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Government Piracy The Courts United States Your Rights Online

US Gov't Wants Megaupload Users To Pay For Their Data 203

angry tapir writes "U.S. federal prosecutors are fine with Megaupload users recovering their data — as long as they pay for it. The government's position was explained in a court filing on Friday concerning one of the many interesting side issues that has emerged from the shutdown of Megaupload, formerly one of the most highly trafficked file-sharing sites. Prosecutors were responding to a motion filed by the Electronic Frontier Foundation in late March on behalf of Kyle Goodwin, an Ohio-based sports reporter who used Megaupload legitimately for storing videos. The government argues that it only copied part of the Megaupload data and the physical servers were never seized. Megaupload's 1,103 servers — which hold upwards of 28 petabytes of data — are still held by Carpathia Hosting. Goodwin's options, prosecutors said, are either pay — or sue — Carpathia, or sue Megaupload."
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US Gov't Wants Megaupload Users To Pay For Their Data

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  • Re:Or... (Score:5, Informative)

    by philip.paradis ( 2580427 ) on Wednesday June 13, 2012 @06:05AM (#40306751)

    The funny thing about that idea is that the government actually gets to choose whether a suit against it has merit and can go forward. Good luck with that in many cases.

  • by dkf ( 304284 ) <donal.k.fellows@manchester.ac.uk> on Wednesday June 13, 2012 @06:18AM (#40306793) Homepage

    Single point of failure is always bad

    Yes. This, a thousand times, this.

    trusting someone else to manage it is worse

    Not really. You're just exchanging one set of risks for another. The risk of messing up on your own shouldn't be underestimated; a fat-fingered rm can cause a lot of damage. Of course, if you're really competent then you'll be aware of the single-point-of-failure problem in the first place and so will replicate as appropriate (and according to budget) but for a lot of people the risks from keeping their data in the cloud are actually lower than from keeping the data locally. It's a trade-off (and so must be optimized to particular situations, as with all trade-offs).

    Things get more complex when you've got data which you want to keep confidential yet available (e.g., health records) but a lot of stuff doesn't need that level of caution.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday June 13, 2012 @06:24AM (#40306817)
    It's couldn't care less. Couldn't care less.
  • Re:Or... (Score:5, Informative)

    by rhook ( 943951 ) on Wednesday June 13, 2012 @07:31AM (#40307087)

    You cannot sue the federal government if they do not let you.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Federal_Tort_Claims_Act [wikipedia.org]

  • by necro81 ( 917438 ) on Wednesday June 13, 2012 @07:40AM (#40307131) Journal

    "No person shall be... deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law". Note the wording - it doesn't state that the government must actually have seized the property in question (which the government argues they did not do) - it must merely have caused a person to be deprived of their property. By their own logic, through the actions of the government, Mr. Goodwin has been deprived of his property, and without his right to a jury trial.

    Don't equate "due process of law" with a jury trial. A jury trial is an example of due process, but it's not the only one. There are all manner of legal processes through which you can lose, have taken away, be temporarily deprived of, or otherwise forfeit property without going through a jury trial. As a most simple example: property gets seized as part of a search warrant all the time, as has happened in this case. Sometimes it is eventually returned, sometimes it is permanently retained as evidence. None of that requires a jury trial, even though it's often involved.

  • by poetmatt ( 793785 ) on Wednesday June 13, 2012 @07:57AM (#40307225) Journal

    Which sounds nice and all, except that this is New Zealand and the judge is not at all convinced by our government's antics here. If they declare sovereign immunity (which they might) we are going to have some serious issues in new zealand - rightly so for our government's overreach.

    And in contrast, when police do investigations and presume you may be suspicious (for things such as damage to your house incurred while they falsely investigated something) they absolutely are required to pay that back - you can easily win in small claims court for those damages. This is no different, since megaupload has not been found guilty of anything.

  • Re:Or... (Score:2, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday June 13, 2012 @07:59AM (#40307239)

    They retain "Sovereign Immunity". So basically you can not sue the US Government unless they give you permission to do so.


  • by tapspace ( 2368622 ) on Wednesday June 13, 2012 @08:13AM (#40307339)

    This is like arguing that the government can seize your car from the garage and dismantle it into thousands of parts, but that they haven't deprived you of your property, because you are free to hire a mechanic (at great cost) to put it all back together again.

    The government DOES seize vehicles without due process.

  • by cusco ( 717999 ) <brian@bixby.gmail@com> on Wednesday June 13, 2012 @08:39AM (#40307541)
    And if drugs are even rumored to be some peripheral part of someone thought to be related the case in some way the cops will generally sell the property before the owner gets a chance to try to recover it. NORML reported a few years ago that half of the assets seized and sold in drug cases didn't even belong to anyone charged with a drug crime.
  • Re:Or... (Score:1, Informative)

    by meglon ( 1001833 ) on Wednesday June 13, 2012 @09:15AM (#40307877)

    republic: a government in which supreme power resides in a body of citizens entitled to vote and is exercised by elected officers and representatives responsible to them and governing according to law

    democracy: a government in which the supreme power is vested in the people and exercised by them directly or indirectly through a system of representation usually involving periodically held free elections

    Oh yes, such vastly different things. The only people i ever hear making that distinction are teabaggers who would prefer us living in a fascist theocracy filled with mental midgets.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday June 13, 2012 @09:47AM (#40308241)

    The way your sentence is written it's hard to tell what you are saying, but unless something has changed, Iran has NOT violated the NPT which allows signatories the right to peaceful development of nuclear technology. The fact that Israel and the US object does not make Iran's actions a violation. At various times, Iran has come up with various proposals involving transferring all of their enriched uranium to third parties. These proposals were still rejected.

    I don't much care for the Iranians, but it appears that 'someone' is determined to provoke a conflict and one way or another to overthrow their government.

MESSAGE ACKNOWLEDGED -- The Pershing II missiles have been launched.