The FBI has lost control of the website Megaupload, which seems to have been auctioned off from under their control.
Anyone who has recently visited Megaupload may be shocked to find that the FBI banners have been taken down. In their place however are “porn, drugs, malware and ad scams” according to Megaupload founder Kim Dotcom in a twitter post. According to TorrentFreak, among the changes was a link to a counterfeit BBC article claiming the iPhone 6 could be purchased for one pound. So what caused the sudden change in the site? In a stunning case of government incompetence, the FBI failed to renew the registration for CIRFU.net, which hosted certain servers and redirected traffic to the site. The moment the registrations expired they were purchased through a GoDaddy auction. Who purchased them? A British ex-pat living in Gibraltar who goes by the names Early Grey and describes himself as a “black hat SEO marketer”.
The ultimate fate of the website is still unknown, and currently Megaupload is down. It is unclear if this is meant to suggest that the site is being wrestled from Earl Grey’s ownership. A reasonably irate Kim Dotcom pinned the blame firmly on the United States Department of Justice. He told TorrentFreak:
With U.S. Assistant Attorney Jay Prabhu the DOJ in Virginia employs a guy who doesn’t know the difference between civil & criminal law. And after this recent abuse of our seized Mega domains I wonder how this guy was appointed Chief of the Cybercrime Unit when he can’t even do the basics like safeguard the domains he has seized
Megaupload was seized by the United States Department of Justice in early 2012. Prior to this failure to renew the sites registration, the sited housed banner informing visitors that the site was a part of an on-going criminal investigation. Kim Dotcom, who founded the site in 2005, has always maintained that the US’ involvement in bringing down his site was a travesty. In 2013, exactly one year after Megaupload was seized, Kim Dotcom launched Mega, a successor of sorts to Megaupload.