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Megaupload, Anonymous, SOPA and the Internet fallout

Patrick Lambert digests the tempestuous events of last week and what it means for the future of the Internet. Was the Megaupload bust really related to SOPA's failure? Was Anonymous' reaction justified?

As it's been reported all over the news now, last week Megaupload, the most popular file sharing site on the Internet, was shut down, and the owners arrested, in a series of high profile raids across many countries, seizing computers, electronics, gadgets, and much more. It was an impressive news item, and both the event itself, and the aftermath, was filled with drama, for many reasons. First, because Megaupload itself was already involved with several lawsuits against Hollywood companies, also because of how much the people behind the site seemed to be taunting the authorities, and because of how close to the SOPA/PIPA defeat the raid happened. But while a lot of Anonymous members seem to take this as their own personal battle, I think this is the wrong cause to get behind, and that in the end, this particular battle won't end up mattering much at all.

First, let's see what the facts were. Megaupload was established in 2005, in Hong Kong, and had grown to become the biggest file sharing site on the web, with over 50 million daily visitors, and 180 million registered users. It was the 13th most popular website in the world. Of perhaps more interest however, is that in order to fully use the site, and get access to large amounts of content, you had to pay a monthly fee. The owner, Kim Dotcom, along with other employees of the company, made millions over these six years. They paid for multiple luxury cars, large screen TVs, electronics, and so on. They were basically living in luxury, thanks to the Megaupload success. And this actually matters.

According to the lawsuits filed by the US Justice Department, along with other countries' law enforcement, Megaupload's main purpose was to conduct illegal activities, mainly to promote the fact that they were hosting a lot of pirated content, and reward users who would upload more content. In the papers filed as part of the operation, we see things like emails between employees, showing that not only they knew full well that their servers were filled with illegal content, but that the employees participated in the exchange. We see logs that indicate the users who were rewarded on the sites were picked because of the large amount of ripped movies they would upload. And this is why I think getting behind this battle is a bad idea for us, common Internet users, or even for Anonymous.

Picking your battles

Here the government isn't going after innocent websites as part of a misguided seizure, and they aren't shutting down a legit site for a year, denying any information to its owner, and then returning it without any explanation. Both of those cases hint at gross misconduct, and should be hailed as problems that need to be fixed, and examples as to why the US Feds should not have the powers that they do over the Internet. But in the case of Megaupload, it's a completely different story. Here, they aren't going after some random business owner who happened to have been mistakenly targeted. They're going after people who, if convicted, built an empire on illegal crimes, knew full well what they were doing, and profited financially from their actions. The money laundering charges are why these raids were conducted by so many countries, and why arrests were done. Seizing the site is equivalent to shutting down their front operation, and preventing their allegedly pirated material from being distributed, just like any seller of counterfeit goods.

So of course, what followed was a massive retaliation from Anonymous. Sites were brought down, including the FBI, the RIAA, MPAA, and several others, in protest to the arrests and the closure of Megaupload. Some have said that this was the biggest DDOS attack so far, and that it would have a serious effect on the Internet. I tend to disagree. Most of these typically last a few days or weeks, then things go back to normal. Intelligent people know that those who flood sites don't represent the majority of web users, and I doubt this will have any political effect. As for the suggestion that the Megaupload case was brought on because of the failure of SOPA, I think it's literally impossible. A case like this, involving International actions around the world, doesn't get planned in less than a few months -- usually years. You don't coordinate raids on a dozen locations worldwide within a day, so when the FBI says it's a coincidence, I tend to agree.

What's next?

So if not going crazy over the Megaupload case, what should be done? I completely agree that right now, as it stands, the US Feds have way too much power and discretion as to how they apply the law on websites, especially foreign ones. I also agree that SOPA and PIPA may be dead, but similar laws will be brought up in the coming years, and it's a fight we can't win without large reforms to the system itself. Something has to be done. What? Well, here's an interesting example: This week, following the Megaupload case, Uploaded.to, which is another file sharing site based in Europe, decided to block all US IPs from using its service. This is something that's within reach of foreign web admins, and sends a much more powerful message than flooding sites.

Just think what would happen if suddenly, the US public finds itself blocked from thousands of sites around the world, because their government passed laws that are so ridiculously one sided, no one outside the country is interested in taking any risk dealing with Americans. What if small business owners inside the US decided to start their new online projects using servers, email systems, online office suites, and so on, all based in other countries, because they don't want to risk having biased agencies spying on them? What if suddenly, the US cyber landscape starts emptying itself, with large chunks of data moving away to other countries? When actual jobs start disappearing, and innovation moves offshore, because a few Hollywood monopolies always get their ways in Washington, then politicians will notice. This is what will make things move, not having the MPAA or the CIA site being down for a day.

