Follow Slashdot blog updates by subscribing to our blog RSS feed

 



Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
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.'"
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

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

Comments Filter:
  • Nowhere fast (Score:5, Insightful)

    by ExecutorElassus (1202245) on Saturday November 24, 2012 @08:35PM (#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:5, Informative)

      by MichaelSmith (789609) on Saturday November 24, 2012 @08:39PM (#42084535) Homepage Journal

      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.

      Don't you mean NZ? Australia doesn't really have a role here. Which is not to say that the australian security services wouldn't jump at the chance to help the FBI in a case like this.

      • by ExecutorElassus (1202245) on Saturday November 24, 2012 @08:54PM (#42084585)
        whoops. I got Dotcom mixed up with, uh, Julian Assange (who I believe is an AU citizen, yes?). I'll just go back to nursing this booze now.
        • by MichaelSmith (789609) on Saturday November 24, 2012 @09:02PM (#42084621) Homepage Journal

          whoops. I got Dotcom mixed up with, uh, Julian Assange (who I believe is an AU citizen, yes?). I'll just go back to nursing this booze now.

          Yeah Julian is one of us. In fact I know a guy who had the pleasure of having his system broken in to by Mr Assange. For a geek he is strangely concerned about what people say about him. Most of us don't give a shit.

        • by game kid (805301)

          Don't be so quick to mea culpa. If this is **AA-bribe-fueled, then said **AA would happily the various govts to make them paint Dotcom and Assange, along with Anons and such, as members of the same Axis Of Anti-American Terrorist And Computer-Hacking And Also Job-Killing Piratical Evil.

          It would be a big marketing coup for them to get that stuck in people's heads, and big marketing coups matter these days (instead of things like "competition", "compassion", "law", or "value of product").

          • Where do I go to join the Axis?

    • I think you'll find the Australian authorities had nothing to do with it, since New Zealand is a completely separate country to Australia! ;)
      • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday November 25, 2012 @05:10AM (#42085917)

        I think you'll find the Australian authorities had nothing to do with it, since New Zealand is a completely separate country to Australia! ;)

        Yes, the ignorance around here is disgraceful. While New Zealand hasn't covered itself in glory here, that pales in insignificance next to Australia's crime of having given Adolf Hitler to the world. Not to mention Arnold Schwarzenegger...

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

      by Jeremiah Cornelius (137) on Saturday November 24, 2012 @08:46PM (#42084557) Homepage Journal

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

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

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

        by Black Parrot (19622) on Saturday November 24, 2012 @09:01PM (#42084613)

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

        FTFY

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

          by Runaway1956 (1322357) on Saturday November 24, 2012 @09:52PM (#42084819) Homepage Journal

          It appears that your horizons might be expanded by visiting the New American Century site. www.newamericancentury.org/

          What GP posted, and what you posted, are synonymous. In the past twelve years, the site has softened their sales pitch, sort of almost disguising it, but there is no secret that they represent corporate powers. It's only a thinly veiled secret that they intend to buy out the United States government to make their dream come true. The only secret is, how far they have progressed toward ownership of the government.

          For the past five presidential elections, both candidates were owned by the corporations. If I really dug, I could probably demonstrate the same for elections further back in history.

    • by Zocalo (252965)
      At this point, I think "nowhere fast" is probably what they are trying to achieve. It's a lost cause, so the longer the studios can keep things tied up in a legal limbo, the better it is for them.
    • by XaXXon (202882)

      Too bad you can't file abn anti-SLAPP lawsuit against the FBI. That seems to be what they're doing. The resources of the US against some dude in NZ.

       

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

      by Lisias (447563) on Saturday November 24, 2012 @09:38PM (#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"?

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

      by Mitreya (579078) <mitreya@gmail.LAPLACEcom minus math_god> on Saturday November 24, 2012 @11:54PM (#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...)

      • by hjf (703092)

        What mission? You sound like you think megaupload was the only file locker out there.

        • Only a few. It also discourages new ones very effectively. Unlike a p2p network, a person can't throw together a filelocker in their bedroom. It takes money to get it going, to set up the servers and pay for storage and bandwidth until the income starts - and only a fool is going to invest their money in a filelocker business now it's apparent that any successful filelocker is likely to be shut down and all assets siezed.

