When the MPAA/RIAA ordered the hit on Megaupload we stated that this event had no happy ending for the US or their people that were trying to call the shots. It was very clear that the whole operation was intended to send a message that the copyright industry would get you even if they had to make something up to do it. This appears to be exactly what they did as the US Government still has not been able to produce a single bit of evidence to back up their charges against Megaupload and Kim Dotcom. They have been stalling orders from the New Zealand High Court which requires them to hand this over to Dotcom so that he can prepare a proper defense. On top of that (as most of you know already) the original warrants used for the raid on Dotcom’s house were illegal as was the monitoring of Dotcom’s phone conversations! All of this was still done at the request of the FBI (with a nudge from the US Government we are sure) yet none of it was legal within the laws in New Zealand. Of course the FBI needed something, anything really, because they had no case going into to the original seizure of Megaupload and Kim Dotcom’s assets.
So the raid, surveillance and much more was ordered on little more than a request from the MPAA and RIAA (Dotcom feels it was a request to Vice President, Joe Biden directly. From there the FBI had to build an actual case to prove the charges and original claims. They took evidence out of New Zealand without authorization (or judicial review which was ordered) to try and find something. In the meantime the MPAA has convinced the US DoJ to hang on to all assets during this time to make sure that Megaupload, Dotcom and anyone associated with them suffer. They have no case and cannot prove their charges, but they intend to maintain the freeze on as many assets as they can for as long as they can.
This is the pattern they have used in the past and are continuing to use with other sites (including one of the Founders of the Pirate Bay). It has gotten around that this is what they do and people are on the lookout for these tactics. This abuse of power is the stick that they have been using to poke the bear with. The bear is the internet community and the masses that it represents. You would think that after the massive response from the Internet over SOPA they would have learned. The Electronic Frontier Foundation and others (including Kim Dotcom) did learn from that and are banking on it to force the MPAA, RIAA and the US Government to stop trying to control the forward momentum of progress.
To do this they are working very hard to “mobilize the internet” in the same way they did to bring down SOPA, PIPA, ACTA and other acts and laws that the government has tried to pass at the request of the MPAA. As we said before the internet community a very large it is also very hard to organize and motivate. However, once you poke it enough with a stick it can rise up and do some serious damage. This is exactly what is happening now around the world as the Internet community is exercising their right to vote. As we mentioned before the EFF, Internet Defense League and people like Kim Dotcom are encouraging people to express their displeasure with the current situation by voting. If you are unhappy with the people that are continually trying to limit the Internet and technology then vote for someone that will respect those freedoms. It is a very effective tactic as we are seeing more government officials that are suddenly “very concerned” with privacy, internet freedom and net neutrality. This massive force is enough that the Prime Minister of New Zealand, John Key apologized to Kim Dotcom for the illegal surveillance saying “I apologize to Mr Dotcom. I apologize to New Zealanders because every New Zealander… is entitled to be protected from the law when it comes to the GCSB, and we failed to provide that appropriate protection for him.”
You can see that he can see the writing on the wall; the Megaupload/Dotcom case is going to go very badly and probably sooner rather than later. He is distancing himself from the fallout that is sure to come when things really start to crumble. We expect that there will be more a[apologies as people distance themselves from the copyright industry and the US DoJ in the coming months. We also expect that the politicians that are desperate to hold on to their jobs in the US will also start to change their tune. You can expect “outrage”, “concern” and any number of adjectives to be thrown around as they try to act like they were not involved or did not know anything about what was going on, but hey that is what happens in an election year and you can bet that the bear knows this now that it has been poked too much and is awake and annoyed.
We said it when all of this started; there is only one way for this to end and it is not good at all for the US Government, Hollywood and the other people that have tried to abuse their power just to hang onto their current business model. Then again, no one can really stop the march of progress; even the MPAA…
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