NZ Prime Minister Admits That The Government Illegally Wiretapped Megaupload Employees

from the yet-another-mishap dept

Since the January raid of Megaupload, not a month seems to go by in which another massive error in procedures isn't revealed concerning how US and New Zealand law enforcement handled the whole process. And each time, the mistakes seem to get bigger and bigger. They had the wrong warrants. They mishandled evidence. They mishandled the extradition request. And today comes the big news. New Zealand's Prime Minister, John Key, revealed that the Government Communications Security Bureau (GCSB), the equivalent of the NSA in New Zealand, illegally intercepted communications regarding individuals in the Megaupload case and provided those details to law enforcement. Like the NSA, the GCSB is in charge of monitoring electric communications, but is not allowed to use those tools domestically, only on foreign communications. Key has now ordered an investigation.
Mr Key says the Crown has filed a memorandum in the High Court in the Megaupload case advising the Court and affected parties that the GCSB had acted unlawfully while assisting the Police to locate certain individuals subject to arrest warrants issued in the case. The Bureau had acquired communications in some instances without statutory authority.

After being informed about the matter by the Director of the GCSB on September 17, the Prime Minister referred the Bureau’s actions to the Inspector-General, Hon Paul Neazor. The Inspector-General is an independent statutory officer with the power to enquire into any matter related to a government intelligence agency’s compliance with the law.
Once again, like pretty much all of these "mishaps," this seems to suggest a rather cavalier attitude towards actually following proper procedures under the law to go after Dotcom and Megaupload. Throughout this whole process, it really does appear that law enforcement, under pressure from Hollywood, believed that Dotcom was such a criminal mastermind that they could skirt the law in all sorts of ways to try to shut him down. And each time these mishaps come to light, it just raises more and more questions about whether or not law enforcement really had any legitimate evidence or reasons to do what they did.


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    Lowestofthekeys (profile), Sep 24th, 2012 @ 7:36am

    Government undermining law = scary.

    Government being paid to undermine law via Hollywood agenda = pants-crappingly scary (thanks Tim).

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 24th, 2012 @ 7:36am

    "Once again, like pretty much all of these "mishaps," this seems to suggest a rather cavalier attitude towards actually following proper procedures under the law to go after Dotcom and Megaupload. "

    Then again, Mr Dotcom (aka Kim the pig) was pretty cavalier about the law himself.

    As a side note, this has nothing to do with going after Megaupload, and only about tracing down the people in question after the fact, from what I read.

     

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      Jeremy Lyman (profile), Sep 24th, 2012 @ 8:03am

      Re:

      Breaking the law to keep the peace is great for making action movies or westerns, not so much for actual law enforcement.

      Generally it means that the bad guys get away with it; so if Dotcom really was so guilty you should be just as pissed about the procedure violations as the rest of us are about the government overreach.

       

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        Anonymous Coward, Sep 24th, 2012 @ 8:25am

        Re: Re:

        ACtually, what I am pissed about is that Kim (and people like him) are incredibly hard to stop because they are playing the place between the laws of different countries. Doing something that is illegal in one country, but doing it from another country through a company in a third country, while being a citizen of a fourth. His goal was to find a sweet spot where it was almost impossible to prosecute him because the laws of each country do not extend past their borders, nor do they allow the laws of others in.

        I am pissed like hell that anyone can play this game and get away with it. I have the same feelings when asses like Romney use off shore accounts and tax havens to avoid paying his fair share. It's just as criminal in my mind. It may be "legal" in purely technical terms, but most of us know "wink wink" what is going on.

         

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          jupiterkansas (profile), Sep 24th, 2012 @ 8:31am

          Re: Re: Re:

          Welcome to the borderless internet.

          There are many things I would like to make illegal in other countries and copyright infringement is the least of them. Let's start with sex trafficking or laws against women.

           

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            Tunnen (profile), Sep 24th, 2012 @ 11:51am

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            There are some laws that countries apply outside their borders, though they can only be used to charge that person if they are stupid enough to return. Sex tourism laws are one example.

             

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          Anonymous Coward, Sep 24th, 2012 @ 9:05am

          Re: Re: Re:

          The sad thing about romney is he broke no laws by "hiding" buckets of duckets offshore. He is being a good US citizen and doing things within the law, That is the really sad part about his activities.

           

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          Anonymous Coward, Sep 24th, 2012 @ 9:09am

          Re: Re: Re:

          said like a man with an agenda for anything other than rule of law, proper defense, or any other of those dreadful things that get in the way of what "they" want....

          and because you said it, What is "fair share"?

          Though its not like you will understand or respond (and even if you do it will just be talking points by others)

           

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          Anonymous Coward, Sep 24th, 2012 @ 10:24am

          Re: Re: Re:

          Get your facts straight - he wasn't playing the law between countries, but voluntarily adhered to the digital millenum act, even though he did not have to since this was not a US company. Much good did it do him, too, since parts of the indictment make this voluntary action (and actions which went beyond the DMCA) sound like it was criminal activity...

           

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          Keroberos (profile), Sep 24th, 2012 @ 10:43am

          Re: Re: Re:

          What was he doing that was illegal? From the looks of it Megaupload was one of the better file lockers when it came to pulling down infringing content. Can you get it all? No, that's impossible. Did he profit from it? Sure he did--and so do many other perfectly legitimate sites and businesses. ISPs certainly profit from file sharing--do you need gigabit internet to play WOW and surf the web? No, but it makes file sharing so much faster. Did he knowingly and intentionally set up his company to profit from it? This is for the courts to decide--and from the looks of it, doing a pretty crappy job of it.