What do you think of last week's protests and the skirmishing that followed?

About

Patrick Lambert has been working in the tech industry for over 15 years, both as an online freelancer and in companies around Montreal, Canada. A fan of Star Wars, gaming, technology, and art, he writes for several sites including the art news commun...

107 comments
OPITSTUDENT
OPITSTUDENT

This just keeps getting worse! Google Venturebeat Internet surveillance bill

Spamosborn
Spamosborn

Lets be honest, yup we've all ridden the wave at some point in our on-line lives. But when it comes to future relevance of what your (US) legislature cares about, compared to impact across the world, frankly... whatever! Western governments (like mine) will continue to pander to business in whatever way that perpetuates votes... Why is this episode any different? The challenge for you "leaders" is to forget petty squabbles about who is more righteous in their downloads than others, and actually work out a campaign for an equitable way of returning the rights of creativity and knowledge sharing to those that benefit the most - us all. In doing that there's some hard work to be done around the nature of business in creativity... in "the Land of the Free"... If you don't soon, there's a whole other side of the world eagely waiting to make you irrelevant... Wasn't that what "the internet" (and the latter dubbing "cloud") meant to promote and consume..?

dg.itpro
dg.itpro

I agree with what SOPA/PIPA is/was trying to accomplish, just NOT the way it was being done. There are far too many details that cannot be overlooked in order for something like this to even remotely work. Going back to the drawing board and getting the right people involved might give something like this a change to work.

djones05
djones05

i completely agree on your comments. i liked the most opinion on what Uploaded.to has done. blocked all of their IP's. that way, their laws would not reach...let's see what consequences would they achieve for that kind of selfish law...

baltazor1
baltazor1

So bottom line is what? That congressmen are stupid and easily corrupted but closing MU was right and saying otherwise is wrong? As for Anonymous hacking FBI's website, i think they just wanted to make a stand you know.. it was pretty much symbolic and with no malicious intent. After all, who else could make something like that and get their attention? Personally i think that going after file hosting websites is kind of futile because, well, everything that locks can be unlocked..you know?. If someone wants to share pirate copies of movies etc he will find an alternative. Although i do have one question about the whole file-hosting thingy... couldn't they claim that they have no responsibility about the content being uploaded by the users?

baltazor1
baltazor1

As much as would enjoy seeing revenge taken upon FBI/CIA for closing Megaupload, i think it makes more sense to fight like this. (although a few more attacks on their websites would be nice too... :P)

jp-dutch
jp-dutch

What I really do miss in your article is due legal process. Everbody is presumed innocent, until proven guilty in a court of law. You say you can not possibly care if the Feds go for some site, which everybody just assumes to be illegal. I just had to think of The People vs. Larry Flint. Larry Flynt: "If the First Amendment will protect a scumbag like me, it will protect all of you."

SmartAceW0LF
SmartAceW0LF

one reaps what they sow. Its a fact of life, not something a mysterious entity in the sky has ordained. In observing the evidence of this, one will see that rarely are the consequences of such behavior reciprocated from the same direction they were sent. No individual is immune nor the collective group. Unfortunately, with power comes arrogance. What will we (United States Citizens) as the currently reigning super power of the world have to draw on when faced with the same sort of injustice from a rising power such as China? Keep on believing it could never happen. In China one gets death for this crime.

bluezero2000
bluezero2000

If our government could find and arrest them why do they need to limit our internet? Makes no sense to me.

donruppel
donruppel

The Copyright law is a US law, why should it be enforcable in another country ? What if Iran or some other country came into the US and arrested someone for violating one of their country's laws ? For example, what if Iran enacted a law saying that you could not wear anything bright colored on Sunday and came here and arrested anyone they see wearing a bright color on Sunday ? We would be up in arms saying that Iranian laws don't apply here ! We have done this before with Manuel Noriega and his violation of US drug laws.

