Politicising banking

Written By: - Date published: 7:25 am, March 3rd, 2015 - 110 comments
Categories: Abuse of power, business, capitalism, uncategorized, us politics - Tags: , , , ,

The move against Mega is disturbing:

PayPal pulls services from Mega over legitimacy concerns

PayPal has ceased processing payments for the Kim Dotcom founded Mega – the file storage and encryption firm looking to join the New Zealand stock market via a reverse listing, amid claims it is not a legitimate cloud storage service.

NetNames, a US group with funding from the Motion Pictures Association of America, was claiming its services were not legitimate or legally compliant which was then used by US senator Patrick Leahy to pressure Visa and Mastercard to stop processing users’ payments for the Auckland-based service, Mega said in a statement. PayPal, the online payment system, was in turn pressured by the credit card companies to cease payments as well.

So Big Hollywood can now shut down banking services for anyone they don’t like? It certainly looks that way. From Mega’s blog:

MEGA provided extensive statistics and other evidence showing that MEGA’s business is legitimate and legally compliant. After discussions that appeared to satisfy PayPal’s queries, MEGA authorised PayPal to share that material with Visa and MasterCard. Eventually PayPal made a non-negotiable decision to immediately terminate services to MEGA. PayPal has apologised for this situation and confirmed that MEGA management are upstanding and acting in good faith. PayPal acknowledged that the business is legitimate, but advised that a key concern was that MEGA has a unique model with its end-to-end encryption which leads to “unknowability of what is on the platform”.

MEGA has demonstrated that it is as compliant with its legal obligations as USA cloud storage services operated by Google, Microsoft, Apple, Dropbox, Box, Spideroak etc, but PayPal has advised that MEGA’s “unique encryption model” presents an insurmountable difficulty.

Commenting on the above, here’s techdirt:

Paypal Cuts Off Mega Because It Actually Keeps Your Files Secret

That last line is particularly bizarre, given that if anyone recognizes the value of encryption it should be a freaking payments company. And, of course, Paypal can’t know what’s stored on any of those other platforms, so why is it being pressured to cut off Mega?

And, this all goes back to this dangerous effort by the White House a few years ago to set up these “voluntary agreements” in which payment companies would agree to cut off service to sites that the entertainment industry declared “bad.” There’s no due process. There’s no adjudication. There’s just one industry getting to declare websites it doesn’t like as “bad” and all payment companies refusing to serve it. This seems like a pretty big problem.

This is a very slippery slope indeed. But I guess the politicisation of banking is one way to drive people to Bitcoin.

110 comments on “Politicising banking”

  1. Sable 1

    This speaks to the heart of US economic imperialism. They can intimidate who they like and ruin businesses that don’t play along. All with the approval of the so called leaders of vassal states like New Zealand.

    The result is stifled innovation and failed businesses that could stand to make this country substantial money.

  2. saveNZ 2

    Disgusting. Be very afraid, because justice and a fair trial, innocent until proven guilty is under attack in this test case. You might not care about Dotcom, but this is just a pre curser to harass any person or company on the bequest of the US government.

    Look at what is going on over in the US, the police constantly shooting black Americans, state sanctioned torture, invasions of countries without UN backing, corporate warfare, corporate welfare and now this attack on the right to justice on the basis of unproven allegations from a media studio, who is a competitor to Dotcom in a country where the guy did not even have offices.

  3. Colonial Rawshark 3

    but PayPal has advised that MEGA’s “unique encryption model” presents an insurmountable difficulty.

    Well done Kim Dotcom. This shows that you and your guys have created an encryption system which the NSA (and GCSB) finds extremely expensive and time consuming to crack.

    As to the point of this post – imagine when TPTB decide that they don’t like your politics as an individual, a household, or as a political party, and they arbitrarily cut your access to payment and transaction systems – with no route for appeal. With the vast majority of most peoples funds kept electronically, this is a debilitating attack which they can launch on a person or entity with just a few key strokes.

    Its exactly what they have threatened entire countries with, now brought to bear against entrepreneurial companies and innovators.

    This is exactly what a security and surveillance state looks like.

    • Chooky 3.1

      +100…”Well done Kim Dotcom. This shows that you and your guys have created an encryption system which the NSA (and GCSB) finds extremely expensive and time consuming to crack”.

    • Liberal Realist 3.2

      “This is exactly what a security and surveillance state looks like.”

      +100

      • saveNZ 3.2.1

        First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out—
        Because I was not a Socialist.
        Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out—
        Because I was not a Trade Unionist.
        Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out—
        Because I was not a Jew.
        Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me.

        When 70 armed defenders arrest a guy for a unproved ‘civil’ matter, take away his ability to fight in court by removing his income at the bequest of a hollywood studio with ties to the government, who is trying to deport him to a country where he is not a citizen or had offices, then something is very wrong in the world.

