Megaupload takedown – an unmitigated disaster?
The FBI takedown of Megaupload almost exactly one year ago was a PR fiasco, a legal difficulty and quite possibly a practical disaster for law enforcement and the rightsholders. The image of armed police storming a private function and holding a pregnant woman (Dotcom’s partner) at gunpoint – and preventing her calling for medical assistance – is not good PR.
Arresting someone you cannot legally arrest (that bit is disputed by the FBI), and using a spy agency to illegally spy on someone (that bit is not disputed) have created legal difficulties.
But the big question right now is whether Dotcom plans to launch Megaupload 2 (or Megabox?) in January (the latest suggestions are that it will be 19 January 2013). If it goes ahead, it will undoubtedly be more difficult for law enforcement to curtail in the future. Rumours are that it will be distributed across multiple servers in multiple jurisdictions to make police raids more difficult, and files will be encrypted with AES to make file monitoring problematic.
A model already with The Pirate Bay which has made itself raid-proof by moving into the cloud. “Moving to the cloud lets TPB move from country to country, crossing borders seamlessly without downtime. All the servers don’t even have to be hosted with the same provider, or even on the same continent,” The Pirate Bay told TorrentFreak.