Fed Crackdown Panics File-Sharing Sites

Top cyberlocker sites move to restrict usage, some shut down
By Mark Russell,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 25, 2012 2:50 AM CST
Fed Crackdown Panics File-Sharing Sites
This undated image obtained by The Associated Press shows the homepage of the website Megaupload.com. Federal prosecutors in Virginia have shut down one of the world's largest file-sharing sites, Megaupload.com, and charged its founder and others with violating piracy laws.   (AP Photo)

The FBI-led shutdown of Megaupload last week has many of the top file-sharing sites around the world panicking, causing them to shut down their controversial services, reports ABC News. Two—Uploadbox.com and x7.to—are completely closing, while seven others have introduced restrictions. Limits include restricting users' ability to download files to only those they have uploaded themselves, ending "reward" programs, or blocking users with IP addresses from the US, notes TorrentFreak.

“With Megaupload, the sites have gone from cool to criminal all at once,” says one law professor. Sites that thought they were operating a file-sharing operation, now might be "operating a criminal site," he adds. But of course, there are always new sites looking to launch, filling the cyberlock ecosystem that has suddenly emptied. One new sharing site trying to get started in Russia and the Ukraine posted a note on its homepage to Megaupload founder "Kim Dotcom." Thank you, "DotCom for the past years of services," said the message. "We hope you’ll be released as soon as possible. Try to not make that amount of money next time, and it should be all right.” (Read more file sharing stories.)

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