U.S. SHUTS DOWN MAJOR FILE-SHARING SITE
- Megaupload, one of the internet's largest file-sharing sites, has been shut down by officials in the U.S. The site's founders have been charged with violating piracy laws, BBC reported.
Federal prosecutors have accused it of costing copyright holders more than $500m in lost revenue. The firm says it was diligent in responding to complaints about pirated material. In response, the hackers group Anonymous has targeted the FBI and U.S. Department of Justice websites.
The news came a day after anti-piracy law protests, but investigators said they were ordered two weeks ago.
The U.S. Justice Department said that Megaupload's two co-founders Kim Dotcom, formerly known as Kim Schmitz, and Mathias Ortmann were arrested in Auckland, New Zealand along with two other employees of the business at the request of U.S. officials. It added that three other defendants were still at large.
"This action is among the largest criminal copyright cases ever brought by the United States and directly targets the misuse of a public content storage and distribution site to commit and facilitate intellectual property crime," said a statement posted on its website.
The FBI website was intermittently unavailable on Thursday, Jan 19 evening due to what officials said was being "treated as a malicious act".
The hackers' group Anonymous said it was carrying out the attacks.
The Motion Picture Association of America's website also suffered disruption.
The charges included copyright infringement, conspiracies to commit racketeering, copyright infringement and money laundering.
A federal court in Virginia ordered that 18 domain names associated with the Hong Kong-based firm be seized.
The Justice Department said that more than 20 search warrants had been executed in nine countries, and that approximately $50m in assets had been seized.
- 1780 The Armenian colony of New Nakhichevan (Rostov, Russia) is founded.
- 1921 Publication in Brussels of Abbot Matern Muret's memoirs. He witnessed the Genocide of the Marash Armenians by the Turks from January 20 to February 11, 1920 as a result of French perfidy. He called the killing of 20000 Armenians during that time enough to make any human insane.
- 1933 Opening of the Spendiaryan State Opera Building in Yerevan.
- 1989 The Supreme Soviet of the USSR establishes a special authority headed by Volsky in Artsakh. This authority is directly subject to the USSR Government rather than to Soviet Azerbaijan. In the summer, a National Council was formed which represented all strata of Artsakhs population.