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DOTCOM saga - updates

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...Everyone knows the US is a terrorist police state.
-Renegade (June 29, 2012, 08:48 PM)
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I didn't know this to be a fact, and so I went googling to find out.
EDIT 2012-07-02 1521hrs NZT: This diverting comment was off-topic and @Renegade has since copied the subject of his comment across to the Soap Box, and I have copied this comment there also. Hence the spoiler:
SpoilerThere's a lot of material on this, but one of the best was a post on about the Evansville, Indiana SWAT raid: Police Raid Wrong House, Steal 18-Year-Old Girl's Computer Thanks to Unsecured WiFi Connection
At the bottom of the post it says:
Find more on overzealous police raids, look here, here, here, here, and here.

ReasonTV covered police raids here.

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I followed all the links, and found them quite depressing, but the last one - here - is a YouTube vid of an educational (for me) interview with one Radley Balko who has written a book entitled OVERKILL - The Rise of Paramilitary Police Raids in America (I put in the link to it on Amazon).
DOTCOM saga - updates

The explanation for the paramilitarisation seems quite clear: it's attributable to mistaken political/policy directives regarding "the drug war", and the proliferation of surplus military-grade weapons by the the Pentagon into the police forces. Those dudes have some serious weapons in their armouries now, for example:
DOTCOM saga - updates

So, I can quite see now why some Americans might say that the US has become or is becoming "a police state". There's some substantiation for that, right there. And there seems to be plenty more on the 'net. How sad.
I don't think NZ is remotely like this yet, by the way, and I hope it never will be. The Dotcom raid and ensuing saga is disquieting enough as it is, thanks very much.

Looks like some real wins may be imminent for the MPAA - Using Megaupload Case as Backdoor SOPA/PIPA Scheme.
You may still have time to sign the brief support petition and spread the word before the hearing/decision referred to below.

* To add weight to their plea, a new campaign titled “The Internet vs. Hollywood” is being launched today in which members of the public are invited to add their name as supporter of the brief.
* These are worrying developments according to Demand Progress, not just for Megaupload users, but also for the hundreds of millions of people who store files on Google, Dropbox, Facebook, Tumblr, Instagram, YouTube, Flickr and other online services.
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* 2012-06-28: MPAA Using Megaupload Case as Backdoor SOPA, Court Hears
SpoilerPolitical activist group Demand Progress has filed a brief in the Megaupload case, urging the court to disregard the MPAA’s concerns over the return of data to former Megaupload users. The group argues that Hollywood lobbyists are out to make it impossible for Megaupload users to access their property, effectively using the court case as a backdoor SOPA.

Demand Progress is joining the Megaupload case as a non-party. The group has filed a brief refuting claims made by the MPAA, and asking the Court to consider the many innocent users who are still unable to access their personal files.

The MPAA previously told the court that Megaupload users should only be allowed to get their files back as long as access to copyright-infringing files is blocked. According to Demand Progress this request is practically impossible, against the presumption of innocence, and effectively an attempt to enforce SOPA-like actions through the backdoor.

In the brief the activist group says the MPAA is trying to use the Megaupload case to achieve what Congress rejected earlier this year, when it decided to shelve the SOPA and PIPA bills.

“Legislation that sought to achieve the very results the MPAA now seeks to obtain de facto through mere seizure of Mega Servers — with or without a conviction – was rejected by Congress,” the brief reads.

“Specifically, the failed legislation tried to render inaccessible data on websites that host user-uploaded files, and to do so at the request of private parties like MPAA, without due process for targeted business owners and users.”

Despite the fact that Congress rejected SOPA and PIPA, the MPAA will now get the same secondary liability scheme enforced when the court grants the requests of the movie studios, the group argues.

Demand Progress further tells the court that the MPAA’s request not to allow access to infringing files goes directly against the fundamental principle that Americans are presumed innocent until proven guilty.

“The MPAA reasons property owners should prove their property non-infringing before the Court permits them access to it. This is akin to arguing that when a thief rents a hotel room and is caught, the contents of all of the guests’ luggage should be presumed contraband until proven otherwise. This result would be absurd and unreasonable.”

“On its face, the MPAA’s request is suspect and asks the Court to bootstrap the guilt of parties onto a collateral motion, prior to a judgment,” they add.

