January 23, 2012
With over 150 million registered users, the file sharing site MegaUpload.com is one of the most popular on the Internet. At least, it was.
The site has now been seized by the US government and its homepage converted to an FBI anti-piracy warning. Its founder, a high tech entrepreneur named Kim Dotcom (yes, he had it legally changed), was arrested in New Zealand after his homes were raided and assets seized.
These actions were all at the behest of the US government. And it’s just the latest example of Big Brother overextending its authority across the entire world.
Last week, we discussed the grassroots efforts to stop passage of the SOPA/PIPA legislation that would give the US government jurisdiction over the Internet. Wikipedia blacked out its English language pages to raise awareness of the issue, and people went completely nuts.
Congress subsequently withdrew the bills amid popular outcry, and the public rejoiced that their efforts successfully thwarted further encroachment on their liberty. Or so they thought.
On the exact same day that everyone was celebrating victory over SOPA/PIPA, the US government simply used another set of regulations to nab Dotcom and seize his assets. The fact that SOPA was scrapped turned out to be completely irrelevant, they just found other rules to apply (or break).
As usual, it’s probably not legal. But such technicalities don’t matter in the ‘guilty until proven innocent’ system in which we live. Executive agencies exercise extreme latitude when confiscating assets, and victims often don’t have the opportunity to address the matter in front of a judge for years, if ever.
In Dotcom’s case, the man probably won’t even successfully make it past the extradition process for at least a year… let alone bring the issue to trial. The government is using its bureaucracy to completely circumvent due process and make an example of somebody that they consider a nuisance.
So why should they care? What interest could the US government possibly have in a silly file sharing site? None. But the entertainment industry does.
You see, we don’t live in a representative democracy. Democracy is an illusion to make people believe that they’re free. Instead, it’s blocs of large corporations who are really in control. If the entertainment business wants Kim Dotcom to go away, the government will invent or break any law necessary to make it happen. They’re all in bed together.
What’s more, it doesn’t matter which group or party is in power. Democrat or Republican, Labour or Conservative, Liberal or New Democratic… they’re all for sale. Citizens concern themselves with the outcome of elections, investing heavy emotional and financial support for ‘their guy’. Companies just wait it out and buy off whichever candidates win.
Kim Dotcom, though a wealthy and successful entrepreneur, was essentially a lone wolf standing against the entire industry. Rather than find ways to work with him in what is clearly emerging as a dominant media platform, they chose to eliminate him… by having the US government send the New Zealand government to arrest him and seize his assets.
It’s mind numbing when you really think about it.
Ultimately, Dotcom may successfully find his way back to a normal life after years in court and perhaps some time in jail. In the meantime, though, his case certainly makes a strong argument for flying under the radar. It’s a stark reminder that, if they really want to get you, they’ll apply, invent, or break whatever laws are necessary to do so.
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