They've cost us anywhere from hundreds of billions to trillions, but let's remember that's legal - and doesn't need any regulating by an overreaching government!

At least the Republicans booed their one candidate who doesn't think we need to blindly go to war with Iran - and the rest seem to have been bought by the special interests, which doesn't mean corruption, just that they're savvy opportunists.

(And frankly if the US had trade sanctions placed on it by another country and then was told it can't sell its primary export goods, well, we might see that as an act of war already, but clearly when doing that to other nations it's an act of spreading democracy. Sorry, I digress, and I forgot that anyone not liking our policies is just inherently evil. Can someone remind me how the Shah got into power?)

Reply Score: 8

RE: Really!?!?
by Radio on Thu 19th Jan 2012 23:46 UTC in reply to "Really!?!?"
Radio Member since:
2009-06-20

Can someone remind me how the Shah got into power?

Aliens.

Reply Score: 10

RE: Really!?!? - US exports
by jabbotts on Fri 20th Jan 2012 14:09 UTC in reply to "Really!?!?"
jabbotts Member since:
2007-09-06

With bad laws and imposed policy becoming primary US exports and from the US essentially telling other sovern nations they will be considered criminals if such policies and laws are not agreed too, a blocade on such exports could indeed be easily spun as an act of war against the states.

I know the saying goes "the voters get the government they deserve" but The People really do deserve a better government. Us foreigners can only watch and wish you the best of luck though.

Reply Score: 3

RE: Really!?!?
by jackastor on Fri 20th Jan 2012 14:33 UTC in reply to "Really!?!?"
jackastor Member since:
2009-05-05

Indeed, Congress went on vacation before balancing the budget and risked shutting down a vast array of government agencies, doesn't that qualify as a crime? Or at least terrorism? Congress hates our freedom. Evil doers.

Reply Score: 1

bhtooefr
Member since:
2009-02-19

From my Google+:

With the DOJ taking out MegaUpload for their RIAA and MPAA cronies, I think it's time to fight back.

No, not by DDoSing the DOJ, RIAA, and MPAA.

By picketing movie theaters during big releases, and concert venues during mega-artist concerts - and promote local, independent artists at the same time.

The media industry is perverting laws, to the point of removing our civil rights, in the name of their private jets and yachts, and autotuned bullshit music and repetitive plots. Let's take the fight to them, and screw up the launch of every summer blockbuster, and every superstar concert, this year.

Reply Score: 19

orestes Member since:
2005-07-06

Indeed. That's the more respectable path. All this "Anonymous" virtual vandalism will lead to is three letter agencies kicking down the doors of the people foolish/arrogant enough to be doing it.

Reply Score: 2

wannabe geek Member since:
2006-09-27

I've created a preliminary Google+ site. Ideas? ;)

https://plus.google.com/103617584678948377850

Reply Score: 2

jackastor Member since:
2009-05-05

I will not support this effort as it will enable the billions of Twilight fans to legally publish their own fanfiction and innundate us with boobery. Can we please make an exception to only allow IP protection on highly successful but vapid media?

Reply Score: 3

wannabe geek Member since:
2006-09-27

Good point. Congress will have to pass some Prevent Inane Profligacy Act .. hmm.

In the meantime, I will ignore those fan fictions products just like I did with the original saga (well, after the first movie).

Reply Score: 2

wannabe geek Member since:
2006-09-27

From my Google+:


No, not by DDoSing the DOJ, RIAA, and MPAA.

By picketing movie theaters during big releases, and concert venues during mega-artist concerts - and promote local, independent artists at the same time.



I was waiting for someone to say it. The media insdustry are all the time saying "do you imagine a world without music/movies/books/whatever ?" Why not show them what it's like to have a world without customers? How about a facebook or google+ page calling for a boycott?

Reply Score: 9

umccullough Member since:
2006-01-26

How about a facebook or google+ page calling for a boycott?


Sadly, the boycotts don't work... I've been more-or-less boycotting the "Big Content" music and movie industry now for a few years, and it seems they only use their "lack of sales" to justify going after copyright infringement even stronger.

I guess they're simply unwilling to accept that people just might not want to pay for their crap because it's... crap.

The picketing idea might work though - with the only drawback being that I don't have time to go to their crappy movie openings to hold up a sign.

Reply Score: 6

wannabe geek Member since:
2006-09-27

"How about a facebook or google+ page calling for a boycott?


Sadly, the boycotts don't work... I've been more-or-less boycotting the "Big Content" music and movie industry now for a few years, and it seems they only use their "lack of sales" to justify going after copyright infringement even stronger.
"

I mean mass boycotts on specific dates. How about that?

Reply Score: 2

oomingmak Member since:
2006-09-22

Sadly, the boycotts don't work... I've been more-or-less boycotting the "Big Content" music and movie industry now for a few years

It takes more than one person for an effective boycott, so I wouldn't be so quick to dismiss it as 'not working' based solely only on your solitary experience.

There have been web protests before which were equally ineffective, but the co-ordination of yesterday's efforts got a significantly more noticeable result (as well as mainstream media attention, for once).

