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US government refutes entrapment claim from Megaupload

15 Jan 2013

Attorneys with the US government are fighting an effort by lawyers acting for fire-sharing site Megaupload to have portions of the legal case against it dismissed.

According to court filings, the US Attorneys and Department of Justice have asked the Eastern Virginia District Court to dismiss a complaint filed earlier this month by attorneys for Megaupload. That complainted alleging that the government entrapped Megaupload executives.

In court documents posted online by Wired, the Megaupload attorneys argue that the government asked Megaupload to retain pirated content as part of another investigation into criminal activity by third-party users.

The defunct file-hosting firm maintains that the data which it believed it was holding in good faith for the government was then presented as evidence that Megaupload was complicit in the trafficking of pirated content.

The US government, meanwhile, has denied the claims and asked the court to dismiss Megaupload's motion.

"Megaupload’s allegations are baseless, as even a cursory review of Megaupload’s pleading and the search warrant materials at issue disproves the allegation that the government misled the court as part of a conspiracy to entrap Megaupload," the attorneys said in their filing.

The filings mark the latest turn in the controversial case between the file-sharing service and authorities in the US.

Government agencies handling the case have fallen under fire for their handling of everything from the takedown of the site and the extradition of founder Kim Dotcom to the maintenance and protection of user data it seized when Megaupload's servers were taken offline.

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Shaun Nichols

Shaun Nichols is the US correspondent for He has been with the company since 2006, originally joining as a news intern at the site's San Francisco offices.

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