        This case is not about Dotcom, this case is not about national security, this case is about US corporate interests over freedom and justice and soverignty and whether we still have it in NZ.

  4. Lefty 4

    What do you mean ‘the politicisation of banking’.

    Banking has always been political and used as a weapon by various political forces.

    For example the US banking system has just made it almost impossible for overseas remittances to be made to Somalia. Millions face starvation as a result.

    That is important.

    Rich pricks falling out is not.

    • Colonial Rawshark 4.1

      Rich pricks falling out is not.

      I think you’re ignoring how important the fight against the security surveillance state is to our democracy.

      • Lefty 4.1.1

        I don’t think I am underestimating the importance the increased intensity of surveillance by the state.

        Or indeed the scary growth of surveillance by private interests, driven by ready access to sophisticated technology.

        Surveillance by the state and business impinge increasingly on the liberty of us all.

        I think it is important to differentiate between the squabbles of the ruling class, and how they use the state apparatus against each other now and then, and the rights of citizens generally.

        Otherwise we risk wasting a lot of energy on defending the rights of people who have no respect for the rights of others and are part of the very oppressive system that is driving the surveillance in the first place.

        The surveillance state has always been there. It has simply been intensified by access to sophisticated technology, the growth in the power of the ruling class and the current imperatives of the capitalist economy.

        • Liberal Realist 4.1.1.1

          “Otherwise we risk wasting a lot of energy on defending the rights of people who have no respect for the rights of others and are part of the very oppressive system that is driving the surveillance in the first place.”

          The attack on Mega appears to be due to unique methods of end-to-end encryption as per the comment from techdirt.

          The methods and technologies specific to Mega’s encryption must have been deemed a threat by the NSA et al and evidently Hollywood. The right to robust encryption must be defended, even if it results in defending companies or individuals such as Mega or KDC.

          It’s the principal that counts IMO. If Hollywood can (seemingly quite easily) use what is effectively a lobby group to pressure payment companies to withdraw services from the likes of Mega, they can do it to anyone.

    • One Anonymous Bloke 4.2

      Banking has always been political and used as a weapon by various political forces.

      ^
      This.

    • Saying this isn’t news is fine, but it’s still important when they think they can do this essentially on a guilty-until-proven-innocent model. That’s not a law, that’s a witch-hunt. If copyright holders find proving infringement too hard, perhaps they’ve got a service problem on their hands rather than an infringement problem.

  5. vto 5

    police state
    police state

    oi oi oi

    the brownshirts are back ……..

    …………………………..

    we are constantly assailed by small (and not so small in this case) attacks on our freedoms and rights.

    we have been boiled like the proverbial frog in a heating pot

    it is in fact all over bar the shouting

    it
    is
    all
    over

  6. Alex 6

    This is a fairly common practice by the US. I worked for an NZ online pharmacy that was selling into the US. They were constantly having to find new payment methods as Visa and Mastercard kept blocking payments.

    There really needs to be a independent payment processing system free of US corporate interference.

    • Chooky 6.1

      +100…maybe Dotcom can get into this as well …people need and want another alternative

      ie “There really needs to be a independent payment processing system free of US corporate interference”.

      • Lloyd 6.1.1

        I’m sure the Chinese empire can generate a suitable alternative.

        • Chooky 6.1.1.1

          that wasn’t what I had in mind…but my bottom line is a bank that is government guaranteed…honest…. , doesnt play funny money games with peoples honest hard earned savings ….and doesnt steal my nest eggs, or any one elses

          ….on existing bankster form this seems rather hard to achieve…shouldnt be ….but is ….because it would seem banks are run by white collar crooks

      • Chooky 6.2.1

        +100..thanks for that…interesting

        …also i have read that in the last 2008 financial banking crisis it was Muslim Banks (which don’t charge interest and speculate ) which remained stable and were not adversely affected ….given the corruption of banks in the West …these other banks may be an attractive alternative eventually

        • Colonial Rawshark 6.2.1.1

          Clinton repealed the Glass Steagal act, which was Depression era legislation preventing ordinary savings and commercial banks from acting like “investment banks” which were able to do all kinds of share trading, derivatives, financial speculation etc. That allowed all banks to engage in far riskier activities. The removal of Glass Steagal (touted as “cutting red tape”) was a key building block of GFC 1.

          The banks upon which ordinary society and ordinary “Main St” small businesses are founded on need to be boring, low profit, low risk, routine banks.

          What we have now are financial parasites sucking billions out of NZ’s real economy every year. But fortunately NZ banks don’t get into this high risk financial speculation activity as much as other countries. It’s their Aussie parent banks that I am worried about.