Imagine an equivalent co-ordinated real-world action (as suggested in bhtooefr's post). The media would pick it up and the reason behind the boycott would be so abundantly clear that big media couldn't spin it their own way.

Reply Score: 4

bornagainenguin Member since:
2005-08-07

oomingmak posted...

Imagine an equivalent co-ordinated real-world action (as suggested in bhtooefr's post). The media would pick it up and the reason behind the boycott would be so abundantly clear that big media couldn't spin it their own way.


The same big media that owns the media? Ummm...sure, okay....

(How does that even work?!)

--bornagainpenguin

Reply Score: 3

oomingmak Member since:
2006-09-22

The same way that SOPA got coverage in the media. Even Murdoch's papers had to cover it in the end (once the story became big big enough).

These days, the mainstream media can't set the agenda in quite the same way that they used to be able to. Stories are often 'broken' by smaller online setups first, and then picked up by the mainstream later once it's gathered momentum.

Reply Score: 4

drcoldfoot Member since:
2006-08-25

Meh! Picketing is nothing more than a minor annoyance. Boycotts?
The people at large purchase these re-regurgitated garbage called entertainment, from music, to movie plots and actors. How many reality shows have you seen where every tough dude has to cry? How many versions of the same metal mouthed, dirty haired, saggy pant, tattoo infested rapper can you stomach? or skinny, starving, flock of seagulls haired, effeminate clothing wearing pop rock-band with the same tired hook can you endure?
I refuse to pay for this form of entertainment. I'd rather listen to and view the entertainment that I purchased and gathered way back when.

Reply Score: 1

RichterKuato
Member since:
2010-05-14

I knew I've seen this before. Apperently this has been happening since 2010.
http://torrentfreak.com/feds-seize-130-domain-names-in-mass-crackdo...

Reply Score: 3

ddc_ Member since:
2006-12-05

Apperently this has been happening since 2010.

It is known to happen at least since VI c. BC: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prometeus

Reply Score: 3

The us government should be suied
by chripun on Fri 20th Jan 2012 00:00 UTC
chripun
Member since:
2008-08-25

I'm an Israeli so I'm unfamiliar with the specifics of USA law but i do know that had something like this happened here people would have issued a petition to the supreme court since this is clearly a violation of civil rights by the government.
if a bank is suspect in money laundry can the government really freeze the money of all the bank's clients with no regard of the impact on regular people that just happened to be clients of this particular bank? i would think not and this should be the same with files/information.

Reply Score: 1

earksiinni Member since:
2009-03-27

Except that MegaUpload is not a bank and no one's civil rights are being infringed upon by closing a site that hosts public videos.

Context matters.

Reply Score: 0

Lennie Member since:
2007-09-22

Actually MegaUpload hosts real private data (which the user can choose to make public) from paying customers.

Which means part of the files hosted are even legal copies of the entertainment material the servers were seized for.

It is not as black/white as you make it out to be.

A very large number of people now have no access to their personal files.

Reply Score: 3

earksiinni Member since:
2009-03-27

Really? Wow. This I didn't know. Thanks for informing me, that's actually quite bad.

Still though, the IP is available and so I assume the service is still up?

And even if users were completely being prevented from accessing private data, I'm not sure that I'd call it an infringement of "civil rights". Governments temporarily prevent access to all sorts of things in the course of justice.

Reply Score: 2

Lennie Member since:
2007-09-22

Here are some of the news articles about:

http://torrentfreak.com/feds-please-return-my-personal-files-megaup...

http://www.extremetech.com/computing/114803-megauploads-demise-what...

I can't imagine you can pay bills like a US $ million a month just for your bandwidth only with bannerads on a freemium sharing site. So they obviously had quiet a few paying customers.

http://www.chicagotribune.com/business/sns-rt-us-cogent-sharestre80...

Edited 2012-01-20 22:59 UTC

Reply Score: 3

US Law
by Mellin on Fri 20th Jan 2012 00:01 UTC
Mellin
Member since:
2005-07-06

US Law is now the new international law

Reply Score: 7

RE: US Law
by chripun on Fri 20th Jan 2012 00:08 UTC in reply to "US Law"
chripun Member since:
2008-08-25

if his really is a Hong Kong operation the 'suspects' should contact the Chinese government. China ain't really fond of the western (American) concept of copyright nor would it fold down under US pressure like European countries do. Also, China holds the USA by the nuts since the latter borrowed piles of money from the former and Hilary Clinton already went once to China to beg.

Reply Score: 5

RE[2]: US Law
by unclefester on Fri 20th Jan 2012 04:36 UTC in reply to "RE: US Law"
unclefester Member since:
2007-01-13

Hong Kong has a totally separate legal system to China.

