But just as the celebrations began over the saving of Internet Freedom, something else happened: the U.S. Justice Department not only indicted the owners of one of the world???s largest websites, the file-sharing site Megaupload, but also seized and shut down that site, and also seized or froze millions of dollars of its assets ??? all based on the unproved accusations, set forth in an indictment, that the site deliberately aided copyright infringement.
In other words, many SOPA opponents were confused and even shocked when they learned that the very power they feared the most in that bill ??? the power of the U.S. Government to seize and shut down websites based solely on accusations, with no trial ??? is a power the U.S. Government already possesses and, obviously, is willing and able to exercise even against the world???s largest sites (they have this power thanks to the the 2008 PRO-IP Act pushed by the same industry servants in Congress behind SOPA as well as by forfeiture laws used to seize the property of accused-but-not-convicted drug dealers).
Two lessons from the Megaupload seizure