The Internet Strikes Back: Anonymous Takes Down DOJ.gov, RIAA, MPAA Sites To Protest Megaupload Seizure

from the doj-does-not-understand-what-has-been-unleashed dept

I’ll have a more detailed look at the Megaupload indictment tomorrow (there are some really ridiculous claims in there, but also some evidence of bad actions on the part of Mega, which isn’t too surprising). However, even if you’re 100% positive that Megaupload was a bad player in the space, you have to question both the timing and the process of completely taking down the site/company the day after practically the entire internet rose up to protest the threat of similar takedowns under SOPA/PIPA. For them not to think the reaction would be fast and furious shows (yet again) just how incredibly, ridiculously, out of touch with the internet the DC establishment is.

Within minutes of the site being shut down, and DOJ releasing its statement, Anonymous sprang into action and started taking down a ton of sites — including websites for the DOJ, the US Copyright Office, Universal Music, the RIAA, the MPAA and a bunch of other sites. They’re apparently still targeting more.

Think of this as the flipside of yesterday’s protests. Yesterday the internet folks went dark to protest things. Today… following the government’s decision to show off its existing censorship powers — mocking yesterday’s protests — it appears that the industry/government supporters of online censorship are going dark involuntarily… in a different form of protest.

When will the government learn: don’t muck with the internet?

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Companies: mpaa, riaa, universal music

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Comments on “The Internet Strikes Back: Anonymous Takes Down DOJ.gov, RIAA, MPAA Sites To Protest Megaupload Seizure”

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229 Comments
Anonymous Coward says:

I think this is a horrible change of events

The government, at face value, has a strong case against megaupload. Even if it was weak though, this threatens to undermine the results of the protests. They can say we just want to defend pirates, not that we are protecting legitimate websites. Megaupload is one of those websites which it seems the government has pretty damning evidence against, and is not one that we necessary want to protect against SOPA/PIPA, and would have been targeted by OPEN with this damning evidence if there was no jurisdiction here.

Devonavar (user link) says:

Re: Horrible change of events

Here’s the thing. Regardless of the strength of evidence against Megaupload, the internet has two major, legitimate complaints here:

1. The site has been taken down with no warning after a secret hearing at which the site was not represented. This is a violation of due process and, indirectly, free speech.

2. Neither the company that owns the website, nor its principles are subject to American law. The American DOJ does not have jurisdiction over them, the NZ justice system does. This is a violation of national sovereignty.

Both of these deserve a strong response – they are violations of the foundational principles that democratic nations are built on. #2 could be considered an act of war. It’s ok to be upset about this, no matter how bad the perpetrator is, or how much it “deserves” to be taken down.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Horrible change of events

1. The site has been taken down with no warning after a secret hearing at which the site was not represented. This is a violation of due process and, indirectly, free speech.

Nope. Grand juries have proceeded in secrecy since the 1600s, and grand jury secrecy is an integral part of due process, not a violation of it.

fogbugzd (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: Horrible change of events

>>Grand juries have proceeded in secrecy since the 1600s, and grand jury secrecy is an integral part of due process, not a violation of it.

That is true, but Grand Juries are not supposed to hand down penalties, just indictments. Taking a business offline is effectively a death sentence.

bob (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: Horrible change of events

That’s what is quite funny about how people toss around the “due process” idea. When the cops decide you’ve broken the law, they come and arrest you. The trial comes later. But all of the complaints seem to feel that the trial should come first. If only people realized what “due process” means.

It reminds me of this exchange from “Heathers”:

Veronica: Why can’t you adults treat us kids like normal people?

Veronica’s mother: Well little miss ‘voice-of-a-generation’, how do you think adults treat each other? Usually when teenagers complain that they want to be treated like adults, it’s when we ARE treating you like adults!”

Hans says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Horrible change of events

‘When the cops decide you’ve broken the law, they come and arrest you. The trial comes later. But all of the complaints seem to feel that the trial should come first. If only people realized what “due process” means.’

Really? Ever heard of a pre-trial hearing? Bail? Reasonable time to file charges or release you?

What a foolish argument. The police don’t deprive you of your liberty or livelihood indefinitely, without a hearing in front of a fracking judge.

hmm (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:3 Horrible change of events

Well cept that senate bill 1847 gives them the right to DO JUST THAT ..well to US citizens.

I wonder how many people Obama and Biden have already ‘disappeared’ across the world, where they can happily sit in a military prison, not be allowed a lawyer or even to find out the charges against them until “the war on terror is over”.

Funniest point is now the GOVERNMENT is the biggest terror we have, so it should be fighting to destroy itself…oh wait it already is…………

jjmsan (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Horrible change of events

I believe that when police decide you have broken the law and come and arreswt you they are required to have something called a warrent. This allows them to physically take you into custody. You then have to quickly be given a hearing on whether they can keep you in custody ane whether they can keep property as evidence. They don’t get to grab things keep them for a year or two and then ask.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:3 Horrible change of events

I believe that when police decide you have broken the law and come and arreswt you they are required to have something called a warrent. This allows them to physically take you into custody. You then have to quickly be given a hearing on whether they can keep you in custody ane whether they can keep property as evidence. They don’t get to grab things keep them for a year or two and then ask.

