I make a mention of the date because I believe this is a date that will end up in history books. The department of justice decided to shut down the popular file sharing website calling it a criminal organization because of all the copyright material it hosted. They didn't just close down the site, they had the owner arrested in New Zealand.
Now, megaupload.com is a file sharing site and yes there was a lot of piracy going on there, but there was also a lot of legit legal information there. A lot of people use the site to distribute family videos with other family members or pictures or just plain legal things like Android roms for phones.
The shut down comes a day after websites like Wikipedia and Google had a special day protesting the SOPA and PIPA bills that are trying to become law. The protests actually led a lot of people in our Government to switch positions and oppose the bills. However even without the bills becoming law yet, they go and shut down such an important website.
All these copyright laws they are trying to pass and the reason megauploads was shut down are because of the record labels and movie production companies that feel they could still make a few more million dollars than what they are currently making.
As soon as the Hacker group Anonymous heard about this they had the following to say on Twitter
"One thing is certain: EXPECT US!
After this Anonymous went on to make it's largest attack ever. In less than 2 hours they shut down the following websites:
Department of Justice (Justice.gov)
Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA.org)
Universal Music (UniversalMusic.com)
Belgian Anti-Piracy Federation (Anti-piracy.be/nl/)
Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA.org)
Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI.gov)
HADOPI law site (HADOPI.fr)
U.S. Copyright Office (Copyright.gov)
Universal Music France (UniversalMusic.fr)
Senator Christopher Dodd (ChrisDodd.com)
Vivendi France (Vivendi.fr)
The White House (Whitehouse.gov)
Warner Music Group (WMG.com)
I say January 19th 2012 will be in history because it is the day that the internet fought back. The internet should be freedom. Free speech, free knowledge! Why is it that megaupload has to suffer for the illegal activities of others that use their system? Do car companies suffer because people use the cars for smuggling guns and drugs or doing drive by's or use them ask get away cars? Ford can not police everything people do with their cars, why are internet companies expected to do it?
What about iTunes? The company that makes so much money for the industries that want SOPA and PIPA. With iTunes music match they are taking a lot of pirated music and giving people better versions of it. Google Music hosts a lot of our pirated music, so does Amazon, are they going to be shut down as well?
Think About it
Don't let them take our only source of free speech