           

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          Anonymous Coward, Sep 24th, 2012 @ 10:44am

          Re: Re: Re:

          "I am pissed like hell that anyone can play this game and get away with it. I have the same feelings when asses like Romney use off shore accounts and tax havens to avoid paying his fair share. It's just as criminal in my mind. It may be "legal" in purely technical terms, but most of us know "wink wink" what is going on."

          I eagerly await the raid on Romney's home to gather evidence...

           

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          Scott, Sep 24th, 2012 @ 10:54am

          Re: Re: Re:

          Corporations do that too,so...

           

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      Richard (profile), Sep 24th, 2012 @ 8:29am

      Re:

      Then again, Mr Dotcom (aka Kim the pig) was pretty cavalier about the law himself.

      That doesn't excuse anything. You're like a naughty child who, when rebuked by the teacher, says " but he did it toooo"

      Due process is important

      I'd give the devil the benefit of law for my own safety's sake.

      (from "A Man for all Seasons")

       

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        Sneeje (profile), Sep 24th, 2012 @ 9:06am

        Re: Re:

        Such is the problem with the AC's philosophy of consequentialism. It's great as long as everyone believes the same as he/she.

        And its sad that he/she doesn't realize that this same line of belief can be used against you as well. Without some uniform basis for ethics (usually codified as laws in society), everyone will feel as though everyone else is bending the rules to achieve their own ends.

         

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        Anonymous Coward, Sep 24th, 2012 @ 10:28am

        Re: Re:

        Probably a trolling post which starts with ad hominems should not even be worthy of a reply, but here goes: this is not about mere procedural issues. The state is so much more powerful than anyone subject to its prosecution that it needs to be reined in, otherwise it would have such a staggeringly unfair advantage that it would win each and every case (as happens in Russia, for example, where the criminal conviction rate is over 90%). This unfair advantage plays out in the docom case as well: the US says it has the evidence, but does not want to show it - since "hey, we are a democracy too, you know? Just trust us!" Tell that one to Bradley Manning.

         

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          Anonymous Coward, Sep 24th, 2012 @ 10:59am

          Re: Re: Re:

          Tell that one to Bradley Manning.

          The traitor?

           

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            Anonymous Coward, Sep 24th, 2012 @ 12:54pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            Well, if you mean "traitor" as in "betraying his or her own country", he has yet to do that. If you mean "traitor" as in "betrayed a trust", then I suppose that definition fits.

            But he has yet to betray his country. Nor has he committed an act of espionage against his country.

            But it's nice to see that you haven't jumped to conclusions and determined guilt before a trial or anything. /s

             

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      Trails (profile), Sep 24th, 2012 @ 8:43am

      Re:

      IMO, this comment shouldn't be flagged. It's wrong, but not offensive.

      I realize the "report" thing is a community driven function, hence, to the community, we should not use it as a "You're wrong" button.

      Now to the substance:
      Then again, Mr Dotcom (aka Kim the pig) was pretty cavalier about the law himself.

      You ad hom demonstrates your hysterics here are furthering an agenda without factual support.

      As a side note, this has nothing to do with going after Megaupload, and only about tracing down the people in question after the fact, from what I read.


      Ah, well, that makes breaking the law ok then. "Your honour I only killed the guy after the fact!"

       

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        John Fenderson (profile), Sep 24th, 2012 @ 9:43am

        Re: Re:

        IMO, this comment shouldn't be flagged. It's wrong, but not offensive.


        I agree.

         

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        That One Guy (profile), Sep 24th, 2012 @ 5:29pm

        Re: Re:

        I'd guess most people hit the report button for the same reason I did, the 'Kim the pig' line.

        Disagreeing with someone, that's okay.

        Disagreeing strongly with someone, still okay.

        Childish name calling and personal attack, very much not okay.

         

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        JMT (profile), Sep 24th, 2012 @ 6:30pm

        Re: Re:

        "I realize the "report" thing is a community driven function, hence, to the community, we should not use it as a "You're wrong" button."

        As long as it's the only tool available for the community to say "You're wrong", that's what it'll be used for.

        Ignore those bleating about "censorship", it's not even close. In fact I'm quite sure flagged comments get more attention than they would if unflagged. Some censorship that is...

         

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      Anonymous Coward, Sep 24th, 2012 @ 10:26am

      Re:

      Individual rights guaranteed under law were trampled, if this is not apparent to anyone reading this, that person should go back for a remedial reading/critical thinking course.

       

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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 24th, 2012 @ 7:45am

    "Then again, Mr Dotcom (aka Kim the pig) was pretty cavalier about the law himself."

    Yeah, the guy's so ugly it's only fair law enforcement breaks the law to go after him. Only handsome boys and girls should deserve due process, it's a well known and established fact.

     

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    TasMot (profile), Sep 24th, 2012 @ 7:51am

    But, But, But, Piracy.... It's OK to break the law to stop piracy.... Hollywood said so.....

     

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    average_joe (profile), Sep 24th, 2012 @ 7:51am

    Once again, like pretty much all of these "mishaps," this seems to suggest a rather cavalier attitude towards actually following proper procedures under the law to go after Dotcom and Megaupload. Throughout this whole process, it really does appear that law enforcement, under pressure from Hollywood, believed that Dotcom was such a criminal mastermind that they could skirt the law in all sorts of ways to try to shut him down. And each time these mishaps come to light, it just raises more and more questions about whether or not law enforcement really had any legitimate evidence or reasons to do what they did.

    How do you get the FUD about them perhaps not having "any legitimate evidence" from this story? I thought you were of the opinion that Dotcom et al. were likely guilty. Funny how all your articles defend him and shine the spotlight on any little speck you can spin into a huge story that disparages the prosecution. It's almost like you're a pirate-apologist or something. Nah. Couldn't be.

