Megaupload down, DoJ charges 7, Anonymous fights back

Megaupload logo
Megaupload is down. The file-sharing locker service was nuked by the U.S. Department of Justice (DoJ), Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), and the FBI -- in cooperation with authorities in New Zealand. In IT Blogwatch, bloggers note Anonymous' swift retaliation.

Your humble blogwatcher (@richi ) curated these bloggy bits for your entertainment. Not to mention: 30 Things to Stop Doing to Yourself...

    Gregg Keizer reports:

Seven individuals and two companies were charged with..racketeering, copyright infringement, and money laundering, the..DOJ said. .. [And that] the gang generated $175 million in revenue from advertising..and..memberships, and caused more than $500 million in damages.


[F]our were New Zealand. .. The three others -- who live in Estonia, Germany and Slovakia -- remain at large. .. [The] FBI also seized $50 million in..assets, and served 20 search grab the servers.


The seven men each face a maximum of 55 years in prison.   

    Richard Chirgwin adds:

The four arrested in New Zealand..[are] founder Kim Dotcom..[CMO] Finn Batato..CTO Mathias Ortmann, and BOFH Bram van der Kolk.


In an instant and furious reaction, Anonymous is claiming credit for taking down the websites of the [DoJ, the MPAA, and the RIAA as punishment.   

Nate Anderson boggles at the scale of the allegations, yet cautions caution:

[The] site's employees..were paid lavishly and..spent lavishly. Even the graphic designer, 35-year-old..Julius Bencko, made more than $1 million in 2010 alone. .. [B]etween them [they] owned 14 Mercedes-Benz..a 2010 Maserati, a 2008 Rolls-Royce, and a 1989 Lamborghini.


For years, the site has claimed to take down unauthorized content when notified by rightsholders. .. But the government asserts that Megaupload..employees knew full well that the site's main use was to distribute infringing content..[and] the site has been doctored to make it look more legitimate than it is.


Yet the indictment seems odd in some ways. .. It's also full of strange non-sequiturs. .. [The] severity of the government's reaction is surprising.   

But Mike Masnick has no such qualms:

[The DoJ] and ICE don't think they need any new law to go after [foreigners] over claims of criminal copyright infringement. .. [But they] have a pretty freaking dreadful record so far in bringing these kinds of cases for online copyright infringement.


Similar cyberlockers, like RapidShare, have already been declared legal in both Europe and the US. .. All indications were that the company was..building a legitimate system for artists to make money.


So why do we need SOPA/PIPA again? It seems like the DOJ/ICE just undermined the key argument..for why they need these laws. .. Is this really the message the US DOJ and White House want to be giving..concerning a fear that this new law would be used to take down websites?   

Need a legitimate file locker? Alan Henry has tips:

[H]ere are some other great sites that let you share large files.


With MegaUpload down, RapidShare is your next natural alternative. .. MediaFire promises to make file uploads and sharing..drag-and-drop simple. .. YouSendIt has been around for a long time, and has grown..[into] an enterprise tool where businesses..securely share with people outside of their organizations. .. Minus started off as an image sharing service, but..bloomed into a richly featured file sharing service.


In addition to these services, you can always upload your files to sites like Multiupload, Gazup,, which send your file to multiple..hosts and return a single link that you..can use to download from..any of them.   

   And Finally...
30 Things to Stop Doing to Yourself

[hat tip: Aimee Kazlowski]

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Richi Jennings, your humble blogwatcher

Richi Jennings is an independent analyst/consultant, specializing in blogging, email, and security. He's the creator and main author of Computerworld's IT Blogwatch -- for which he has won American Society of Business Publication Editors and Jesse H. Neal awards on behalf of Computerworld. He also writes The Long View for IDG Enterprise. A cross-functional IT geek since 1985, you can follow him as @richi on Twitter, pretend to be richij's friend on Facebook, or just use good old email: You can also read Richi's full profile and disclosure of his industry affiliations.

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