The saga of Megaupload continued over the weekend with the arrests of 39 year-old Sven Echternach, of Germany, and 32 year-old Andrus Nomm, of Estonia.
The popular file-sharing site was shut down by the Department of Justice last week and its founder and CEO, Kim DotCom, was arrested in his home in Auckland, New Zealand. The DoJ claims that Megaupload was the basis for “international organized criminal enterprise allegedly responsible for massive worldwide online piracy of numerous types of copyrighted works.”
According to a Reuters report, Dotcom associates Echternach and Nomm were arrested in Germany and the Netherlands respectively after U.S. authorities issued international warrants for their arrests. The warrants stemmed from the pair’s alleged involvement in Internet piracy and money laundering. Extraditing Echtermen could be tricky, according to Reuters, because German law does not permit for the extradition of German citizens.
Two other men were arrested with DotCom in New Zealand, Thursday. Finn Batato, Mathias Ortmann, and Barm van der Kolk appeared in court alongside DotCom there Friday morning. A Slovakian national, Julius Bencko, is being sought by U.S. authorities as well according to the indictment.
The move by the Department of Justice came in the wake of wide-spread protest over two pieces of proposed anti-piracy legislation, SOPA and PIPA. In the wake of the arrests, the Department of Justice, itself, became the target of protest, as the online hacking group Anonymous launched coordinated denial of service attacks on Web sites belonging to the DoJ as well as backers stricter copyright enforcement including the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) and the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA).