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

Soulskill posted about 2 years ago | from the how-many-ways-can-you-screw-this-up dept.

Piracy 241

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.'"

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Nowhere fast (5, Insightful)

ExecutorElassus (1202245) | about 2 years ago | (#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 (5, Informative)

MichaelSmith (789609) | about 2 years ago | (#42084535)

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.

Re:Nowhere fast (5, Funny)

ExecutorElassus (1202245) | about 2 years ago | (#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.

Re:Nowhere fast (3, Funny)

MichaelSmith (789609) | about 2 years ago | (#42084621)

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.

Re:Nowhere fast (2)

game kid (805301) | about 2 years ago | (#42084643)

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").

Re:Nowhere fast (2)

Runaway1956 (1322357) | about 2 years ago | (#42084795)

Where do I go to join the Axis?

Re:Nowhere fast (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42084923)

Just download LOIC and you're sorted (considered part of the Axis, that is..)

Re:Nowhere fast (1)

davester666 (731373) | about 2 years ago | (#42085163)

You already are part of the Axis, since you aren't part of big media.

Re:Nowhere fast (2, Interesting)

Runaway1956 (1322357) | about 2 years ago | (#42085265)

I'm not so sure that statement is true. Bearing in mind, there are three kinds of people in the world. Those who make things happen, those who watch things happen, and the biggest group, those who wonder what the hell happened.

I'm in and out of the first two groups, on this and other issues. That other group? They are the enablers, who permit big media to do what they do. They aren't big media, they aren't the Axis, they are just there, giving tacit support to whatever government and big media might do in their names. The so-called sheeple. Hollywood, or any other member of the **AA tells them to go watch a movie for twenty bucks, the sheeple just say "Bahhh", and they run with the herd down to the cinema.

Ehhh - someone will come along directly to tell me that I've lost all credibility with the word sheeple. Whatever . . .

Re:Nowhere fast (1)

maxwell demon (590494) | about 2 years ago | (#42085419)

Ehhh - someone will come along directly to tell me that I've lost all credibility with the word sheeple. Whatever . . .

I understand: You don't care about him coming along directly, because you've long run away (since 1956; you've probably reached outer space by now). :-)

Re:Nowhere fast (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42085375)

Re:Nowhere fast (2)

crafty.munchkin (1220528) | about 2 years ago | (#42084539)

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

Re:Nowhere fast (4, Insightful)

Jeremiah Cornelius (137) | about 2 years ago | (#42084557)

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

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

Re:Nowhere fast (4, Insightful)

Black Parrot (19622) | about 2 years ago | (#42084613)

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

FTFY

Re:Nowhere fast (3, Informative)

Runaway1956 (1322357) | about 2 years ago | (#42084819)

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.

Re:Nowhere fast (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42084939)

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.

Corporations didn't buy the US election. Most of Obama's money came from private individuals giving small donations whereas Romney had crazy super-pac corporate money. In fact, the election proved that unlimited dollars do not equal winning. Failure on Romney's part to realize that the US is no longer a white male majority kept him from getting elected.

Do your homework BEFORE posting nonsense, not after.

Re:Nowhere fast (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42084615)

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

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

Unlike you, some of us still have spines, and we are not ready to accept
corporate totalitarianism.

I haven't bought anything from MPAA or RIAA in 15 years. Nor have I downloaded
anything illegally. I just quit consuming their crap entirely. If everyone did this,
the game would change.

Re:Nowhere fast (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42084691)

I haven't bought anything from MPAA or RIAA in 15 years.

You don't have kids do you!

Re:Nowhere fast (3, Funny)

tftp (111690) | about 2 years ago | (#42084825)

If everyone did this, the game would change.

Here is the formula for an average, per-citizen, rate of consumption of entertainment, in movies per year, as a function of geek rage:

cons(rage) := 0.999*10 + 0.001*(1/rage)

What is the limit of this function with rage going to infinity?

Re:Nowhere fast (2)

fredprado (2569351) | about 2 years ago | (#42084937)

Keep thinking everything you or anybody else does is irrelevant and that will bring you far, my friend.

