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"Anonymous" attacks FBI website over Megaupload shutdown

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I don't see anyone here commenting on this issue. I never took this group seriously, and I think they are doing more harm then good. DDoSing the FBI was an incredibly stupid idea, I think. They aren't doing anything impressive, more like the equivalent of pooping on the White House. I don't recall Ayn Rand saying when was it appropiate to go on protests, but this could perfectly be equated to an act of cyber-terror, and I just don't see how this is an effective tactic. It's not like they're going to trace the attackers, but now they can wave the threat of these internet people at the general populace, passing more Bills and restrictions out of fear of what these people can do. I doubt that taking down the front page of a website for an hour will make any politician fear anything, but now "Anonymous" are demanding the disbanding of the WIPO and the removal of the DMCA's registration requirements under the "Safe Harbor" provision, and they may now be very easily labelled as a terrorist organization. This "internet intimidation" will only force politicians to adopt an even more hardline stance against what they consider piracy and freedom on the internet.

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Guest InquisitMind

It is interesting, since during the times of Ayn Rand, information was not valued as highly as it is today, by the general majority. Now it is a real moral question, whether it is right to hack into somebody else's computer or not. I am not sure how to answer that question.

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It's more stupid that the government shut down megauploads. I mean, come on, there's tons of other sites that do the exact same thing. Why was this one particular site targeted? The response isn't cyber terror, it's people actually standing up for their beliefs. I say 'people,' because everyone who downloaded the tool Anon posted contributed to the flood of traffic which temporarily brought down some sites.

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Very true, I do not think the "flow" of information can be controlled by any one government entity. The government cannot decide the direction of growth of the Internet. Even if there was a global government, it would still be impossible.

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It's more stupid that the government shut down megauploads. I mean, come on, there's tons of other sites that do the exact same thing.

Yep. It's also stupid that they arrested that guy that killed a cop in Queens the other day. I mean come on, there's tons of guys who kill cops out there.

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Wasn't most of their traffic perfectly legal?

I haven't looked at the site in years, but I talked to a coworker who has no problem with stealing movies/music, and he said they had an enormous amount of pirated material, that you could basically find anything you wanted on that site.

Edited by brian0918
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Yep. It's also stupid that they arrested that guy that killed a cop in Queens the other day. I mean come on, there's tons of guys who kill cops out there.

Right, because pirating is just as severe as murder. You might as well say that jaywalking is the same as rape.

My point is that to stop pirating, the government will need to shut down thousands of sites. Not only will they have to shut down sites that provide software to make it easy to mass download material (utorrent, limewire, bittorrent, etc), they'll also have to close sites that provide files for downloading (torrentz, thepiratebay, etc), AND video streaming sites (videobb, megavideo, videoweed, etc), and sites like vidtomp3 that convert youtube videos to mp3 files for download. They'll even need to ban certain firefox plugins that create a download button right above a youtube page for easy pirating. Also, as far as I know, a lot of movie streaming sites are not actually breaking any laws, because they change the movie in some way before they upload it by adding subtitles, changing the sound in some way, etc.

Closing down one website will do nothing.. expect spark some flames in the pirating community.

Edited by Michele Degges
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My point is that to stop pirating, the government will need to shut down thousands of sites. Not only will they have to shut down sites that provide software to make it easy to mass download material (utorrent, limewire, bittorrent, etc), they'll also have to close sites that provide files for downloading (torrentz, thepiratebay, etc), AND video streaming sites (videobb, megavideo, videoweed, etc), and sites like vidtomp3 that convert youtube videos to mp3 files for download. They'll even need to ban certain firefox plugins that create a download button right above a youtube page for easy pirating. Also, as far as I know, a lot of movie streaming sites are not actually breaking any laws, because they change the movie in some way before they upload it by adding subtitles, changing the sound in some way, etc.

Stopping pirating in the broadest sense by eliminating the *possibility* of pirating is the problem in what you're saying. The Internet isn't some magic place; you can connect an actual activity to an individual without the need to make a Big Brother state.

To phrase it literally, nothing can stop pirating outright just as nothing can stop murder outright. A variety of people justify gun restriction laws on the premise that the consequence will be less violence. But respecting rights does far better at establishing a great society, meaning that guns shouldn't be banned. Shutting down websites because piracy is *possible* would be unjustified along similar grounds. As far as I know, Megauploads works like Youtube, where they will take down videos that are violations if the owner of content requests it. Megauploads isn't intended for piracy. Unfortunately, it does make piracy possible, but that doesn't mean it should be shut down. Stopping pirating is possible while still respecting rights, though.

