Hong Kong freezes $42 mln in Megaupload raids

Kim Dotcom, also known as Kim Schmitz, is being held in New Zealand following a police raid there
A TV screen grab shows Megaupload founder Kim Dotcom, also known as Kim Schmitz, at a court in New Zealand on January 20. HK Customs officers have raided offices and luxury hotel suites as part of an FBI Internet piracy investigation into Megaupload.com.

Hong Kong Customs officers have raided offices, domestic premises and luxury hotel suites as part of a worldwide FBI Internet piracy investigation into file-sharing site Megaupload.com.

One hundred officers took part in the raids Friday which seized a large amount of digital evidence and uncovered about HK$330 million ($42 million) in suspected crime proceeds, Customs said.

"The assets have been frozen in accordance with related ordinances. The operation is ongoing," it said in a statement.

Officers raided hotel suites costing HK$100,000 a day equipped with high-speed servers and large television screens which were suspected to be connected to the case.

Megaupload's website was shut down Thursday by US authorities who accuse it of one of the largest cases of copyright theft ever.

founder Kim Dotcom, also known as Kim Schmitz, is being held in New Zealand following a police raid there.

The 37-year-old German citizen, who has New Zealand and Hong Kong residency, was denied bail with three other men on Friday when they appeared in an district court.

New Zealand police seized luxury cars worth NZ$6.0 million ($4.8 million), including a 1959 pink Cadillac and a Rolls Royce Phantom, in a raid on Dotcom's Auckland mansion.

The and FBI have indicted a total of seven people who they said were "responsible for massive worldwide online piracy of numerous types of copyrighted works, through Megaupload.com and other related sites".

Megaupload itself is registered as a private company in Hong Kong
The Megaupload.com homepage, pictured here on January 20. Megaupload's website was shut down Thursday by US authorities who accuse it of one of the largest cases of copyright theft ever.

The accused generated more than $175 million in criminal proceeds and caused more than $500 million in harm to copyright owners by offering pirated copies of movies, TV programmes and other content, according to a statement.

The Hong Kong Customs said it had been conducting a joint investigation with the FBI targeting the criminal activities of the syndicate since the end of 2010.

Megaupload itself is registered as a in Hong Kong, with an office in Wanchai district.

The dramatic raids came amid a fierce debate in the United States over a proposed bill before Congress aimed at cracking down on online piracy.

Critics say the new law would hand US authorities unprecedented powers that could impinge on the freedom of the Internet, and on Wednesday dozens of websites led by Wikipedia went dark in a rare protest.

In face of the criticism, US Senator Majority Leader Harry Reid Friday agreed to delay next week's vote on the bill to allow more time for talks.

"We made good progress through the discussions we've held in recent days, and I am optimistic that we can reach a compromise in the coming weeks," he said.

The European Union's top Internet official Neelie Kroes also criticised the planned US legislation, writing on Twitter that: "Internet regulation must be effective, proportionate & preserve benefits of open net."

"Speeding is illegal too: but you don't put speed bumps on the motorway," she added.

The prosecution of Megaupload meanwhile sparked a retaliatory cyber attack on the FBI and Justice Department websites.

The two government sites were up and running again early Friday after being shut down for several hours in the attack claimed by the "Anonymous" hacktivist group, which also briefly disabled music and recording industry websites.

Megaupload is popular with Hollywood celebrities and has been endorsed by music stars such as Kanye West.

Megaupload Ltd. and another company, Vestor Ltd., were indicted by a US grand jury and charged with racketeering conspiracy, copyright infringement and conspiring to commit money laundering.

Vestor's sole shareholder is Kim Dotcom. His six fellow accused come from Estonia, Germany, the Netherlands and Slovakia.


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Treasure haul as N.Z. police raid Megaupload guru

(c) 2012 AFP

Citation: Hong Kong freezes $42 mln in Megaupload raids (2012, January 21) retrieved 23 October 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2012-01-hong-kong-mln-megaupload-raids.html
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Jan 21, 2012
Kim Dotcom is far from being an angel - but my question is, how is it possible, the German citizen can be prosecuted with USA FBI for company based in Hong Kong and Dotcom domain residing at in New Zealand? Only the leased servers in Virginia belong into USA jurisdiction - not his cars, bank accounts and other private property.

