I caught this article yesterday as I was logging into hotmail. It explains in detail the raid on Kim Dotcom’s home and the status of the case against Megaupload. Here is a portion of that article:
Megaupload founder’s homes raided, $5M in luxury cars seized
By msnbc.com staff and news services
Police in New Zealand on Friday raided several homes and businesses linked to the founder of Megaupload.com, a giant file-sharing site shut down by U.S. authorities, and seized guns, millions of dollars, and nearly $5 million in luxury cars, officials said.
Police arrested founder Kim Dotcom and three Megaupload employees Thursday on U.S. accusations that they facilitated millions of illegal downloads of films, music and other content, costing copyright holders at least $500 million in lost revenue. Extradition proceedings against them could last a year or more.
With 150 million registered users, about 50 million hits daily and endorsements from music superstars, Megaupload.com was among the world’s biggest file-sharing sites.
Dotcom, Megaupload’s former CEO and current chief innovation officer, is a resident of Hong Kong and New Zealand and a dual citizen of Finland and Germany who had his name legally changed. The 37-year-old was previously known as Kim Schmitz and Kim Tim Jim Vestor.
Two other German citizens and one Dutch citizen also were arrested and three other defendants — another German, a Slovakian and an Estonian — remain at large.
Megaupload has retained Washington, D.C. power attorney Bob Bennett in the case, according to a person inside the company. Bennett is best known for representing former President Bill Clinton during the Monica Lewinsky scandal. The person within Megaupload spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to discuss the company’s plans.
The Electronic Frontier Foundation, which defends free speech and digital rights online, said in a statement that the arrests set “a terrifying precedent. If the United States can seize a Dutch citizen in New Zealand over a copyright claim, what is next?”
The indictment was unsealed one day after websites including Wikipedia and Wired shut down in protest of two U.S. proposals intended to make it easier for authorities to go after sites with pirated material, especially those with overseas headquarters and servers.
Before Megaupload was taken down, the company posted a statement saying allegations that it facilitated massive breaches of copyright laws were “grotesquely overblown.”
“The fact is that the vast majority of Mega’s Internet traffic is legitimate, and we are here to stay. If the content industry would like to take advantage of our popularity, we are happy to enter into a dialogue. We have some good ideas. Please get in touch,” the statement said.
News of the shutdown seemed to bring retaliation from hackers who claimed credit for attacking the Justice Department’s and FBI websites. Federal officials confirmed the Justice Department site was down for hours Thursday evening, and that the disruption was being “treated as a malicious act.”
A loose affiliation of hackers known as “Anonymous” claimed credit for the attacks. Also hacked was the site for the Motion Picture Association of America.
According to the indictment, Megaupload was estimated at one point to be the 13th most frequently visited website on the Internet. Current estimates by companies that monitor Web traffic place it in the top 100.
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