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Piracy Crime Government The Courts

FBI Asked Megaupload To Preserve Pirated Files, Then Used Them Against Dotcom 241

Posted by Soulskill
from the how-many-ways-can-you-screw-this-up dept.
avxo writes "According to an article on the New Zealand Herald, Kim Dotcom says his team has evidence showing that the Department of Homeland Security served a search warrant on Megaupload in 2010, forcing it to preserve pirated movies. According to Mr. Dotcom, those preserved movies are the center of the latest legal battle. 'When the FBI applied to seize the Megaupload site in 2012, it said the company had failed to delete pirated content and cited the earlier search warrant against the continued existence of 36 of the same 39 files.' He added: '[t]he FBI used the fact the files were still in the account of the ... user to get the warrant to seize our own domains. This is outrageous.'"
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FBI Asked Megaupload To Preserve Pirated Files, Then Used Them Against Dotcom

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  • Nowhere fast (Score:5, Insightful)

    by ExecutorElassus (1202245) on Saturday November 24, 2012 @09:35PM (#42084509)
    That's where the FBI's case is going to go. Everything I've read tells me that the FBI, their Australian exponents, and the other parties involved broke too many regs to be able to bring a real case against Megaupload. This is just one more nail in the coffin.
  • Re:Nowhere fast (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Jeremiah Cornelius (137) on Saturday November 24, 2012 @09:46PM (#42084557) Homepage Journal

    "Grasshopper always wrong in argument with chicken"
    - Book of Chan

    This is the new American Century. Get used to it.

  • Re:Actually.. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by erroneus (253617) on Saturday November 24, 2012 @10:00PM (#42084607) Homepage

    Speculate much? Imaginative speculation anyway.

    No. The content industry has a continuous campaign against internet companies which help to distribute material. The same players have gotten other country's law enforcement to act on their behalf even when what they were doing wasn't actually illegal. Getting the US enforcement agencies (note I did not call them law enforcement... just 'enforcement') to break the law in such an overt way is proof of the power and influence these content providers carry.

    I will not miss them. They are a cancer on progress. Volunteer entertainers are popping up everywhere just to get a million likes instead of a million dollars. They can't compete against that kind of currency.

  • Re:Nowhere fast (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Black Parrot (19622) on Saturday November 24, 2012 @10:01PM (#42084613)

    This is the new Corporate Pwned Century. Get used to it.

    FTFY

  • by bogaboga (793279) on Saturday November 24, 2012 @10:23PM (#42084693)

    'When the FBI applied to seize the Megaupload site in 2012, it said the company had failed to delete pirated content and cited the earlier search warrant against the continued existence of 36 of the same 39 files.' He added: '[t]he FBI used the fact the files were still in the account of the ... user to get the warrant to seize our own domains. This is outrageous.'"

    So is this how things are run in "The Nation of Laws?" If whatever was done is lawful, then I rather stay put.
    Someone will have a lot of work to convince me to immigrate to the USA.

  • Newcrime (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday November 24, 2012 @10:25PM (#42084703)

    The trial is the punishment.

  • Re:It's evidence. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by queazocotal (915608) on Saturday November 24, 2012 @10:31PM (#42084725)

    Legal requirements on technology companies are often poorly written, and not actually sensible, as the lawyers involved may not properly understand the internet.

    It's quite plausible that they used standard boilerplate 'Do not delete, modify, or ...the file at http://.../ [...] which could not reasonably be read as allowing them to be pulled offline, as that would be a modification.

  • Re:Nowhere fast (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Lisias (447563) on Saturday November 24, 2012 @10:38PM (#42084757) Homepage Journal

    This is just one more nail in the coffin.

    What coffin? X-(

    We're speaking about the country that declared war and invaded Iraq under false accusations to kill Saddam, and violated Pakistan's sovereignty with a cover up operation to kill Bin Laden, all of that without any consequences.

    (And I will not touch this Assange mess).

    What make you think that the FBI should be worried for a so "small case"?

  • by asmkm22 (1902712) on Saturday November 24, 2012 @10:46PM (#42084791)

    Possibly. It depends on how much truth there is behind both sides claims. Neither the Feds nor Kim have much credibility here, and both have a history of distorting as much truth as possible to get their way. I don't envy the ones who have to try and cut through the bullshit and figure out exactly what needs to be done.

  • by girlintraining (1395911) on Saturday November 24, 2012 @10:51PM (#42084811)

    But there is something in the law that protects megaupload from this kinda BS. They complied with a search warrant and held the files on their system like FBI asked, now they are being shut down cause they kept them.

