Federal Agencies Want NSA Data to Help Nab Copyright Violators

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Justice is seeking information on those who abet the sharing of copyrighted media.

The primary defense of the necessity of the US National Security Agency’s broad spying powers—including, apparently, recording pretty much everything anyone anywhere is doing on the internet—is that its activities are necessary to protect against terrorists and violent criminals. But a report published Saturday in the New York Times indicates that federal agencies with far more mundane mandates are unable to resist the lure of the NSA’s vast trove of data.

One of the agencies listed in the Times’ report, which specifically mentions prosecution of copyright cases as an instance when NSA data has been sought, is the US Department of Justice (DOJ), which has gone after people who create sites that abet the sharing of copyrighted media. Easily the DOJ’s highest-profile copyright prosecutions is that of Kim Dotcom (real name) of Megaupload, whom the justice department alleges has caused a half a billion dollars worth of harm to copyright owners—”among the largest criminal copyright cases ever.”

Read the full story at Quartz.

(Image via Pavel Ignatov/Shutterstock.com)