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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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  • Yeah Okay (Score:5, Insightful)

    by TemperedAlchemist (2045966) on Friday July 27, 2012 @11:29PM (#40799019)

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

  • Who needs the law? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by margeman2k3 (1933034) on Friday July 27, 2012 @11:32PM (#40799037)
    Who needs things like laws and due process when the government can just shut down your business without them?
  • Face it (Score:5, Insightful)

    by virb67 (1771270) on Friday July 27, 2012 @11:37PM (#40799075)
    Face it. This is no longer a country of laws. The powers that be do what they want, how they want, whenever they want. Get used to it.
  • Re:Why?? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Taco Cowboy (5327) on Friday July 27, 2012 @11:41PM (#40799091) Journal

    What the US govt got from this?

     
    The US government does not benefit anything from this, but on the other hand, those who are paying the politicians, ie, the king makers get to thumb their collective noses down to the rest of us
     

  • by Taco Cowboy (5327) on Friday July 27, 2012 @11:43PM (#40799099) Journal

    Get used to it.

     
    If you wanna bend over and get it, that's your choice
     
    But do not bet on it that many will follow you
     

  • by Bob9113 (14996) on Friday July 27, 2012 @11:49PM (#40799131) Homepage

    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.

    The message they are sending seems to be: If you do something that might piss off a powerful enough lobby in the United States, even if the legal system sides with you, get your money out of the country.

    That doesn't seem like a very smart message to send.

  • by geoffrobinson (109879) on Friday July 27, 2012 @11:51PM (#40799143) Homepage

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/when-government-is-the-looter/2012/05/18/gIQAUIKVZU_story.html [washingtonpost.com]

    It's much worse than what I've said. Some people commit a crime on your property and they seize your property.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday July 28, 2012 @12:00AM (#40799173)

    Bart: The Constitution? I'm pretty sure the PATRIOT Act killed it to ensure our freedoms.

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

    by pla (258480) on Saturday July 28, 2012 @12:10AM (#40799207) Journal
    Guilty until proven....who needs to prove anything anymore?

    Welcome to the world of "civil forfeiture". Property has no rights, so charge the property with the crime. The DEA's done it for about two decades now.

    That said, the present case does seem to go a bit further than even that - At least in normal civil forfeiture, If by some miracle you can prove that the property had nothing to do with a crime, you can theoretically get it back; With Megaupload, the government hasn't even allowed for that nigh-impossible standard of winning.
  • by jcr (53032) <jcr.mac@com> on Saturday July 28, 2012 @12:12AM (#40799215) Journal

    US Constitution, Amendment V:

    No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a Grand Jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the Militia, when in actual service in time of War or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offense to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.

    An executive branch agency just deciding to keep your property because they don't like the outcome of their attempt to indict you is not the "due process of law". In fact, it's quite the opposite: it's grand larceny.

    While I hold no illusions about the US government's willingness to break the law and violate the constitution whenever they find it convenient to do so, the constitution remains the entirety of the legal basis for its existence. When the government violates the constitution, it does not act as the agent of the people, but as usurpers of the people's sovereign power.

    -jcr

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

    by DViper01 (898486) on Saturday July 28, 2012 @12:14AM (#40799219)
    To me as a European it is baffling how much sh*t you Americans take from your government and never take action. Since G.W. one law or incident after another is passed against the interest of the population and the only thing people do is complain a bit on the internet. Have you guys ever heard of the possibility of demonstration, strike and not voting for the dumbest b*tch around? Sorry, that was emotional but that's how I feel when I read stuff like that. Now mod me to hell.
  • Re:Yeah Okay (Score:5, Insightful)

    by superdave80 (1226592) on Saturday July 28, 2012 @12:27AM (#40799263)

    Since G.W. one law or incident after another is passed against the interest of the population...

    Oh, this has been going on WAAAAAAY before ol' Dubya stepped foot into the White House...

  • Expired (Score:5, Insightful)

    by symbolset (646467) * on Saturday July 28, 2012 @12:28AM (#40799267) Journal

    Biden brought the Hollywood money back in the day, and that got him the VP slot and his **AA bosses some seats in the Justice Department, including Mr. MacBride who's working Kim Dotcom today. Despite the whole "supporting your vice president" thing, that's a liability moving into new elections. I don't want to think the O-man needs to or wants to make these sacrifices as an incumbent. He's a constitutional scholar and I think, a geek like us. At least I hope so.

    BTW: I really hate the politicization of /. during crazy season. And yet here I am contributing to it.