Frustrating to have to explain the obvious, but: To the best of my knowledge the co-defendants were arrested in foreign countries. So the arrest/bail proceeding are governed by their sovereign laws. Next comes the extradition hearing. Then they’ll be treated to a ride in a private jet to the Eastern District of VA. Then they’ll get an arraignment where matters of bail and disposition of seized property will be argued over. Then a trial date will be set and then the trial will occur. However, most likely one of the guys listed third or lower on the indictment will roll over like a happy puppy and plead guilty in exchange for a light sentence. He will have told the prosecutor everything needed to put everyone else away for decades. The rest will quickly plead guilty, hoping for the best. Their best will likely be 10+ years if the money laundering sticks. Seems like if they were making that kind of money, it should have been an easy matter to have paid the license fees and still made a shit pot full of money. Greedy dopes instead get wiped out financially and go to prison. Pretty stupid.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Horrible change of events

bob, are you so clueless that even having it pointed out and explained to you multiple times in the past you still don’t get it?

Yes, when the cops determine that you have broken the law (it’s not “decide”), they come and arrest you. The trial indeed does come later.

What you seem to keep overlooking, rather stupidly or ignorantly (whichever you prefer/fits), is that you are not held indefinitely. You are arrested and imprisoned immediately. At which point, you may post bail (depending on the charges) immediately and go free. To appear at a later trial date, set by the prosecution/judge.

Or, you immediately get a quick hearing with the judge (not always quick, but not after months of waiting or any such time length) who determines at what amount bail will be set at. At which point, again, you pay and are released on your own recognizance.

Apparently your knowledge of “due process” must come from some shoddy place. Since it is you, may I venture a guess? I’m thinking you got your intelligence (or some of it) through your genes, so I’d blame Big Parents. As for the rest of it, I’d wager Big Education. With a dash of Big Conspiracy thrown in for good measure. Big Am I Right?

bob (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:3 Horrible change of events

Am I the only one who reads what I wrote?

When the cops decide you’ve broken the law, they come and arrest you. The trial comes later.

Of course there will be a trial. I was merely reacting to the idea that some people thought that the arrests in NZ were proof that someone was not following “due process.” And I was kind enough to explain that they were. I said nothing about indefinitely.

You guys have been listening to the loons in the Internet echo chamber too long.

Anonymous Cowards says:

Re: Re: Re:4 Horrible change of events

No bob, you say they come and arrest you and a trial comes later. By that it’s inferred that you are saying you sit in jail for however long it takes until a trial that proves your innocence or guilt. We may be wrong to infer it, but coming from you it is a reasonable assumption.

If you were CLEARER in your comments, we could avoid such situations.

Also, it’s wrong to just say “the cops decide you’ve broken the law”. That sounds rather problematic. I’ve decided bob that you have broken the law, I shall contact my friends in law enforcement and tell them this. Then I hope they decide to agree with me and you are arrested.

See how that sounds wrong? You make it sound like the cops are just sitting around or whatnot and take it into their heads all of a sudden to just randomly arrest people.

“Hey, Jim, I’ve thought it over and made a decision. Bob is a criminal. Let’s go arrest him.” To which Jim replies, “Well, I was going to do paperwork, but what the heck. I’ve decided I don’t really want to, so let’s go!”

What you mean is AFTER the cops have determined that you have indeed broken the law, through investigations and with evidence, a warrant is issued (usually, unless they actually catch you in the act of committing a crime in which case no warrant is needed) and you are arrested and detained until a preliminary hearing to determine if bail will be set, at which point you can pay it (if one is set) and are released on your own recognizance. This is due process. This is what you SHOULD be saying when you try and correct people or put them in their place in regards to how “due process” is being followed.

But the truth is, either way, it’s an assumption on your part and on the part of others leaving comments that due process has or has not been followed. Without all the facts, without actually being there and seeing for ourselves, we can’t with any certainty say we know for sure one way or the other.

(Hint: This is a comment on how to properly explain things to people. Use it as an example for the future.)

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:5 Horrible change of events

First of all it’s “implied” not “inferred” professor. Second, how do you think many intricate, high profile crimes are investigated and prosecuted? By information from tipsters. Bernie Madoff came undone in part due to a competitor trying to replicate his so-called success in investment returns with mathematical modeling. They found it impossible and suggested to the SEC that a closer look was warranted. An indictment comes after a grand jury has heard evidence of your crime presented by the prosecutor.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:6 Horrible change of events

No, it’s “inferred” in this case, not “implied”. “Implied” would be better suited if I was merely saying “By that you, bob, IMPLIED etc etc etc.” But the rest of us inferred from what bob was saying etc etc etc. Not professor.