These are worrying developments according to Demand Progress, not just for Megaupload users, but also for the hundreds of millions of people who store files on Google, Dropbox, Facebook, Tumblr, Instagram, YouTube, Flickr and other online services.

To add weight to their plea, a new campaign titled “The Internet vs. Hollywood” is being launched today in which members of the public are invited to add their name as supporter of the brief.

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* 2012-06-28: The Internet v. Hollywood - Demand Progress petition
Hollywood attorneys are trying to use the courts to circumvent Congress and implement a backdoor SOPA/PIPA scheme.

Fight Back: YOUR FILES ON Google, Dropbox, Facebook, Tumblr, Instagram, YouTube, Flickr, etc. and even your emails are in jeopardy.

Demand Progress is fighting back in the courts and standing up for Internet users. We are taking on the United States and the MPAA. Please sign up at right to support our legal brief so the court understands that millions of people will be impacted by this decision. The judge is hearing the case TOMORROW.

BACKGROUND: One day after the Internet staged a massive blackout to protest Congress's Internet censorship legislation (SOPA/PIPA), the United States responded by seizing millions of ordinary user files hosted on the popular website

With an aim of shutting down Megaupload and other Cloud-based hosting services (like Dropbox, YouTube or even your email provider), the government is trying to claim website operators should face decades in prison for the misdeeds of some of their users. But while they pursue trumped up criminal charges against the companies' founders, they are shutting down dozens of websites, and leaving ordinary Internet users without any way of retrieving their files.

Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak called the case against Megaupload a "threat to innovation." Wozniak likened the Megaupload site to a highway and those who shared pirated movies and songs to speeding motorists. "You don't just shut down the whole street because somebody is speeding," he said.

Numerous laws on the books already give copyright holders plenty of avenues to stop actual infringement, but that's not enough to satisfy Hollywood's lawyers and lobbyists. The prosecutor in the case, Neil MacBride, previously served as the Anti-Piracy Vice President of the Business Software Alliance, where he represented the intellectual property interests of countless multinational corporations.

Now Hollywood's lobbyists, represented by the Motion Picture Association of America, want him to make it nearly impossible for ordinary Internet users to get their property back.
 NOTE: Your name will appear below as a public supporter of our legal brief.

We do not share your email address without your permission. We will send you updates on this and other important campaigns by email. If at any time you would like to unsubscribe from our email list, you may do so.

The Demand Progress legal brief in United States vs. Kim Dotcom asks the government and all parties to facilitate the return to Megaupload users all files unrelated to the case. Stand with Demand Progress as we advance Internet user rights and fight to prevent the creation of dangerous legal precedent. Sign up to support our action in the Court.


Please join us as we take it to the courts to fight Hollywood -- the hearing is TOMORROW, so please sign up right away. We need to make sure the judge understands just how many people will be affected by his decision.

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* 2012-06-30: Megaupload Judge To Issue Order On Return Of User Data “Shortly”
SpoilerA United States District Judge indicated in a hearing today that a little more time is needed to consider the fate of data uploaded by a Megaupload user and lost when the file-hosting company was closed without warning by U.S. authorities. The user’s case is being championed by the EFF who heard today that an order would be issued “shortly”. Additionally, the judge said he would schedule a hearing to consider Megaupload’s motion to dismiss.
It’s been almost six months since Megaupload’s servers were raided and seized by U.S. authorities, a long time if you have valuable data stored on the companies now-frozen infrastructure.

That’s the predicament sports reporter Kyle Goodwin found himself in after he chose Megaupload as the company to host his videos. Ever since he’s been campaigning for the return of his files with the invaluable help of the EFF. Together they filed a motion demanding a workable solution to enable him, and other users, to regain access to their data.

Today the EFF appeared in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia to continue the fight, in the face of what they describe as a government failure to assist Goodwin and other lawful Megaupload users to retrieve their property.

According to Bloomberg, during the hearing prosecutors argued that users such as Goodwin should be treated as “unsecured creditors” who should file civil actions against either Megaupload itself or Carpathia Hosting, the company where Megaupload housed its rented servers and where the data remains in limbo.

In Court, Assistant U.S. Attorney Andrew Peterson described Megaupload as a service provider as opposed to an entity that holds people’s property. “A file-copying service is what Megaupload provided,” he said.