     

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      Anonymous Coward, Sep 24th, 2012 @ 8:00am

      Re:

      Does seem you have a bit of a disregard about how the government conducts itself with regards to its own laws.

       

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        average_joe (profile), Sep 24th, 2012 @ 8:08am

        Re: Re:

        Not at all. If people in NZ broke the law, they should be held accountable. There's going to be an investigation. That's a good thing. When it's the very people who are charged with upholding the law that are accused of breaking it, that makes it all the more deplorable and important to punish. I hope heads roll if they did in fact break the law.


        But I think the same about Dotcom. Good thing he's being held accountable as well. I very much look forward to his prosecution.

         

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          Anonymous Coward, Sep 24th, 2012 @ 8:15am

          Re: Re: Re:

          Oh wow, a post without some kind of anti-MAsnick commentary.

          It's learning...

           

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          Chronno S. Trigger (profile), Sep 24th, 2012 @ 8:20am

          Re: Re: Re:

          But that's what Mike is saying when he questions if there's any legitimate evidence. Dotcom can't be held accountable if all the evidence that is against him is thrown out for being obtained illegally.

           

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            average_joe (profile), Sep 24th, 2012 @ 8:47am

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            They got all the evidence they needed from the servers in the U.S., no? That's got nothing to do with this. This is just Mike gloating in every little perceived misstep in Dotcom's prosecution while ignoring all the horrible things that Dotcom did. Dotcom gets a free pass while the prosecution gets put under the microscope. None of this erases the crimes or the evidence that was presented in the indictment. How many stories has Mike run now where he questions the legitimacy of the prosecution and where he spreads FUD all over it? He couldn't be a more blatant pirate-apologist if he tried. This is textbook apologism.

             

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              Loki, Sep 24th, 2012 @ 9:23am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              First off, there is no assurance the US actually has any really solid evidence, much less in abundance. Even the NZ courts have demanded the US reveal what they have, and the US has blatantly refused to do so. Repeatedly.

              Secondly, these aren't some small, minor infractions here, some of these "missteps" are huge gaping holes you could drive a truckload of law books through. We're talking the type of errors that will likely render most evidence, even if it exists in quantities enough to convince even his strongest supporters, completely unusable in a court of law.

              Personally I don't care for the man. He's just the sort of prick people ordinarily like see get the smackdown laid on their candy ass. But the more details come to light it just becomes clearer to a growing number of people that this was never about stopping wrongdoing (because if they really had the proof they could have done it up to 3 years ago), but about protecting a small number of businesses from real competition (given the choose to pull the plug on him right before he started an serious alternative to the major labels and studios).

              When I find myself siding with someone like DotCom, and watch him become something of a cult hero, it really shines a light on how truly disgusting/detestable the major labels/studios (and increasingly the US government as well) are becoming.

               

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                Lowestofthekeys (profile), Sep 24th, 2012 @ 9:36am

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                "a cult hero"

                This is the ultimate irony of the situation. For all the effort on the part of the government and Hollywood to end Megaupload's devious pirate "subterfuge", they've managed to turn Dotcom into a martyr and a blow to their PR.

                 

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              Anonymous Coward, Sep 24th, 2012 @ 9:31am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              Everything was a step to getting the evidence - so, no. If there were problems with the process indicating that protocol was not only not observed, but completely thrown under the bus, it's worth looking at and investigating. Masnick is point out that whatever evidence was gathered, it's not looking good for the law enforcement forces that did it.

              To emphasise this point, the fact that the arrest was made without the right warrants in question ended up pushing the case back. That's pretty damn big "FUD".

               

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              John Fenderson (profile), Sep 24th, 2012 @ 9:45am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              None of this erases the crimes or the evidence that was presented in the indictment.


              And what crimes and evidence are you referring to? because what's in the indictment looks very questionable.

               

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              Trails (profile), Sep 24th, 2012 @ 9:48am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              This is just Mike gloating in every little perceived misstep in Dotcom's prosecution

              You and I have very different understandings of the word "little".

               

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                Anonymous Coward, Sep 24th, 2012 @ 11:22am

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                We also have very different understandings of the word "perceived". It's not "perceived" when a judge pushes a case back based on flimsy, incorrect warrants.

                Oh, wait. It doesn't count because the judge followed the law when that was declared, making the judge an "activist judge", right?

                 

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              Anonymous Coward, Sep 24th, 2012 @ 10:19am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              Ever hear of "innocent until proven guilty"?

              If you haven't, the core concept is that if someone is guilty then there is no need for "dirty tricks" and that aligns with another concept that justice is blind or that everyone is equal under the law or that law enforcement should be honest. But that's assuming we live in a civilized society...

              I don't care if Dotcom is innocent or guilty. The crime or trial should not be deceided in headlines, based on public relations and no individual should loose their rights or business should be shuttered without due process - and certainly not to bolster a case for trade policy largely developed in secret.

              That's where I see the Dotcom case. It's the same process that convinced the public that fair use was limited vs. copyrights. All the John and Jane Doe cases made headlnes and very few people read that the labels had no case. They got settlements out of fear (extortion) without making a case.

              Going after MegaUpload was very public, scared most of the data industry, shuttered cloud services and created public opinion without much facts. The fact that the case is turning out to be manufactured and cooked hasn't gotten much more than a paragraph on the back page. No major media outlet is covering it.

              All I've heard is "copyrights are too complicated", which is BS. Ask friends, family and neighbors. They assume MegaUpload was found guilty already. They have no idea how this might impact them. A trial would reveal that and I doubt the U.S. even cared if this went to trial.