    There is nothing in the law that protects them. The law is there to protect the FBI and enable it to do whatever it wants. For example, it's been legal for the past several years for evidence collected from a search warrant to be used even if the search warrant is later found to be invalid. Evidence collected without a search warrant is also admissable; The so-called "poisoned fruit" laws were struck down by our new, ultra-conservative, supreme court. And establishing probable cause has gotten a whole lot easier thanks to expansion of police powers -- for example, let's say your tail light is busted, your criminal record is totally clean, but the officer suspects you may have drugs in the vehicle. That suspicion alone is a reason to call over the K-9 unit and allow it to crawl all over, under, and around the vehicle. If it barks, that's cause to search the vehicle. And by search, I mean completely dismantle and leave on the side of the road in pieces. Oh... and you're responsible for the tow. Even if they still find nothing. Bonus: Dogs were found to only be effective about 2/3rds of the time in a recent study... and had a false positive rate of 1 in 8. In other words, 15% of the time, the dog indicated the presence of drugs when none were found (even in trace amounts).

    Don't kid yourself... procedural mistakes won't derail the case. Maybe, in bygone days, the police were required to follow all laws and procedures and if they screwed up the guy walked, but not anymore. Getting tough on crime means that we now don't let little problems like a lack of evidence, or tainted evidence, get in the way of justice. And of course, then there's confessions... -_- Many of which are forced out of suspects.

    The police don't care who their guy is; They just need a guy. There are no innocent people in the world anymore... there's just guilty, and not yet guilty.

  • Re:Nowhere fast (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Mitreya (579078) <mitreya@gmMENCKENail.com minus author> on Sunday November 25, 2012 @12:54AM (#42085199)

    That's where the FBI's case is going to go. Everything I've read tells me that the FBI, their Australian exponents, and the other parties involved broke too many regs to be able to bring a real case against Megaupload. This is just one more nail in the coffin.

    What makes you think they are trying to bring a real case? Megaupload is gone and buried. Servers are confiscated. Even the legitimate paid users have lost access to the files and are getting no compensation. Mission accomplished

    You think there will be any penalties assessed against anyone once this case predictably falls apart? I wouldn't hold my breath (though here's hoping he will at least sue someone...)

  • Re:Nowhere fast (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Zontar The Mindless (9002) <plasticfish.info@gmai l . com> on Sunday November 25, 2012 @03:38AM (#42085603)

    I find it a bit challenging to feel any great remorse over Pakistan's violated honour, given that they (a) said "Yeah, yeah, UBL is teh evil, we want him dead, too" and then (b) harboured him, possibly for years...

  • Re:Nowhere fast (Score:4, Insightful)

    by tlhIngan (30335) <.slashdot. .at. .worf.net.> on Sunday November 25, 2012 @04:12AM (#42085681)

    That's where the FBI's case is going to go. Everything I've read tells me that the FBI, their Australian exponents, and the other parties involved broke too many regs to be able to bring a real case against Megaupload. This is just one more nail in the coffin.

    Even so, that's all they need to do. Even if they drop the entire case, they've shut down MegaUpload for a year and put an incredible scare on everyone else. And former MU customers have files of much less value.

    Digital data loses its value quick - if you're working on the next version of something and a competitor can get your computers seized for a year, that basically puts you out of business for that year, and probably completely out of business.

    Likewise, all of MU's customers have been stuck without their files. All the legit files are a year older and probably not as relevant today as it was a year ago, thus worth a lot less.

    Basically all that's happening is all of the MU assets are getting rapidly devalued, and a year or two down the road, even if it's returned untouched, plenty of irreparable harm has occurred. And that's all that matters.

  • by rtfa-troll (1340807) on Sunday November 25, 2012 @04:33AM (#42085715)

    Entrapment? OK, maybe there was entrapment, but why would the FBI even need to do that? Megaupload was swamped with freely downloadable copyrighted material. Users paying for premium access to download that stuff was Megaload's cheif source of income.

    Most likely because, any time someone gave them a correct notice, Megaupload would delete that stuff on demand. This means that what they were doing was legal under the terms of the DMCA and equivalent rules all around the world. The FBI needed a way to interfere with that process so that Megaupload would behave "illegally" so that by the time they found out about the trick, the FBI would have got some dirt on them (on the principle that everybody is guilty; they just don't know it yet).

  • Re:Nowhere fast (Score:4, Insightful)

    by rtb61 (674572) on Sunday November 25, 2012 @05:23AM (#42085821) Homepage

    You have just listed the beginning of damages, basically the US in-justice system will end up being the ones paying to create the newer, bigger and better MEGAUPLOAD, ohh the irony. Seriously what were the FBI thinking, this is so far beyond entrapment, it is conspiracy to pervert the course of justice. Catch is number one in the line of fine of a multi-million dollar even hundreds of million dollar lawsuit is the New Zealand government, for New Zealands hope you enjoyed sticking your rear hooves into the US in-Justice System gumboots, baah baah because you'll be the one paying the price. Of course now Kim Dotcomm can have fun dragging the US through the WTO for obstructing trade through criminal acts.

"I have more information in one place than anybody in the world." -- Jerry Pournelle, an absurd notion, apparently about the BIX BBS

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