This afternoon in raids that extended as far as New Zealand, the FBI took down on of the most popular websites in the world, Magaupload.com charging them with internet piracy seizing $50 million in assets and arresting seven people, four in New Zealand. Who needed SOPA?
Megaupload left this comment before the website went dark:
“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.”
Not long after Meguploads was shut down and the news hit the web, this happened
Hacktivists with the collective Anonymous are waging an attack on the website for the White House after successfully breaking the sites for the FBI, Department of Justice, Universal Music Group, RIAA and Motion Picture Association of America. [..]
“It was in retaliation for Megaupload, as was the concurrent attack on Justice.org,” Anonymous operative Barrett Brown tells RT on Thursday afternoon. [..]
Brown adds that “more is coming” and Anonymous-aligned hacktivists are pursuing a joint effort with others to “damage campaign raising abilities of remaining Democrats who support SOPA.”
Although many members of Congress have just this week changed their stance on the controversial Stop Online Piracy Act, or SOPA, the raid on Megaupload Thursday proved that the feds don’t need SOPA or its sister legislation, PIPA, in order to pose a blow to the Web.
Brown adds that operatives involved in the project will use an “experimental campaign” and search engine optimization techniques “whereby to forever saddle some of these congressmen with their record on this issue.”
Despite the loss of support for SOPA and PIPA Wednesday night, the Democrats remain the chief sponsors of the bills. MPAA CEO Chris Dodd, the former Democratic senator from Connecticut that blocked all financial reform, and his cohort, former Senate Democrat, now Independent, Sen. Joseph Lieberman have admitted that they want to copy Chinese style censorship. In an guest post article at naked capitalism, Washington’s Blog George Washington follows the money from Hollywood’s music and film industry to the Democrats in the Senate who are the “pillars of support for PIPA”:
Far and away, the top beneficiary in the Senate from interest groups that support PIPA is Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-CA), who’s taken in just short of a million dollars from those groups, according to data from OpenSecrets.org. She’s also the most recent Senator to co-sponsor PIPA, adding her name to the list on Dec. 12. The runner-up is Sen. Al Franken (D-MN), who’s taken $777,383 from PIPA-supporting interest groups, and has co-sponsored the bill since May 2011.
In fact, a list of the top 20 beneficiaries of special interest money in favor of PIPA reads like a list of the Senate’s most influential Democrats: Sen. Kristen Gillibrand (D-NY) in third; Sen. Harry Reid (D-NV) in fourth; Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) in fifth; Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-VT), the bill’s primary sponsor, in sixth; Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) in seventh; Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-MO) in eighth; Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) in ninth; and Sen. Michael Bennet (D-CO) in tenth.
The list goes on like that until Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY), who places 15th with $274,600 in special interest money promoting PIPA. He has not yet announced an official position on the bill. The only other Republican on the list of the top 20 PIPA beneficiaries in the Senate is Sen. Bob Corker (R-TN), in 19th place with $212,312. Corker is one of the bill’s co-sponsors.
I have to give at least one Democrat credit although she is not in the Senate, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) opposed SOPA.
This is far from over.