          • Mike S 6.2.1.1.1

            “..need to be boring, low profit, low risk, routine banks.”

            They should be no profit rather than low profit. Banks should be publicly owned and exist only to help us manage our money and financial dealings. They should only be allowed to collect enough money through fees to cover their costs. The “profit” from banks would be in the form of things such as more jobs in the economy through businesses finding it financially easier to expand, eg very low or even 0% interest loans. And in the form of first home buyers having more money in their pockets to invest in businesses or to spend into the economy because they aren’t buying two houses worth of interest on their mortgages. The list could go on and on but the “non money” profits in terms of the benefits to society, the economy and individuals would be massive.

            That’s why I was gutted when Kiwibank was set up to behave just like the foreign owned banks and compete with them rather than blowing them out of the water.

            • Colonial Rawshark 6.2.1.1.1.1

              Not for profit banking is not a bad idea at all. Banking which puts its profits into providing community assets is also not a bad idea at all.

              Imagine Westpac’s billion and a half of profit every year being invested in jobs and low cost housing around the country.

              Too radical for most to stomach perhaps.

  7. grumpystilskin 7

    Same thing has happened with a lot of legitimate herb shops in states that have decriminalised pot. Some banks won’t take their money as it’s all cash transactions and still against federal law even though individual state laws can allow it. I meet a dude who couldn’t bank his legal pot shop profits..
    Also, paypal is well known for seizing funds and not passing it on, look it up. They have several hundred dollars of mine and refuse to give it to me as they don’t recognise my online shop as being a legitimate business. (it’s a sideline hobby/business, gst reg and all above board but despite emailing all the paperwork asked for, they won’t release the funds.)
    Politicised money control isn’t a new thing, Paypal stopped accepting donations to Julian Assange a while ago and local lad Vinny Eastwood of guerrilla media has had funds seized too..

    • Colonial Rawshark 7.1

      Some banks won’t take their money as it’s all cash transactions and still against federal law even though individual state laws can allow it. I meet a dude who couldn’t bank his legal pot shop profits..

      They should’ve used HSBC, Citi or Wachovia…

  8. Bill 8

    Old 10CC lyric that would seem to apply to modern banking services in this ‘free market’…

    Everyone’s going to be free
    But they’ll have to agree to be free
    They’ll have to agree
    To be less free than me
    Cause I rule the world you see

  9. millsy 9

    Speaking of bitcoin — I wouldnt recommend going into bitcoin mining. I purchased two bitcoin mining dongles last year for a total of $60, and after a month of mining, I realised that it would be the best part of a decade before I even recoup the cost of the hardware. So I pulled the plug.

    • Colonial Rawshark 9.1

      Yep you had to be into bitcoin mining at least 2 years ago to get anywhere with it

      There are outfits in China which use rooms full of server racks as bitcoin mining tools…

  10. BLiP 10

    This isn’t a new thing, remember. Paypal has serious form on this method of bringing dissidents into line. So does the Bank of America, Visa, Mastercard and a smattering of other financial institutions. Hopefully, some will come to learn their lesson. In the meantime, apropos of nothing in particular, I’ll just leave these here . . .

    Windows Version 4.0.4 – Windows 8, 7, Vista, and XP

    https://www.torproject.org/download/download-easy.html?os=WINNT&arch=x86-gcc3#win

    Download for Mac

    https://www.torproject.org/download/download-easy.html?os=WINNT&arch=x86-gcc3#mac

    Download for GNU/Linux

    https://www.torproject.org/download/download-easy.html?os=WINNT&arch=x86-gcc3#linux

    Low Orbit Ion Cannon

    http://sourceforge.net/projects/loic/

    . . . for those who know what their doing and want to do what little we can, because we can.

    • infused 10.1

      Tor is a great way to land you on the gcsb ‘watch’ list.

      The connectivity from NZ is horrible as well.

      • Colonial Rawshark 10.1.1

        Yep, chances are if you use Tor or any serious form of encryption, or use services like MEGA (like I do occasionally) additional attention will be directed to you. So be it. This is what living in a security and surveillance state is like, after all.

        • infused 10.1.1.1

          Not really. There’s only a few reasons people use Tor.

          Child Pornography
          Piracy
          Drugs

          • BLiP 10.1.1.1.1

            The seemingly casual use lies to inject the worst possible ad homs – paedophile, thieves, and druggies – against those who seek to protect and promote on-line privacy is the mark of a coward and useful idiot. Here, learn something, if its not too late for you . . .

          • One Anonymous Bloke 10.1.1.1.2

            …political activism, freedom of speech and assembly, and silly me, so far as you’re concerned they’re criminal activities too.