Jan 21, 2012
Another question is, who will indemnify the legal users of Megaupload for lost of their private data stored there. The laws cannot be enforced with violation of laws and the USA should stop to play the international gendarmes, or the people will identify with Arabians, Venezuelans and Russians, who perceive the USA in the same way. After all, the business model of MegaUpload is very similar to Google, which shares the books and videos and makes money from ads leading to its stores. The main difference is, the Google is American company, but the MegaUpload isn't.

Jan 21, 2012
"it is proper and moral, for it to be illegal to do anything that reduces corporate profits."

Ahh, Italian style fascism in America. Did Mussolini really die, I wonder?

If THIS isn't a crime worth throwing someone in jail, what is?
http://upsidedown...-ecuador


Jan 21, 2012
Never mind the WTC towers were "dustified" with a scalar weapon while the perps are still at large. Uncle Sammy got Megaupload. Now the Rothschild Film Funding company can feel safe again.

Jan 22, 2012
You anti-corporation, anti-profit, anti-capitalists, are not relevant to the real world.

There are laws that protect private property and copyrights, for a reason. Multiple countries are cooperating to defeat such lawlessness and anti-social behavior in this case, and others.

Stealing movies, music, software, and other copyrighted material without compensating the owners, is illegal in the real world, even in your moms basement. Your anti-capitalist, anti-American idealistic fantasy world, is profoundly immature and stupid.

Jan 22, 2012
Your anti-capitalist, anti-American idealistic fantasy world, is profoundly immature and stupid.

And short sighted.
Heritage Foundation's Index of Economic Freedom points out the nations that are most prosperous defined and defend private property.
This is a key component of Canada's economic recovery.

Jan 22, 2012
Did Russia make cars or electronics or for that matter any product worth a damn, that can compete on the global market? Answer, no. Nobody wants there crap. Their notions of value and profit were stupid and counter to progress.

Jan 22, 2012
The only product the Russians made that was worth a damn is the AK-47. But its design was borrowed from the Germans.
The Russian rocket program, like the US's depended upon the German scientists captured in WWII.

Jan 22, 2012
Ironic that VD has a problem with kockevnik's 911 truther statements, given his equally moronic & over the top "radical" anti-America, anti-corporation posts.

Jan 22, 2012
money talks and then prosecutes

Jan 22, 2012
@VD,

Intellectual property does not equate to being merely "information", as that term is used in the general sense.

Intellectual property is a product no different than any other, and IS protected by copyright laws.

These are facts.

The only people wishing to reduce IP to no more value than a random string of bytes, are those wishing to steal it for free.

Jan 22, 2012
"Did Russia make cars or electronics or for that matter any product worth a damn, that can compete on the global market?" - NoumenTard

Poor NumenTard. He is a victim of his own nation's trade restrictions that have made it illegal for him to purchase Russian products in America.

Is it still illegal for "Free" Americans to travel to Cuba Tard boy?


That is beside the point and you know it. Russia has not made anything worth wanting. They have zero products that are desired on the global market. That is the point.

Jan 22, 2012
Did Russia make cars or electronics or for that matter any product worth a damn, that can compete on the global market? Answer, no. Nobody wants there crap. Their notions of value and profit were stupid and counter to progress.

Actually we did. My Lada car was also sold in England and Europe. Many nations appreciate the benefits of our value-priced arms. Many of the Soviet machines still work while the Western crap needs replacement. The locks, toilet, steel door, washing machine, coffee grinder, furniture, skyscraper, roads, trains, subway, power, music, literature, theater etc. are all Russian made. Of course we don't have an army of starving slaves ready to die making cheap crap for merchantilists to peddle in Topika, Kansas like China does.

Jan 22, 2012
@Noumenon That is beside the point and you know it. Russia has not made anything worth wanting. They have zero products that are desired on the global market. That is the point.
If by "Russia" you mean "conservatives" then yes, you are correct. Russia doesn't need to do exports we have enough work for the century developing our own great country. The largest in the world. And you really need to take less of whatever you're taking...
@Noumenon Intellectual property does not equate to being merely "information", as that term is used in the general sense.
The laws of physics are against you on this point, as well.

Jan 22, 2012
As I said in the other thread, "Copyrights and patents exist for a reason. Ideas have value. The soviets equated value of a manufactured product in its labour and costs of production. Everyone knows the soviets are morons wrt free market,.. as the value of a product is NOT in it's labour and cost of production,.. it is in what people are willing to pay for it.".

So, it is as irrelevant if the product is merely a special arrangement of bytes, as it is irrelevant that another is merely a special arrangement of glass and metal. Both involve an idea in it's creation, and both have value ultimately determined by the market.

