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The Courts Cloud Your Rights Online

US Government: There's Child Porn On the Megaupload Servers Judge! 375

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the depends-on-what-is-means dept.
Fluffeh writes "In the ongoing Megaupload saga, Carpathia, the company that hosted Megaupload, is in a tough pickle. The EFF wants the data to remain on the servers so that users can get legitimate data back, the MPAA doesn't want the servers back, because it will lead to piracy. Megaupload wants to buy the servers to get all the data, but isn't allowed to as that would have the servers leaving the court's jurisdiction. The U.S .Government won't pay Carpathia for the time that the servers are sitting idle and has a new song in its repertoire by announcing yesterday that the servers 'may contain child pornography,' which would render them 'contraband' and limit Carpathia's options for dealing with them."
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US Government: There's Child Porn On the Megaupload Servers Judge!

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  • by ArsenneLupin (766289) on Wednesday April 04, 2012 @08:16AM (#39570561)

    Isn't collective punishment a crime against humanity?

    Only if it happens during war-time by a power foreign to the victim.

    Article 33 of the 4th Geneva Convention:

    Article 33. No protected person may be punished for an offense he or she has not personally committed. Collective penalties and likewise all measures of intimidation or of terrorism are prohibited.

    Article 4 defines who is a Protected person:

    Persons protected by the Convention are those who, at a given moment and in any manner whatsoever, find themselves, in case of a conflict or occupation, in the hands of a Party to the conflict or Occupying Power of which they are not nationals.

    So, unless a Megaupload user is

    1. not a US national, and
    2. has been captured by the US as a prisoner of war (or his home town has been invaded by the US),

    he cannot claim that this is a war crime.

    Even Kim Dotcom himself couldn't claim protection under article 33 of the Geneva Convention:

    1. He was not captured in the scope of a conflict or occupation: indeed, he went to New Zealand willingly, and New Zealand is not at war with Germany (Kim's nationality).
    2. New Zealand authorities captured him willingly, there was no (direct) intervention of US forces here (the MAFIAA's nationality), and New Zealand is not at war with the US.

    Moreover, the "punishments" that the Geneva Convention speaks about are executions, and grave bodily punishments, not mere deprivation of access to one's data.

  • Re:Please! (Score:3, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday April 04, 2012 @08:24AM (#39570625)

    WTF is K-6?
    Just give us a damn age range if you're going to inform us internationals

  • by MikeRT (947531) on Wednesday April 04, 2012 @08:30AM (#39570695) Homepage

    I was talking to a relative who was a federal agent from the mid 70s through the mid 90s and saw the rise of the Department of Justice to the behemoth it is today (including the DoJ take over of the FBI from top down). His perspective comes from being a Treasury special agent and he said that the DoJ has been like this for a few decades now. It's just that ever since they began to rapidly expand, they've gotten a bigger mandate and set of resources to throw their weight around. In general, they've been a total rat's nest of corruption for several decades now in a way that makes most of the other departments look like paragons of virtue.

    The fact is that if you look at some of the absolutely wicked shit that comes out of them in terms of things they want to do, it is stuff that leaves you thinking "do these people literally conspire daily against the constitution?" The DoD and CIA had their problems with rendition and torture, but the DoJ takes it to a level that goes well beyond anything that has come to light about what those two actually want to do (rather than are compelled by Congress or the President). The DoJ frequently writes briefs and memos that go the other way around, letting or justifying Congress or the President do wicked shit.

  • by nweaver (113078) on Wednesday April 04, 2012 @09:02AM (#39570999) Homepage

    Megaupload's model was not like Dropbox: it was not a storage service but an advertisement/subscription sponsored distribution service. (And it had deliberate incentives to encourage the distribution of copyrighted content and effectively ignore the takedown obligations required by the DMCA...)

    Thus the files can't be encrypted binary blobs, because the point was that anyone with a URL should be able to fetch the file, so encryption wouldn't help on the storage.

  • by Kozz (7764) on Wednesday April 04, 2012 @09:06AM (#39571043)

    Some folks just complain about spelling and grammar to be pedantic. In this case, however...

    Including or omitting punctuation is really important. The headline is, "US Government: There's Child Porn On the Megaupload Servers Judge!" Think the missing comma changes the meaning?

    1. "Let's eat Grandpa!"
    2. "Let's eat, Grandpa!"
  • by tmosley (996283) on Wednesday April 04, 2012 @09:10AM (#39571071)
    A banana republic is generally defined as a nation where the government is not subject to the rule of law.

    From wikipedia: In practice, a banana republic is a country operated as a commercial enterprise for private profit, effected by the collusion between the State and favoured monopolies, whereby the profits derived from private exploitation of public lands is private property, and the debts incurred are public responsibility. Such an imbalanced economy reduces the national currency to devalued paper-money, hence, the country is ineligible for international development credit and remains limited by the uneven economic development of town and country. Kleptocracy, government by thieves, features influential government employees exploiting their posts for personal gain (embezzlement, fraud, bribery, etc.), with the resultant deficit repaid by the native working people who “earn money”, rather than “make money”. Because of foreign (corporate) manipulation, the government is unaccountable to its nation, the country’s private sector–public sector corruption operates the banana republic, thus, the national legislature usually are for sale, and function mostly as ceremonial government.

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