Second, those intricate high profile crime investigations are NOT the same as “decide to arrest you and hold you indefinitely” as bob IMPLIED. A tip starts the process, presumably (per your words). At which point a preliminary investigation is begun, from there assuming there does appear to be wrongdoing, further investigation and evidence gathering is conducted.

“An indictment comes AFTER a grand jury has heard evidence of your crime presented by the prosecutor.”

By your own words, there is evidence of wrongdoing AND THEN an indictment comes. Which is essentially the same thing I said up above in my follow-up comment to bob.

In your attempt to either defend bob or take a shot at me for pointing out his poor/inaccurate choice of words, you’ve repeated what I said. You shouldn’t be so quick to try and correct others who are merely pointing out problems in what people said. I did bob a favor, pointed out his error, explained how to correct it, and clarified things for others who may have commented after in regards to what bob originally said.

Sorry if that makes me come off as “professor”. I’d rather have the errors in my thinking/what I say pointed out and corrected, than keep going off sounding/thinking/looking like an idiot. But hey, that’s just me.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:4 Horrible change of events

“You guys have been listening to the loons in the Internet echo chamber too long.”

Also, it really doesn’t help you out to say such things when your often saying things like “big search” “big piracy” etc. If anything, throwing around such terms makes you come off as being a much bigger loon yourself. I’m not saying that to insult you, just point out how it’s like the pot calling the kettle black.

Natai (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: Horrible change of events

A good point, but I also think it’s important to consider the fundamental difference between a website and a brick-and-mortar business. I somehow doubt that getting a court order to shutdown a physical business with locations in countries around the world would be nearly as easy as getting an order to shut down a site. At a minimum you would typically have to notify and arrest individuals BEFORE closing all the businesses.
This is one of those situations where I think the internet may need to be treated differently. Just providing the accused with an opportunity to respond to the allegations before switching off their business would go a long way.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re:

Actually, I think that you are trying to put 2 and 2 together….

They stayed out of it yesterday, while the protests were going on. They could have EASILY taken down any site they wanted and smothered it with anti-SOPA/PIPA during the protest.

They didn’t. They allowed us to speak our voice.

This is flat retribution for Megaupload. Don’t confused that with the protests.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re:

regardless of if there are bad actors etc how they executed it is what people are protesting against. Arrest them, go to court, get through trial. THEN take the website down.

Do not censor the web prior to due process. It looked like they had a good case against Dajaz1 too and look how that turned out.

This is exactly what people were protesting against.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:

regardless of if there are bad actors etc how they executed it is what people are protesting against. Arrest them, go to court, get through trial. THEN take the website down.

Do not censor the web prior to due process. It looked like they had a good case against Dajaz1 too and look how that turned out.

This is exactly what people were protesting against.

No you were busy protesting SOPA. This is longstanding U.S. seizure law. It’s been on the books for a long time. Seizure is effectively the arrest of property.

Loki says:

Re: Re:

The government may indeed have a very strong case against Megaupload. But even if Megaupload has committed some seriously bad juju they face several serious problems:

1) The biggest one is that the entertainment industry has cried WOLF!! so many times, even if it turns out to be a wolf, nobody cares to even come look anymore. Real criminal enterprises get ignored, because listening to the entertainment industry everything sounds like a criminal enterprise.

2) The timing of the takedown could probably not have been worse if they’d tried. Coming just a day after a massive protest amid fears of potential censorship and breaking the internet just makes it look like the government (and by extension the entertainment industry) are just thumbing their noses at people saying “we can just do what we want anyways”

Even if it was weak though, this threatens to undermine the results of the protests. They can say we just want to defend pirates, not that we are protecting legitimate websites.

Maybe. But even if they do make such a claim, the speed and thoroughness with which reprisals came also highlights one of the many points that the protests were trying to make: that the people trying to “stem the flow” of piracy have no real understanding of the technology the are attempting to regulate.

The entertainment industry only exist because of the work of the tech people, and even then they almost always have to be dragged screaming into it while the tech people have long since gone back to working on the tech. The entertainment industry will ALWAYS be behind the tech community no matter how many laws the manage to buy.

Violated (profile) says:

Re: Re: Whoa!

That is what a Distributed Denial Of Service (DDOS) attack is supposed to do. Looking at the bullshit nature of this attack it is little surprise they are firing off their Low Orbit Ion Cannons (LOIC).

I can’t blame them when I can name 150 million users who are a touch upset today. Many lost their lawful content, paid subscriptions, not to forget that the DoJ just declared War.

Screw the DMCA, screw Justice, when their attack was just to completely fuck them over.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Whoa!

Who told you your files are gone? This is like a bank that was involved in money laundering. The feds seize the bank and they run it. I don’t know why they’d want to confiscate your shit unless it was illegal.