Reply Score: 3

RE: US Law
by Tuishimi on Fri 20th Jan 2012 03:07 UTC in reply to "US Law"
Tuishimi Member since:
2005-07-06

This was a multi-national effort. Just like the wars around the globe are multi-national - we are not the only ones in Afghanistan and France has troops all over the place... no... we just seem to have the largest target on our back for dissidents in general.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: US Law
by Mellin on Mon 23rd Jan 2012 00:06 UTC in reply to "RE: US Law"
Mellin Member since:
2005-07-06

this is a US if you don't do as we say your country will get a lot of problems ...

Reply Score: 2

RE: US Law
by Soulbender on Fri 20th Jan 2012 05:59 UTC in reply to "US Law"
Soulbender Member since:
2005-08-18

No, not really but I'm sure many like to think so.
Besides, what else are covert ops for?

Edited 2012-01-20 05:59 UTC

Reply Score: 2

RE: US Law
by OSbunny on Fri 20th Jan 2012 10:20 UTC in reply to "US Law"
OSbunny Member since:
2009-05-23

Well its been that way for a while. As a webmaster I have to be very careful about what I put up online. Take domain names for instance. Before registering a name you have to check the USPTO website to make sure there are no US trademarks on the name. Even though I live in Pakistan I have to check US trademarks to make sure I don't loose my domain name!

Reply Score: 4

RE: US Law
by jackastor on Fri 20th Jan 2012 14:41 UTC in reply to "US Law"
jackastor Member since:
2009-05-05

Agreed, or as I've heard it : "The International Community = Washington and whoever agrees with her."

Reply Score: 1

Comment by ddc_
by ddc_ on Fri 20th Jan 2012 00:24 UTC
ddc_
Member since:
2006-12-05

That's ridiculous. Though the linked document reveals some issues with MegaUpload's, claiming the copyright infringement and money laundering is insane.

Does anybody know, whether MU participated in anti-SOPA blackout?

Reply Score: 1

RE: Comment by ddc_
by Morgan on Fri 20th Jan 2012 05:44 UTC in reply to "Comment by ddc_"
Morgan Member since:
2005-06-29

They aren't on the list at http://sopastrike.com but I don't think it's all-inclusive.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Comment by ddc_
by Soulbender on Fri 20th Jan 2012 06:01 UTC in reply to "Comment by ddc_"
Soulbender Member since:
2005-08-18

money laundering is insane.


How would that actually work for a file sharing site? I mean, really, how?

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: Comment by ddc_
by Carewolf on Fri 20th Jan 2012 17:24 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment by ddc_"
Carewolf Member since:
2005-09-08

I thought about this as well, but I think I can see it happening in at least one way:

Some advert could by adverts for illegal products, or adverts from criminals simply advertising a non-existing product that no one would by anyway. By buying adverts they are transferring money from an criminal company to a legal company. If somehow the criminal advertiser and megaupload knew each other or had other legitimate business deals lopsided against megaupload, the money would eventually return to the criminals laundered.

Reply Score: 3

Despair
by CapEnt on Fri 20th Jan 2012 00:35 UTC
CapEnt
Member since:
2005-12-18

These gangs (RIAA, MPAA and BSA) are doing a thing that even Soviet Union failed, and with a uncanny efficiency: destroying the very foundations of the democracy in USA, bit by bit.

I never though that US government would surrender itself so easily to despair in face of a economic crisis.

Reply Score: 5

RE: Despair
by WorknMan on Fri 20th Jan 2012 01:12 UTC in reply to "Despair"
WorknMan Member since:
2005-11-13

These gangs (RIAA, MPAA and BSA) are doing a thing that even Soviet Union failed, and with a uncanny efficiency: destroying the very foundations of the democracy in USA, bit by bit.


That's quite a bit of rhetoric on your part. If the article on Ars is to be believed, it's clear that the most popular downloads on Megaupload were of copyrighted material, and the site owners knew it. In that case, it's no surprise they got taken down.

Now, you can argue whether or not copyright laws can and should be done away with, but until then, if you run a site that deals mostly in pirated material, the safe harbor is probably not going to protect you, nor should it. There's a big difference between having a site that just happens to link to some warez, and a site where warez is the main draw.

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: Despair
by eldarion on Fri 20th Jan 2012 10:02 UTC in reply to "RE: Despair"
eldarion Member since:
2008-12-15


That's quite a bit of rhetoric on your part. If the article on Ars is to be believed, it's clear that the most popular downloads on Megaupload were of copyrighted material, and the site owners knew it


Ok, lets be clear on this. If that's the reason for the shutdown, all other file sharing sites similar to megaupload will go down. That includes fileshare, hotfile, oron, filesonic, rapidshare and many many more.

Personaly, loosing MU was very sad, because comparing with all the other similar sites, this one gave the anonymous users the faster download speeds.

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: Despair
by Soulbender on Fri 20th Jan 2012 16:30 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Despair"
Soulbender Member since:
2005-08-18

Personaly, loosing MU was very sad, because comparing with all the other similar sites, this one gave the anonymous users the faster download speeds.


Too bad it's run by convicted criminals and fraudsters, eh?

