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Anonymous is back. After months of peace and quiet, the self-appointed “Anonymous legion” of the internet has taken down websites belonging to the RIAA, Universal Music Group, MPAA, US Copyright Office, EMI and the cherry on top, the FBI itself. This was in retaliation for a federal indictment by the US Justice Department which shut down Megaupload, one of the internet’s largest online hosting sites.
The “hacktivists” launched attacks on the various government sites (most of which are now back online) and promptly took them down. Over 5 600 denial of service attacks (DDoS) took place at once according to sources.
A statement from Anonymous read, “Popular file-sharing website megaupload.com gets shutdown by U.S Justice — FBI and charged its founder with violating piracy laws. Four Megaupload members were also arrested. The FBI released a press release on its website which you can view here. We Anonymous are launching our largest attack ever on government and music industry sites. Lulz. The FBI didn’t think they would get away with this did they? They should have expected us.”
Megaupload, which is partly owned by rapper Swizz Beatz had 150-million registered users and “50 million daily visitors, accounting for 4% of the traffic on the internet”.
Megaupload and Swizz Beatz seemed unfazed by the arrests. Megaupload issued this statement: “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 US Department of Justice thinks otherwise. It said that the bust was “among the largest criminal copyright cases ever brought by the United States,” with charges including money laundering, racketeering and criminal copyright infringement. Read the full 72 page indictment here.
Happily for some, Megaupload is now back online.