            Funny how the Right, which would have funded Tor to fight Communism, can’t stand it being used to resist Fascism.

            • infused 10.1.1.1.2.1

              I used Tor in it’s hayday before it became the steaming pile of shit it is today. There are far better networks out there that are stricter on this content and have faster connectivity.

              • Colonial Rawshark

                What anonymity networks are you referring to?

              • Tracey

                can you see how your post here could be put with you post up there (1235pm) and used as an admission by you?

                • Colonial Rawshark

                  LOL!!!

                  Infused’s claim that only criminals and perverts appreciate the value of privacy reflects rather badly on himself eh.

                • McFlock

                  deary deary me…

                • infused

                  Only if you are technology illiterate.

                  • One Anonymous Bloke

                    Infused, we need to know: were you using Tor to deal drugs, steal copyrighted material, or associate with Prominent New Zealanders?

                  • Tracey

                    so were you lying in the 1235 post or the 245 pm post?

                    • Gosman

                      Steady on. He did state he used it before it became a ‘steaming pile of shit’. This might mean that in his opinion at that time the use was legitimate and now it isn’t.

          • Murray Rawshark 10.1.1.1.3

            Silly infused. That’s only your Tory mates.

          • Liberal Realist 10.1.1.1.4

            How about privacy? I use TOR for this very reason.

        • David H 10.1.1.2

          I use Mega so store photo’s of my son, and because I got 50 gigs free. I also use Dropbox for the same reason. Now it looks like I’ll have to d/load all the pics back from Mega as god knows what’ll happen there next. I only went there because of the free space same as drop box, so if that lands me on some list so what.

          • Colonial Rawshark 10.1.1.2.1

            Just note that Dropbox gives the NSA direct access to all information stored therein.

            Any truly valuable photos should be developed into physical prints.

    • Anno1701 10.2

      Im a “one time pad” man my self 😉

      https://www.fourmilab.ch/onetime/otpjs.html

      • nadis 10.2.1

        sorry anno to rain on your parade – but from a statisticians point of view if it says “pseudorandom” and uses a seed it is not a one time pad. Also if you’re accessing it through javascript you should presume it is compromised.

        True one time pads use things like background cosmic noise, radioactive decay etc.

  11. nukefacts 11

    This is totally outrageous. It’s only happening for two reasons – to destroy Dotcom’s income stream so the US (and our) legal system can wear him down and deport him to the US, and to send a message that the US will slap down anyone who uses strong end-to-end encryption.

    This fascistic behaviour has to stop. We are supposed to live in a democracy with politicians and officials subject to the will of the people, not the will of the Motion Picture Association of America and the NSA.

    For heavens sake, Viacom (a member of the MPAA) were themselves placing their own content illegally on Youtube when they were taking Youtube to court for supposedly allowing pirated content!

    This is the moral and ethical nature of these people – they just can’t be trusted and they must be stopped.

    • David H 11.1

      And this now will have a lot of people like me worried that they’ll kill the Mega site and there go all my files. just like last time and No one even said sorry . So this put’s a load on the company as paying customers could start cancelling accounts because You just cannot trust the Americans at all. Also someone needs to tell them most of their TV and movies are rubbish. Forget the TV guide Just look at the top pirated TV series/movies to see what’s worth watching.

      • Colonial Rawshark 11.1.1

        I’m going to keep supporting MEGA. I reckon the USA is in the process of losing a tonne of international high tech contracts as people are realising how compromised their technology and their approaches is.

  12. wyndham 12

    And just for a bit of banking levity . . . . from the poms . . .

    http://www.buggerthebankers.com/

    • greywarshark 12.1

      Bit of play on words – protesters loitering with-in-tent – pup tents abound in the woods with singing protesters bursting at the seams. It’s a war of words and welfare, and songs like this are needed to keep the spirits up and the campaigners in harmony.

  13. Gosman 13

    Transaction processing is not Banking.

    • Colonial Rawshark 13.1

      I was going to point out the same thing earlier, but close enough. Transaction processing, transaction routing, clearance and settlement, commercial banking, are all different parts of a very complex financial infrastructure. The key point to understand that it is now all being weaponised.

      • infused 13.1.1

        Give me a break. PayPal has been doing this since inception.

        • Colonial Rawshark 13.1.1.1

          PayPal has been used as a politically oriented financial weapon since inception? Doesn’t surprise me after what they did to Wikileaks.

          • infused 13.1.1.1.1

            Great twist of words.

            PayPal has been fucking people over since inception. They couldn’t care less who they are.

            That’s why you don’t use them.

  14. infused 14

    PayPal isn’t a bank. Please educate yourself.

    PayPal don’t give a fuck about anyone, period. They seize and shut down accounts all the time.