Reply Score: 2

RE[4]: Despair
by eldarion on Sat 21st Jan 2012 00:26 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Despair"
eldarion Member since:
2008-12-15

I never know... was that a failed attempt at sarcasm or are you serious?

I'm just talking about the quality of service, that's it. I wish all other similar servers had half of it.

Edited 2012-01-21 00:26 UTC

Reply Score: 1

RE[3]: Despair
by WorknMan on Fri 20th Jan 2012 21:25 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Despair"
WorknMan Member since:
2005-11-13

Ok, lets be clear on this. If that's the reason for the shutdown, all other file sharing sites similar to megaupload will go down.


Not necessarily. If they're vigilant about taking down copyrighted material and keeping it down instead of actually helping users find it, they'll probably be just fine. For example, if you see that the top downloads on your site are pirated movies and such, you definitely want to remove that ASAP.

With MU, it seems that the owners knew that people were coming for the warez, and just didn't give a damn.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Despair
by Trenien on Sun 22nd Jan 2012 19:08 UTC in reply to "Despair"
Trenien Member since:
2007-10-11

Actually they're not, for the simple reason that the US Republic was founded upon the very idea that Democracy (seen as 'mob rule') was a bad thing. Madison makes that very clear in the Federalist Papers.

The idea that the USA are a Democracy is simply propaganda. It isn't one, and it has never been one : it is a Republic.

Just to be completely clear, there are no Democracies in the world ; a few countries are closer to the concept (such as Switzerland with its 'votations'). The word etimology tells you it is a government by the people (demos). An election process implies an aristocracy (aristos : the best). Of course, the question remain as to whether we really choose the best people for te job in all our so-called "democracies" (I know I already made up my mind).

Reply Score: 2

Chill out
by earksiinni on Fri 20th Jan 2012 01:12 UTC
earksiinni
Member since:
2009-03-27

Scapegoating is fun, isn't it?

For all you "U.S. law is the new international law" people,

1) what makes you think that U.S. law was not the international law in the first place since clearly you have no compunctions about jumping to hyperbolic conclusions without having read what the indictment says or knowing what the actual process was to have these men arrested and who instigated it, and

2) might you perhaps be capable of faintly conceiving of the possibility that maybe, just maybe, your own governments and recording institutions wanted this, played critical roles in coordinating this operation, and OK'd it according to your laws?

Governments around the world constantly egg the U.S. to take unpopular or dumb actions and let America take the heat for it. I'm willing to bet that New Zealand was just as zealous (no pun intended) to smack these guys as our Department of Justice/RIAA/MPAA was. Has Wikileaks taught us nothing?

I am waiting for more news about this and to see how the trial plays out. My immediate reaction is that I'm glad to see that the courts are involved rather than pure industry-led "regulation", and I agree with the law professor in the Ars article that it could provide a golden opportunity for clarity about what is legal and what is illegal for file sharing sites.

Reply Score: 0

RE: Chill out
by kaiwai on Fri 20th Jan 2012 02:33 UTC in reply to "Chill out"
kaiwai Member since:
2005-07-06

Scapegoating is fun, isn't it?

For all you "U.S. law is the new international law" people,

1) what makes you think that U.S. law was not the international law in the first place since clearly you have no compunctions about jumping to hyperbolic conclusions without having read what the indictment says or knowing what the actual process was to have these men arrested and who instigated it, and

2) might you perhaps be capable of faintly conceiving of the possibility that maybe, just maybe, your own governments and recording institutions wanted this, played critical roles in coordinating this operation, and OK'd it according to your laws?

Governments around the world constantly egg the U.S. to take unpopular or dumb actions and let America take the heat for it. I'm willing to bet that New Zealand was just as zealous (no pun intended) to smack these guys as our Department of Justice/RIAA/MPAA was. Has Wikileaks taught us nothing?

I am waiting for more news about this and to see how the trial plays out. My immediate reaction is that I'm glad to see that the courts are involved rather than pure industry-led "regulation", and I agree with the law professor in the Ars article that it could provide a golden opportunity for clarity about what is legal and what is illegal for file sharing sites.


Then it is clear that you do not know anything regarding the US's behaviour when it comes to negotiating free trade agreements with other countries. Take a look at the free trade agreement that the US has with Australia and what the Australian people gave up just to get that agreement. Take a look at the free trade agreement between New Zealand and the United States and the demands placed upon New Zealand for the agreement to get signed - think to yourself, who is the more powerful in that relationship? New Zealand with its population of 4 million people and 50 million sheep or the United States with an economy of $14trillion and a population of 300+ million people.

The US always gets what it wants in the end and it is amazing the number of Americans who are so myopic that they're unable to get their head out of their ass to see how their nation behaves in the international setting. Take the recent copyright law changes in New Zealand - were local producers wanting more protection? sure they did but after the '3 strikes and you're out' law was suggested many in the local industry came out and said it went too far - there needed to be clarification in the law but the draconian clauses went too far. Did they listen to the local producers? no - the two major parties were more concerned with winning favour from the United States when it came to negotiating a free trade agreement.