          • Totally agree! /me drags file to his drop-box, uploads a file to his Google Drive and grabs a file from iCloud....

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

        by rtb61 (674572) on Sunday November 25, 2012 @04:23AM (#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.

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

      by tlhIngan (30335) <[ten.frow] [ta] [todhsals]> on Sunday November 25, 2012 @03:12AM (#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 ZephyrQ (96951)

    Just. Wow.

    I guess that means that I shouldn't listen to what the government tells me to do...I could get sued--or arrested.

    • by bloodhawk (813939)
      NO, it means if they tell you to do something then keep the evidence they told you to do it. You would be in far more shit for not doing what they ordered and have no comeback in court.
    • Re:Wow. (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward on Saturday November 24, 2012 @10:46PM (#42084989)

      No, over 2000 users uploaded these files. Mega is trying to use the structure of their site where they hashed an upload and only kept one copy of the file to say that because there was only copy and because NinjaVideo had uploaded 36 of these files at some point (because NinjaVideo uploaded thousands if not hundreds of thousands of files), they couldn't delete those files because the order from the DHS instructed them not to. But that's a ridiculous assertion— even if they were told not to delete the files (really they were just told not to delete the NinjaVideo account, so they're using a liberal interpretation to include these files) they had an obligation to prevent the files from being used for further illegal purposes.

      Phrased another way, a court order requiring preservation does not mean Mega is allowed to continue to allow others access to those files and continue to break the law. Those 36 files were accessed, downloaded, and shared illegally after the point at which they were required to be preserved, and access removed under the DMCA.

      Mega cannot use a design component of the site which was done for cost purposes, as a defense against criminal liability.

      • It could be argued that they could use the hash to more effectively police infringing content: Once a file is reported, they could have pulled all uploads of that hash and blocked new ones. But this would be a poor idea, because it'd be trivial for pirates to circumvent by just changing one byte (Like a padding file in a rar archive, or a new password), so all it'd really do is raise their cost of storage substantially in return for delaying pirates by about three minutes.

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by Anonymous Coward

        It isn't. MegaUpload DID make infringing links nonfunctional promptly upon report.

        The indictment (have you read it?) is that they didn't take down the underlying files which were still accessible via other links which had NOT yet been reported as infringing.

        I'm not sure how this gels with the language of DMCA 512(c) which states "remove OR DISABLE ACCESS TO" [emphasis mine], but that demonstrates bad faith on the part of the FBI.

  • And? (Score:5, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday November 24, 2012 @08:49PM (#42084567)

    The goverment bought and paid for by hollywood over the last decade would pull out every illegal dirty trick to get there way once again?

    I'm not shocked. That's normal now.
    Best get used to that kind of shit. This is the path we have chosen. Or someone did...

    • by Nyder (754090)

      The goverment bought and paid for by hollywood over the last decade would pull out every illegal dirty trick to get there way once again?

      I'm not shocked. That's normal now.
      Best get used to that kind of shit. This is the path we have chosen. Or someone did...

      You bend over and get fucked, me, i'm going to fight it.

      • by jamstar7 (694492)

        The goverment bought and paid for by hollywood over the last decade would pull out every illegal dirty trick to get there way once again?

        I'm not shocked. That's normal now. Best get used to that kind of shit. This is the path we have chosen. Or someone did...

        You bend over and get fucked, me, i'm going to fight it.

        I'll save you a spot in the chow line at Gitmo.

    • The government will be bought and paid for by ...

      1) Old Media
      2) New Media

  • by arbiter1 (1204146) on Saturday November 24, 2012 @09:08PM (#42084647)
    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.
    • by asmkm22 (1902712) on Saturday November 24, 2012 @09:46PM (#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 Nyder (754090)

        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.

        There is a paper trail. Do you think the FBI just called up on the phone and said, "Kim, old buddy, please keep these files because we are investigating it?".

        No, they send paper work. And combined with the paper work the FBI gave the court, is showing that something is funky.

      • by X.25 (255792)

        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.

        How, exactly, you figured that Dotcom has no 'credibility'?