Re:Nowhere fast (4, Funny)

VortexCortex (1117377) | about 2 years ago | (#42085295)

If everyone did this, the game would change.

Here is the formula for an average, per-citizen, rate of consumption of entertainment, in movies per year, as a function of geek rage:

cons(rage) := 0.999*10 + 0.001*(1/rage)

What is the limit of this function with rage going to infinity?

OVER 9000!

You failed to realize rage is an irrational number roughly equivalent to 0.0001111111111 (repeating).
The limit of your function expressed in the bironic form (Internet Math Notation), is approximately equivalent to: 1!!!11!!11!!!1one111111!11
(whereby "!" replaces zeros, "one" is the fractional separator, to the right of which is the binary exponent).

Protip: There is always a smarter smartass. Get on my level.

Re:Nowhere fast (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42084861)

New Corporate may American nah - your Rome in Decline all ready no were to expand into to steal gold and beginning to struggle to pay the troops.

Waiting for the day you split in to the N and S empire.

Re:Nowhere fast (2)

Zocalo (252965) | about 2 years ago | (#42084579)

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.

Re:Nowhere fast (2)

XaXXon (202882) | about 2 years ago | (#42084633)

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 (4, Insightful)

Lisias (447563) | about 2 years ago | (#42084757)

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 (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42085143)

I'm fine with violating Pakistan's sovereignty in this case, given the likelihood of them spilling the beans.

Re:Nowhere fast (5, Insightful)

Mitreya (579078) | about 2 years ago | (#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...)

Re:Nowhere fast (1)

hjf (703092) | about 2 years ago | (#42085427)

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

Wow. (2)

ZephyrQ (96951) | about 2 years ago | (#42084533)

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.

Re:Wow. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42084555)

The FBI is not the government supposedly they work for the government.

Re:Wow. (4, Informative)

Tastecicles (1153671) | about 2 years ago | (#42084875)

they're the Federal Bureau* of Investigation. They are an office of the Government. Ergo, they are the Government.

*From the French, literally office.

Re:Wow. (1)

bloodhawk (813939) | about 2 years ago | (#42084779)

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. (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#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.

Actually.. (1, Funny)

MakersDirector (2767101) | about 2 years ago | (#42084547)

.That's what they said they did...

Real truth is... They had too much kiddie porn on their servers, So they decided to 'mitigate the problem' by offloading the 'least questionable' material off their servers.

Re:Actually.. (5, Insightful)

erroneus (253617) | about 2 years ago | (#42084607)

Speculate much? Imaginative speculation anyway.

No. The content industry has a continuous campaign against internet companies which help to distribute material. The same players have gotten other country's law enforcement to act on their behalf even when what they were doing wasn't actually illegal. Getting the US enforcement agencies (note I did not call them law enforcement... just 'enforcement') to break the law in such an overt way is proof of the power and influence these content providers carry.

I will not miss them. They are a cancer on progress. Volunteer entertainers are popping up everywhere just to get a million likes instead of a million dollars. They can't compete against that kind of currency.

Re:Actually.. (1)

westlake (615356) | about 2 years ago | (#42085203)

I will not miss them. They are a cancer on progress. Volunteer entertainers are popping up everywhere just to get a million likes instead of a million dollars. They can't compete against that kind of currency.

The geek defines himself by the big media product, pop cultural artifacts like Star Trek, Star Wars. and The Lord of the Rings.

Re:Actually.. (1)

bornagainpenguin (1209106) | about 2 years ago | (#42085393)

The geek defines himself by the big media product, pop cultural artifacts like Star Trek, Star Wars. and The Lord of the Rings.

Yes, yes--but who told you that? Just because Big Bang Theory says so, doesn't make it so.

More importantly, why do you assume that if true the situation will never change?

Re:Actually.. (1)

Runaway1956 (1322357) | about 2 years ago | (#42084833)

The kiddie porn is on the darknet. You may have found something of that nature on Megauplaod, but that's not where pedobear hangs out.

