Update: 7:30 p.m.: Online activists with the group 'Anonymous' struck back after Megaupload was taken down -- using denial of service attacks to shut down the websites of the U.S. Department of Justice, Universal Music, the Motion Picture Association of America, the U.S. Copyright Office, the FBI and the White House.
A spokesman with the group says it was just the first step in their retaliation, and they, along with other groups, plan to target Democratic Congressmen who support the Stop Online Piracy Act as well.
Original Story: 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. The individuals and two corporations were indicted by a grand jury in the Eastern District of Virginia earlier this month of racketeering , copyright infringement, money laundering and copyright infringement.
The Justice Department and the FBI announced they had executed more than 20 search warrants in the United States and eight countries. Law enforcement also targeted sites where Megaupload has servers, including Ashburn, Va. and the District of Columbia.
Seven individuals and two corporations have been charged with running an international organized criminal enterprise allegedly responsible for massive worldwide online piracy of numerous types of copyrighted works, through Megaupload.com and other related sites.
Federal prosecutors say the enterprise has generated more than $175 million in criminal proceeds and caused more than half a billion dollars in harm to copyright owners.
This action is among the biggest criminal copyright cases ever brought by the United States and directly targets the misuse of a public content storage and distribution site to commit and facilitate intellectual property crime.