              Due process is important. This isn't just about MegaUpload.

               

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              Anonymous Coward, Sep 24th, 2012 @ 10:50am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              "...ignoring all the horrible things that Dotcom did.
              Dotcom gets a free pass while the prosecution gets put under the microscope."

              1) Nothing has actually been proven against Dotcom.
              Remember "innocent until PROVEN guilty"?
              2) If the evidence was illegally-acquired, it MUST be thrown out, by rule of law.
              3) The legally-acquired evidence we've actually seen so far doesn't prove him guilty of anything.

               

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              Another AC, Sep 24th, 2012 @ 11:58am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              ... while ignoring all the horrible things that Dotcom did.

              Such as? I suspect whatever your answer, no one would ever use the horrible to describe it.

               

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              The eejit (profile), Sep 24th, 2012 @ 12:47pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              So the rule of law should be ignored if you don't like a person.

              Gotcha. You fucking hypocrite.

               

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              Spencer (profile), Sep 24th, 2012 @ 8:17pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              "while ignoring all the horrible things that Dotcom did."

              Horrible? Horrible is trafficing 12 year old girls to sell as sex slaves. Horrible is selling methamphetamine to middle schoolers. Horrible is murdering innocent people for kicks.

              Running a legitimate business that followed laws it didn't even have to(the DMCA) and giving rights holders direct access to your servers is hardly what I'd call "horrible".

               

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          Keroberos (profile), Sep 24th, 2012 @ 8:44am

          Re: Re: Re:

          The problem is, it'll just be some poor sap who was just following orders that gets thrown under the bus, not the ones who ordered it. Plus, how much of the evidence that they currently have has been tainted like this? They're kinda making it easy for the defense by pulling this kind of BS.

          But, as I've said before--I don't think a conviction (or even taking this to court) was the ultimate goal. I think this has been more about shutting Megaupload down long enough to make it difficult or impossible for them to expand into legitimate media distribution.

           

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            Anonymous Coward, Sep 24th, 2012 @ 10:36am

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            Impossible? Ha! I'll be back on megaupload in a heart beat if it comes back after this. Wouldn't you want to sign up for the site that took on the RIAA, MPAA, IFPI, and the US Government all at the same time and still won? Hell people are still flocking to the PirateBay, and they lost their battle in court. The only difference is if Dotcom wins and brings his site back, he'll have been found not guilty, and be able to press forward saying that he was vindicated, his site proven legitimate, etc...etc...

            The number of supporters he'll have then will be absurd, a percentage of them will pay, and he'll have enough money (remember, cash is like magic that anyone can do) to make a legitimate media distribution empire whenever he wants.

             

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              Keroberos (profile), Sep 24th, 2012 @ 10:46am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              That's only if he gets the site back up. Which--if what I've been reading is correct--he's working on.

               

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              Anonymous Coward, Sep 24th, 2012 @ 10:53am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              There's already a couple of web hosts advertising that they won't automatically take down every dcma request and they have lawyers to screen requests first. They are not based in the U.S.

              That's pretty sad for a "free" society.

               

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              Keroberos (profile), Sep 24th, 2012 @ 10:59am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              With the Pirate Bay it's a lot--different. When your entire site can fit on a smallish flash drive, you can jump around to different service providers pretty easily and quickly, with little extra cost. Running a large file locker service is a whole different kettle of fish. You need lots of servers and lots of storage and lots of bandwidth. That gets real expensive real quick. The Pirate Bay needs none of these--it's just a website with magnet links--no major file storage (they don't use many .torrent files anymore), not even a torrent tracker. And who's going to pay to use a service if their files could disappear at any moment?

               

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      The eejit (profile), Sep 24th, 2012 @ 8:00am

      Re:

      Because this, if true, undermines the legitimacy of the intelligence that allowe dthe operation to go ahead in the first place.

      There's no doubt that Dotcom definitively skirted the law in this case and was a criminal in other areas. Those are facts. What isn't a fact is the level of evidence provided to NZ law enforcement, from which the arrest and raid was ordered.

       

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        Anonymous Coward, Sep 24th, 2012 @ 10:38am

        Re: Re:

        Why are those facts that Dotcom skirted the law? If anything, the more I've read, the more it sounded like Dotcom was attempting to turn legit is what brought this down. He had attempted deals with labels for distribution. They knew he had plans, that he had been paying indie artist with his "scheme" of paying for downloads and it looked like he had some of UMG's "A" list musicians on board -along with 450 million users.

        There is real evidence that MegaUpload was being used, legitimately, for personal backup of files. I used a cyber locker for it's unlimited storage offer to backup my files. Many of those are copyrighted, but they were not shared. I had a hard drive and desktop die within 4 days of each other and learned I needed a backup for my backup. Why not use a service like MegaUpload? As it turned out, the fact I did saved my ass again.

        I think that if MegaUpload's servers were honestly examined, a good portion of those files were not shared. They were backups of personal material, including copyrighted music or movies that people had BOUGHT. We have that right still.

        Another portion would be software and material that had copyright ownership but was independent and being distributed outside of traditional means. The second strike.

        The smallest portion might be pirating. It exists and probably always will like tax cheaters. Is that a reason to take out after an entire industry? Were camcorders made illegal because a few used them to shoot movies in the theater? Were banks shut down because a few ... (never mind). You get the drift.

        Hollywood is tring to pull a Napster and make all P2P or bit torrent services illegal. YouTube and Google would not have evolved and existed under the same rules. That's what's criminal. It's the dark ages for developing technology and ways of sharing information,

         

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        identicon
        Anonymous Coward, Sep 24th, 2012 @ 10:54am

        Re: Re:

        "There's no doubt that Dotcom definitively skirted the law in this case and was a criminal in other areas.
        Those are facts."