Re:Actually.. (1)

Pseudonym Authority (1591027) | about 2 years ago | (#42085251)

I doubt that very much. Keeping it in the darknet is a great way to save evidence if your house gets raided for other charges. Sure, you can cast an encryption spell or something that might work without 50005 overhead and result only in serving the goods out at 5kbps, but why not just pop behind a Iranian\Chinese\N. Korean proxy or ten, and upload it to someone else machine?

Re:Actually.. (1)

Runaway1956 (1322357) | about 2 years ago | (#42085281)

Well - you can check out I2P. It's easily found with a google search. First set up a virtual machine so that you can easily delete everything when you are utterly sick of seeing what's available. Set up I2P, and let it settle in, then start browsing. Depending on your tolerance for that sick shit, you can see just about anything you care to see - or don't care to see. Some time before you are ready to tear your eyes out of your head, just close it all down, and delete the VM, then write zeros to the free space left behind.

Proxies are very traceable, on the real internet. If I were a political activist or a CP guy, there's no way I'd trust any combination of proxies.

Re:Actually.. (1)

Pseudonym Authority (1591027) | about 2 years ago | (#42085373)

I am well aware of I2P, Freenet, Onionland, etc... Go find some sites that offer free forum hosting, dig around a little, and witness the theft of innocence (including your own). Then poke around Usenet for a while. After that, Next, go find some abandoned vanity imageboards and see what's going on.

Oddly enough, old webrings on shitty HTML3 sites can lead to some terrible places (but you often run into creepy things of any nature when you do this).

Proxies are very traceable, on the real internet. If I were a political activist or a CP guy, there's no way I'd trust any combination of proxies.

Well it seems to be working out pretty well for the sick fucks.

Re:Actually.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42085405)

Proxies are very traceable, on the real internet.

But choosing the right proxies makes tracing them unfeasible.

And? (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#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...

Re:And? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42084945)

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...

TRANSLATION: BEND OVER AND PULL YOUR PANTS DOWN.

Re:And? (1)

Nyder (754090) | about 2 years ago | (#42085059)

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.

Re:And? (2)

jamstar7 (694492) | about 2 years ago | (#42085107)

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.

It's evidence. (0)

Oxford_Comma_Lover (1679530) | about 2 years ago | (#42084601)

It's evidence. You expect the FBI to tell them to destroy the evidence?

Re:It's evidence. (2)

Black Parrot (19622) | about 2 years ago | (#42084623)

It's evidence. You expect the FBI to tell them to destroy the evidence?

Read the summary.

Teh FBI wants to have it both ways.

Re:It's evidence. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42084657)

I wonder if the summary is misrepresenting. For example, they may have demanded the data be preserved, but not made available to users. Perhaps they carried on with "business as usual" when the FBI demanded that all outside access be blocked, but logs and data preserved.

It'd be like if someone was caught with drugs. If they destroyed the drugs after being arrested, that'd be destroying evidence. However, if they someone had access to the drugs post arrest and tried to sell them, that'd not look too good either,

Re:It's evidence. (4, Insightful)

queazocotal (915608) | about 2 years ago | (#42084725)

Legal requirements on technology companies are often poorly written, and not actually sensible, as the lawyers involved may not properly understand the internet.

It's quite plausible that they used standard boilerplate 'Do not delete, modify, or ...the file at http://.../ [...] which could not reasonably be read as allowing them to be pulled offline, as that would be a modification.

Re:It's evidence. (1)

fyngyrz (762201) | about 2 years ago | (#42085097)

the lawyers involved may not properly understand the internet.

What's to understand? It's a series of tubes, right? Let's craft some legislation!

Re:It's evidence. (1)

avxo (861854) | about 2 years ago | (#42085293)

In my defense, I don't think the summary is misrepresenting because of any fault of my own - I more or less quoted the actual article.

That's not to say that the article isn't misrepresenting the situation. Someone else here already pointed out that mega de-duped submissions, and that they may have continued making the files available. This would make the subsequent action taken by the FBI "reasonable" (in the sense that they didn't force them to retain something only to then legally pursue them for complying and retaining it).

