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Government Piracy The Courts United States

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

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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  • Wait what? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday July 28, 2012 @12:30AM (#40799029)

    Guilty until proven innocent?

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

    by Mashiki ( 184564 ) <mashikiNO@SPAMgmail.com> on Saturday July 28, 2012 @12:36AM (#40799071) Homepage

    Yeah pretty interesting view there huh? Not only are they saying that they're above the law. But they're saying that the highest law in the land, is no longer the constitution and bill of rights. But the DOJ, and the whim of whoever is in charge. Yeah ... now that's going to go over very well, especially about the time it starts hitting appeal courts.

  • by RPI Geek ( 640282 ) on Saturday July 28, 2012 @12:46AM (#40799117) Journal
    Doesn't this violate the Speedy Trial Clause?
  • by rahvin112 ( 446269 ) on Saturday July 28, 2012 @01:44AM (#40799321)

    We have hope yet.

    If NZ unfreezes DotCom's NZ assets he will have the resources to fight this case all the way to the supreme court. This is exactly the type of case we need to undo the illegal forfeiture laws in this country with a clear cut case of government abuse. Don't get me wrong, Dotcom's hands aren't clean, but I've never liked how the government proceeds with asset forfeitures to take away the defendants ability to defend themselves.

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

    by geminidomino ( 614729 ) on Saturday July 28, 2012 @01:49AM (#40799341) Journal

    But, don't be in any hurry to violence. Use the four boxes in defense of liberty in the order established. At this point, Ghandi achieves more than Patrick Henry. Don't provide a convenient excuse for the government to declare martial law and roll out the Nat. Guard.

    But if we are finally forced to the last box, don't forget ol' Pat.

    "Ballot" was rendered inert as soon as we adopted the two-party, first-past-the-post system.

    "Soap" stop being useful with the incestuous relationship between Corporates and Government.

    So tell me how this story isn't pretty compelling evidence that "Jury" is FUBAR, too?

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

    by Aighearach ( 97333 ) on Saturday July 28, 2012 @03:37AM (#40799721) Homepage

    It is actually just a tyrannical prosecutor, not the whole government.

    It is a difficult issue, telling prosecutors what to do from on high, or giving them free reign to exercise their professional judgment.

    Luckily, the courts aren't usually impressed by self-important prosecutors.

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

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday July 28, 2012 @04:59AM (#40799963)

    Heh. This is nothing. If you find this is bad, never ever check what powers the IRS has if it "has reason to believe" you did something less than 100% kosher on your tax form.

    Asset seizure without recourse - check
    Person seizure without court case (eventually - yes) and zero recourse if they decide not to sue you - check
    Seizure of "related" assets, not belonging to the offender - check

    The list goes on

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

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday July 28, 2012 @05:29AM (#40800051)

    Didn't ya watch the protests here last year?

    We can no longer protest unless they allow it. Even peaceful protestors get tasered and pepper sprayed, beaten and jailed.

    What exactly do you expect us to do? Sure we've got alot of guns. But that does little vs. tanks planes and other large equipment.
    Not to mention our very large very brutal very well armed police gangs.
    And our army is populated by people dumb enough to do what they are ordered to do. Including shoot americans.

    Vote for change? hahahaha yeah that doesn't work either. in theory we tried that. and got shit on again.
    Strike? That could work. If you got everyone to do it. (we cant get everyone to do anything)
    But it would quickly be... No money = no food... no strike....

    We don't have alot of options over here. We are screwed. Unfortunatly we are exporting american brand screwed to the other countries on the planet too.
    So you are also screwed. American style.

    We're sorry. The usa beast got out of control and is running amok.
    We're going to need some outside help to fix this one i believe. And that won't turn out well either.

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

    by amiga3D ( 567632 ) on Saturday July 28, 2012 @07:18AM (#40800363)

    He is supposed to have made this statement concerning the decision in Worcester V. Georgia (1832), "John Marshall has made his decision, now let him enforce it!" There is some dispute whether he actually said this or not but it sounds like something he would have said.

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

    by Dunbal ( 464142 ) * on Saturday July 28, 2012 @07:38AM (#40800439)
    As the saying goes, all they need is to "get lucky once" and find a judge who agrees with them for whatever reason, and suddenly there is precedent and "case law". This is the government. They can keep putting bullshit like this in front of judges every year until one rules in their favor. What are the courts going to do - arrest the government?
  • Re:Yeah Okay (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday July 28, 2012 @08:21AM (#40800585)

    That's why I always say, that the concept of "rights", "property" and "law" are illusions, only held up by the strongest one deciding to uphold them.
    If the stronger ones are gone, or isn't on your side anymore, those concepts dissolve quicker than you can say OMFG, until all you are left with, is the law of the jungle.

    And people *still* mod me down for it... Even when it practically jumps into their faces, like in this case...

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

    by lexsird ( 1208192 ) on Saturday July 28, 2012 @12:10PM (#40801841)

    I'm not so optimistic anymore about our own soldiers firing on us. I followed OWS closely, mostly to see what kind of reaction our officials would take, and they didn't fail to disappoint me. When I see pictures of civilians peacefully protesting and getting manhandled, shot in the face with tear gas, etc by a heavy handed militant police force, my gut and heart just sinks. When NYPD and it's fucked in head mayor shoved journalists out of the way, contained them and arrested them, I knew we were and still are seriously fucked.

    The whole "I don't agree with what you say, but defend to the death your right to say it." mantra has become a fucking joke after that. The media proved itself to be easily manipulated and a tool for propaganda against the movement. Now you don't have to agree with the OWS people, but if you take a look at how it was handled, it was all damn wrong. Imagine if it was your axe to grind and you and your ilk got treated that way.

    I would have to wonder what would happen if an armed group such as the Tea Party staged protests like OWS, but armed like they have been in a lot of their meetings.

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