I do expect that the feds will be wanting to talk to anyone with child porn, volumes of infringing content, terrorist training manuals etc. Perhaps some folks should look toward the exit door now. Also, if I was someone getting cash or prizes for uploading infringing content- I’d be concerned about my own personal indictment, as well as a body cavity search from the IRS if I failed to declare the money they paid me as income.

FuzzyDuck says:

Re: Re: Whoa!

Bull shit.

Sites charging their visitors, people who only try to load a few pages, for participating in a DDOS attack? Now granted there are a lot of morons in charge in the US, but I doubt they are /that/ stupid. Or maybe they are but a log file with a few entries with your IP isn’t going to stand up as evidence of participation in court.

Pjerky (profile) says:

Our Government/Entertainment Industry must be stopped!!!

Looks like the government is at it again. Megaupload is just like YouTube or PhotoBucket. It allows users to upload whatever they want. But like YouTube and PhotoBucket they also have DMCA takedown procedures. Legally they should be covered by the SafeHarbor provisions for service providers as long as they comply with DMCA takedown procedures.

This is just ridiculous. You know the entertainment industry would have done this to YouTube already had it not been for the fact that a gigantic corporation with the power to fight back owns it. There was a complete violation of due process in this case.

Not only that but they are having foreign governments arrest their own citizens for breaking AMERICAN laws. This is a complete overreach of government powers. But then maybe our government thinks that protections only apply to US citizens.

BlackBloc says:

Re: Our Government/Entertainment Industry must be stopped!!!

I’ve read the indictment (or a good chunk at least, before I almost fell asleep from legalese). If half the claims in there are true, Megaupload is fucked. There are some very specific grievances that makes this different from a YouTube, assuming they were founded.

Apparently if you uploaded a file that was already there, they would not spawn a new copy but they’d generate a new link. Any takedown request would only disable that one link, meaning it was more or less useless for content owners to request a takedown. Even though Megaupload had the tools to take down all the links at once, they would not do so.

There’s also allegations that the site was used by the people running it to themselves commit copyright infringements, and that it was also used as a money laundering scheme.

certainly not anon, too lazy to log in (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Our Government/Entertainment Industry must be stopped!!!

This was a total grab for control. The RIAA couldn’t have it happening that artists would ‘make money’ through other means than their jacked up services, thus they asked their good friends over at the DOJ and FBI to get the site hijacked sorry taken down, and have the owners arrested.

mischab1 says:

Re: Re: Our Government/Entertainment Industry must be stopped!!!

Apparently if you uploaded a file that was already there, they would not spawn a new copy but they’d generate a new link. Any takedown request would only disable that one link,

But that makes perfect sense. Just because one copy (link) of the file was copyright infringement doesn’t mean ALL copies were infringement. Some of them could be personal unshared backups or some other fair use.

On the other hand, it would have been better if Megaupload had some process to give the other links greater scrutiny.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re: Our Government/Entertainment Industry must be stopped!!!

What he said. If I had decided to pay for a sub and backup my lawfully acquired music collection to MegaUpload – I’d be losing my data anytime someone else committed an act of infringement. It’s the way the had to do it to make sure they weren’t screwing over people who were legally storing files.

gorehound (profile) says:

Re: Our Government/Entertainment Industry must be stopped!!!

I am on a total Boycott of all Big Content.I have a Facebook Group called Boycott Big Content
I am happy to see Anonymous do its thing.The Government has mocked yesterday’s protests and they will in fact try if not now then later this year to pass some kind of Censorship Bill.They have lied and schemed and took Corporate Money so it is high time for payback.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Our Government/Entertainment Industry must be stopped!!!

Big Search isn’t busy trying to destroy the Internet,

No just exploit it

trying to buy our politician

you obviously didn’t hear about the hundred + lobbyist Google employed in DC

or trying to remove our rights.

Just your right to privacy

Fuck Big Content.

Yet you are hopelessly addicted. How sad.

The eejit (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:3 Our Government/Entertainment Industry must be stopped!!!

No just exploit it

I thought that was free-market principles?

you obviously didn’t hear about the hundred + lobbyist Google employed in DC

AS opposed to…the many hundreds of thousands employed by Big Content.

Just your right to privacy

Like the MAFIAA have been trying to do for the past ten years…

Yet you are hopelessly addicted. How sad.

My last major media purchases were the Humble Indie Bundles. I don’t need Skyrim or CallofModernBattlefieldDutyWarfare 9001.

Anonymous Coward says:

I’m afraid anonymous may have been played. What the content industry needs most right now is for someone to change the subject, and thanks to anonymous, they just got it. Anonymous has taken the bait, as they say.

The conversation will now move away from the incredible democratic outpouring by millions of ordinary citizens around the world toward the lawless acts by anonymous.

Next we’ll start to see op-eds about why the Internet is too wild as it is and needs more government control.

IMO this is a terrible turn of events for SOPA/PIPA opponents.