Re:It's evidence. (1)

jamstar7 (694492) | about 2 years ago | (#42085115)

It's evidence. You expect the FBI to tell them to destroy the evidence?

Read the summary.

Teh FBI wants to have it both ways.

Of course they do, they're a government agency. They also want to believe 4 impossible things before breakfast. Problem is, I don't think they've got enough dope to smoke to make that happen.

You lost me right here: (-1, Troll)

Shavano (2541114) | about 2 years ago | (#42084637)

"According to an article on the New Zealand Herald, Kim Dotcom says..." Uh huh.

Re:You lost me right here: (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42084655)

Special agent William Engel of the DHS issued the search warrant in 2010, but I supposed that must never have happened too, because Dotcom mentioned that?

correct me if i'm wrong? (2, Interesting)

arbiter1 (1204146) | about 2 years ago | (#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.

Re:correct me if i'm wrong? (4, Insightful)

asmkm22 (1902712) | about 2 years ago | (#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.

Re:correct me if i'm wrong? (2)

Nyder (754090) | about 2 years ago | (#42085067)

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.

Re:correct me if i'm wrong? (2)

X.25 (255792) | about 2 years ago | (#42085425)

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'?

Re:correct me if i'm wrong? (1)

cyberjock1980 (1131059) | about 2 years ago | (#42084807)

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 expect that no situation would arise where this would benefit anyone. Except because of how screwed up our laws are now the FBI doesn't have to get a guilty verdict. They just have to keep it tied up in the courts long enough to screw with everything related to the name "Megauploads".

Re:correct me if i'm wrong? (2)

DarwinSurvivor (1752106) | about 2 years ago | (#42084907)

You mean like "entrapment"?

Re:correct me if i'm wrong? (4, Insightful)

girlintraining (1395911) | about 2 years ago | (#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.

Re:correct me if i'm wrong? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42084849)

I think the point he's making is that this may fall under entrapment.

The police can't ask you to do something then arrest you for doing it. Entrapment can be difficult to prove, but in this case the FBI left a paper trail in the form of the original notice.

Re:correct me if i'm wrong? (2)

PlusFiveTroll (754249) | about 2 years ago | (#42085151)

The police can't ask you to do something then arrest you for doing it.

NEVER step off your property to talk to a cop if they've asked you to after you've been drinking then. Cops can arrest you for whatever they want. Anything. Whatever they think of at the time. In the worst cases you might have some comeback against the police, but in the vast majority of the cases the charges are dropped and you're kicked to the street. In the worst of the cases, you're let out of jail 30 years later because a modern look at the evidence shows you had nothing to do with it. More then a few people have sat in jail for a long time for having done nothing other then being black at the wrong place at the wrong time.

Re:correct me if i'm wrong? (1)

Mitreya (579078) | about 2 years ago | (#42085221)

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)

Re:correct me if i'm wrong? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42084829)

But if they didn't block access to the 36 files, then they were still allowing the files to be accessed and committing criminal copyright infringement. Preserving the files does not mitigate your responsibilities under the DMCA to prevent the illegal dissemination of copyrighted material. Proper compliance with the original order from the DHS might have involved preserving the files, but also blocking external access to them. In that scenario, then not only might Dotcom be guilty as charged, but he was also guilty of violating the original order for over two years.

Re:correct me if i'm wrong? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42085139)

DMCA is a US law. Megaupload wasn't a US site.

Re:correct me if i'm wrong? (2)

Tastecicles (1153671) | about 2 years ago | (#42084893)

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.

Re:correct me if i'm wrong? (1)

westlake (615356) | about 2 years ago | (#42085065)

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.

Re:correct me if i'm wrong? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42085157)

You don't know the intent of the DHS, maybe they wanted the files available to 'catch' other violators.

weird article (1)

CHRONOSS2008 (1226498) | about 2 years ago | (#42084665)

how is it the FBI served him a warrant ...they aren't even cops in new zealand.....