  • Re:Yeah Okay (Score:2, Insightful)

    by JohnVanVliet (945577) on Saturday July 28, 2012 @12:30AM (#40799279) Homepage

    no kidding

    it IS time for a new revolution
    this time the "well armed militia " will do what it was intended to do
    remove a govt that is TOO corrupt and can NOT be fixed

    some corruption one can NEVER get ride of fully
    BUT
    what we have now is not even in the shadows

  • by Jerry (6400) on Saturday July 28, 2012 @12:37AM (#40799297)

    ALL the branches of the US government have become corrupt outlaws who have no clue as to what the Bill of Rights means. It's behavior for the last 8 years is a dictionary example of "power corrupts", made worse by the insufferable arrogance they display.

  • Re:The goverment (Score:4, Insightful)

    by BlueStrat (756137) on Saturday July 28, 2012 @12:41AM (#40799303)

    I happen to own a surf-green strat, so I paid a lot of attention to your post and you are right. Don't bring out the guns. Yet. But something has to be done and the only force (and this is not the USA alone) are the people... It's revolution time as far as I'm concerned.

    o/t - Nice. Actually, any strat I pick up becomes a "blue" strat ;) My strat is actually finished in a cherry/gold-burst. But it's a blue strat all the same. Same with the vacuum tube amp I built.

    Back on-topic, you're point about it being all people, not just Americans, is spot-on. There is an international freedom movement growing. Did you know there are Italian "TEA Parties", as well as Serbian, Georgian, British, and about 15 other national TEA Party movements? There are reported to be 20 of them meeting this weekend in Dallas, TX.

    People across the globe are hungry for freedom, and their governments have been starving them for too long. And once again, they look to Americans as examples of how to become free.

    Failure is not an option. Fortunately, all we really have to do for victory is to remember, and never again forget, who we are as a people, why our Constitution was written the way it was, and what we stand for. Our failure to remember is what has brought us to this point. It is what must first change before anything else will.

    An idea, a dream of freedom and liberty, is far more powerful than any weapons in any government armories or airbases ever could be.

    Strat

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

    by jamesh (87723) on Saturday July 28, 2012 @12:42AM (#40799313)

    remove a govt that is TOO corrupt and can NOT be fixed

    How do you see this removal of government taking place? Sure, you could maybe round up enough of your militia to kill them all, but what then? Decades of education neglect has left you with a nation of morons and I guarantee that whatever you try and replace your government with, it will be worse. There are some drug lords in Mexico who might like to take a stab at leadership, if that helps.

    I'm not disagreeing that there is a problem, and it needs to be fixed, and I don't know how you would fix it, but the moment you get out your guns and start shooting you'll have much bigger problems than you have now.

    btw, kudo's on not posting anonymously when you are publicly inviting violent revolution. If you don't hear hammers batter down the door (you'd better run!) in the next few hours then you don't have it as bad as some countries.

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

    by dryeo (100693) on Saturday July 28, 2012 @02:03AM (#40799583)

    Wasn't it Andrew Jackson who, when the supreme court ruled against him, made a comment along the lines of "and with what army are they going to enforce that ruling with?" and proceeded to ignore the courts ruling.

  • Re:Wait what? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday July 28, 2012 @02:06AM (#40799595)

    You mean Guilty even if proven innocent.

  • Re:Yeah Okay (Score:2, Insightful)

    by dbIII (701233) on Saturday July 28, 2012 @03:37AM (#40799885)
    Especially when you're Uncle Sam and don't want people to get you confused with "Uncle Joe" Stalin and a system of "might makes right" instead of the rule of law.
  • Re:Yeah Okay (Score:3, Insightful)

    by slowLearner (2498468) on Saturday July 28, 2012 @03:57AM (#40799959)
    I probably shouldn't do this but, what paranoid corner of the realm did you crawl out of?
    Here are some of the benefits of all this control

    Land is registered to stop it being stolen out from under you.
    A car is registered so that police know who to call if you burnt body is pulled out of it.
    A child is registered in order to make sure that you treat it properly, see that it gets taught to read and write real good and protect it from the possible harm of being brought up by a complete wing-nut.
    You register you marriage so that you don't go and marry your sisters again and again so we can keep our gene-pool nice an healthy!

    Now I like a good poke at "The Man" as much as the next left-wing freetard, but there are benefits to all the things you have ranted on about (it was a rant you can tell by the CAPS).
    But in saying all that you DID reference to articles written by David Icke (AKA Jesus) [wikipedia.org] who thinks that the world is run by reptiles that are six feet tall and disguise themselves as the UK Queen and you take him seriously?
    To be concise, I don't feel that your lift goes all the way up!
  • Long way of saying (Score:4, Insightful)

    by SmallFurryCreature (593017) on Saturday July 28, 2012 @04:32AM (#40800059) Journal

    Like anarchy? Move to Somalia.