        Citation, please?
        In which jurisdictions was he CONVICTED of the crimes the RIAA and MPAA are claiming?

         

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    •  
      identicon
      Anonymous Coward, Sep 24th, 2012 @ 8:00am

      Re:

      ctrl+f "apologist"
      1 result found

      and average_joe pulls through for us yet again.

       

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    •  
      identicon
      u know me, Sep 24th, 2012 @ 8:01am

      Re:

      Once again, the below_average_joe misses the point entirely. Guilty or not, law enforcement has to follow the letter of the law. When they don't, the guilty go free.

      "It's almost like you're a pirate-apologist or something. Nah. Couldn't be."
      Thats lord high pirate-apologist to you buddy.

       

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    •  
      identicon
      Anonymous Coward, Sep 24th, 2012 @ 8:01am

      Re:

      You'll get only one point this time in the contest with the other AC trolls, as you managed only fit the "pirate-apologist" keyword in this time.

       

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    •  
      icon
      Chris Rhodes (profile), Sep 24th, 2012 @ 8:02am

      Re:

      shine the spotlight on any little speck you can spin into a huge story that disparages the prosecution
      Pot, meet kettle.

      Your entire schtick is to rush to post something (anything) critical of the posted article. It doesn't matter what the article is actually about or how irrelevant the nitpick.

      If Mike posted something critical of Mussolini you'd be the guy who rushed in to post that Mussolini made all the trains run on time and "why isn't Mike talking about that??"

       

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    •  
      identicon
      Anonymous Coward, Sep 24th, 2012 @ 8:11am

      Re:

      Obvious lack of reading comprehension is obvious.

       

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    •  
      icon
      Keroberos (profile), Sep 24th, 2012 @ 8:35am

      Re:

      Talk about spreading FUD. Nowhere in this article did Mike make any statement of his beliefs about Kim Dotcom's guilt or innocence (or make any statement about him at all). This article is about gross abuse of the system by law enforcement that makes any "evidence" in this case highly suspect.

      It's almost like you were just too busy being an RIAA/MPAA apologist or something to actually read the article. Nah. Couldn't be.

       

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      •  
        icon
        average_joe (profile), Sep 24th, 2012 @ 8:53am

        Re: Re:

        Nowhere in this article did Mike make any statement of his beliefs about Kim Dotcom's guilt or innocence (or make any statement about him at all).

        You sure you're reading the same article? I'll even quote it:

        "And each time these mishaps come to light, it just raises more and more questions about whether or not law enforcement really had any legitimate evidence or reasons to do what they did."

        He explicitly questions whether they "really had any legitimate evidence." Of course, he must have completely "forgotten" about the evidence presented in the superseding indictment that's got nothing to do with this story. But Mike tends to "forget" the inconvenient parts when it suits him. Why let anything get in the way of a good anti-government/pirate-apologist rant, right?

         

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        •  
          icon
          Gwiz (profile), Sep 24th, 2012 @ 9:19am

          Re: Re: Re:

          Of course, he must have completely "forgotten" about the evidence presented in the superseding indictment that's got nothing to do with this story.

          Uncontested evidence.

          Just because a grand jury was swayed by one side (and one side only) of an argument doesn't mean it's evidence of anything yet, really.

           

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        •  
          icon
          Keroberos (profile), Sep 24th, 2012 @ 9:56am

          Re: Re: Re:

          Yes, I am sure. This article is about LAW ENFORCMENT'S mishandling of this case. Where in this article is he saying anything about his belief in KIM DOTCOM'S guilt or innocence. He's saying it raises questions about the "evidence" used by LAW ENFORCMENT to get the indictment in the first place. Because if law enforcement mishandled the case after they got the indictment, how much of the "evidence" used to get that indictment was mishandled or illegally gathered (or just flat out lies)? This is why we have strict rules for evidence gathering, anything improper--no matter how small--can taint the entire case. Any prosecutor who had to take this case to trial would be f-ing pissed at law enforcement for pulling this kind of BS. it doesn't matter how much "evidence" you have--or if it proves your case, if it was mishandled or illegally gathered, it will be thrown out and possibly (probably--if it's your key evidence) result in you losing your case. Law enforcement isn't allowed to bend (or break) the law just because they believe someone is guilty. When they do (and in this case it appears they did it a lot), it starts to look like persecution--not prosecution--and if that is the case you start looking for the reasons why (perhaps the US government and the justice dept. is in Hollywood's pocket).

           

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        •  
          identicon
          Anonymous Coward, Sep 24th, 2012 @ 10:44am

          Re: Re: Re:

          If law enforcement had "legitimate evidence" they why do they need illegal means to obtain it? That alone creates suspicion that they didn't have "legitimate evidence" or they would have followed the law.

           

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        •  
          identicon
          Anonymous Coward, Sep 24th, 2012 @ 10:57am

          Re: Re: Re:

          "Of course, he must have completely "forgotten" about the evidence presented in the superseding indictment that's got nothing to do with this story."

          You mean the "evidence" that was so vague and nebulous that the New Zealand officials refused to allow Dotcom to be extradited?

           

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    •  
      icon
      John Fenderson (profile), Sep 24th, 2012 @ 8:40am

      Re:

      I thought you were of the opinion that Dotcom et al. were likely guilty


      I started off thinking that, but as I learn more and more about the case he looks more and more innocent.