Re:weird article (1)

arbiter1 (1204146) | about 2 years ago | (#42084737)

they served it to the hosting provider of the servers, so either with or without MU's help they were gonna get the data. MU choose to help which should give a safe harbor in this case

Re:weird article (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42085181)

The FBI didn't serve him a warrant, they got one to seize his domain names.

Why were the files still there? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42084673)

Was there need for the files to still be on the server at the time of the FBI search warrant? It is a possibility, however unlikely, that the files were no longer needed by DHS and per the terms of the warrant should have been destroyed. Again, given the current chain of events I find that to be very unlikely.

How can this happen in "The nation of Laws?" (3, Insightful)

bogaboga (793279) | about 2 years ago | (#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.

Re:How can this happen in "The nation of Laws?" (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42084733)

Oh, where ever will we find an immigrant willing to take your place?

Re:How can this happen in "The nation of Laws?" (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42084749)

So is this how things are run in "The Nation of Laws?"

Who said this was a nation of laws? Oh, right, Gerald Ford, right after he pardoned his buddy Nixon for his various crimes.

Maybe over there wherever you come from you still expect your politicians to say something true when they open their mouths, rather than saying something politically expedient.

Re:How can this happen in "The nation of Laws?" (2)

sumdumass (711423) | about 2 years ago | (#42084901)

No one ever showed Nixon committed crimes. He was pardoned before any trial or real insight to them happened. I know it's popular to claim he was a crooks, but even the real crooks claim Nixon wasn't involved and all but one claim they were going after evidence of a prostitution ring. IT should be noted, two of the agents behind the break ins were then and are still now democrats, only one of them claimed Nixon sent them or it was anything pertaining to the election. The only thing left is a gap in a recording that congress demanded- but it seems like the presidents of any party claims executive privilege all the time now so that's sort of a wash.

However, I find what happened, the FBI broke into the campaign headquarters to be little different then the current practice of democrat operatives infiltrating republican fund raisers and video or audio taping the strategies then releasing what they think might be damaging to the public.

What I'm getting at is not that Nixon was innocent or anything. It's just that there is enough plausible deniability and current situations are so close to those, it doesn't seem like any crime happened. I mean what is the difference other then technical when someone pretends to be a donor in order to gather campaign information that is secrete or embarrassing and breaking into an office for the same?

Re:How can this happen in "The nation of Laws?" (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42085101)

As far as I'm aware there's nothing criminal in posing as a donor and them being so stupid as to tell you their opinions and plans in order to get you to give them money. But it is criminal if you pick the lock, enter their office, and steal/copy the files with all that information on them. In the one case you're being given that information voluntarily, in the hope that you'll agree with it and hand over cash in return or as a return payment for cash they've already recieved. In the other you're essentially taking that information by force from an involuntary party.

There's a world of difference between the two.

Re:How can this happen in "The nation of Laws?" (1)

sumdumass (711423) | about 2 years ago | (#42085241)

Well, in one case, the information is subversively being given by a con- a simple misrepresentation of person and intent. In the other, it's breaking and entering or as the law would claim, searching without a warrant which can be legal in certain limited situations. Up until recently, the thing that made it so important was the fact that campaign strategy was accessible. No one was ever caught with it, nor was any of it offered as evidence. It's one of the rare cases where a cop breaks the law and gets busted like normal people would. There are tons of instances where cops illegally search places and do not even get a slap on their wrist.

There isn't much more difference between the two other then how it happened. Breaking and entering or conning your way to access. It is probably an interesting debate that should be had. I mean was Nixon really that bad when the FBI broke into a building or what Nixon bad because they gained access to secrete campaign strategy that wouldn't have had access to. Is getting access to this secrete campaign strategy still something that is bad, or is it par for the course and we need to stop demonizing Nixon.

Re:How can this happen in "The nation of Laws?" (1)

TubeSteak (669689) | about 2 years ago | (#42085371)

the current practice of democrat operatives infiltrating republican fund raisers and video or audio taping the strategies then releasing what they think might be damaging to the public.