DogBreath says:

Re: Re: Re:3 Re:

No, no one would care (maybe the stick might not want to touch a Record label CEO), but the Record label CEO would claim that his cries of “Ouch! Somebody help me!” produced by him in a now tangible medium, was copyrighted audio and would file a DMCA claim to get Youtube to take it down, then sue the person who recorded it for violating his publicity rights.

They’ll do “anything” for money.

MrWilson says:

Re: Re: Re:

To be fair, Gandhi was fighting foreign oppression. We’re fighting the efforts of our own countrymen and our own government officials. The French monarchy would have continued to beat people into submission had the French revolutionaries decided to try pacifism instead of uprising.

I’m not saying I support an actual armed response, mind you. This is all a metaphor for political actions rather than military ones.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re:

I’m afraid anonymous may have been played. What the content industry needs most right now is for someone to change the subject, and thanks to anonymous, they just got it. Anonymous has taken the bait, as they say.

The conversation will now move away from the incredible democratic outpouring by millions of ordinary citizens around the world toward the lawless acts by anonymous.

Next we’ll start to see op-eds about why the Internet is too wild as it is and needs more government control.

IMO this is a terrible turn of events for SOPA/PIPA opponents.

I don’t know whether it was a set-up or not, but the effect will be the same. Cyber-terrorism will be the new mantra. And the laws based on terrorist threats like the Patriot Act will pale in comparison to the laws invoked in the name of cyber-terrorism. Skirmish won, war lost.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

There’s an easy explanation. Obama needs tech, net roots and Hollywood to win. Throw Hollywood under the bus by siding with tech and pretending they care about the unwashed former Occupy __________ who signed petitions and sent e-mail. Then pull Hollywood out from under the bus, brush them off with a spectacular bust of one of their major boogeymen. Next step will be to tighten screws on treaties tying aid, commerce or defense to copyright and extradition. Rinse and repeat. Oh, and after today’s “cyber-terrorist” attack, 1/19 will be the little brother of 9/11 and spawn Cyber-Patriot bills that will make SOPA look like a breath of fresh air and enlightenment.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:

Skirmish won, war lost.

No I don’t think it’s lost by a long shot. Some of them, as the protests/blackout showed, are getting upset because of the entertainment industry’s effort to try to control the net, legislate away potential competition, and treat it’s customers like criminals.

A lot more people, however, are getting angry because of the continued financial problems of this country and the abuses/mismanagement of financial institutions and the failure of government to rectify these matters. People who I hear, almost on a daily basis, complaining about losing/having lost thousands, sometimes tens of thousands, of dollars in 401Ks/retirement funds/savings. I even personally know of two examples of people losing jobs, not being able to afford/acquire needed meds and passing away.

These people don’t really care about the internet, or media, or “file sharing”, or even so much about civil liberties to some extent. They neither know about, nor care about anonymous. What they are getting upset about is hearing about Congress “wasting time catering to a bunch of people with inflated senses of entitlement who want to complain about not being able to make money for doing nothing while they continue to cut our benefits, raise our taxes, and not fix the stupid economy.”

No, the truth of the matter is the war hasn’t even really started heating up yet.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

A lot more people, however, are getting angry because of the continued financial problems of this country and the abuses/mismanagement of financial institutions and the failure of government to rectify these matters. People who I hear, almost on a daily basis, complaining about losing/having lost thousands, sometimes tens of thousands, of dollars in 401Ks/retirement funds/savings. I even personally know of two examples of people losing jobs, not being able to afford/acquire needed meds and passing away.

Funny that 7 million will sign a Google petition, websites around the world will go dark to promote continued access to free content- yet not much about the real ills of the country. Shows where your priorities lie, I suppose.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:3 Re:

Where’s your moral outrage over Romney paying taxes at a rate lower than his chauffeur? Where is your outrage over people without health insurance facing a choice between bankruptcy or medical care?

I guess you spent it all on the possibility of not being able to get free movies and music. Pitiful.

PaulT (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:4 Re:

If you’d spend 10 seconds not being a drooling moron and actually look at the public information I post in my profile, you’d see I’m not American, nor do I reside there. Romney’s actions and the setup of your screwed-up healthcare system don’t impact me in any way.

SOPA, on the other hand will, as it’s specifically directed at sites that are legal in my country, and which service demand that your corporate gods won’t. So, that explains my difference in opinion without having to overstretch your feeble mind, even before I start correcting you about the lies you’re trying to spead about my character (hint: I pay for my media, asshole).

But as we know, your kind are allergic to facts, since they undermine every weak position you hold and require intelligent thought.

KingFisher says:

Poor judgement on Anonymous

Seriously this isn’t going to help people who are opposed to SOPA and PIPA. This was bait. Bait, lined and hooked. Anonymous fell right into the trap that supporters of SOPA and PIPA and internet censorship. This will just diminish our credibility. Way to go Anon. You fucked the internet users over. This makes me so mad. We had a good momentum going and this strike back is just going to make things worse for internet activists.

