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there is also this other tricky bit that PB servers don't actually host ANY stolen content.
where as megaupload actually hosted the stuff right their on their servers.
True. America has taken down middleman software before (Napster)
torrents spread everything out all over the place... so each person only shares a few useless bits of data with other people, its not illegal to send people small bits of useless data.. its how all that is re-assembled on the other side.
The hackers didn't ask for 50k, Symantec offered that in hopes that they could follow the money trail. The hackers said no, because 50k is not worth the chance of getting caught, and released the code. Symantec has failed at every step of this story.