I mean what is the difference other then technical when someone pretends to be a donor in order to gather campaign information that is secrete or embarrassing and breaking into an office for the same?

First off, "damaging" and "embarrassing" are not crimes.
I just thought I'd point this out since you mentioned the idea more than once.
And if information is being freely given to donors, then it certainly isn't secret.

Secondly, if you really don't understand the practical difference between trespassing and theft, then your opinion on anyone's crimes is probably less than insightful.

Lastly, I assume you were referring to Romney's comments about 47% of Americans being unwilling to take personal responsibility for their lives.
That wasn't a strategy, it was the kind of unfounded nonsense that plutocrats tell each other when they think the hoi polloi aren't listening.

Re:How can this happen in "The nation of Laws?" (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42084835)

There is an error here. The FBI did not actually say they failed to delete files, the FBI claims Mega Conspiracy failed to prevent access to, which is what the wording of the DMCA Safe Harbor provision requires. It is very possible they could keep the files in compliance with the original DHS order, and remove access to them from the outside world in compliance with the DMCA. Failure to do this would lead to this current scenario. It is completely consistent and your lack of understanding is do to intentional misinformation from Kim Dotcom, and imprecise use of language by others.

Re:How can this happen in "The nation of Laws?" (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42085105)

So is this how things are run in "The Nation of Laws?"

Actually, we've become a nation of lawyers and lawsuits.

Re:How can this happen in "The nation of Laws?" (1)

Darkness404 (1287218) | about 2 years ago | (#42085227)

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.

Newcrime (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42084703)

The trial is the punishment.

You can't allow the crime to continue.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42084805)

I'm no fan of the FBI/DHS/Fuzz or the MPAA/RIAA, but I'm not really sure how this claim is relevant. The original warrant was served in pursuit of NinjaVideo by the Department of Homeland Security, whereas it was the FBI that conducted the criminal investigation into Dotcom. The FBI didn't necessarily act in bad faith, they simply may not have known about the warrant. Also, the NinjaVideo case had been fully adjudicated by the time of the raid on MegaUpload so I'm not really sure how they can claim they were still protecting the evidence after the conclusion of the case.

Furthermore, and most basically, one can be instructed to preserve evidence of another's prior wrong doing, as well as to be used in the future against oneself. And, in preserving the files and evidence for the NinjaVideo case, they may have also allowed other uploaders to upload the file, and share new links against those 36 files. If that is indeed the case, MegaUpload could have simultaneously been complying with the DHS order, and, violating the DMCA Safe Harbor provision by allowing continued access to the files from links not related to the NinjaVideo case. Preserving the evidence of a past crime does not mitigate your responsibility if you continue to allow further crimes to be committed using said preserved element.

Dotcom is once again attempting to distort reality to his benefit, and painting a simple and erroneous, but easily repeated picture to mask the more subtle truth. All of these convictions generally rely on the subtle truth; an email somewhere where someone admitted their knowledge, a few files not appropriately scrubbed, or a financial transaction that is just a little too questionable. It's very difficult to present a coherent position of why a site like MegaUpload/MegaVideo should be allowed to exist, and what this guy was doing was charging subscriptions for access to content that he did not have the right to distribute. What he did was wrong, and the US government potential mishandling of the situation does not absolve Dotcom of his own individual wrong doing.

Re:You can't allow the crime to continue.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42085323)

It's very difficult to present a coherent position of why a site like MegaUpload/MegaVideo should be allowed to exist

It is? Because they did nothing more than allowed people to copy files. Because the DMCA is, for the most part, trash.

Misleading. Hidden at the bottom of the story ... (4, Informative)

raymorris (2726007) | about 2 years ago | (#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.)

Re:Misleading. Hidden at the bottom of the story . (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42084899)

The article also said the other accounts were just links to the same files. MegaUpload looks at the hashes and when a file is uploaded that is identical to something it already has, it would de-duplicate it and just link.