tom.marsh
tom.marsh

I think this situation should give us all pause: There are a staggering number of legal uses for file-sharing sites, and by heavy-handedly shutting the entire thing down, the government has shown itself to be utterly tone-deaf to the rights of businesses who store their data online. And let me preface this by saying I'm not defending MegaUpload. The problem isn't with prosecuting the crimes of the management at MegaUpload, but by locking out legitimate users from legitimate data--legitimate users who have done nothing wrong. Consider the possible consequences of a similar raid directed at, say Amazon Web-Services, where they're shutting down somebody using an AWS instance to provide copyright infringing content on-line, and "seize" that site by physically taking a rack full of servers. Don't laugh, it has already happened: FBI agents tend to err on the side of taking "more" rather than missing any evidence. In one case, the agents took racks, cables, switches, routers and a firewall out of a co-location facility when they were trying to seize servers for one tenant of the data center. In the AWS scenario, since we're talking about virtual machines you could have data for hundreds of companies in that rack. Chaos, in other words. This deprived innocent bystanders of weeks of productivity, and cost them thousands in legal expenses to get their equipment back. This is a risk factor that companies must consider when choosing to use co-location services, cloud-services, and really, to locate their company's critical business data on infrastructure you don't own. Because the potential is there for a major disruption of your operations if one of your co-location or cloud "neighbors" commits a crime and the FBI knocks no the data-center door.

Boushe
Boushe

I think that the protests that went on last week are just a glimpse of what will happen if the government tries to push crap like SOPA PIPA on the american people. If the government attempts to resurrect SOPA or something similar and more ridiculous, that will just fuel the fire and certain online entities will find ways to stay alive, despite what the government may try to throw at them. I can definitely see where RickCaird@ is coming from with the concept of the cloud being at major risk. There are several cloud storage services that i utilize for mainly work purposes. I can definitely say that it would be a dark day if i lost any of my work stored on those services as a result of the governments one-sided, pigheaded nature with trying to falsely censor the internet.

mark.tuttle
mark.tuttle

I think the outrage felt by extremely one-sided legislation was the driver... as people become informed that the American myth of freedom and individualism is just a myth, it can make you mad and angry... the amount of ulterior motives that go on in Politics do make it ripe for a revolution... I think the founder fathers, if still alive, would be leading such a revolution.... I would agree with businesses moving data off shore... like people have been doing with money to Switzerland (or virgin islands) for years... time to move data offshore, but likely there will come legislation against that.. something like the "Business data must be held on servers in the same tax jurisdiction" or something equally inept. The Internet still holds great promise to continue to reinvent how we do things, but when we elect idiots to make decisions for us... this is what we get. The other alternative is to hide our activities from prying or regulating eyes.. whether we are Anonymous members, or just free citizens. Remember the Bill of Rights, the 4th.. protection against "unreasonable search and seizure".. it seems like this right, as well as the first amendment have been getting trampled in cyber space. What one can do is use these personal VPN tools to hide your surfing from your local ISP, but these fall short, as the gateway server ISPs in other countries are already becoming the focus of prosecution. I am aware of one company, that protects against this, like Skype has done for so many years..(now that MS owns Skype, trust is gone). They are a p2p VPN services with no logging anywhere in the system, and because they don't used fixed gateway servers, there is little chance of any ISP being able to track your activities.. And like Skype, the basic service is free. Look up Privacy Protector dot EU, I am using it.... Good luck to us all keeping the good parts of the internet, and getting rid of the rotten parts..... mark

mdromano
mdromano

USA doesn't own the world's internet!

chevere
chevere

This is horrendous. First we sneak into Pakistan, unknown to that government, for Bin Laden. No matter what the US had no right to stage a military operation in Pakistan, supposedly an ally, without their cooperation. Our government would go ballistic if something similar happened here. Now the US wants to control the internet. The only action the US government should have been allowed was to shut down Megaupload's Virginia server. US laws were broken not international law. Megaupload did not own or sell the pirated files. The rest of the site's infrastructure was the responsibility of Hong Kong and New Zealand. If those countries' laws weren't broken then end of story. If Megaupload's actions were criminal there then Hong Kong or New Zealand should be prosecuting on their soil. And as others have said countless numbers of completely legal files were lost. Who knows how many other sites besides Upload.to will block US users. I'm sick of US politicians down on there knees licking bare corporate butts. I'm just as disgusted with the way our allies are letting the US government bully them into submission. Richard O'Dwyer didn't break any British laws yet England is extraditing him here. Hopefully Britons will give their government hell about the extradition. Music industry leaders are totally brain dead. They can either sell the people what they want for a reasonable price (eg. 60 - 70 cents a song) or continue to suffer losses. eMusic legally sells most songs now for 49 - 69 cents. If every file sharing site on the internet was shut down illegal downloading might stop but stealing music wouldn't. There are simple ways to keep every audio file you can play. And there is no way any one knows you're doing it.