Take the pharmaceutical subsidy programme in Australia where big pharmaceutical companies were put under the microscope when it came to requesting that their products to be considered for subsidies. The US pharmaceutical industry hated the fact that their products were put up in comparison with generics and demanded through the United States that in the free trade agreement that such a programme run by the Australia government to be shut down - the net result? a castrated half baked scheme replacing the old system that simply bends to the will of US interests.

Once again we have an American commenting on this board too ignorant of the matters when it comes to knowing what his government does on his behalf - but I'm not surprised.

Reply Score: 16

RE[2]: Chill out
by umccullough on Fri 20th Jan 2012 04:08 UTC in reply to "RE: Chill out"
umccullough Member since:
2006-01-26

think to yourself, who is the more powerful in that relationship? New Zealand with its population of 4 million people and 50 million sheep or the United States with an economy of $14trillion and a population of 300+ million people.


Well to be fair, one might suggest that we (the U.S.) actually has fewer people and more sheep than NZ.

Reply Score: 9

RE[2]: Chill out
by earksiinni on Fri 20th Jan 2012 06:28 UTC in reply to "RE: Chill out"
earksiinni Member since:
2009-03-27

Me dum American. U smarty. U educate me. Me stoopid.

For the record, I am aware of the issues involved and I was pretty sure that someone would bring up the NZ FTA and copyright changes. Unfortunately, it doesn't really address my main two points which are that 1) governments and foreign interests often have a vested interest in complying with obnoxious and oppressive American policies but they rarely admit it, and 2) that we really don't know the kind and amount of foreign cooperation/collaboration/instigation in this case. All countries always do dirty work for each other; this is a time honored truth.

I also think that I made it pretty clear from my comment about the DoJ/MPAA/RIAA/FBI that I am in no way trying to apologize for what is clearly an U.S. government-backed worldwide effort to promote and cajole foreign governments into adopting copyright policies favorable to American entertainment industry stakeholders. We saw this most recently in Spain. None of this, however, means that "U.S. law is the new international law", that other governments (or factions of those governments) don't tacitly approve of these efforts, or that scapegoating takes the place of vigorous political action in foreign countries.

The kind of scapegoating that goes on here isn't even particularly sophisticated. Generally commenters' model of power relations is U.S. vs. World, or occasionally it gets refined down to U.S. vs. individual-countries-as-solid-entities. There seems to be no recognition that when we talk about a foreign "country" implementing U.S. policies that a "country" consists of people, parties, corporations, special interests, bureaucrats, etc.: or in other words, factions of power. All foreign governments manipulate those factions, the U.S. included; but alas, this does not make the factions any less real, and in fact some powerful New Zealanders probably couldn't be happier that this operation occurred. No doubt, they are equally happy that you are not demanding to know who they are and bringing them to justice but instead spend your time making arrogant remarks online toward foreigners.

Do you genuinely believe that every single foreign stakeholder only acceded to an imperialist U.S.'s demands after being browbeaten and bribed? Can we finally drop such childish myths about power and realpolitik? No doubt, NZ is no match for the mighty power of an all-vanquishing America, but Marines are generally a last resort. Generally, all countries, the U.S. included, find local supporters to champion their causes, and it has been pretty effective for pretty much the entire recorded history of political states. I urge you to read some of the Wikileaks cables, they are especially enlightening in this regard.

Finally, I wouldn't make assumptions about people's citizenship on the internet. I can't speak for NZ, but I know first hand how terrible the scapegoating can get in other countries and how it turns citizens' anger eventually into a jaded apathy--and nothing could be worse than that. That is my personal stake, if you must know, rather than a desire to act as a shill for some clearly dodgy international policies.

EDIT: I just realized that I wrote "New Zealand" as a general entity in my original post, thus committing the same error that I admonish in this post. Mea culpa! I'm pretty sure that I meant to say "some people in New Zealand" as the current phrasing is way too strong. Apologies for the confusion.

Edited 2012-01-20 06:42 UTC

Reply Score: 1

RE: Chill out
by Soulbender on Fri 20th Jan 2012 06:06 UTC in reply to "Chill out"
Soulbender Member since:
2005-08-18

what makes you think that U.S. law was not the international law in the first place


Because it isn't. That's way it's called "U.S law" and not international law.

your own governments and recording institutions wanted this


Obviously they went along but we don't know what and how much pressure was applied.

Governments around the world constantly egg the U.S. to take unpopular or dumb actions and let America take the heat for it.


Oh cry me a river.

Reply Score: 4

RE[2]: Chill out
by earksiinni on Fri 20th Jan 2012 06:38 UTC in reply to "RE: Chill out"
earksiinni Member since:
2009-03-27

Because it isn't. That's way it's called "U.S law" and not international law.


Right, we are in agreement on this. What I meant is that if people are going to make hyperbolic pronunciations regarding international law based on this event, I'm asking why those same people haven't done so before (it was poorly executed sarcastic mocking).

Obviously they went along but we don't know what and how much pressure was applied.


