Four arrests, $50 million in assets seized, and dozens of domains and servers belonging to MegaUpload, the file transfer website, were taken into custody by the United States federal authorities earlier today. The unsealed documents, generated two weeks ago by a grand jury in Virginia, were opened today.
How convenient that it was a day after the widespread internet protest against the American SOPA and PIPA bills. The piracy case against Megaupload started two years ago. The website is one of the largest anonymous data transfer sites, with subscriptions and free options. It generates about $175 million in income a year and per the New York Times, causes an estimated $500 million in damage to copyright holders.
The site’s founder Kim Dotcom (born Kim Schmitz) was arrested in New Zealand. Seven people are being targeted by the grand jury indictment with “Mega Conspiracy.” (Which might be known as megaconspiracy.com after all this?) A total of four of the seven are currently under arrest, the other three remain at large.
In retaliation of this action against Megaupload, Anonymous has worked on taking down the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) website, the Department of Justice (DOJ) website and the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) website with targeted DDoS attacks.
Several other sights have been targeted, like the US Copyright Office site, record label BMI and French copyright authority HADOPI. This may or may not be the best course of action after the January 18th protest; however, it does once again show the solidarity of the internet in a different way.
More on this to surely come later.