yeoel
yeoel

Right on, dude. The Americans are going to the dogs. All sites and data will be moved to China and Middle East. US will end up with more unemployment and higher cost. This is why businesses are moving away from the U.S and to foreign soil. This year, U.S will be enjoying more downturn like their Lehman Brothers, Enron, etc. Repent while there is hope.

jesta1865
jesta1865

I think you hit the nail on the head in the last part. I posted something like that on another forum a week to 10 days ago, and was told either I didn't make sense or was talking rubbish, mainly by US citizens it has to be said, but not all. However now after the Megaupload incident I think people will realise that if the US tries to take the ball, the rest of the world will just find another ball to play with. I think the US gubbermint etc need to realise the internet is not US centric and is getting less so every day. If I was a US business I would be looking in horror at what the US authorities are trying to do. Don't get me wrong I don't advocate pirated software, but if you have done something that's only a crime in the US, they should not be allowed to arrest you abroad (I know the megaupload people were iffy) what next, have a legal beer in the UK at 18, but get extradited to the US as the age limit is 21, really? I think this is the thin end of a very large wedge.

Sauron
Sauron

For me I have no problem with the pirated sites being taken to task. Sure protect peoples copyright no issue with that but I do not agree with taking a site down if there is a few links that are infringing copyright. Get the links out but leave the rest of the items. To just take a whole site down for as little as one link would be ridiculous, I think everyone would agree. A balance is needed

Trentski
Trentski

Wow, Who paid you to post?

billfranke
billfranke

"They???re going after people who, if convicted, built an empire on illegal crimes, knew full well what they were doing, and profited financially from their actions." I know that this was an oversight, but it has its Freudian implications. US history is filled with legal crimes -- war crimes, crimes against humanity, crimes against American citizens, crimes against non-citizen residents, financial crimes (most recently and most prominently), and crimes by law enforcement agencies (especially those involved in the myriad "wars" that the American government is fighting and losing, e.g., drugs, terrorism, homosexuality, same-sex marriage, etc.) and their minions in the airports and at Guantanamo -- that. The rich and the powerful and the favored (i.e., the friends of politicians and political appointees) go scot-free while the rest of us get hassled, fined, or jailed for minor infractions. When the American government can justify its double and triple standards instead of showing itself to be an incorrigible bastion of hypocrisy, perhaps it will deserve respect instead of what seem to wrongheaded knee-jerk reactions, as in the MegaUpload case. I do not support the idea of piracy, nor do I use or endorse any file-sharing sites. If I have to share files in exchange for being able to download what is advertised as a "free download" (happened just yesterday with a book of medical abbreviations), I don't do it. If that's the deal, then I know it's illegal, especially when I'm told that "this file was uploaded by someone just like you and me". Wrong. I'd rather pay for the book than steal it. I have no objections to free software or other allegedly free stuff unless the advertising or nagging is overwhelming. Anyway, it's all about "justice" (an empty abstraction that must be clearly and carefully stipulated before opposing camps can argue about it), which we have known for millennia is not associated with any legal system except by the naive. The US government is far too arrogant to respect, far too hypocritical to believe, and far too tyrannical to trust. It has been stealing the freedoms of Americans and he rest of the world in the name of its exceptionalist belief that it is somehow the best and most virtuous of nations. This is pure bullpucky, of course. There is no such animal, only freer and less free nations. Laws are necessary for a variety of obvious reasons, but overzealous enforcers are a bane to humanity. The USA, along with many European nations, is in that category. So are the obvious dictatorships in North Korea, mainland China, Vietnam, Iran, Egypt (nothing much has changed there), Saudi Arabia, Zimbabwe, and a host of other places. This kind of overreaching by the US government is just another piece of evidence that the world still operates on the "Might is Right" principle. Imagine what the response of NZ would have been had Luxembourg asked them for the same cooperation.