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Stopping pirating in the broadest sense by eliminating the *possibility* of pirating is the problem in what you're saying. The Internet isn't some magic place; you can connect an actual activity to an individual without the need to make a Big Brother state.

I was just throwing around the main sources that I know of that make pirating possible by either 1. providing software, or 2. storing pirated materials that are available for download. I'm not sure what you mean by the bolded statement.

Shutting down websites because piracy is *possible* would be unjustified along similar grounds. As far as I know, Megauploads works like Youtube, where they will take down videos that are violations if the owner of content requests it. Megauploads isn't intended for piracy. Unfortunately, it does make piracy possible, but that doesn't mean it should be shut down. Stopping pirating is possible while still respecting rights, though.

Do you think closing down a site like tpb is unjustified because it only technically makes pirating possible? In other words, does it matter what the site was intended for? In the case of tpb, it was 100% created for the use of pirating and has not been shut down. So when a site that was seemingly not intended for pirating gets shut down, you have to wonder why it was picked out of the crowd. I think that if you're against pirating, you should also be against the sites that provide the ammo to make it happen. There definitely is not a fine line between sites that were intended for the use of pirating and sites that were not.

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it is a real moral question, whether it is right to hack into somebody else's computer or not. I am not sure how to answer that question.

I am not sure whether I misunderstand your question, or you are seriously suggesting that there is any uncertainty about whether it is immoral to hack into other people's computers - that is, to use other people's property against their consent.

I think you are also confusing a DDOS attack with "hacking." Hacking is like breaking into someone's home and using their possessions. A DDOS attack is like blockading the front of a business so customers cannot get in. They are both property rights violations, but of a very different nature.

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Wasn't most of their traffic perfectly legal?

I think its another case of the government only having a hammer and everything it sees being nails.

Actually almost all their activity was illegal. But this is actually irrelevant. What is relevant in this case is that their property was seized and their business shut down without due process. That is unconstitutional and illegal.

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I'm not sure what you mean by the bolded statement.

What I mean is that what you were explaining sounded like "if we want to stop pirating the government has to violate rights, therefore anti-pirating measures are bad", but since you can determine who violates IP, there are certainly ways to go about enforcement fairly besides just pre-emptive law.

Do you think closing down a site like tpb is unjustified because it only technically makes pirating possible? In other words, does it matter what the site was intended for? In the case of tpb, it was 100% created for the use of pirating and has not been shut down. So when a site that was seemingly not intended for pirating gets shut down, you have to wonder why it was picked out of the crowd. I think that if you're against pirating, you should also be against the sites that provide the ammo to make it happen. There definitely is not a fine line between sites that were intended for the use of pirating and sites that were not.

If I'm against murder, should I also be against the weapons that make it possible. No, I'd only have to be against a person buying a weapon *in order* to murder someone. In that sense, intention with any crime matters a lot, and if I suspect someone bought a weapon intended to murder, it's reasonable for law enforcement to investigate that. Also, there are plenty of justified reasons to buy any such weapon besides merely murdering another person, so it's not proper to ban weapons altogether. There is of course a very different context when IP is involved instead of the analogy, but just because you *can* upload pirated content doesn't mean the site must be shut down or is inherently bad. A site made for pirating like tpb should be shut down (based on the information you provided). Why Megauploads was targetted doesn't make particular sense.

Edited by Eiuol
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What I mean is that what you were explaining sounded like "if we want to stop pirating the government has to violate rights, therefore anti-pirating measures are bad", but since you can determine who violates IP, there are certainly ways to go about enforcement fairly besides just pre-emptive law.

This is just speculation, but if the government actually could trace the majority of pirates, wouldn't they be actively using that information? I've seen a few articles about people who had to go to court and were fined a ridiculous amount of money (I think it was like a dollar for each piece of pirated media that was found on their computer).. But for every person caught, there's a million who aren't. It seems like the procedures they have in place are not working as well as they would've liked, so that might be a reason why they want to shut down well-known pirating websites.

Other problems tied into this are your views about the government having the right to close down a website at all, and even your views about government-pressured search engine censorship. This last point could be a way of dramatically reducing the number of people to visit pirating websites. It really just depends on your views about government enabled internet regulations.

Edited by Michele Degges
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