Gov’t Shuts Down Megaupload Amidst SOPA Protests, Hackers Retaliate

A day after that SOPA Blackout, Megaupload, the Hong Kong-based, celebrity-endorsed file-sharing service for videos, photos and ponography, was shut down by the government. Founder Kim Dotcom along with Bram van der Kolk, Finn Batato, and Mathias Ortmann were arrested in Auckland.  The four were charged with engaging in a racketeering conspiracy, conspiring to commit copyright infringement, conspiring to commit money laundering, and two substantive counts of criminal copyright infringement.

The FBI’s press release claims that Megaupload generated more than $175 million in “criminal proceeds” and that the agency executed more than 20 search warrants in the US, New Zealand and seven other countries, and seized more than US$50 million in assets.

“This action is among the largest criminal copyright cases ever brought by the United States and directly targets the misuse of a public content storage and distribution site to commit and facilitate intellectual property crime,” the FBI statement said.

Hackers Retaliate

This angered hackers, which led them to attack various government agencies as well as record companies.

@AnonymousWiki tweeted: “We Anonymous are launching our largest attack ever on government and music industry sites. Lulz. The FBI didn’t think they would get away with this did they? They should have expected us.”

After which, they posted a Pastebin link which announces that they taken down 10 sites in response to the Megaupload shutdown including the FBI, Universal Music, RIAA (Recording Industry Association of America) and Hadopi – the French government agency responsible for “protecting creative works on the internet” along with information of some people connected to the sites they’ve taken down.

Hackers are so pissed off with what the US DOJ, the FBI and other groups involved did, that it doesn’t look like they’re quite done with their revenge.

Consequences

If the four arrested are convicted of the charges filed against them, they could be facing the maximum penalties of 20 years for conspiracy to commit racketeering and to commit money laundering, five years for each count of copyright infringement and five years for conspiracy to commit copyright infringement.

About Mellisa Tolentino

Mellisa is a staff writer for SiliconAngle, covering social and mobile news. She is fascinated by technology and loves imparting what she learns through her journey as a writer. Got a news story or tip? Send it to mellisa@siliconangle.com