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US Gov't Says They Can Still Freeze Megaupload Assets If the Case Is Dismissed 530

Posted by Soulskill
from the taking-your-toys-and-going-home dept.
The Megaupload case continues, and on Friday attorneys for the U.S. government made some interesting claims. They were in court to argue against a request to dismiss the indictment against Megaupload that was raised on the grounds that Megaupload has no U.S. address. After a debate about jurisdiction and precedent, this happened: "The government also argued that it could keep Megaupload in legal limbo indefinitely. 'None of the cases impose a time limit on service,' the government's attorney told the judge. Therefore, the government believes it can leave the indictment hanging over the company's head, and keep its assets frozen, indefinitely. Not only that, but the government believes it can continue to freeze Megaupload's assets and paralyze its operations even if the judge grants the motion to dismiss. That's because in the government's view, the assets are the proceeds of criminal activity and the prosecution against founder Kim Dotcom will still be pending. The fact that the assets are in the name of Megaupload rather than its founder is of no consequence, the government claimed."
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US Gov't Says They Can Still Freeze Megaupload Assets If the Case Is Dismissed

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  • The goverment (Score:5, Informative)

    by santax (1541065) on Friday July 27, 2012 @11:30PM (#40799025)
    should be brought to justice... This is insane and a clear message from the government to everyone: You have NO rights at all! Time to fight terrorism people and it starts at home.
  • Re:Yeah Okay (Score:5, Informative)

    by Taco Cowboy (5327) on Friday July 27, 2012 @11:33PM (#40799051) Journal

    Telling the court that you're going to circumvent the law in the case you lose probably isn't going to be so swell.

     
    Except when you are Uncle Sam
     
    ... just saying ...
     

  • by geoffrobinson (109879) on Friday July 27, 2012 @11:46PM (#40799111) Homepage

    This happens with citizens all the time.

    http://reason.com/archives/2010/01/26/the-forfeiture-racket/singlepage [reason.com] (Behind a paywall, bu the first paragraph will give you the gist.)

    You get arrested for a crime. Your assets are seized. Charges are dropped or you are found not guilty. They don't give you your assets back.

  • Re:Yeah Okay (Score:5, Informative)

    by UPZ (947916) on Friday July 27, 2012 @11:54PM (#40799155)
    Guilty until proven....who needs to prove anything anymore? The govt decides who is guilty and who is not. We have a tyrannical govt at home and doesn't matter if it's headed by bush or obama.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday July 28, 2012 @12:17AM (#40799233)

    If they don't follow the law then they're not the government they're just a gang.

    Like the thugs in any 3rd world hole - they're already making threats of what they'll do regardless of what the court rules.

    Pack them up and send them off to North Korea where they belong.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday July 28, 2012 @12:49AM (#40799343)

    The US government accused Kim Dotcom of racketeering. And now they say they themselves are the real racketeers. Oh the irony.

  • Re:Yeah Okay (Score:3, Informative)

    by darkfeline (1890882) on Saturday July 28, 2012 @01:04AM (#40799393)
    No, we who complain on the Internet are the minority who realize the sh*t going down. Let me as an American explain to you as a European how power is distributed in the US. Government has primary power, but everyone in government is paid off my corporations, who hold "secondary" power, in reality primary power. While technically US citizens vote for their representatives, most of America is not like us complaining on Slashdot, but the stereotypical white conservatives sitting in front of the TV with their neat little 4 people families washing away their brain fluids with media, which is paid for by the corporations. Come election time, guess what? they vote for the same people paid off by the corporations.
  • Not quite (Score:2, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday July 28, 2012 @04:09AM (#40799979)

    Actually they're saying that indefinite asset seizure -by the government during an investigation in order to prevent criminal activity- is within the law. You are assuming this case is a dispute between some hollywood bigwig and a person - ie. a civil case - but it's not. It's the government "researching" (so to speak) whether this guy was committing criminal activities directed against the community as a whole (like, say a murder investigation). As a general rule, if you're under criminal investigation, the government is pretty much at liberty to do a whole lot of things to you and you have no recourse.

    (to make this more clear, compare it to the police -and thus the government- taking a gun away from a shooter - it is obviously not theft. The question you should be asking is why this is a criminal investigation. But they certainly seem to have support from congress for making it a criminal case ...)

    The exact argument made :
    1) because the law empowering them to seize those assets exists and does not mention a time limit, nor the necessity of there being a case afterwards (of course they have to return the assets if they decide not to sue, but until then ...)
    2) there have been tons of court cases about this, in all cases judgement was in their favor

    So, to be realistic, this is a fucking strong argument.

  • Re:Yeah Okay (Score:3, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday July 28, 2012 @06:03AM (#40800301)

    Do you know what scares me? It's that I can't tell if this prosecutor ever heard of Roland Freisler [wikipedia.org] or not, and if he realizes how uncannily close his argumentation is to Freislers famous outburst " Wir brauchen kein Gesetzbuch, Recht ist, was dem deutschen Volke nutzt", which translates as "We don't need any book of law, what's right is what gains the German people".

    Obviously Freisler meant that he, and the Nazi regime in general, were the ones who were to decide what gained the German people, pretty much like the MAAFIA does today in the US.

    Also, this authoritarian attitude seems to appear with increasing frequency, which is quite worrying.

    I'd say the totalitarian noose is tightening.

  • Re:Not quite (Score:2, Informative)

    by thaylin (555395) on Saturday July 28, 2012 @08:01AM (#40800741)
    So what you are saying is first of all there is no right to an expedient trial? Strike one against our constitution The is also talking about a dismissal of the charges, so even if they charges are dismissed they are still able to hold on to the assets to um research the same charges... So therefore strike 2 against our constitution. When weight against our constitution I think the arguments are WEAK.

God may be subtle, but he isn't plain mean. -- Albert Einstein

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