Megaupload Shut Down by Government, Hacker Anonymous Retaliates.
On Thursday, the Justice Department issued an indictment that charged the founder and other employees of file sharing site megaupload.com with participating in a conspiracy involving racketeering, money laundering and copyright infringement. And though founder Kim Dotcom (formerly Kim Schmitz before he legally changed his name) and six of his associates were arrested and court orders were issued to seize the site and its servers, the site is already back up and running as of press time.
Additionally, within hours of the takedown of megaupload.com, the internet “hacktivist” group Anonymous claimed responsibility for attacking and temporarily shutting down websites for the Department of Justice, the FBI, the Recording Industry of America, The Motion Picture Association of America, BMI, Warner Music Group and – the largest record label in the world – Universal Music Group. As of press time, all sites except Universal were back up and running. A spokesman for Anonymous said the takedowns were the largest attack in the history of the group.
A version of Megaupload.com is currently on a server at the address http://220.127.116.11 and does not have a domain name. A search of the website www.urlquery.net indicates that the server currently is based in the Netherlands.
The Department of Justice claims that the takedown was not associated with web protests of the SOPA and PIPA acts that took place on Wednesday as sites like Wikipedia and Reddit removed all content to display opposition to the bills. Those protests ended just hours before the takedown commenced. It was announced Friday that both those bills have been taken off the respective calendars of the U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate for revisions.
Website rt.com posted comments Friday from Barrett Brown, speaking as a spokesperson for Anonymous.
“Obviously, this couldn’t have come at a worse time in terms of the government’s standpoint,” he told the site. “It [the web attacks against the sites that were shut down] was in retaliation for Megaupload.”
Brown also commented on how these attacks could occur again, and possibly be more widespread, if SOPA was passed.
“If this is what can occur without SOPA being passed,” he said, “imagine what can occur after SOPA is passed. “