Chronno S. Trigger (profile) says:

Re: Poor judgement on Anonymous

“We had a good momentum going and this strike back is just going to make things worse for internet activists.”

If this is true, then we had no momentum at all. If this one action by Anonymous was able to turn the US government against what we did yesterday, then the US government was never turned our way to begin with.

Natai (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: Poor judgement on Anonymous

I agree that Anon may have made a mistake here, but I think the government has to be cautious too. A lot of people have come out against SOPA/PIPA lately, and the government’s actions and timing were not well chosen. If the government handles this poorly, we may see larger groups within the mainstream population start viewing Anonymous more sympathetically.

There is no scenario where large numbers of average people even having to think about if they should side with the government or a group of “cyber-terrorists” is a good thing for the government. This needs to be handled intelligence and rational consideration. Unfortunately, the government has not displayed much of either lately.

xenomancer (profile) says:

Fire! Fire! Fire!

Hello DOJ, MPAA, RIAA, hadopi, BMI, UMG, copyright.gov, …

I’m in your internetz, crippling your websites.

We asked them to respect us. They kicked dirt in our faces and called us names.
We told them we wouldn’t be kind when pushed too hard. They laughed and spread rumors of false entitlement while enjoying the profits of others’ labor.
We told them to expect us. They took down Megaupload.
We returned fire. They cried with regret under OpMegaupload.

It has been confirmed (on IRC), this is the largest attack with LOIC in history.

xenomancer (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: Fire! Fire! Fire!

Not all of the newfags are as tech savvy. They wanted a button on the screen, so we gave them one. Then they wanted a button that didn’t require them to download anything, so we gave them a javascript version. The same way we gave them a web version of IRC that just takes the click of a link to access, we’re making it easier for them to get in on the action. Its basic capitalism and attention is the currency. Cater to your market or they go elsewhere.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re:

There’s an ongoing civil case against MegaUpload, so a criminal case now is a bad idea.

If MU wins the civil case, then the criminal one will have a massive hole shot in it.

It’s easier to win a civil tort case than it is a criminal one, QED OJ Simpson.

Everything (evidence, depositions, etc) from the civil case will come to play in the criminal one. Seizure of the bank accounts alone will be a bitch for both cases. And like Ninjavideo, the smartest one will rat out the others and walk, the rest will be keeping O’Dwyer company.

HUMAN says:

Like I typed before that this has been going on for two years now.

Anyone who believes that their copywritten material has been infringed upon? Can get the ISP to take down the information, and there is also financial repercussions.

But it is not limited to just lawsuits with in this country, but also from other countries members.

The ACLU also supported this from the get go.
Forget about the aclu helping you out in Freedom Of Speech issues when it comes to the internet.

The ones who really come out really sweet ARE The Lawyers.
Then you got First To file vs. First to invent, and in the U.S. it use to be for 200 years First To Invent vs. First to File, but not anymore.

Obamacare does NOT include the Severely Disabled community of which they USED them to push it “Obamacare” through.

Always Right says:

SOPA is SUCH a FAIL. I mean, Congress, are you serious? Taking off internet? I swear, if that law passes, this country will be in chaos. You know all those crazy teenagers that are obsessed with Facebook? Take that away we’ll have a serious riot on our hands. Actually, your hands. Your fault.Your just being stupid Congress! For a group of smart-political people, your making a BIG mistake by even MAKING the law.

Anonymous Coward says:

When will the government learn: don’t muck with the internet?

Really? I think it’s just part of their agenda.

– Step one: seize “rogue site”.
– Step two: watch attacks poor in and start logging software.
– Step three: point out that pirates are helping the rogue sites and use that to push more bad laws.
– Step four: arrest a few “protester” and have them extradited.
– Step five: be very very public about it.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re:

When will the government learn: don’t muck with the internet?

Really? I think it’s just part of their agenda.

– Step one: seize “rogue site”.
– Step two: watch attacks poor in and start logging software.
– Step three: point out that pirates are helping the rogue sites and use that to push more bad laws.
– Step four: arrest a few “protester” and have them extradited.
– Step five: be very very public about it.

– Step six: ??
– Step seven: PROFIT!!

FTFY

Tim Edwards (profile) says:

Devonavar:

I agree with part of point #1. The fact that there was no due process (at least that I heard of) seems to be a travesty. BUT… there was no violation of the right to free speech. No ones voice was forced into silence while trying to voice an opinion.

I also agree with part of point #2 neither the company nor its principals are subject to American laws – BUT by choosing to do business in the United States (renting server space in northern Virginia), they opened themselves up to those laws.

You also fail to acknowledge the fact that it wasn’t US law enforcement going to NZ to execute the detainment of these people, it was in fact NZ law enforcement cooperating with the USDOJ / FBI in this matter.