    The western system will grind you to dust if it gets you into its gears but it is still a million times better even for the pile of dust then the pure anarchy of the libertarian.

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

    by lexsird (1208192) on Saturday July 28, 2012 @05:08AM (#40800173)

    At the risk of being waterboarded along with you in Gitmo, I will chime in on this one.

    An overt revolution will fail badly. They have changed vital laws that protected us from the military crushing insurrection, so that they can now use it. It used to be a civil matter that the military had no business in. But we seen violation of that law back in the Clinton administration when they rolled tanks on Waco Texas. Since they seen we are too stupid or lazy to call them on it or hold their feet to the fire, they have grown great big balls and down right changed everything. Read about "Posse Comitatus Act" to get the gist of it and it's changes.

    Not to mention, I think we signed the UN Small Arms Treaty Friday, and your arms will be registered, which the next step is to take them. It's how Hitler did it, I'm sure they are apt students. So any thoughts of an armed revolt are seriously fucked, even if you did succeed, the UN would step in as well, then you would have to kill all of them as well. As soon as you start that, we will be invaded big time and have to go to some kind of scorched Earth policy to get rid of them all.

    Now where are you going to recruit for that kind of madness? Surely not from the fat, retarded, undereducated, lazy sons of bitches here. Do you think this waste of god damned space xbox generation is going to get off the couch to fight for something they have no clue about? Perhaps if football or pizza was threatened they might roll over and fart, but give it up concerning anything else.

    Now I have studied this subject for a while and pondered it hard. There are ways to bring about vast changes but it's still fucked. Why? We already have an army here fucking with us from the Mexican Drug lords. Their god damn gangs would run amuck, they already have their hand deep in the asses of cities like LA. We've seen how they have threatened the medical weed shops with impunity, and some speculate that they influenced LA's city counsel to shut down those shops.

    We've seen evidence of South of the border intent on retaking parts of America. Sure we all like to ignore this, and we can because we have a military that would kill every last fucking one of them and dance on their graves. But if we are fighting, they will stick a knife in our collective backs. Don't shit yourself for a second that they wouldn't. They already fuck up our border patrol and the people of that region and our pussy politicians are too afraid of the Mexican vote to do a damn thing about it.

    Yes, we have a corrupt, fucked in the head government, but at least it's OUR corrupt, fucked in the head government. That means that we can fix the damn thing without genocide. This requires YOU and all of your little buddies to get off your asses and get politically active. This means that you need to be active during what they call "the grass roots" and you have to drag everyone you know and some you don't, kicking and screaming to the polls. You need to apply vast amounts of social pressure on "non-voters" to do their damn civic duty. We have amazing, unprecedented communications tools to get out the word, to organize and to act politically.

    It takes brains, patience and hard work. There is no "fast food fix" for this. It didn't fall apart over night, nor will it be fixed overnight either. Until we have exhausted these tools and these means of peaceful and productive means of political change, don't be an asshole. Don't worry, if it's truly fucked, it can be dropped like a house of cards. But that is one hellish nightmare that we need to avoid at all costs. Humpty Dumpty doesn't go back together again, remember that.

    So do us all a favor, and park the "armed revolt" thought in the garage. Save that "pissed off-ness" to drive your fat ass off the couch to get out and vote.

  • Re:Not quite (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Kalriath (849904) on Saturday July 28, 2012 @05:53AM (#40800279)

    Except that most of said assets are outside the US, and the target of the investigation is also outside the US. The US Government had no jurisdiction to seize the assets in the first place. They also have no jurisdiction to hold onto the assets if the case is dismissed. In fact, they have no jurisdiction to prosecute either.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday July 28, 2012 @06:01AM (#40800295)

    ^Doesn't understand that libertarians and anarchists are completely different things.

  • Re:The goverment (Score:5, Insightful)

    by BlueStrat (756137) on Saturday July 28, 2012 @06:16AM (#40800345)

    I've spoken to a couple marine types after they've seen real action.. scary shit. They have little-to-no qualms attacking civilians if they are ordered to; for some the distinction between our civilians /or/ others' civilians doesn't even exist.

    I grew up on military bases. I know a lot of military personnel, even up to a couple of full-bird colonels and two generals. We've actually had this discussion. I've yet to find any that would fire on US citizens, unless they were like radical Islamic types or similar.

