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    FBI shuts down

    US shuts and arrests founders
    Updated: 10:22, Friday, 20 January 2012

    File-sharing website has been shut down and its founders and several employees have been charged with copyright crimes.

    US authorities have shut down one of the largest file-sharing websites,, and charged its founders and several employees with copyright crimes. went offline last night.

    Officials from the US Department of Justice and FBI have described it as "among the largest criminal copyright cases ever brought by the United States."

    In response, hackers attacked the public websites of the FBI and the US Justice Department, as well as the world's largest music company, Universal Music. All except for Universal Music appeared to have recovered by this morning.

    The announcement of the indictment follows protests by Wikipedia, Google and other websites against congressional legislation intended to crack down on online piracy.

    Hong Kong based Megaupload Ltd and Vestor Ltd have been indicted by a grand jury in Virginia and charged with racketeering conspiracy, copyright infringement and conspiring to commit money laundering.

    New Zealand police raided ten properties in Auckland. They arrested Megaupload founder and sole shareholder of Vestor, Kim Dotcom, also known as Kim Schmitz, who is a German national.

    Police also arrested the website's Chief Marketing Officer Finn Batato and Chief Technical Officer and co-founder Mathias Ortmann, both from Germany, as well as Bram van der Kolk from the Netherlands.

    Three more Megaupload staff have been charged but have not yet been arrested.

    The US Department of Justice and FBI said almost €40 million in assets were seized during the operation along with 18 domain names.

    Conspiracy to commit racketeering and conspiracy to commit money laundering each carry maximum sentences of 20 years in prison, while five years in prison is the maximum punishment for the copyright infringement charges.

    New Zealand police confirmed that the four people arrested would appear in court following a US request for their extradition.
    Excellence is hard to keep quite - Sherrie Coale

    Serious problems getting onto today from here. (UK/Talktalk) (just got in now after trying from 07:30
    Appears most international sites were unavailable and also BBC Radio / Some SMTP services.
    Not sure if it's related to the Anonymous attacks, but possible..