Quote of the day

Seal of the United States Department of Justice

Recently, the American Department of Justice closed the file-sharing site Megaupload while also seizing its assets. It took these actions on the basis on an indictment for and accusation of piracy, not a conviction for committing a crime. This action by the Department of Justice, coming as it does days after the SOPA/PIPA blackout, raises due process concerns, as Megaupload’s counsel asserted here. Glenn Greenwald drew this conclusion from the event, its political implications and from the legal horizon of which the Megaupload closure is a conspicuous part:

The U.S. really is a society that simply no longer believes in due process: once the defining feature of American freedom that is now scorned as some sort of fringe, radical, academic doctrine. That is not hyperbole. Supporters of both political parties endorse, or at least tolerate, all manner of government punishment without so much as the pretense of a trial, based solely on government accusation: imprisonment for life, renditions to other countries, even assassinations of their fellow citizens. Simply uttering the word Terrorist, without proving it, is sufficient. And now here is Megaupload being completely destroyed — its website shuttered, its assets seized, ongoing business rendered impossible — based solely on the unproven accusation of Piracy.

Daily, it seems, Americans can watch the rule by law replace the rule of law, the prerogative state replace the normative state [Fraenkel, 2006 (1941)].

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