Amid recent protest, US already able to shut websites
Internet protest was silent in 2008
Google, Wikipedia, and the millions of Americans who joined last week’s protest against giving government new authority over the Internet may have missed something: Federal agencies already have that kind of power, at least over websites registered in the US. Under a 2008 law, federal authorities can seize the assets of a company charged with copyright violations. The US Justice Department exercised that muscle on Thursday, when it shut down Megaupload, one of the Internet’s most popular file-sharing sites.