In response, Judge O’Grady noted that Goodwin wasn’t asking for a service to be restored, but his videos back. “He’s asking for his data back, and that’s property, right?” he said.

O’Grady did not make a decision on return of the data today, but indicated that one will come soon.

“We’ll look at it a little further and issue an order shortly,” he concluded at the end of the hearing.

According to PC World, during the hearing O’Grady rejected a request from Megaupload’s lawyers to challenge the Department of Justice’s seizure of Megaupload assets, describing the request as “premature” while noting he’s still considering their motion to dismiss.

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Everyone knows the US is a terrorist police state.
-Renegade (June 29, 2012, 08:48 PM)
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Maybe this should be taken to the soapbox?  I ignore it for a reason.  I might not believe in everything that the US does, and disagree with quite a bit.  But to stand by while such flamebait is posted?  A little too much to ask.  And I don't want to bring such things into the mainstream of DC- doesn't usually work out.
-wraith808 (June 30, 2012, 12:23 PM)
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Good point. In the future, I'll try to start a topic in Soap Box and simply refer to that there. I know I can be extreme at times.
So, point taken. I'll try to keep it out of the Living Room.
-Renegade (June 30, 2012, 12:33 PM)
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I did not perceive what you said as being worthy of the label "flamebait".
"Dangerous anarchic rebellious speech", perhaps   ;D   -  but I certainly didn't suppose that you were intending to goad anyone to debate the point. On the contrary, it seems that you were just stating your POV.
Everyone - including you and @wraith808 - is entitled to their POV, no matter how wrong they may be.     ;)
And what you said didn't goad me or make me feel obliged to respond either. It was harmless.
-IainB (July 01, 2012, 02:26 AM)
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Perhaps flamebait was too harsh of a word, but the complaint is still valid.  We have a soap box for a reason- for conversations of these types.  Is asking someone to take it there denying them of their ability to respond?  It was also not even tangential to the conversation, i.e. you had to go google to find those particular instances to 'support' your position.  If something isn't part of the conversation, and is brought up, and is likely to bait people... well, perhaps the designation wasn't too far off?  If we didn't have an area, I would have said something in response... or not.  But I used a third option as given by the forum and by my ignoring that area for this very reason because I come here for light conversation and discussion about software and things peripheral to that and coding, which the DOTCOM saga is a part of.  This particular tangent isn't that.


@Renegade has moved this discussion subject across to the Soap Box:
Well, it seems obvious enough to me that the US is a terrorist police state, and I'd posted that in another thread, but it belongs in Soap Box.
I certainly don't mean it as any kind of flamebait. It simply seems obvious. Kind of like "it's dark at night" or "the sun is hot".
-Renegade (July 01, 2012, 09:01 AM)
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I have copied my post there, also.
So we can continue the discussion in that forum.

response to posting aboveNow, it would seem to me obvious what such an intelligent poster had done above by quoting in stream of a topic that's not limited to that section a response from that section had done.  With that in mind, one would have to determine that this was calculated.  I tried above to ask in a nice manner that this be limited to the section that I had purposefully ignored- because people have opinions, and they have the right to voice them, just as others have the right to come to a board dedicated to software and not be assailed by those opinions, whether they agree or disagree with them.  But with that last quote brought from there to here (and the earlier links provided on said subject after it was asked), well, I do have to post this dissenting argument.

via Mirram-Webster
terrorism: The systematic use of terror especially as a means of coercion
police state: A totalitarian state controlled by a political secret police force.

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Though there are acts that are beyond the pale as have been committed by elements in the government (which is not a body, by the way, but a group of individuals, notably, usually ungoverned), it is neither systematic, or totalitarian, nor controlled by a political secret police force.  So yes, I do take objection to the rather heavy handed use of those terms, and no, it's not obvious in the "it's dark at night", or "the sun is hot" manner. 

My response above (and now) is in relation to the already off-topic comments posted in this thread, and still here, after the request was made.  Hopefully, this will end that.  If it's there, I'll neither see, nor reply, and be quite happy at the ignorance of the topic. I don't want to continue discussion, as I didn't want to discuss it originally, and that was all I was asking.  Thanks for moving it there.  :)


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