Precisely my point. We don't know. If you quoted a little more of what I had written then you would see that I didn't mean it as a positive statement but as a slightly snarky suggestion for consideration.

Oh cry me a river.


My intention wasn't to be an apologist or defend dodgy policies. I'm raising a valid point: the foreign policies of governments almost always have willing and all-too-happy local support from local agents/factions/governments. Otherwise, powerful countries like the U.S. would never be as effective as they are at getting what they want.

So, I mean to turn attention to this, because as palatable as the the idea that an all-powerful U.S. browbeats poor little countries into giving it what it wants is, the reality is far more nuanced and opaque. The tragedy is when people are fooled by the opacity of this process and begin scapegoating instead of agitating for accountability and change. That's what statements like "U.S. law is the new international law" suggest to me.

Indeed, that is something to cry about.

Reply Score: 3

RE[3]: Chill out
by Soulbender on Fri 20th Jan 2012 07:54 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Chill out"
Soulbender Member since:
2005-08-18

I'd mod you up but since we are apparently not adults here I am not allowed to.

Reply Score: 3

RE[3]: Chill out
by ddc_ on Fri 20th Jan 2012 10:35 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Chill out"
ddc_ Member since:
2006-12-05

I'm raising a valid point: the foreign policies of governments almost always have willing and all-too-happy local support from local agents/factions/governments.

I'm a citizen of one country, but my place of the permanent residence is in another country. Both countries suffer from US policies' enforcement and are particularly unhappy with them. What am I doing wrong?

Reply Score: 2

RE[4]: Chill out
by chmeee on Fri 20th Jan 2012 13:14 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Chill out"
chmeee Member since:
2006-01-10

If said countries are unhappy with policies THEY agreed to with a treaty with the U.S. they could simply break said treaties that cover those policies. The only reason to "suffer" under those policies is if they are getting something more beneficial in return.

Reply Score: 1

RE[5]: Chill out
by bornagainenguin on Fri 20th Jan 2012 15:30 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Chill out"
bornagainenguin Member since:
2005-08-07

chmeee trolled back...

The only reason to "suffer" under those policies is if they are getting something more beneficial in return.


Sure, so long as they suffer the policies of the US [s]government[/s] corporations they won't get invaded. Do either of those countries have oil I wonder...

--bornagainpenguin

EDIT to fix hanging tags.

Edited 2012-01-20 15:31 UTC

Reply Score: 3

RE[5]: Chill out
by ddc_ on Fri 20th Jan 2012 20:26 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Chill out"
ddc_ Member since:
2006-12-05

A nice definition of racketeering...

Reply Score: 2

RE[6]: Chill out
by chmeee on Fri 20th Jan 2012 20:33 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: Chill out"
chmeee Member since:
2006-01-10

How is it racketeering? Both parties must agree to the contract in order for it to be valid. Either party may void the contract under whatever terms govern breaking it. So, if one side feels it's unfair, they simply void the contract.

Words have meanings. Treaties aren't rackets.

Reply Score: 1

RE[7]: Chill out
by ddc_ on Fri 20th Jan 2012 23:18 UTC in reply to "RE[6]: Chill out"
ddc_ Member since:
2006-12-05

You describe the ideal case when both sides are equal towards the resources control. Not sure about US, but in Russian theory of law there is a notion of defending the weak side of unbalanced contract (insurance, banking, etc.). This is the case here.

Reply Score: 2

RE[7]: Chill out
by Mellin on Sat 21st Jan 2012 01:21 UTC in reply to "RE[6]: Chill out"
Mellin Member since:
2005-07-06

"US ambassador threatened Spain with 'retaliation actions' if the country did not pass tough new Sopa-style internet piracy laws"

http://www.guardian.co.uk/technology/2012/jan/05/us-pressured-spain...


if you don't do as we say you'll get a lot of problems with us

Reply Score: 3

ACTA
by ARUmar on Fri 20th Jan 2012 01:29 UTC
ARUmar
Member since:
2009-10-08

didnt get boycotted and was passed by quite a number of countries and is being pushed under various names in legislatures around the world.the ICE takedowns that were going on and even this megaupload imbroglio can be covered by the parties that signed " Australia, Canada, the European Union (EU), represented by the European Commission and the EU Presidency and the EU Member States, Japan, Korea, Mexico, Morocco, New Zealand, Singapore, Switzerland and the United States of America." the only one not represented seems to be Hong Kong dont know what their legislators passed.But the dog and pony show that was SOPA/PIPA seems to me to be an attempt to push through legislature for things that are already happening.Retroactive legislation if you will.

Reply Score: 1

...
by Hiev on Fri 20th Jan 2012 01:33 UTC
Hiev
Member since:
2005-09-27

That's right, show them who you are, just like you showed Oracle when you stopped using MySQL... oh, waith a minute.

Reply Score: 2

Comment by danbuter
by danbuter on Fri 20th Jan 2012 02:40 UTC
danbuter
Member since:
2011-03-17

The people arrested in this operation are not American and were not on American soil. They were not engaged in espionage. How exactly does American law apply to them.?