I'm stating how the existing laws ARE wrt copyrights, while you are stating how you wish them to be.

Unfortunately for you the west is a free capitalistic society and "value" is defined accordingly and other nations must accept this if they want to do business with the west.

Jan 22, 2012
The Lada is a Fiat design.

Jan 22, 2012
The Lada is a Fiat design.

You cant even use google how are we goign to take you serious.

Jan 22, 2012
The Lada is a Fiat design.

You cant even use google how are we goign to take you serious.

"Fiat models were the basis of early Ladas who were intended as a people's car form their inception. "
http://www.autoev...history/

Jan 22, 2012
"Innovation, which is the transfer of a scientific discovery (new product or process) into production, has long been a problem for the Soviet Union. Despite a strong scientific base, the country has had a mixed record of innovation. "
http://www.countr...814.html

Jan 23, 2012
"In 1966, Fiat helped USSR state industries build a new car factory (AvtoVAZ) on the Volga river. A planned city called Tolyatti (named after Palmiro Togliatti, former Italian Communist Party Secretary) was developed around the factory, which started producing a "people's car" similar to the Volkswagen Beetle and Citro├źn 2CV of Germany and France. The new Soviet car, called the Lada, was a more spacious offering, in four-door saloon and five-door estate variants. Fiat installed British machine tools supplied by Herbert-BSA[64] of Birmingham for the manufacture of many Lada parts."
Wiki

Jan 23, 2012
Like all communists countries, USSR, China, etc can only copy what others have created.

Jan 23, 2012
Like all communists countries, USSR, China, etc can only copy what others have created.

How much did the USA copy from europe and asia?

Jan 23, 2012
As I said in the other thread, "Copyrights and patents exist for a reason. Ideas have value. The soviets equated value of a manufactured product in its labour and costs of production. Everyone knows the soviets are morons wrt free market,.. as the value of a product is NOT in it's labour and cost of production,.. it is in what people are willing to pay for it.".
So many are willing to pay $0. That's your free market at work, Noumenon. So why are you so angry about the will of the free market? After all, you genius intellect on the topic should be able to iron out incongruities like that. Please answer because we eastern morons are clueless about this paradox and need enlightenment.
The Lada is a Fiat design.
No, it's Henry Ford's design.

Jan 23, 2012
The Tokamak configuration that is currently the best design for a nuclear fusion reactor is a Russian Design.
Tesla invented radio, AC current and half the modern conveniences used every day. Serbian genius undermined by decadent robber barons. Microsoft bought a large complex near Stalin's cottage to tap Russian programming talent which has made much of the code over the past fifteen years. I don't think Russian is any Mecca but we did benefit from free, world-class education courtesy of the Soviet system equal to any in the hard sciences.

Jan 23, 2012
As I said in the other thread, "Copyrights and patents exist for a reason. Ideas have value. The soviets equated value of a manufactured product in its labour and costs of production. Everyone knows the soviets are morons wrt free market,.. as the value of a product is NOT in it's labour and cost of production,.. it is in what people are willing to pay for it.".
So many are willing to pay $0. That's your free market at work, Noumenon. So why are you so angry about the will of the free market? After all, you genius intellect on the topic should be able to iron out incongruities like that. Please answer because we eastern morons are clueless about this paradox and need enlightenment


Criminals are always willing to pay zero, which is why there are laws. My point wrt Russia having no products on the world market due to their past history in not understanding the nature of value and market is spot on.

Jan 23, 2012
The criminal in the above story, "Kim Dotcon" is a mega rich guy, PROFITING off of other peoples property.

Copyrighted material is not "free information". Your idealism in desiring this to be the case shouldn't be confused with the existing laws.

America is anything but a failed state nor corrupt. Even during economic setbacks, it is still a leading nation. Again, another plain fact of reality.

Corruption is lawlessness, i.e. abusing copyright laws, and intellectual corruption is just saying anything no matter how mindless and over the top, i.e. "WTC buildings were demolished by the gov", "America and capitalism failed".

Jan 23, 2012
Copyrighted material is not "free information". Your idealism in desiring this to be the case shouldn't be confused with the existing laws.


All information is free.

"Everything that can be invented has been invented."-- Charles Duell, Commissioner of US Patent Office, 1899 ;-)

Jan 23, 2012
The criminal in the above story, "Kim Dotcon" is a mega rich guy, PROFITING off of other peoples property.


