MPs question ministers over Megaupload indictments

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The Green Left party wants to know what Foreign Minister Uri Rosenthal and Security & Justice Minister Ivo Opstelten think about the arrest of a Dutchman, Bram van der Kolk, in Australia and three others at the request of the FBI in connection with the shutting down of the website Megaupload.com this week.

A total of seven people have been indicted for racketeering, various copyright infringements and conspiring to launder money. Four have been arrested, including Megaupload founder and sole investor in Vestor Ltd - Kim Dotcom a.k.a. Vestor, the other three are still at large. Censorship The announcement of the indictment came one day after Wikipedia, Google and other websites staged a protest against congressional legislation intended to crack down on online piracy.

The indictments sparked retaliation from the "Anonymous" hacktivist group, who announced in a tweet that they had downed the websites of the US Justice Department, Universal Music, and the Recording Industry Association of America

Internet users were able to share computer files via Megaupload. “Green Left notes that journalists, bloggers and millions of internet users have been censored by this FBI-coordinated operation,” a spokesperson for the party said on Friday. Green Left MP Arjan El Fassed: “Operations like this cause huge damage to the freedom and openness of the internet.”

The FBI describe the case as: "among the largest criminal copyright cases ever brought by the United States."

20-year sentence The FBI and US Justice Department say the seven suspects are “responsible for mass worldwide piracy of different types of works which have copyright, via sites like Megaupload.” By supplying films, TV programmes and other content they have caused more than 385 million euros worth of damage, says the US Attorney General's office. In addition, the people behind Megaupload have earned 135 million euros.

If found guilty of racketeering and conspiracy to launder money, those arrested face sentences of up to 20 years, infringing copyright carries a five-year sentence.


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