Re:Misleading. Hidden at the bottom of the story . (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42085017)

If you read the article (instead of accusing us of not reading the article ...?) you'd see the following text:

The Megaupload system identified files which were already on the system and kept only one copy of each.

They couldn't delete "the other 1,999" because there weren't any. Furthermore, the FBI initiated action in 2012 based on the existence of the files on Megaupload's harddrives, not based "the other 1,999" users.

Why the need to mislead? I think you better ask yourself that question.

Re:Misleading. Hidden at the bottom of the story . (3, Informative)

Baloroth (2370816) | about 2 years ago | (#42085147)

You expect me to believe that Megaupload couldn't not-link those other 1,999 people to those files? Really? Maybe they had to keep the files, but they certainly didn't have to allow a bunch of other people to create links to and download it.

Faux outrage (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42084853)

He was ordered to preserve the files, not make them available for download. Can you imagine him telling a judge "well they told me to preserve the evidence so I left it available on this account and lots of others for download and this was because they told me to preserve the evidence".

Seriously, can you imagine a judge swallowing it?

He knew what he was doing, he'll face jail time.

Re:Faux outrage (1)

berashith (222128) | about 2 years ago | (#42084931)

I think there was a judge swallowing it in one of these movies that the article is talking about.

Imprecise Language: Delete vs. Prevent Access (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42084855)

The FBI did not actually say Mega failed to delete files, the FBI claims Mega Conspiracy failed to prevent access to these 36 files, which is what the wording of the DMCA Safe Harbor provision requires companies do in order to be able to assert immunity. It is very possible that the Mega Conspiracy could keep the files in compliance with the original DHS order, and remove access to them from the outside world in compliance with the DMCA. Keeping the files, but failing to remove access to them would lead to this current scenario.

Unfortunately, Kim Dotcom would rather rely on a turn of phrase and imprecise language to paint the easily repeatable image that the FBI are trying to have their cake and eat it too. They're not. Preserving evidence for criminal prosecution does not remove your criminal responsibility if you allow the elements you are preserving to be used for criminal purposes in the future. It's sort of like the DHS saying "don't destroy that Meth lab on your property, we need to use it as evidence" and then crying foul when the FBI prosecutes you for allowing others access to use the meth lab and cook drugs.

Hope this helps clear up the absurdity; its all just a reality distortion from Dotcom.

Re:Imprecise Language: Delete vs. Prevent Access (1)

symbolset (646467) | about 2 years ago | (#42084953)

In the law, ignoring a "turn of phrase" in a court order is called "contempt of court".

Re:Imprecise Language: Delete vs. Prevent Access (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42085031)

The language of the search warrant does not allow for further illegal activity to occur, other than potentially the existence of the files on the server. Overbroadly interpreting the scope of the order exposes you to liability, and at this point two years later, by lack of raising the concern about their interpretation of the order, Dotcom is estopped from claiming it as a defense.

Re:Imprecise Language: Delete vs. Prevent Access (1)

cheekyjohnson (1873388) | about 2 years ago | (#42084963)

Preserving evidence for criminal prosecution does not remove your criminal responsibility if you allow the elements you are preserving to be used for criminal purposes in the future.

Yeah, criminal purposes like... copying. This, the FBI, and the DMCA all seem extremely pathetic.

And this is why... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42085025)

...secret warrants are a danger to a free and open society.

Heck, in the US, the fact that a warrant was served AT ALL could be considered a "national secret."

The point was never to make a case (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42085081)

They shut it down and fucked up Dotcom's life/business. That was the goal. Making a case would have been a bonus. Joke's on them, 2.0 is going to be even harder to nail legally or otherwise since NZ will likely be more hesitant to cooperate.

The FBI fight crime at any cost (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42085397)

The FBI will fight crime at any cost, even if they have to break the law to do it. In this case though, they are acting very much more on behalf of the content industry. Justice might be blind and impartial, but no one ever gave the impression (let alone offered a claim) that the FBI was impartial. Against all other available evidence, if they think someone is guilty, they will fabricate if they have to in order to bring them to justice! GUILTY!

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