    • Colonial Rawshark 14.1

      Basically, it’s an arm of the imperial government, even reluctantly perhaps.

    • vto 14.2

      Whats your useless point?

      • infused 14.2.1

        PayPal is it’s own entity. It doesn’t give a shit about the govt, kim, mega or anyone. Trying to link this to banks is [r0b: abelist insult deleted].

        • Draco T Bastard 14.2.1.1

          And yet they caved to pressure from Hollywood, Visa, Mastercard and a US senator. Seems that they care about something.

        • Colonial Rawshark 14.2.1.2

          PayPal is it’s own entity. It doesn’t give a shit about the govt, kim, mega or anyone. Trying to link this to banks is retarded.

          Wrong

          Financial institutions and intermediaries like PayPal have strict anti-terrorism and intelligence requirements that they must meet. They must meet all National Security Directives given to them or their executives risk being imprisoned. (Look at Quest’s Joseph Nacchio as an example).

    • Draco T Bastard 14.3

      PayPal don’t give a fuck about anyone, period. They seize and shut down accounts all the time.

      You do realise that PayPal shut down payments to Mega because of Visa and Mastercard which had pressure from Hollywood and US state senators don’t you?

      And, yes, it’s probably true that Paypal just don’t care about anybody – that’s normal behaviour for corporations which tend to the psychopathic.

      • Chooky 14.3.1

        ..just who runs Hollywood anyway?….i thought film producers and creative people were nice people?

  15. reason 15

    Mega needs to accept bitcoin as payment but at a 15-20% discount over normal cash as you pay about that much over the official trading rate when you buy bitcoins.

    https://localbitcoins.com/

    John key and the nats will be loving this latest attack on Dotcom………..

    Under this national government our customs service is engaging in sexual assault and harassment against females entering the country who are visiting Kim Dotcom ……

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10830683

    Which when you think about it makes appointing Sabin as head of the Law & Justice committee quite a natural thing to do from national…………

    Abuse of power turns them on.

  16. Rolf 16

    For us who are a bit older, this gives creepy feelings. It was exactly so the Third Reich, the Nazis, acted. The interfered in the banking business to eliminate anyone they did not like. Now we have and living with the Fourth Reich.

    • Chooky 16.1

      +100…and their aim was seizing and stealing people’s assets ….this is why we must have an alternative system to PayPal …and Dotcom was providing an alternative system but in secure computing communications and cloud storage…so agreed what is happening is really economic sabotage and fascism

      …but by whom?…these people must be outed

  17. esoteric pineapples 17

    Best way to neutralise your enemy is to shut off their access to any form of income.

  18. Old Mickey 18

    The move against Mega is disturbing ? REALLY ? Delighted that PayPal have recognised the risk in aiding the systemised theft that Mega encourages and profits from.

    • Draco T Bastard 18.1

      Mega has shown that it is fully legal and conforms with legal takedown requests so I hope you can back up that assertion.

    • Colonial Rawshark 18.2

      Can you not read? You know, the part which said PayPal accepts that MEGA is a bona fide business conducting legitimate business activities?

      • nadis 18.2.1

        Some things don’t add up here:

        – I thought Kim DotCom had nothing to do with Mega? Didn’t he make a big song and dance a while a go about selling out of Mega and having nothing to do with it as his presence was a “distraction”?

        – how would Mastercard and Visa have any idea whether Paypal was (or was not) providing payment services to Mega? There is literally no way for them to know unless told by Paypal.

        – If Paypal really have admitted in a letter that Mega is legitimate but they are restricting services just because they can, why is Mega not suing Paypal? Like Rapidshare did.

        Paypal has cut of tons of filesharing sites in the past if they think they are aiding piracy. Whether the law is correct or not (I think not) Paypal is subject to it as a US company and would err on the side of caution.

        Mega is also being disingenuous. When it was launched, and someone raised the “child pornography” chestnut, Dotcom was quoted along the lines of “We will delete any content like that”. Question I had at the time was how can they identify child pornography files if the encryption is beyond the control of Mega.

        And lastly, how anyone (who has a tiny bit of computer literacy), commenting on this thread, say with a straight face that Mega is not designed to facilitate sharing of copyrighted files? That makes you a fool at best.

        Here’s a challenge: Go and find a copy of (say) episode 4 of season 2 of Star Trek the next Generation on Youtube, Dropbox or any other similar corporate style cloud based storage service. I find it within 90 seconds on Mega.

        See?

        https://db.tt/T0k4uJAp

        Doo you seriously think Paypal really wrote in a letter they think Mega is legit? I certainly don’t – but if anyone can link to the actual letter (not just Mega’s comments) I would be happy to stand corrected.

        The Mega business model would fail completely if Mega was serious about privacy. You can find pretty much anything on Mega. I don’t agree with many of the laws governing privacy and copyright, but so long as service providers exist in a US jurisdiction, players like Mega will struggle as their entire business model is geared around profiting from piracy, and service providers become liable if they continue to deal with them.

        Give me the name of any faintly popular movie, music or tv program and I’ll find it on Mega. Better yet test it yourself. For directories just google “mega links” or similar.

        • Draco T Bastard 18.2.1.1

          1. True, KDC no longer has anything to do with Mega
          2. Easy, they go onto Mega’s web site and open an account and check the payment options.
          3. Good question. I suspect that now that the Being Nice bit has come to an end that such will now happen.
          4. Not necessarily. If someone has the link and proves that it goes to illegal content then Mega can easily remove it.
          5. That wouldn’t be the same malware link that James posted would it?

          At this moment in time I’ve now become bored with constructively pointing out how bloody stupid you are.

          • nadis 18.2.1.1.1

            Lucky you don’t come across as overly sanctimonious.

            You can obviously choose to address or not address the substance of the questions I raise rather than being facile, here goes:

            – If Dotcom is no longer involved in Mega as a shareholder, director or empoyee, how can this paypal action be a direct attack on Dotcom and his finances like so many are suggesting?

            – the Mega model clearly facilitates piracy. So many times we have heard Dotcom, Mega or their sycophants say”but it is just like dropbox”. Well no it isnt. I challenge anyone to find a site that indexes pirated files on dropbox. There are zillions for Mega – including dodgy, malware infected cesspits like Reddit. If Mega was serious, they would take the same actions as Dropbox. Mega also does the Megaupload workaround of deleting links to files but not files themselves – so 100 links to a file, one DCMA take down notice, 99 links remain.

            • Draco T Bastard 18.2.1.1.1.1

              If Dotcom is no longer involved in Mega as a shareholder, director or empoyee, how can this paypal action be a direct attack on Dotcom and his finances like so many are suggesting?

              Interestingly enough, it seems to be an ongoing attack due to KDC being a shareholer at some point and the fact tat it uses end to end encryption.

              Well no it isnt. I challenge anyone to find a site that indexes pirated files on dropbox.

              There’s no indexing of files on Mega via Mega. Consider the fact that people can share their files on Google across the internet using links. All somebody needs to do then is to use a web crawler to find those links and they can then produce an index. Nothing Google or any cloud service does has anything to do with that and I doubt it can be stopped.

              Are you going to call for all cloud services to be shut down due to piracy? Because that’s the only way that you could stop it.

              Mega also does the Megaupload workaround of deleting links to files but not files themselves – so 100 links to a file, one DCMA take down notice, 99 links remain.

              I hope you’ve got proof of that assertion.

          • Mike S 18.2.1.1.2

            3. Not really a good question.

            Firstly it would depend if there was any breach of contract, and I doubt very much there was any sort of binding contract as it’s pretty much always the service provider that dictates terms.

            What could they possibly sue them for otherwise ? There’s no law that says a private company has to provide services to any other company and they certainly don’t have to provide a reason as to why not. They can choose whoever they want to have as clients, just like (on a smaller scale) a bank doesn’t have to let you open an account with them if they don’t want to.

            You can’t force a private company as to which customers they must provide a service for.

            • Draco T Bastard 18.2.1.1.2.1

              True but this highlights another problem with having the control of our monetary system in private hands. People with an axe to grind can cause innocent people considerable strife and there’s no legal comeback or protection for them.

  19. reason 19

    Buying bitcoins and paying for a Mega subscription could all take place within 1 hour or so …………making the price fluctuations more or less irrelevant to potential customers of Mega.

    However the abuse of power directed against KD and people who know him comes from a ‘Sabin’ mindset which this government rules by.

    The roastbusters are not criminals …………

    Yet kim Dotcom is our biggest criminal ( judging by the police raids, FBI etc )

    Our brighter future looks rather sick to me ………………..

  20. Steve Withers 20

    Ideally, there would be a banking alternative to the corrupt US at the centre….but there isn’t.

    Our government is happy about that.

    They did this to Wikileaks, too, but very soon alternative methods of channeling money to Wikileaks opened up. People resist this sort of tyranny.

  21. James 21

    This is a hard one. On one hand (and this hurts 😉 ) – I actually agree with most of you on this.

    However.

    There is a lot of pirated material on Mega. Huge amounts. And its very easy to **distribute** from.

    Example: http://_megasearch.co/ and have a look around. 000’s of movies and television shows right there to download.

    Now – I dont believe that there is anything like this for Dropbox, box.com or the other storage companies. (happy to be proven wrong tho).

