The MegaUpload Shutdown Effect
The popular file sharing site MegaUpload was shut down by the US FBI and Department of Justice on Thursday, January 19, and executives from the company were taken into custody. This story is very well covered by the Wall Street Journal and includes a copy of the indictment for your reading.
As you would expect, this was a wildly popular site with users from all over the world. So much so that even notable celebrities appear in a video discussing MegaUpload, almost endorsing it. Previous work by Arbor Networks showed that content providers and hosting sites like MegaUpload are the new “Hyper Giants”. With enough global data, you can actually see the traffic drop when the shutdown occurs. Based strictly on the traffic rates it appears that the shutdown started just after 19:00 GMT on January 19, with traffic plummeting down over the next two hours. The graphic here shows three main client regions – Asia-Pacific, Europe, and the US.
Over the past 24 hours, the top countries (in aggregate) using MegaUpload were the United States, France, Germany, Brazil, Great Britain, Turkey, Italy, and Spain, although dozens more countries are represented.
As for the traffic drop off, we’re not the only ones to notice. As seen on Twitter, South America experienced a dramatic traffic drop at about the same time, presumably due to this MegaUpload shutdown. Furthermore, we’re seeing reports of a fake MegaUpload site that is supposedly a malware infection site.
Friends of mine from elsewhere in the world have been joking that the Internet seems to be running a bit smoother today. That may be, given how much bandwidth appears to have been freed up.