chrisj979
chrisj979

I see it pointed out in the article that they bought TV's and cars and otherluxury items with the money they got. What's the big deal, i see it more of a tactic to give people a reason to be upset to fuel their anger. I mean my tax dollars buy flat screen TV's and luxry cars, pay for lavish vacations, even yachts and lovely dinners, but no one wants to consistantly point that out. Any one running a multimillion dollar business is purchasing those same luxury items. Yes they are wrong for distributing pirated software, but there are hundreds of other companies doing something illegal to make a dollar and it's just accepted. These were grown will people paying MegaUpload, they were not deceived, they knew they were paying for accedss to illegal stuff. Yes I believe everyone with any sense should be againt SOPA and let it be known, because if the government takes over, first they'll get rid of the megauploads, once those are all gone something very scary will happen, those politicians will start to think, and all these crazy ideas and rules of content control will fly. Law enforcement/government is behind who ever has the most money. There are kids being kidnapped and raped, those cases are given to a local detective with little resources, but if I distribute Iron Man on MegaUpload I get the FBI at my door, really, am I the only one going WTF?

BALTHOR
BALTHOR

Some foreign countries run it real big with software stealing.I suspect that a great majority of our American Internet is filled with foreign postings.

BALTHOR
BALTHOR

Share sites are loaded with captcha,delayed downloading and downloading limits.This is all hacker.I even see that the blotches in Google Earth are hacker!

BALTHOR
BALTHOR

I suspect that some companies went down because they couldn't open a rar file.

BALTHOR
BALTHOR

This could never be a true story.You see the original files in these share sites.It's the only place for original files.These articles are so powerful but I see them as not true.If you download a lot then you'd see it.$49 for a two mb file.

Bruce Epper
Bruce Epper

This will be blown out of the water due to their rewarding of users who upload popularly downloaded content, which EVERYBODY knows will tend to be copyrighted content.

Bruce Epper
Bruce Epper

The ACTA treaty is what allowed the feds to arrest the execs in NZ for violation of the DMCA.

CharlieSpencer
CharlieSpencer

"I can definitely say that it would be a dark day if i lost any of my work stored on those services as a result of the governments one-sided, pigheaded nature with trying to falsely censor the internet." I assume you have this data backed up somewhere locally, so that when you won't lose access to your work for reasons other than government actions. You know, power failure, severed fiber optic line, etc. Government activity isn't the only threat to accessing cloud-stored data; it isn't even the biggest.

wompai
wompai

... this guy really makes a point. Maybe if we put more effort in assembling new leaders, we can create a better government, like putting a high educated person throughout all sciences and studies in the government and assembling a leadership that is formed out of intelligent people. Not just the same people all the time.

fishystory
fishystory

The problem with the lobbyists is that they fail to take 'human nature' in account. Humans have been copying and sharing anything and everything for many millenia. Take, for example, folk songs. Every folk song would have had an 'artist', however because it becomes a part of a particular culture, those 'artists' are failed to be credited or compensated. Another example is the invention of the wheel. No one paid the inventor (or their family) royalties when they incorporated the wheel's design into a horse cart or chariot. This tradition has continued millenia after millenia and now has only become a problem in modern times. The problem is the lavish lifestyle that rulers through all the ages blatantly abuse. In the past, the ruling class would acquie their wealth and power through blood and war. Although slaughter is a rare sight nowadays, citizens are relegated to living a long life of toil, lining the pockets of the wealthy elite: "But men are so full of greed today, they'll sell anything for a little piece of money." -Little Richard To address this problem, first one must understand the answer to the following question: Why are the RIAA, MPAA and other lobby groups only happy for us to consume their content? Once enough people understand the answer to this question, then future bills (based on SOPA and PIPA) have no chance of being passed in Congress. I desperately hope people realise the reason for all this legislative mess. Otherwise there may be a new world order coming on its way, when people realise how oblivious they have been.

Sauron
Sauron

You have hit the nail on the head. Well said

wompai
wompai

... but I like you already.

CharlieSpencer
CharlieSpencer

I agree with you. However, I disagree with those who raise the same issues when questioning how much money the executives get paid at record and movie companies, and what toys they choose to buy. Those who scream that entertainment industry execs are ripping them off and their corrupt business practices should be bypassed are hypocritically fueling similar lifestyles enabled by similar ripoffs and practices of Megaupload execs.

belli_bettens
belli_bettens

get real, there is no American internet. If you start a site, you intend to reach the whole world. How many sites do you know that end with .us?

