So I guess this means your files are my files and my files are the government's. And those Hollywood movies might not be the movie studios' "property" after all.KimDotCom
is only one battle between the corporate state and us. My entire existence is now one of defiance
-- to politicians, to wars, to god-believers, to climate deniers, and to a US government that at every turn is doing the wrong thing. Whenever someone does have the courage to call bullshit on them, suddenly they disappear into indefinite detention, lose their passport in a foreign country, or the government suddenly passes a new law criminalizing any form of dissent. I can "own" property, but only as long as it can used to incriminate me. And then some [slippery slope] excuse is made for why it's not really my property:
-- You shouldn't have put it in the cloud.
-- You shouldn't have put it on servers.
-- You shouldn't have put it in your email.
-- You shouldn't have put it on your HD (or any other storage device).
In case you haven't noticed, the internet is illegal according to your government. Enjoy it while it's still around.
Relevant links:Files aren’t property, says US governmenthttp://www.theregist..._goodwin_megaupload/Megaupload and the Government's Attack on Cloud Computinghttps://www.eff.org/...tack-cloud-computingRichard Stallman Was Right All Alonghttp://www.osnews.co..._Was_Right_All_AlongThe government maintains that Mr. Goodwin lost his property rights in his data by storing it on a cloud computing service
. Specifically, the government argues that both the contract between Megaupload and Mr. Goodwin (a standard cloud computing contract) and the contract between Megaupload and the server host, Carpathia (also a standard agreement), "likely limit any property interest he may have" in his data. (Page 4). If the government is right, no provider can both protect itself against sudden losses (like those due to a hurricane) and also promise its customers that their property rights will be maintained when they use the service. Nor can they promise that their property might not suddenly disappear, with no reasonable way to get it back if the government comes in with a warrant. Apparently your property rights "become severely limited" if you allow someone else to host your data under standard cloud computing arrangements
. This argument isn't limited in any way to Megaupload -- it would apply if the third party host was Amazon's S3 or Google Apps or or Apple iCloud.
The government's tactics here also demonstrate another chilling thing—if users do try to get their property back, the government won't hesitate to comb through their property to try to find an argument to use against them. The government also seeks to place a virtually insurmountable practical burden on users by asking the court to do a slow-walking, multi-step process that takes place in a far away court. Most third parties who use cloud computing services to store their business records or personal information are not in a position to attend even one court appearance in Virginia, much less the multiple ones the government envisions in its submission to the court.
Ultimately, if the government doesn't feel any obligation to respect the rights of Megaupload's customers—and it clearly doesn't—it's not going to suddenly feel differently if the target of its next investigation is a more mainstream service. The scope of its seizure here was breathtaking and they took no steps to engage in what the law calls "minimization," either before its searches and seizures or afterwards, by taking steps to return property to cloud computing users who it knew would be hurt. And now the government is trying to use standard contractual language to argue that any user of a cloud computing service has, at best, "severely limited" ownership rights in their property