       

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      •  
        icon
        Gwiz (profile), Sep 24th, 2012 @ 9:22am

        Re: Re:

        I agree. Although I'm not 100% convinced he's innocent of everything, the more I see proof he's being railroaded, the more weight I give to his innocence.

         

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    •  
      icon
      Mike Masnick (profile), Sep 24th, 2012 @ 9:24am

      Re:

      How do you get the FUD about them perhaps not having "any legitimate evidence" from this story? I thought you were of the opinion that Dotcom et al. were likely guilty. Funny how all your articles defend him and shine the spotlight on any little speck you can spin into a huge story that disparages the prosecution. It's almost like you're a pirate-apologist or something. Nah. Couldn't be.

      Curious. Weren't you the person going on and on and on about how any violation of someone's "rights" was clearly "immoral."

      You don't think spying on their personal communications outside of what the law qualifies as a violation of rights or being immoral?

       

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      •  
        icon
        Keroberos (profile), Sep 24th, 2012 @ 10:06am

        Re: Re:

        It's only immoral when the rights being violated are his master's rights in Hollywood.

         

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      •  
        icon
        average_joe (profile), Sep 24th, 2012 @ 12:27pm

        Re: Re:

        Curious. Weren't you the person going on and on and on about how any violation of someone's "rights" was clearly "immoral."

        You don't think spying on their personal communications outside of what the law qualifies as a violation of rights or being immoral?


        And I said that if someone did something wrong, they should be punished. And the fact that they are tasked with upholding the law, it makes it all the more deplorable.

        But you're skirting the question (surprising!): How does this story lead you to question whether they have "any legitimate evidence" about Dotcom's guilt? What does this have to do with all the evidence in the superseding indictment?

         

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        •  
          identicon
          Anonymous Coward, Sep 24th, 2012 @ 12:47pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          >And I said that if someone did something wrong, they should be punished. And the fact that they are tasked with upholding the law, it makes it all the more deplorable.

          Really? That wasn't what you criticised - the first thing you did criticise was Masnick being a pirate apologist. If Masnick hadn't brought the point up you wouldn't have mentioned this.

          It's pretty clear where your priorities lie, average_joe. You're not concerned about violation of rights - you're exclusively centered around criticising this site wherever you can.

           

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          •  
            identicon
            Anonymous Coward, Sep 24th, 2012 @ 1:12pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            Hey man, copyright infringement and murder/rape/actual theft are against the law, therefore you disgust me!

             

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        •  
          icon
          Keroberos (profile), Sep 24th, 2012 @ 12:49pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          When people and organizations are caught behaving in a dishonest manner, most people tend to look a little closer at, and question the things they did and said in the past. Particularly when said people and organizations are known to be working very closely with other people and organizations who are well known for not being exactly truthful when it comes to matters such as copyright infringement.

           

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        •  
          identicon
          Anonymous Coward, Sep 24th, 2012 @ 1:01pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          "How do you get the FUD about them perhaps not having "any legitimate evidence" from this story? I thought you were of the opinion that Dotcom et al. were likely guilty. Funny how all your articles defend him and shine the spotlight on any little speck you can spin into a huge story that disparages the prosecution. It's almost like you're a pirate-apologist or something. Nah. Couldn't be." - average_joe

          Funny that. Your comment was the fifth one for the article and in no way did you lead with "And I said that if someone did something wrong, they should be punished. And the fact that they are tasked with upholding the law, it makes it all the more deplorable."

          But, I guess leading with "those who break the law, regardless of who they are, and most especially those in positions of authority, should be punished" wouldn't fit in with your usual rants and ad hom laden comments aimed at the site or Mike in general. Can't let a little thing like "justice" get in the way of slinging mud, right AJ?

          And, for a supposed lawyer to be, it's quite easy to see how this story leads one to question whether they have any legitimate evidence. As a lawyer to be, you of all people should know that any "evidence" gathered in illegal manners or manners that violate the law, especially when done by law enforcement officers and people in positions of any kind of authority, it is almost always thrown out and considered to be non-existent as far as the courts are concerned.

          So, to put it simply, if those responsible for upholding the law obtained the evidence themselves, and not through third parties (where they could at least potentially claim to believe it was gotten through legitimate and legal means), and did so in a manner that was illegal, or seriously skated the lines of legality, then it is considered tainted and as such will be deemed inadmissible in a court of law. (Note, I'm not a lawyer. Nor have I studied law. But I know enough to know that.)

          Does that answer satisfy you, AJ? Or since Mike himself didn't state it is it not acceptable? Per your usual reactions to such a response.

           

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        •  
          icon
          Lowestofthekeys (profile), Sep 24th, 2012 @ 1:31pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          "What does this have to do with all the evidence in the superseding indictment?"

          Those new charges haven't been backed up, have they?

           

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        •  
          identicon
          Anonymous Coward, Sep 24th, 2012 @ 6:28pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          If that evidence even exists why hasn't he been extradicted, yet? I know the US has been chomping at the bit for that, but they won't show the NZ court this supposed evidence. Where's your proof that it exists?

           

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  •  
    icon
    Zos (profile), Sep 24th, 2012 @ 7:52am

    according to torrentfreak the coding is 90% done on the new mega, servers have been ordered, lawyers are being fed a diet of raw meat and gun powder in preparation...

    Good luck getting the kiwi's to sign off on another raid.

    I think they pissed off the wrong large angry austrian.

     

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    •  
      identicon
      Anonymous Coward, Sep 24th, 2012 @ 8:03am

      Re:

      They will toss Kim out of the country shortly. He's not very popular, I doubt the immigration people will want to risk their jobs coming up with silly excuses to let him stay in the country.