    If it came down to the government ordering the US military to "occupy" US cities and towns, round people up into camps, and basically carry out a "government takeover" and provide armed pacification and suppression against civilians, they would refuse, arrest the ones issuing the orders, and even launch an assault on government-loyalist positions if need be if things were that bad.

    Google "Oath Keepers". There are many more that feel the same way but are reluctant to expose their beliefs, positions in the power structure, and/or telegraph any possible actions they might need to take in a desperate situation. Be assured a sizable chunk of the US NG and military will throw their lot (and their lives and military assets) in with the civilians in the event of such a takeover attempt.

    What the real worry is for me are the treaties and agreements (both open and secret) with other countries that could provide for bringing in foreign troops for civilian pacification and rebellion suppression.

    Still, the US government and any forces they employ will face the same threat that prevented both Germany and Japan from seriously considering invasion/occupation. A rifle behind every blade of grass, and knowing the kind of hardware hackers, etc, we have here in the US these days, new and ingenious IEDs lining every freeway, side-road, sidewalk, and footpath, and death waiting behind every window and door, plus our own home-brew drones. That's not even counting the military weapons and other assets that will surely be "liberated".

    Unless they are willing to simply kill off ~70%-80% of the US population right from the start with WMDs, an occupation of the US would make Vietnam, Afghanistan, or any of the bloodiest campaigns of WW1 or WW2 look like a stroll in the park. Can you imagine? Former cops, gang-bangers, and mixed military all forming into ad-hoc combat units and working together against a common threat. Not the way I'd choose to unite the country, but revolution and upheaval does make for strange bedfellows when the feces strikes the rotary air circulation device.

    I most fervently hope and pray that violence can be avoided. It would be such a waste of life and potential, and an unspeakable tragedy for so many. Sadly, sometimes those who lust for power and control make avoiding it impossible.

    Strat

  • by amiga3D (567632) on Saturday July 28, 2012 @06:25AM (#40800387)

    Libertarians are not anarchists although they are so far removed from the fascism of the Right and the communism of the Left that they must seem anarchists. Both the Republicans and the Democrats stand for Governmental control of the Citizens to the nth degree. The sheer volume of laws on the books in this country guarantees that every single citizen is a criminal.

  • Re:The goverment (Score:5, Insightful)

    by BlueStrat (756137) on Saturday July 28, 2012 @06:35AM (#40800431)

    It interests me that everyone here speaks of the US Military the same way they speak of corporations - as one giant hive mind with no dissent within the ranks. News flash: the military, like a corporation, is comprised of people who don't all think the same. In the event of the military being directed to take arms against civilians - of the same country no less - it is quite likely there will be increased instances of mutiny. The results would be ... cataclysmic.

    Exactly. See my post above. A significant fraction of US NG/military will break ranks and join the civilians, bringing along their military weapons, training/experience, organizational structure, and other assets. A full-out conflict in such a scenario would be, as you say, cataclysmic. Likely cataclysmic for the entire world as well.

    Strat

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

    by hairyfeet (841228) <bassbeast1968.gmail@com> on Saturday July 28, 2012 @07:03AM (#40800531) Journal

    To me the interesting part is NOT that they believe "I am the law!" which frankly that has been the case for decades, its that they are so comfortable with the machines in place that let them hang onto power, propaganda, the courts, the military, that frankly they don't even think they have to pretend anymore.

    If you look back at American history you can spot where it all changed, and that was the end of WWII. At the beginning the USA? Had the 39th largest military in the world, we are talking a joke of a military, with WWI era tanks, 25 year old ships, there just wasn't any money there. At the end of WWII all that changed when those megacorps realized their money train was about to end, which is where the massive amount of lobbying we see now came from.

    It didn't take the other corps long to see that the military industrial complex was making out like bandits, but some were slower to catch on than others, particularly Hollywood. Think the bundle deals over the theaters or payola would have been broken up if Hollywood would have paid them off? Not a chance in hell. After Betamax they learned though, that's when Jack Valenti and his ilk started seeing how many senators and congressmen they could buy, hell they even own the VP now.

    Which is how we get to where we are now. Somebody high up in the DoJ must have promised Dotcom's head on a platter, probably got offered a swwwweeeet cushy corporate lobbying job when he/she gets out and damn it there aren't gonna give that sucker up! The fact that the POTUS isn't saying a damned word nor is anybody else high up just shows you how rotten the whole place is, buying power is a billion dollar business and nobody is gonna risk losing THEIR checks. The worst part? Not a damned thing you can do about it, both parties are bought and paid for, the system is designed to make sure a third party has no chance in hell, so all you can do is wait for the massive corruption to turn us into another Greece or Zimbabwe.