Reply Score: 6

RE: Comment by danbuter
by ricegf on Fri 20th Jan 2012 03:37 UTC in reply to "Comment by danbuter"
ricegf Member since:
2007-04-25

According to the article, they own numerous servers in Virginia. They were arrested by NZ authorities based on an existing extradition treaty.

Reply Score: 5

MegaUpload is BACK!
by matthewp131 on Fri 20th Jan 2012 05:17 UTC
matthewp131
Member since:
2011-09-21

They switched IP: http://109.236.83.66/

Reply Score: 1

v Good News!
by ViktorRabe on Fri 20th Jan 2012 07:41 UTC
RE: Good News!
by Soulbender on Fri 20th Jan 2012 08:02 UTC in reply to "Good News!"
Soulbender Member since:
2005-08-18

It was alright there.


It's probably not a good idea to model real-world justice after comic-book vigilantes.

Arresting fat fucks like Kim Schmitz


Wow, really? That dumbass bastard is behind megauploads? No wonder it always sucked.

counting their considerable revenue


While I have no love for Kim Dotcom (seriously, he calls himself that. No, really. I'm not kidding) I don't see how he's making that much off megauploads. Maybe i'm just missing something because he's obviously making money somehow. Maybe he scam'ed someone into financing him. Wouldn't be the first time.

Reply Score: 5

v RE: Good News!
by ddc_ on Fri 20th Jan 2012 10:52 UTC in reply to "Good News!"
FYI...
by jvxp on Fri 20th Jan 2012 08:34 UTC
jvxp
Member since:
2012-01-19

... Mr Schmitz has a already a criminal record. And he must be used to be extradited. He got arrested in 2002 in Thailand. And that time it was the german goverment, NOT the FBI, that wanted him back to put him in prison.

http://www.economypoint.org/k/kim-schmitz.html


And the indictment was filed on Jan. 5, so it took NZ officals two weeks to look into it. These are usual international relations and have nothing to do with "US law is now international law"

Reply Score: 2

RE: FYI...
by Soulbender on Fri 20th Jan 2012 16:28 UTC in reply to "FYI..."
Soulbender Member since:
2005-08-18

And the indictment was filed on Jan. 5, so it took NZ officals two weeks to look into it


I had hoped that the NZ immigration would check these things before granting anyone permanent residency...

Reply Score: 2

Comment by oinet
by oinet on Fri 20th Jan 2012 12:41 UTC
oinet
Member since:
2010-03-23

"It's one of those sites where you sigh when you encounter them - annoying ads, hard-to-find download buttons, and so on."

It was actually one of the cleanest sites with very easy-to-find download buttons.

Reply Score: 3

This makes me really mad
by pandronic on Fri 20th Jan 2012 12:56 UTC
pandronic
Member since:
2006-05-18

With the risk of being downvoted to hell ... I really think that copyright is wrong. Copyright should not exist in its current form. All movies, songs, software, writings etc should enter the public domain after a year of their initial public release. After that year they should be free with proper attribution.

It seems really wrong to create something and then profit from it for 100 years and be able to sell those rights to unscrupulous corporations which bear no connections to the authors.

Downloading content without the consent of the rights holders (wrongfully called piracy) is OK if you apply a little common sense: don't do it if it will harm the rights holders (if it's a small band or a small developer, or if the movie or album is so new that it didn't recoup the initial investment or if you really like/use their product and it is priced reasonably).

I said "common sense" because this is what a good law should have. Also it should work in favor of the majority. Different organizations like the MPAA, RIAA and BSA (which we should never forget are another names for Microsoft, Warner, Sony etc) have slowly pushed the copyright laws beyond common sense by bribing left and right (excuse me, lobbying) and now when their business model is no longer working, they want to collect.

So don't feel bad for being a "pirate" as long as you screw the people who wanted to screw you first.

Reply Score: 8

I an trying to recall
by dusanyu on Fri 20th Jan 2012 17:28 UTC
dusanyu
Member since:
2006-01-21

Ever Downloading anything "Illegal" from megaupload and all that i seem to recall seeing on that site was things such as Game mods and other forms of user made content.

Reply Score: 1

A little political realism
by Yamin on Fri 20th Jan 2012 19:39 UTC
Yamin
Member since:
2006-01-10

"does this mean we can request the FBI arrest and extradite US politicians, like Rick Santorum, for making anti-homosexual remarks, which are illegal in The Netherlands?"

If the Netherlands were military superior or economically powerful, they could try such things if they cared enough about homosexual rights.

The US is military superior and has the economic clout to have its demands met. Want to trade with the US, they have certain rules. I'm sure New Zealand could choose not to extradite... and I'm sure the US could respond by clogging up trade with them.

On the foreign country side side. Is it worth risking friendly US economic relations to protect an organization that is generally used for piracy?