       

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      •  
        identicon
        u know me, Sep 24th, 2012 @ 8:08am

        Re: Re:

        Yes because DotCom made NZ skirt their own laws. It was 100% his fault US & NZ acted in the disgusting way that they did.

        /s

         

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      •  
        identicon
        Anonymous Coward, Sep 24th, 2012 @ 10:59am

        Re: Re:

        "I doubt the immigration people will want to risk their jobs coming up with silly excuses to let him stay in the country."

        Why would they "risk their jobs" allowing a guy who pumps millions into the local economy?

         

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      •  
        icon
        Chargone (profile), Sep 24th, 2012 @ 1:02pm

        Re: Re:

        'not very popular'?
        maybe to start with.

        problem is, he started off as a relative unknown, while the US government started off as a known, potentially hostile, threat and the current NZ government Really Is unpopular (even a fair number of those who voted for them are unimpressed with some of their actions during the last term).

        Dotcom, consequently, became popular pretty much the moment he made the news, here. massive over reaction by the government is attention getting (usually because it results in them screwing themselves over, which is always entertaining), while sailboarding and miscarriage of justice get the population's attention and quite easily raise their ire.

        throwing him out of the country would probably actually be worse for the current government than having to soak the costs of the mess they've got themselves into. (especially as they're already proving less honest even than the usual run of politicians and completely incompetent when it comes to budgets and economics anyway.)

        or so it seems to me, at least.

         

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    •  
      identicon
      Anonymous Coward, Sep 24th, 2012 @ 8:57am

      Re:

      I think they pissed off the wrong large angry austrian.

      And his Techdirt Mini-Me.

       

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  •  
    icon
    Zakida Paul (profile), Sep 24th, 2012 @ 7:59am

    The US has not come out of this in any kind of positive light. They have lost so much credibility when it comes to these cases.

    Of course that won't matter one iota to the number 1 US bitch, the UK.

     

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  •  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 24th, 2012 @ 8:09am

    Laws don't apply to the elite and the corporate cartels that control the government, they only apply to honest common folks that try to make an honest living. The laws are designed to keep them poor and out of business to maintain the status quo of the rich.

     

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    •  
      icon
      Zos (profile), Sep 25th, 2012 @ 5:37am

      Re:

      agreed, to bad they decided to pick on someone with the resources to force them into a very public, very embarrassing fight, and the ability to make it happen in NZ, rather than a closed court room here in Amerikkka like they'd planned. I'm sure it was expected the kiwi's would rubber stamp his extradition and they'd have him in a cell within the day.

       

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  •  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 24th, 2012 @ 8:19am

    So law enforcement reaches out to the intelligence community to help locate fugitive criminals and that raises "questions about whether or not law enforcement really had any legitimate evidence or reasons to do what they did."

    Pity conclusion-jumping isn't an Olympic event. You'd be a lock for the gold medal.

     

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    •  
      icon
      Nathan F (profile), Sep 24th, 2012 @ 8:23am

      Re:

      When that particular Intelligence department is forbidden by law to investigate their own citizens, then yes, there will be problems with the court case.

       

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      •  
        identicon
        Anonymous Coward, Sep 24th, 2012 @ 9:57am

        Re: Re:

        I'm not sure helping law enforcement locate a fugitive from justice is really an investigation. That said, if it is contrary to the law, they shouldn't be doing it. Nor spitting on the sidewalk or jaywalking.

         

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        •  
          identicon
          Anonymous Coward, Sep 24th, 2012 @ 11:01am

          Re: Re: Re:

          er...since when is Dotcom a fugitive? he was in NZ, his residence in Coatsville was well known, he is not a US citizen trying to get away from something...

           

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        •  
          icon
          Rikuo (profile), Sep 24th, 2012 @ 1:04pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          Methinks you don't know what the word fugitive means. It means someone who is actively on the run from law enforcement. Do you know where Kim Dotcom was arrested?


          In his own fucking house. In New Zealand. He had not gone anywhere, he had not decided to run. He was not a fugitive.

           

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  •  
    icon
    Nathan F (profile), Sep 24th, 2012 @ 8:19am

    If they ever come back later and make a movie about this.. it is going to be a Comedy.

     

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  •  
    icon
    Mesonoxian Eve (profile), Sep 24th, 2012 @ 9:02am

    It's about time people come to a realization these aren't "missteps", but a process in which a few phallic symbols in the MPAA/RIAA cry "wolf" (or bad "viagara", take your pick) and the site was removed.

    Due process was never an issue. Getting the most powerful file sharing site off the internet was, and that goal was accomplished.

    Even if every defendant gets off due to these "missteps", the damage to MegaUpload is done, as well as the fallout from its method of being taken down.

    The average person still buying blurays doesn't give a damn.

     

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  •  
    icon
    gorehound (profile), Sep 24th, 2012 @ 9:08am

    The Exploited Song Fuck The USA sums up my position.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HPfeTBwrGAw
    I truly hate my Corrupt Government and the Corrupt Rich Pricks.
    I truly hate and Boycott all Big Content MAFIAA Material.They have been Censored for life from ever touching my wallet.
    The USA has become a very Corrupt and Above the Law out of Control Government.
    Expect to lose more of Our Rights before the election even happens.

     

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  •  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 24th, 2012 @ 9:18am

    And? So what? Who cares?

    The almighty US of A won't even get a slap on the wrist for this, and will do it all over again. If we learned anything in the past years is that the US gov will not be put to shame, not even by itself, even though the entire world is ashamed of them.

    What will happen? Charges will be dropped. So what? MU is already dead. They probably won't give him his money back. He'll be listed as a criminal in the states forever. More? If wikileaks are terrorists, then surely Kim is, no? They'll probably destroy his credit too.