No he profitted from allowing users to upload their content.

Jan 23, 2012
The Tokamak configuration that is currently the best design for a nuclear fusion reactor is a Russian Design.
Tesla invented radio, AC current and half the modern conveniences used every day. Serbian genius undermined by decadent robber barons. Microsoft bought a large complex near Stalin's cottage to tap Russian programming talent which has made much of the code over the past fifteen years. I don't think Russian is any Mecca but we did benefit from free, world-class education courtesy of the Soviet system equal to any in the hard sciences.

Tesla sold his ideas to Westinghouse in the USA. Too bad he didn't learn how to manage money. He used his proceeds to live the high life.

Jan 23, 2012
"The only people wishing to reduce IP to no more value than a random string of bytes" - NumenTard

Since all of what you claim is "IP" can be converted to a string of bytes, you are doing nothing but jabbering incoherent, pointless, nonsense.


I said RANDOM string of bytes, which is obviously different than a specially arranged string of bytes, which represents the IP and work of someone.

To equate the two, is not only false according to reason but is counter to existing law for copyrighted material.

Jan 23, 2012
Why did Tesla have to move to the USA to develop his ideas?

Jan 23, 2012
Copyrighted material is not "free information". Your idealism in desiring this to be the case shouldn't be confused with the existing laws.


All information is free.

Not according to existing law. You can't distribute copyrighted material according to law. This means all information is not free. QED.

Jan 23, 2012
Copyrighted material is not "free information". Your idealism in desiring this to be the case shouldn't be confused with the existing laws.


All information is free.

Not according to existing law. You can't distribute copyrighted material according to law. This means all information is not free. QED.

How many of your thoughts are unique?
How many inventions are based on previous inventions?
We take small steps, no thought belongs to a single man and definitly not a bussiness or corporation.
But some humans are too stupid to realize this.

Jan 23, 2012
Copyrighted material is not "free information". Your idealism in desiring this to be the case shouldn't be confused with the existing laws.


All information is free.

Not according to existing law. You can't distribute copyrighted material according to law. This means all information is not free. QED.

How many of your thoughts are unique?
How many inventions are based on previous inventions?
We take small steps, no thought belongs to a single man and definitly not a bussiness or corporation.
But some humans are too stupid to realize this.


No one is copyrighting thoughts. They're copyrighting music, movies, books, and patenting ideas, all of which represent work and all of which may have value in the market, and all of which is private property. Even a third grader understands that the government must protect private property. What country are you from, that this concept escapes you?

Jan 23, 2012
No one is copyrighting thoughts. They're copyrighting music, movies, books, and patenting ideas

*tactical facepalm*

Jan 23, 2012
Copyrighted material is not "free information". Your idealism in desiring this to be the case shouldn't be confused with the existing laws.


All information is free.

Not according to existing law. You can't distribute copyrighted material according to law. This means all information is not free. QED.

How many of your thoughts are unique?
How many inventions are based on previous inventions?
We take small steps, no thought belongs to a single man and definitly not a bussiness or corporation.
But some humans are too stupid to realize this.

Michael Mann at one time refused to release his hockey stick analysis code for proprietary reasons. He expected some sort of property rights for his work. All scientific work should then be open source, no journals and no attribution.
How would that impact scientific egos?

Jan 23, 2012
Michael Mann at one time refused to release his hockey stick analysis code for proprietary reasons.

Of course he did, he was afraid some rich douchebag would claim it. Then let him prove it it is his idea, secondly let him find enough money to protect his idea. How many people are in the same situation that they have no money to patent/protect their ideas and are afraid some other rich douchebag will steal it? IP/Patents bull goes against nature of information and inhibits development/evolution of the human species, all because of greed.

Jan 23, 2012
Michael Mann at one time refused to release his hockey stick analysis code for proprietary reasons.

Of course he did, he was afraid some rich douchebag would claim it. Then let him prove it it is his idea, secondly let him find enough money to protect his idea. How many people are in the same situation that they have no money to patent/protect their ideas and are afraid some other rich douchebag will steal it? IP/Patents bull goes against nature of information and inhibits development/evolution of the human species, all because of greed.

You are starting to get the hint that if ideas are not protected, those ideas won't be expressed and no one benefits. But that is the socialist way, equality of misery.

How could anyone make money on Mann's hockey stick algorithms? I suspect he was afraid of being caught falsifying data.


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