It really is a question of how much do you care and how much clout you have. The US has both the clout and is a major producer of content... which means it cares about the issue. Would the Netherlands risk political/economic problems with the US over some anti-gay remarks... probably not ;)

Edited 2012-01-20 19:40 UTC

Reply Score: 2

Personal responsability
by deathshadow on Fri 20th Jan 2012 23:46 UTC
deathshadow
Member since:
2005-07-12

Or perhaps a lack of it? Megaupload is a tool, all it does is let you upload a file -- any file you want, and let others have it.

... It shouldn't be the tool makers job to police how it's used; You kill someone with a hammer, you don't prosecute Craftsman for it. You kill someone drunk driving, you don't sue Ford and Jack Daniels. You burn your lap spilling hot coffee, you don't sue McDonalds. Ok, bad example on that last one...

But most importantly, consider the precedent this sets -- ISP's are well aware what people use the Internet for, are we going to start shutting down ISP's on the same logic? The Internet is a tool, a tool that makes all of this possible... so by the same logic, next they'll shut down the Internet as a whole by going after ISP's.

Which of course is what most Governments actually want in the long run, to police thought. Being able to get independent opinions direct from the people involved and from others in the community is just another way their control is slipping... Which scares the bejeebus out of Politicians all around -- god forbid they're not allowed to tell us what to think anymore, using their petty inconsequential "issues" to distract us from how badly we're all being bent over the table and told to take it.

It's like they want a return to the old days of Ma Bell, where it was a felony to swear over the phone lines... Which became unprosecutable once Ma Bell was broken up.

It doesn't just end at ISP's -- Opera Unite? E-Mail Attachments? How about the people still running USENET servers?

I was joking the other day it would be cute to make a file transfer protocol based on e-mail relay. Each 'node' would download the file, and re-route it to the next person requesting it -- making it indistinguishable from normal e-mail traffic. That would be fun... Especially if you made the actual recipient NOT be the target e-mail address and instead be one along the route.

Edited 2012-01-20 23:55 UTC

Reply Score: 3

RE: Personal responsability
by Lousewort on Sun 22nd Jan 2012 03:53 UTC in reply to "Personal responsability"
Lousewort Member since:
2006-09-12

Fully agree with this assessment.

It's like the FBI arresting the owners of a banking group because criminals misused the safety deposit boxes to exchange drugs.

MU is exactly like that- put your data in the safety deposit box and pass someone else the key. Only difference is it's more efficient.

Perhaps if MU had a way of ensuring that the key could only be used to extract the data once, everyone would have been happier?

Reply Score: 2

Bad Government
by Lorin on Sat 21st Jan 2012 00:08 UTC
Lorin
Member since:
2010-04-06

Our Government has gone too far and out of control, it needs to be replaced with one that is obedient to the Constitution that created it

Reply Score: 2

Good
by jefro on Sat 21st Jan 2012 17:49 UTC
jefro
Member since:
2007-04-13

About time some arrested those crooks.

Reply Score: 2

unfair
by AustinHoffman on Sat 21st Jan 2012 19:05 UTC
AustinHoffman
Member since:
2012-01-21

That's sad...since it's all BS...SOPA/PIPA were junk + MU arrest was unfair + I don't think swizz he has any legal connections to MU...imo it was all fabbed up to get other celebrity endorsements.

p.s. looks like someone is pissed - FBI vs ANONYMOUS video:
http://www.peeje.com/anonymous-hackers-we-legion-211/

Reply Score: 1

Seen the FileSonic website lately?
by ViktorRabe on Mon 23rd Jan 2012 08:36 UTC
ViktorRabe
Member since:
2011-12-30

http://www.filesonic.com

"All sharing functionality on FileSonic is now disabled. Our service can only be used to upload and retrieve files that you have uploaded personally."

The rats are leaving the sinking ship.

Reply Score: 1

Comment by lucas_maximus
by lucas_maximus on Mon 23rd Jan 2012 10:14 UTC
lucas_maximus
Member since:
2009-08-18

http://i.imgur.com/4096B.jpg

I think that sums up the internet's reaction quite well.

Edited 2012-01-23 10:17 UTC

Reply Score: 2

Your headline is misleading
by LighthouseJ on Tue 24th Jan 2012 19:15 UTC
LighthouseJ
Member since:
2009-06-18

FTA: Four of the members of what the authorities called a five-year “racketeering conspiracy” were arrested Thursday in Auckland, New Zealand, the authorities said.

From: http://www.3news.co.nz/Megauploads-Kim-Schmitz-arrested-in-Auckland...

The Justice Department said in a statement said that Kim Dotcom, formerly known as Kim Schmitz, and three others were arrested Friday morning north of Auckland at the request of US officials. ...

The US indicted these individuals and New Zealand picked them up and are going through NZ's own justice system. NZ reached out to US FBI for assistance last August, and started cooperating.

So really, this is really a multinational (albeit two countries at this point?) crime ring bust, and not the US wildly violating national jurisdictions and arresting anyone in the world they want on a whim, as you depicted repeatedly.

Further, your outlandish speculation that the US Government can sequester anyone in the world for an arbitrary reason, and do it unilaterally are quite uncalled for.

Reply Score: 1