    If they want you, they'll get you, no matter how badly they did it. It's the US of A, they are not ABOVE the law, they ARE the law.

     

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    •  
      icon
      Trails (profile), Sep 24th, 2012 @ 9:54am

      Re:

      even though the entire world is ashamed of them.


      Not quite. Many american aren't ashamed of the US Gov't, at least not for the right reasons.

      Too many are caught up in the "Democrats want to raise taxes, take away guns and sell the country to terrorists/Republicans want to carpet bomb Iran and outlaw abortion" spectacle, and it's deliberate. People are fighting a fake "culture war". Because after an election, the party changes(at most), but the US Gov't, by and large, does not. The two-party system and the artificial culture war are propagating a sprawling and overbearing government, distracting voters with a vitriolic and nonsensical fight being "waged" by two sides of the same coin.

       

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      •  
        identicon
        Anonymous Coward, Sep 24th, 2012 @ 10:14am

        Re: Re:

        Too many are caught up in the "Democrats want to raise taxes, take away guns and sell the country to terrorists/Republicans want to carpet bomb Iran and outlaw abortion" spectacle, and it's deliberate. People are fighting a fake "culture war". Because after an election, the party changes(at most), but the US Gov't, by and large, does not. The two-party system and the artificial culture war are propagating a sprawling and overbearing government, distracting voters with a vitriolic and nonsensical fight being "waged" by two sides of the same coin.

        In all seriousness, do you think that is true? If the Republicans win the WH, healthcare reform is dead. This is a big deal for anyone with a pre-existing medical condition or kids in their early 20's. The Republicans rabidly advocate for less government intrusion..... unless it involves a woman's reproductive rights or you are gay and wish to live in a committed relationship. Even more remarkable is the hypocrisy that has Pro-Life governors signing execution orders in their prisons. Mega-millionaire Romney pays a lower tax rate (14%) than a teacher or firefighter? Ryan wants to fix Medicare by handing you a voucher and having you buy insurance from the insurance industry? How will that work in an industry that had to be forced to insure people with known health issues? Does anyone think it wouldn't take more than three years for the insurance industry jack rates through the sky and bankrupt seniors? And they want to convert Social Security into a government run 401(k) account who is under age 55. That completely violates the social contract with those under 55 who have been paying into the system for decades. How is that right?

        I'll grant that on many issues, they are the same but there are also huge differences.

         

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        •  
          identicon
          Anonymous Coward, Sep 24th, 2012 @ 11:11am

          Re: Re: Re: OT

          True. This is turning into a vote against Romney with the same plan that got us here only worse and not a vote for Obama. The R & R act has been so bad at campaigning, messaging, policy-making that I wonder if they weren't put there to give voters a belief they have a 2 party system and choice. But then the R & R act seem to have half the vote. Some people really do care about "life" until it's born, they really do believe a quarter of the population should be in prision, and the cold war from the 50's never died. Russia is still a country. (Racism runs deep)

           

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  •  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 24th, 2012 @ 11:33am

    Man got to feel bad for him they do all kinds of shady stuff.

     

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  •  
    identicon
    Scott, Sep 24th, 2012 @ 11:36am

    I was using the analogy that RIAA and MPAA are like ice closet and MegaUpload and PiriteBay are like refrigerator to my Dad about it.

     

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  •  
    icon
    That Anonymous Coward (profile), Sep 24th, 2012 @ 11:50am

    Did you ever think...

    how many tears are being shed by Hollywood?
    They had the perfect patsy...
    He was loud, fat, obnoxious, rich, and unconcerned with how people saw him.

    They turned him into a hero.

    They broke the law at every turn, they have destroyed even further the image of justice being fair, and we are paying the price for all of this crap.

    If they had a real case, they wouldn't have been so stupid to put their arm on the scale of justice trying to make sure they won.
    They ruined this case, wasted millions of dollars, and only ended up screwing innocent people.

     

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  •  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 24th, 2012 @ 12:51pm

    how, under any stretch of the imagination, could all the fuck ups the US law enforcement made over this fiasco, be referred to as 'mishaps'? the whole issue was made so much worse because the NZ law enforcement were roped in too. i am waiting to read whether this was done as a favour, who to and under what excuse. according to what i read, John Key had to sign the order to involve NZ so he cant use the excuse of only just finding out and that's without all the publicity surrounding the case over the last 9 months. i reckon he is trying to creep real badly now, but i doubt it will work. goes to show that just because you did as ordered by the USA dont mean they are gonna bail you out when shit hits fan. perhaps other governments will think a bit harder in future. they should!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    •  
      icon
      Chargone (profile), Sep 24th, 2012 @ 1:07pm

      Re:

      John Key's reputation at this point is that he will lie to your face about events happening right in front of you. he'll use any excuse that comes to mind and simply ignore that there's any inconsistency with reality.

       

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 24th, 2012 @ 6:50pm

    "I'd cut down every law in England to [get after the Devil]!"
    "Oh? And when the last law was down, and the Devil turned 'round on you, where would you hide?"

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    icon
    Manok (profile), Sep 25th, 2012 @ 5:51am

    Doing something that is illegal in one country, but doing it from another country through a company in a third country, while being a citizen of a fourth.

    That's why the new MegaUpload is going to remove some of this confusion, and dis-allow 'merkans from using the service.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    •  
      icon
      Niall (profile), Sep 28th, 2012 @ 5:15am

      Re:

      So if you as a citizen of America set up a Spanish server using a UK company which sells Nazi paraphenalia, which is illegal in Germany, you should be illegally hounded, spied upon, arrested and threatened with extradition to Germany?

       

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]


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