Yesterday evening MegaUpload, one of the largest file-sharing sites on the Internet, has been shut down by federal prosecutors in Virginia. The site's founder Kim Dotcom and three others were arrested by the police in New Zealand at the request of US authorities. MegaVideo, the streaming site belonging to same company, and a total of 18 domains connected to the Mega company were seized and datacenters in three countries raided.
An indictment unsealed today by the Department of Justice claims that MegaUpload has caused the entertainment industries more than $500 million in lost revenue and generated $175 million in criminal proceeds.
Two corporations Megaupload Limited and Vestor Limited were indicted by a grand jury in the Eastern District of Virginia on January 5th, 2012, and charged with engaging in a racketeering conspiracy, conspiring to commit copyright infringement, conspiring to commit money laundering and two substantive counts of criminal copyright infringement.
Today, the authorities executed in excess of 20 search warrants in the United States and eight other countries.
Data centers in the Netherlands, Canada and Washington housing MegaUpload's equipment were raided. In an apparent reference to the latter location, a source has just informed TorrentFreak that the FBI are currently detaining everyone at the ISP Cogent Communications' headquarters in Washington DC, in connection with a Mega-related search warrant.
In addition to MegaUpload founder Kim Dotcom who was arrested today in New Zealand, another six alleged members of the Mega conspiracy were charged in the indictment:
Finn Batato, 38, Mega's chief marketing officer and a citizen and resident of Germany
Julius Bencko, 35, Mega's graphic designer from Slovakia
Sven Echternach, 39,Mega's German head of business development
Mathias Ortmann, 40, the German CTO, co-founder and director of Mega
Andrus Nomm, 32, programmer and head of the development from Estonia
Bram van der Kolk, 29, a Dutch citizen who oversaw programming and network issues.