I feel that all the work that was being done yesterday to avoid the possibility of passing poorly written and one sided legislation may have been undone in a matter of short hours by a group of anonymous people not willing to stand up under their real names (which most of the people that protested yesterday did by the way) and take responsibility for what they have done and said.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re:

I feel that all the work that was being done yesterday to avoid the possibility of passing poorly written and one sided legislation may have been undone in a matter of short hours by a group of anonymous people not willing to stand up under their real names (which most of the people that protested yesterday did by the way) and take responsibility for what they have done and said.

And you would be correct.

How many congressman now want to be known as supporters of cyber terrorists?

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:

“I feel that all the work that was being done yesterday to avoid the possibility of passing poorly written and one sided legislation may have been undone in a matter of short hours by a group of anonymous people not willing to stand up under their real names (which most of the people that protested yesterday did by the way) and take responsibility for what they have done and said.”

And you would be correct.

How many congressman now want to be known as supporters of cyber terrorists?

Don’t know of any members of Congress, but I do know of a certain douchebag Senator who will be paying a price for his relationship with Anonymous. This is going to get hung around Wyden’s neck like a burning tire:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EiMG6A_kUBY

Natai (profile) says:

Re: Re:

Well said.
Of course, there may a significant number of content creators who are now unable to retrieve their own data, which I have a serious problem with. If the government wants to move forward smartly, their next step should be to allow users to access Megaupload to download their own files. Just order the site back online for 48 hours, no uploads, no deleting files, no downloading from other users, just access your own stuff.

Anonymous Coward says:

When will the government learn: don’t muck with the internet?

Keep up the cheerleading, Chubby. I’ll bet you see a Cyber-Patriot Act come out of the Republican Congress and signed by a Republican President within in a year’s time. No one is going to tolerate the kind of cyber-terrorism sponsored by your friends at Anonymous. This is a prime example of what lawlessness on the internet promotes. Thanks for the gift.

Suja (profile) says:

Re: Re:

This is a prime example of what lawlessness on the internet promotes.

if you mean “lawlessness” as in “dosen’t give a fuck about oppressive, broken bullshit laws like copyright” you’re right

if you mean “lawlessness” as in saying a nice big “FUCK YOU” to the true leeches and trash of society, you’re abso-fucking-lutely right

if this is the kind of “lawlessness” the internet promotes, then i hope it never stops

i hope it goes on, ’till the next things that’s censored is the MAFIAA, and all their supporters… “permanently”

Brent Ashley (profile) says:

Operation IP Freedom

It was only a matter of time before Megaupload was brought to justice and all the IP was freed from this tyrannical regime.

Serves them right for continuing to develop Weapons of Mass Distribution.

Oh yeah, sure, they say they’re just a bitlocker, but those are entertainment-grade bits.

Mission accomplished.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: SOPA

This action confirms what everyone has been saying, SOPA isn’t needed the US Govt can already deal with foreign websites.

So are you saying that you prefer this sort of seizure to Megaupload being delisted from US search engines and having its payment processor and ad accounts curtailed?

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: SOPA

No, what he is saying is that the supporters of SOPA claimed there was no way to deal with sites they called rogue that were outside of US jurisdiction.
This demonstrates that not only are there ways but the ways they already have are complete overkill so they certainly don’t need even more powers.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:4 SOPA

Well now that’s right lets focus on what you feel about the rightness or wrongness of the business models used and not about the ridiculous amount of power a government could exercise.

I think a very good case could be made against pretty much any electronics company for child endangerment given the nature of the places producing those devices.

I would consider child endangerment more serious than money laundering… see, its not just copyright maximalist who can play why won’t anyone think of the children, it’s incredibly flexible.

Just John (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:6 SOPA

They say that approximately 70% of the prison population are drug related crimes since our “war on drugs” campaign started, and many of those are casual users. Smoke a little pot, get down with Bubu tonight.

Now it is the “war on pirates”. Download an mp3, get down with Bubu tonight.

Am I the only one who find it extremely stupid?

Anonymous Coward says:

this is the icing on the cake!

A spokesman for the MPAA told the Associated Press in an email Thursday that the group’s site had been hacked.

“The motion picture and television industry has always been a strong supporter of free speech,” the spokesman said. “We strongly condemn any attempts to silence any groups or individuals.”

Anonymous Coward says:

Well with megaupload taken down, the music and movie industry will be better off by 10 million dollars a month at least.
That is assuming the loss to the rights holders of over 500 million dollars over 5 years is correct.

So now lets watch them sit back while their coffers overflow.
Or is it possible, that, that won’t happen.

LyleD says:

Re: Yesterday was peaceful. Today not so much

I have to agree.. I hope everything passes and that it wakes up the citizens.. The US Government is not this worlds Sheriff.. More like the rich kid bully in the playground..

Won’t be long now till you’ll be in yet another war with Iran this time and your sekrit prisons will be overflowing with renditioned file-sharers..

Your Government makes me sick!

