A day after the internet protested SOPA and PIPA, the F.B.I. closed down the website Megaupload.com and charged its New Zealand based owners with various accounts of conspiracy and copyright infringement. New Zealand authorities carried out the warrants on behalf of the U.S., and investigators said the timing had nothing to do with the internet protest.
According to Mashable, owners of Megaupload.com are accused of being part of,:
“the Mega Conspiracy, a worldwide criminal organization whose members engaged in criminal copyright infringement and money laundering on a massive scale.” They are being charged with participating in a racketeering conspiracy, conspiring to commit copyright infringement, conspiring to commit money laundering and two substantive counts of criminal copyright infringement.
In turn, the group dubbed “Anonymous” is claiming credit for shutting down the following websites: Justice.gov, MPAA (Motion Picture Association of America), the RIAA (Recording Industry Association of America), Universal Music Group and Copyright.gov.
Yesterday saw a number of internet sites go “black” in an attempt to bring attention to the fact that SOPA is an attack on free speech. Worth a mention is that there are already laws and procedures in place to take down websites without giving more power to the government — which the FBI showed us right here. I’ll even throw in Cosmic Book News was shut down by a mere e-mail to our hosting for something not even hosted on our servers.
Recently, Pres. Obama has come out and stated that he will not support SOPA in its present form.