Megaupload File Sharing Site Shut Down By FBI, Swizz Beatz Investigated

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Federal prosecutors have pulled the plug on Megaupload, a massive file sharing operation allegedly helmed by Alicia Keys' husband, producer Swizz Beatz.

Four executives were arrested in New Zealand and an indictment charging seven people with content piracy causing $500 million in losses was issued.

The indictment prompted hackers to seek immediate cyber revenge, with the shadowy Anonymous group claiming it crippled the Department of Justice.

The government site was inaccessible for hours Thursday.

Swizz Beatz, Alicia Keys

"The Department is working to ensure the website is available while we investigate the origins of this activity, which will be treated as a malicious act until we are able to fully identify the root cause of the disruption," said spokesman Laura Sweeney.

The Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) said it was also hacked in retaliation for Megaupload being shut down, but was back up Thursday night.

Beatz, whose real name is Kasseem Dean, was not named in the government's five-count indictment, despite being listed by Megaupload as its CEO.

The Beatz-master, who married Alicia Keys in 2010, was in recent talks to take a high-powered job at Megaupload, but a final deal was not reached.

Probably for the best in his case.

"He was in conversations to be named CEO," lawyer Ira P. Rothken said. "His involvement in the company was highly attenuated. There were discussions and he was involved in a promotional video and in brainstorming future projects."

Swizz Beatz's association with the cloud sharing site surfaced only recently after he and buddies Sean "Diddy" Combs, Kanye West and Will.i.am touted the site in a video that prompted backlash from the artists' label, Universal Music Group.

The four-minute clip, part of Megaupload's recent December 9 relaunch, was all original material and not subject to ownership by UMG, Rothken said.

The government's 72-page indictment, which alleges copyright infringement as well as conspiracy to commit money laundering and racketeering, claims Megaupload rewards people who uploaded pirated content and turned a blind eye to copyright claims.

The case comes just days after the SOPA blackout signified the ongoing legal battle between corporations' copyright claims and Internet freedom.

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