U.S. Law Enforcement Used Warrant to Spy on MegaUpload

Ryan Whitwam

Ever since MegaUpload was hit with arrests and seizures last week, everyone has been wondering how the US government managed to get access to internal communications between the company’s founders. Most of the incriminating conversations cited in the indictment are Skype IMs that would have long been purged from Skype’s servers. According to Cnet , it has been confirmed that the FBI obtained a warrant to obtain the data, and that might have included using government-issued spyware.

The FBI gained court approval in 2007 to use spyware that could be planted on a suspect’s computer, allowing the feds to monitor a user’s activities. While Skype deletes data from its servers after 30 days, a local log on a user’s machine could contain much older data. Some of the IMs in question are from 2007. It is unclear if 5 years of logs were on a compromised PC, but a possibility of a 5 year surveillance operation seems more unlikely.

The 70 page indictment contains a multitude of IM conversations in which the founders admit to being a ‘risky situation’ with regard to the site. They also regularly downloaded infringing videos from the MegaUpload servers. How do you think the feds got all this evidence?

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