    So Paypal – can get evidence from other companies that they can stop distribution (example – load a file on dropbox that has had its fingerprint ‘tagged’ as pirated material – and you cannot share it – thus stopping the distribution moving forward).

    Proof in the pudding – challenge to all – find one other “proper” storage provider where you can search and download the amount of pirated material that you can on mega.co.nz via megasearch.

    On the other hand – should PayPal be the “policemen” on this – or are they simply preventing themselves being caught up in the next case?

    Edit – to disclose – Not a fan of Kim Dotcom, but appreciate the technology his team built – and I’m one of the very small %age of paid users.

    [lprent: Avoid the link. It is a site full of malware, and which has absolutely noting to do with Mega. Banned for two weeks for putting up a malware link. Check the frigging link rather than falling over your third leg with all of that amateur geek excitement. ]

    • Colonial Rawshark 21.1

      Firstly, that bullshit spamware/browser hijacker link you provided “megasearch” is nothing to do with MEGA. Thanks for linking to it you loser.

      Secondly, due to its comprehensive encryption MEGA has no idea what files are being stored on its systems, and cannot decrypt them itself.

      Thirdly, guilt by association is the hallmark of a totalitarian state. You shouldn’t buy into it.

    • Gareth 21.2

      82,968 files listed in that dodgy search engine as being on Mega to be exact, if you believe it. A lot of them are the same download split into multiple files. For comparison, last year the Pirate Bay had around 3,000,000 active downloads, a lot of those were composed of multiple files.

      Not all files listed as being on Mega are movies and TV, and approx 90% of the content listed is non-english.

      Even if that figure is accurate, and I’m sure its not, that’s a tiny fraction of the legit content hosted by Mega and almost impossible to pro-actively police. The only realistic option for Mega, which they’ve already said that they do, is take-downs when notified of infringing content.

  22. Chooky 22

    so why are they picking on Dotcom again?…when they are doing it in Australia…if secrecy is good enough for Australian politicians….why not the rest of us?

    http://rt.com/news/236841-australian-politicians-use-wickr/

    • Colonial Rawshark 22.1

      Remember, in the security and surveillance state, the citizens are not to know anything about what their government is doing, and the government is to know everything about what the citizens are doing. At all times.

      Dotcom is being targeted to be made into an example. He pissed off some big US entertainment corporates, and is now creating technology getting in the way of mass surveillance.

      • nadis 22.1.1

        How’s Dotcom being targeted? Last I saw he was not a director of Mega, nor a shareholder.

        • Rolf 22.1.1.1

          If he is not a director or shareholder, the US sharks have more difficult to snatch his money in the company.

          • nadis 22.1.1.1.1

            Hmmmm Rolf. Maybe you should familiarise yourself with the companies act. If Dotcom is not a shareholder nor a lender to Mega, it is not his money in the company.

            Now, he may have come up with an illegal (illegal because if youar the beneficial owner of a company you need to disclose that) agreement with his wife where she became an owner of Mega, and she would pass on distributions to Kim, but the downside of that type of agreement is that it isn’t enforcable. So when Mona runs off with a toyboy and ignores previous agreement with Kim, he has no remedy. It all belongs to her. It’s kind of like an inverse pre-nuptial agreement.

            And painting Dotcom as a defender of internet freedom – please, that is just his latest reincarnation. I have no problem with his motivation – enrich yourself anyway you can, though I disagree with his tactics and disregard for the law.

            Despite Dotcom’s unclaimed reward for breaking his encryption, numerous people have pointed out serious deficiencies in the Mega encryption methodology. And for you, a user, to trust an encryption method for your data means you have to trust the people that established that standard. Do you trust Dotcom and his merry band of colleagues to a) get it right technically, and b) implement it honestly? I sure don’t.

            What regulatory oversight of their activity is there? Who audits their systems? Who has peer reviewed their encryption methodology? Mega uses client side encryption – that’s probably secure until you interact with the Mega server – then your encryption can be compromised if Mega is not trustworthy or their server is compromised.

            A question I’d love to have answered. Mega has the right to delete a file if it is identical to another file stored on Mega and move your link to point ot the other file. From their terms of service:

            8 Our service may automatically delete a piece of data you upload or give someone else access to where it determines that that data is an exact duplicate of original data already on our service. In that case, you will access that original data.

            How can they have this ability if the client side encryption really works?

            I would also assume that state surveillance agencies are capable of seeing what they want to on Mega. To assume anything else is foolish.

            • Mike S 22.1.1.1.1.1

              “Hmmmm Rolf. Maybe you should familiarise yourself with the companies act. If Dotcom is not a shareholder nor a lender to Mega, it is not his money in the company.”

              Maybe you should do some familiarising yourself. He could quite easily own other companies or trusts in NZ or elsewhere which are shareholders in Mega.