B says:

WTG Anon :)

the whole idea of controlling the content of the internet is laughable. Only an ancient group of mislead fools would think they are rich and mighty enough to control people and ideas on the largest information network in existence. Not only are they ignorant to think they can pull it off but they are even bigger asshats for not understanding why it wont work. SOPA/PIPA are non issues, They are locks on glass pane windows. We dont need a key, We’ll break it. I’d like to see everyone stand together and OUR internet will likely be a major component of that process. Soon enough people all over the world will become aware and make this sort of oppression just a blink of an eye in human history.

DogBreath says:

Re: Re:

Hey Mike! Are you letting Anonymous use your servers for these DDOS attacks?

No, they are using yours.

Have fun at your new place of incarceration with your “laws” and “justice”.

Remember now, if someone drops the SOPA-on-a-rope in the shower, do not bend over to pick it up, or you’re likely to get PIPAed in the ACTA.

Eileen (profile) says:

I will only note that I am a long-time reader of CNN, mostly for the comments which I consider a barometer of the US public (sad as that sometimes reveals itself to be).

This was the one story where the most recent 25 comments were ALL UNANIMOUS, and against the government action taken today. I find that to be an interesting trend. I think the administration will find this was a serious mistake going forward.

Ted E. Bear says:

Similarities?

Curious if anyone else can see the similarities to our own history (U.S)? Stamp Act, Boston Tea Party, Boston Massacre.
Ramrod legislation, Internet blackout Friday, megaupload massacre. I see a dissertation here for any political science or history phd candidate. Just make sure to give me proper credit 🙂 We are truly in a global age.

anonymous says:

‘The DOJ web server is experiencing a significant increase in activity, resulting in a degradation in service. The department is working to ensure the website is available while we investigate the origins of this activity, which is being treated as a malicious act until we can fully identify the root cause of the disruption.’

the ‘root cause of the disruption’ is you idiots taking down another site without due process, like you did with Dajaz1, because the entertainment industries have told you to!

The Luke Witnesser says:

Here lies the truth about SOPA/PIPA that even TechDirt has yet to report: what MPAA, RIAA, and Hollywood execs do not want you to see.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WJIuYgIvKsc
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NzS5rSvZXe8

The truth behind why these big companies responsible for SOPA and PIPA are also responsible for piracy itself is far more insidious than even their outmoded business model.

Hint: can you say, do as I say so I can crush you under heel?

Dave Keays (user link) says:

Our Government/Entertainment Industry must be stopped!!!

My understanding is that it would require American web services to block foreign services it condemned. The bit about demanding foreigners to be jailed is new to me.

Anonymous ruined the possibility of a civilized dialog on SOPA and PIPAA. They’ve given the common enemy reason to fight with the big guns and now it will turn into a cage fight. I wonder who will get KO’d first. Time for me to sit down and quit letting the legislatures know their errand ways.

Too bad they weren’t patient enough to give peace a chance. Bunch of 13 yo script kiddies.

Don't Tread on Me says:

Re:

This is already a noted trend. With the Patriot Act and Obama’s massive expansion of government control and size, Americans who pay attention have run in droves to buy firearms.

This is exactly why we have a right to keep AND BEAR arms. Not for hunting or protection from robbers, but for protection from our own government if they go too far.

PaulT (profile) says:

Re:

One of the many logical and personal flaws I’ve noticed about the ACs is a deep seated sense of entitlement on the behalf of the US. Not too long ago, I was arguing with one of these pricks (possibly the same guy above) about the RojaDirect case and trying to explain why, since the activity on the site was perfectly legal in Spain, subjecting the site to US law was not only stupid, but illogical.

His response was that since the site served pages in English, the site must be targeting the US. It didn’t occur to him that there’s hundreds of thousands of British ex-pats in Spain, that there’s millions of English speaking tourists in the country every year who would have no other way to access the content while here, or that there’s hundreds of millions of English speakers within Europe. No, according to this idiot, any site in the English language has to be directly targeting the US.

Once again, these people have no concept of reality. In this moron’s mind, whatever he’s decided the US law is should be applicable to the entire planet, because his masters feel entitled to absolute control.

Boldhawk (profile) says:

Guilty until proven innocent

There are a number of things wrong on the part of the Justice Department… And it is not a new way to deal with people and businesses that are purportedly breaking the law.

Raid without care to damage to property; shut down their source of income, confiscate property and inventory… you name it… And that’s something I observed without even looking for the type of information…

Aside for this one, I saw another here: http://www.naturalnews.tv/rawsome_foods.asp

Raid of natural food store… cooperative.

They pass laws and regulation in the middle of the night, away from public scrutiny, without notice nor consultation. They have the guns ready to attack the public by the following morning.

Chargone (profile) says:

Re:

gets better: the current government has some absolutely bullshit cash for residency deal: dump enough money into the system on the way in and you completely bypass the entire process. (including, so far as i am aware, any part which might check to see if you’re a known terrorist etc… ) had the normal system applied various issues with the guys past (less than legal behaviour) would probably have prevented him entering the country.

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