You can almost smell the fear at this point. Because the FBI didn’t just shut MegaUpload down; they’ve now terrified an entire group of potentially infringing peers. Almost immediately after the raid-and-shutdown of MegaUpload, a number of locker services dramatically changed their file-sharing policies. But some are taking the extreme nuclear option of shutting their services down – for good.
That shut-and-shuffle group now includes BTJunkie, which is actually a BitTorrent tracker. Sounds like a totally different type of service, though that may be an unimportant nuance to federal investigators. BTJunkie may not be hosting anything beyond BitTorrent signposts, though this is one of the largest trackers on the planet – or at least, was one of the largest. And that made it a big, fat target, just like Kim Dotcom.
Which leaves BTJunkie and the sites like them with a choice: face a potential raid a-la Dotcom, or walk away with the money and servers you still have. We’re not sure what discussions or threats have been happening behind closed doors, but in a discussion with Torrentfreak, BTJunkie indicated that recent actions against MegaUpload and the Pirate Bay strongly informed the decision to jet.
BTJunkie is not alone. In the days following the MegaUpload rip-down, Uploadbox.com also voluntarily shut itself down, and Uploaded.to closed all access to US users. Others, most notably FileSonic, disabled any trading of files between users, while RapidShare stayed put.
More as it develops.