        Pretty much everything he said since the case began was true, he didn't even need to distort anything.

        Could you give me examples of the 'distortion'?

        • And does it even matter if he's credible? He's the accused here. If the government's job to prove (legally) that he did something wrong. If they can't do that then they are in the wrong and should be punished for the damage they caused to his business.

    • I wouldn't bet on that.

      My guess is there's no laws that protect from this kind of BS because the gov't wouldn't acknowledge they are possible of that kind of stupidity. Not to mention if it goes to court do you expect a jury to actually find someone guilty because the FBI issued a warrant to do it? If I were on a jury I'd not only disregard that "evidence" but I'd start looking REALLY deeply at the evidence presented and start questioning the FBI's entire case.

      So there may be no protections because it's e

    • by girlintraining (1395911) on Saturday November 24, 2012 @09:51PM (#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.

      • by Mitreya (579078)

        The so-called "poisoned fruit" laws were struck down by our new, ultra-conservative, supreme court.

        [citation needed]
        Seriously, I know you are not a troll, but when has the "poison fruit" law been struck down, exactly?

        I think they are fine with the case falling apart, because DotCom has been punished and his business dismantled. Once his case falls apart, his servers and paying customers would still be gone as they are now. And unless someone in law enforcement is punished, such procedure can be repeated as many times as necessary (i.e. once he opens his new business venture)

      • by shentino (1139071)

        1 in 8 is 12.5 percent, not 15 percent.

        Turn in your geek card.

      • by fafalone (633739)
        The sad thing is you've vastly overestimated the accuracy of drug dogs. According to one study, in the field, it's under 50% for all drivers (alert resulting in finding drugs). Alerts where the driver was Hispanic was under 30% successful. In a performance test, if there was a sausage in the car, or if the handler believed there were drugs in the car, the success rate was only 14%-- that means 86% of the time the dog alerted there were no drugs found, so maybe you just got that mixed up. (see http://www.huf [huffingtonpost.com]
    • the FBI kept the investigation open. That they served the search warrant two years before they seized the computers stinks of entrapment, since it is an offence to destroy evidence pertinent to an investigation (it's called spoliation). MU didn't break the law in this case, the FBI did.

    • by westlake (615356)

      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.

      The question, I suspect, is whether the files were still being offered for download.

      In plain English, whether there was good faith compliance with the previous warrant, which was intended to secure the evidence, not to facilitate an on-going infringement by allowing Megaupload to keep the files on a public-facing server.

    • by Hentes (2461350)

      Possibly, but since Dotcom isn't going to face the charges he can't really defend himself either.

  • by bogaboga (793279) on Saturday November 24, 2012 @09:23PM (#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.

    • No point in ever coming to the US, we've got an increasingly corrupt police state, high rates of theft (taxation), and a dying currency. Mix that with several wars we've fought/are fighting that we can't pay for, a large portion dependent on welfare (in various forms) and you've got the exact same recipe for collapse that the Roman empire did.
    • by Swampash (1131503)

      The "Nation of Laws" got acquired in a leveraged buyout sometime in the 60s. In today's America, if the corporations take notice of you... you're fucked.

  • Newcrime (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday November 24, 2012 @09:25PM (#42084703)

    The trial is the punishment.

  • by raymorris (2726007) on Saturday November 24, 2012 @09:57PM (#42084837)
    Hidden at the bottom of the story, in internal emails Mega said they had 2,000 users with those 39 infringing files. They weren't supposed to delete the NinjaVideo account, but what about the other 1,999? If you believe one side is right, why not tell the truth about why that side is right? Why the need to mislead and lie? (Answer - writers try to mislead users users like tnat when they know the truth isn't on their side.)
  • by Tom (822)

    Kim Dotcom says his team has evidence

    To everyone who whined about how evil the law is: Keep in mind who said this. It's hard to think of a more biased source, isn't it?

    This is newsworthy once the alleged evidence is shown. Prior to that, it's just "one side of a conflict claims the other is evil", which is probably the most non-newsworthy thing you can imagine aside from "sun rose this morning".

Man will never fly. Space travel is merely a dream. All aspirin is alike.

Working...