    Because when we've gotten to the point the DoJ doesn't even have to pretend to give a shit about the law and nobody cares, the MSM sleeps on, and nobody in power says boo? There is no point in even pretending its a democracy anymore, its strictly justice for those with the most cash and apparently Dotcom don't have enough blank checks to hand out to buy himself any.

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

    by tmosley (996283) on Saturday July 28, 2012 @07:22AM (#40800587)
    Utter bullshit. Land is registered to be TAXED. Cars are registered to be TAXED (if they weren't, it would be a one time thing, not a YEARLY one). Children are registered so local government can get tax money from the Federal and State governments. Marriages are registered because the state thinks it is a church, and secondarily because married people are granted special privileges in our crazy nonsense quasi-theocracy.
  • Re:Yeah Okay (Score:3, Insightful)

    by jpapon (1877296) on Saturday July 28, 2012 @08:28AM (#40800863) Journal
    No kidding rights, property, and law are all just concepts we have invented to maintain order in society.

    No kidding rights, property, and rule of law can all go away quickly and things can dissolve into disorder. That's called a revolution, civil war, or state of anarchy.

    You think you're some kind of genius for figuring that out? Everybody knows that without enforcement (and therefore, someone to enforce them) laws are nothing more then words.

    People don't down-mod you for saying things like that, these are well known truths. They probably mod you down because you take those facts and extend them, elaborate on them, and use them to reach idiotic conclusions about how the world is on the verge of descending into chaos and the "law of the jungle".

  • Re:Yeah Okay (Score:4, Insightful)

    by TheLink (130905) on Saturday July 28, 2012 @10:01AM (#40801339) Journal

    You are one of the problems. There are more parties than just D&R.

    In the last presidential election, more than 98% of the voters who bothered to vote, voted for D&R:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_presidential_election,_2008#Result [wikipedia.org]

    And here's something to think about:
    Votes for Obama= 69,456,897
    Votes for McCain= 59,934,814
    The voters who didn't vote: approximately 77 million.

    So if all those 77 million voters who didn't vote actually went and voted for someone else, that someone else would have won. Think about that.

    And even if their votes were spread across different people who thus won't win, believe me the D&R would be a lot more nervous. Because in the next election, those voters might realize their power, get better coordinated and actually kick them out (of course if they still can't agree on who they want, then "the people have spoken", and you get D&R again).

    Instead, the D&R can assume that the voters who don't vote, won't vote and literally do not count. Whereas more than 98% of the voters that do vote support D&R. So objectively the D&R are doing about as good a job as anyone can under the circumstances. How many more votes do you want them to get? 100%? They really are reflecting the people's will. Go talk to one of those "D" voters, they'll never vote for "R", and their "D" guy is the best. Same for the "R" voters.

    So if you don't like the result, you should take it up with the voters who bothered to vote. The voters have clearly told their parties "keep doing what you're doing".

    Talking about other ways of choosing the government means you're going against the 98% who bothered to vote. And that means you're the bad guy.

    Sure those politicians might be bad. But they were elected. You weren't, so you ignoring the decision of the voters makes you as bad as a Dictator. Even if their decision is stupid, it does not make it any less democratic.

    The only time I'd say other methods are justified is if there are no more elections or if the elections are very rigged (e.g. badly "Diebolded").

  • Re:Yeah Okay (Score:4, Insightful)

    by cpu6502 (1960974) on Saturday July 28, 2012 @11:07AM (#40801809)

    You guys really think this applies JUST to megaupload or corporations in general?
    It also applies to use human beings thanks to NDAA2011 which allows the government to hold you indefinitely without trial. And now these recent statements make it appear they will hold you even after they lose the case because "this person was involved in criminal activities".

    Isn't it wonderful the New Amerika that Obama and Bush have given us? The Constitution no longer has legal weight. It's rule of an oligarchy (the workers of the executive branch) to demolish or detain corporations & individuals at will. And trials be damned.

  • Re:Yeah Okay (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Impy the Impiuos Imp (442658) on Saturday July 28, 2012 @01:40PM (#40802913) Journal

    Doesn't bother me any.

    It's about time we had it out with the government over this "we decide it's involved in a criminal act, and therefore may keep it forever" bullshit.

    It's one thing to find a bloody gun by a body or something. It's another to seize someone's money or property, declare it ill-gotten, then fail to bring it to court with the owner standing right there.

    Bzzzt! Sorry. You either take it to court within a reasonable period of time (the Constitution defines this quite well, thank you) and prove it, or you have to give it back.

    Sadly, we may need a constitutional amendment to force this.

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