CharlieSpencer
CharlieSpencer

"The problem is the lavish lifestyle that rulers through all the ages blatantly abuse. In the past, the ruling class would acquie their wealth and power through blood and war." Assuming this is the source of the problem (which I'm not granting), ruling classes have not been limited to the West. Egypt, China, southwest Asia; all have extravagant ruling classes in their histories. The pyramids and the Forbidden City weren't built by the local equivalents of Habitat for Humanity.

shaka.barnwell
shaka.barnwell

American sites don't end with .us because the www was first established in the USA. So even though berners-lee developed the program while at CERN, American sites don't have to have identify their geographical location in their url. I think SOPA would also ensure that search engines would have to filter their results, the same thing the US congress used to censure Google for doing on behalf of the Chinese govt. Well I think i'm going have to start using Chinese or Russian search engines. SOPA, PIPA are going to hurt american business.

CharlieSpencer
CharlieSpencer

My site is intended to reach no one other than its audience of 25 people. I suspect few sites intend to reach the entire world. That's why most of them are in a single language.

Willshoot
Willshoot

There is such a connection. We may all run on the same internet but all north american IP addresses and distributions are controlled and under a particular case. So therefore one could block out all IPs from the continent or from the central distribution. and seemingly shut off the internet to any site that runs from a server outside of the united states. Whereas you would have to setup your servers out of the country or to run leased off of foreign IPs to be able to have internet access. One internet that is cut into pieces and offered up to the highest bidder.

wompai
wompai

That's would it should be called!

fishystory
fishystory

After reading another user's contribution, I will use billfranke's post (to explain what I initially meant to say): "The US government is far too arrogant to respect, far too hypocritical to believe, and far too tyrannical to trust. It has been stealing the freedoms of Americans and he rest of the world in the name of its exceptionalist belief that it is somehow the best and most virtuous of nations. This is pure bullpucky, of course. There is no such animal, only freer and less free nations. Laws are necessary for a variety of obvious reasons, but overzealous enforcers are a bane to humanity. The USA, along with many European nations, is in that category. So are the obvious dictatorships in North Korea, mainland China, Vietnam, Iran, Egypt (nothing much has changed there), Saudi Arabia, Zimbabwe, and a host of other places." Even though the West have used a different economic, political and cultural approach to the East, they will inevitably fall just like that of Eygpt, Babylon and other ancient Eastern empires UNLESS they can somehow regain the public's trust and confidence in the Western system as a whole. Western hedonism, has created a unique problem when compared to Eastern hedonistic practices. Although Eastern leaders are often outright violent and oppressive on their citizens, e.g. Burma, North Korea, China and Russia. Westerners have also dabbled in unethical behaviour. On one hand the politicians advocate prosperity and freedom for all, but at the same pander to lobbyists and corporate executives. This creates a double standard and it's no wonder Western citizens are becoming more disillusioned and spiteful with measures such as . Perhaps one of the major reasons for this mistrust is the internet. After all, it has uncovered many of the skeletons in the government's closet (take Wikileaks for example) and enabled hundreds, thousands and even millions of people to protest against (e.g. the Occupy movement) unscrupulous behaviour by their Western leaders. Don't get me wrong, I embrace democracy and freedom as an important and core value of humanity. I desperately hope that diplomacy, and free market economics, can continue to be relevant in the 21st Century, otherwise Western citizens could fall victim (in the future) to a new socialist or fascist government, which would like prove even more oppressive. As billfranke states, "There is no such animal [as freedom], only freer and less free nations".

AnsuGisalas
AnsuGisalas

Heston-Wheatonism ... and then my mind broke. Damn this Spooneritis.

CharlieSpencer
CharlieSpencer

I didn't mention English. I was very careful to not mention any individual language. Regardless, my point stands: not all web sites are aimed at a global audience, or are interested in gaining one.

shaka.barnwell
shaka.barnwell

English is a global language, so many sites that are set up in English will reach the entire world. The url's of many sites are in english because the developer's of the web are english speakers. The fact that a site is developed in English is no indication that the site owners had a local audience in mind. Besides with automatic translators, site can reach global audiences even if they are not setup in a global language.

wompai
wompai

Another new act popping up out of nowhere? I've just read some articles about ACTA. Wow, seems SOPA and PIPA worked inspirational on some people...

Bruce Epper
Bruce Epper

Megaupload is not an American company. They are based in Hong Kong. Their major failing here was having about 1,000 servers in the US and they could be proven to be doing business in Virginia. Then residing in a another country that was a signatory of ACTA put another nail in their coffin.

wompai
wompai

... what they did to Megaupload is global. I'm dutch and I can't go to Megaupload. They shouldn't be able to do this. I know Megaupload was an american company, but the effects of the FBI's actions had global effect. That shouldn't be possible.