    • Rolf 22.2

      The US financial sharks have created the world’s biggest man in the middle clip the ticket scam system called the copyright industry. Men like Kim is threatening that system and the mafia that runs it by creating a system that allows the creators, musicians and artists, to go directly to the consumer and eliminate the middle man. The Chinese has already done it, artists go directly to the consumer via the web, and it would be a nightmare for the US copyright industry just to let him go loose. He needs to be eliminated. The last century mafia used machine guns, the modern variety use the courts as a threat, intimidation and warning to others not to try. The system works just like the mafia system previous in the US with protection money, which they fought long and hard to keep. Roles that Marlon Brandon played are good illustrator, take a look at films as Godfather or On the waterfront.

      • saveNZ 22.2.1

        Totally agree. This is like the tobacco industry using every means possible (lobbying, courts etc) to stifle competition.

        There is nothing stopping Warners putting up their own ‘Mega’. As someone has previously mentioned the copy write case has already been won when Viacom sued you tube (Google) and lost. File sharing is not a crime.

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Viacom_International_Inc._v._YouTube,_Inc.

        Warners can just ask Mega to take down material if they believe it is in breach of copy write. That is the legal way to do it. Not actually lobby the US to send our man in Wellington, 70 armed defenders to take him down, and following that try to knock out his business. Even worse prior to the case being heard, taking out his assets so he can’t defend himself?

        If Dotcom was Google then the Warner’s would not be suing him. Warners is taking on a small private non US business (Mega), because it is easier to intimidate and win, especially when you have the NZ government lapdog, doing your bidding at the NZ taxpayer expense.

        Not sure what that means for the future of the Internet though and any non US IT workers or business owners with a global on line business?

  23. James 23

    Understood that I’m banned so I guess only mods will send this.

    No need for the insult, but do apologise for the mail ware link – it was not deliberate.

    [lprent: Insulting just relieves my irritation at having to ban. It is too much of an effort to be nice about it. ]

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    2 weeks ago
  • Cleaning up the water
    Today the government released its Action Plan for Healthy Waterways, aimed at cleaning up our lakes and rivers. Its actually quite good. There will be protection for wetlands, better standards for swimming spots, a requirement for continuous improvement, and better standards for wastewater and stormwater. But most importantly, there's a ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Fronting up
    Today I appeared before the Environment Committee to give an oral submission on the Zero Carbon Bill. Over 1,500 people have asked to appear in person, so they've divided into subcommittees and are off touring the country, giving people a five minute slot each. The other submitters were a mixed ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Politics of science – making a silk purse out of a sow’s ear
    Anti-fluoride activists have some wealthy backers – they are erecting billboards misrepresenting the Canadian study on many New Zealand cities – and local authorities are ordering their removal because of their scaremongering. Many New Zealanders ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Democracy – I Don’t Think So
    So, those who “know best” have again done their worst. While constantly claiming to be the guardians of democracy and the constitution, and respecters of the 2016 referendum result, diehard Remainers (who have never brought themselves to believe that their advice could have been rejected) have striven might and main ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    2 weeks ago
  • Government says it will now build just one really nice home
    Following publication of this article, the Ministry has requested it to be noted that this supplied image is not necessarily representative of what the final house will look like, and it “probably won’t be that nice.” As part of today’s long-anticipated reset of the Government’s flagship KiwiBuild policy, Housing Minister ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Imperialism and your cup of coffee
    Over the next week or two we will be running three synopses of parts of the opening chapter of John Smith’s Imperialism in the 21st Century (New York, Monthly Review Press, 2016).  The synopsis and commentary below is written by Phil Duncan. Marx began Capital not with a sweeping historical ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Still juking the stats
    The State Services Commission and Ombudsman have released another batch of OIA statistics, covering the last six months. Request volumes are up, and the core public service is generally handling them within the legal timeframe, though this may be because they've learned to extend rather than just ignore things. And ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Hard News: Time for a New Deal: 25 years on
    In 1994, I was editing an ambitious street mag called Planet, from a fabled office at at 309 Karangahape Road. The thirteenth issue of the magazine was published in the winter of that year and its cover embodied a particularly ambitious goal: the end of cannabis prohibition.I wanted to do ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Not impressed
    KiwiBuild was one of the Ardern government's core policies. The government would end the housing crisis and make housing affordable again by building 100,000 new homes. Of course, it didn't work out like that: targets weren't met, the houses they did build were in the wrong place, and the whole ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Solar beats coal
    As the climate crisis escalates, it is now obvious that we need to radically decarbonise our economy. The good news is that its looking easy and profitable for the energy sector. Wind is already cheaper than fossil fuels, and now solar is too:The levellised cost of solar PV has fallen ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago

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