Police Admit That NZ Spy Agency Illegally Spied On Kim Dotcom, But Aren't Going To Do Anything About It

from the enforce-the-law? dept

You may recall that it came out last year that the New Zealand equivalent of the NSA, the GCSB, illegally spied on Kim Dotcom (oh, and dozens of others), possibly with the help of the NSA, despite not being allowed to spy on those in New Zealand.

An investigation by the police has agreed that the GCSB clearly broke the law... but the police have said that they don't plan to prosecute the spy agency. Because, you know, that might hold them accountable. Now, at least, the GCSB knows that it can abuse the law at will with no punishment.

Instead, it appears that the excuse being used by the police is the same one we've been hearing from NSA defenders: because these abuses weren't intentional, they can be ignored:
Today, Detective Superintendent Peter Read told a media conference that in spite of the GCSB committing one breach under the provisions of the Crimes Act, no criminal "intent" by the GCSB could be established.
I'm not sure that actually makes sense. Yes, when it comes to criminal activity, intent can be important in determining if it's actually criminal, but there's little doubt that the GCSB intentionally spied on Dotcom. It wouldn't have taken very much at all to recognize that Dotcom was a resident of New Zealand who GCSB is forbidden from surveilling. So it seems like the intent was pretty clear.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
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    dadtaxi, Aug 30th, 2013 @ 12:56pm

    Do you think that excuse will work for the rest of us?

    'Ignorance of the law is no excuse'

    -except when we're the law enforcers, then its a whoopse

     

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  2.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 30th, 2013 @ 1:00pm

    Guess this calls into question the competency of the GCSB, and they're ability to perform past, present and future spy operations.

    Personally, I think the GCSB knew Kim Dotcom is a law-abiding NZ citizen, and still deliberately chose to carry out their Unconstitutional spy operations.

    If there's one thing citizens worldwide have learned over the last couple of years. It's that these Unconstitutional global spy agencies have no intention of legally operating within the letter or spirit of the law.

     

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  3.  
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    سمَـَّو&, Aug 30th, 2013 @ 1:07pm

    Go Kim Go

    Kim does seem to bring on a lot of this himself...

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 30th, 2013 @ 1:08pm

    I'm not sure that actually makes sense. Yes, when it comes to criminal activity, intent can be important in determining if it's actually criminal, but there's little doubt that the GCSB intentionally spied on Dotcom. It wouldn't have taken very much at all to recognize that Dotcom was a resident of New Zealand who GCSB is forbidden from surveilling. So it seems like the intent was pretty clear.

    LOL @ Pirate Mike. Doesn't understand the concept of specific intent. And, no, that silly article you linked to doesn't explain the concept well. Lawyer-wannabe fail.

     

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  5.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 30th, 2013 @ 1:12pm

    Response to: Anonymous Coward on Aug 30th, 2013 @ 1:08pm

    I hear there's ointments you can get for that pirate butthurt you've got.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 30th, 2013 @ 1:14pm

    "Butthurt"? Great response! One of Mikey's Chosen Few, no doubt.

     

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  7.  
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    Zangetsu (profile), Aug 30th, 2013 @ 1:22pm

    Kim Dotcom (KD): Yo, Minion

    Minion: Yes, sir?

    KD: Do we have any lawyers free from that last batch we hired?

    Minion: I believe so, sir

    KD: Good, I have another civil lawsuit I want to launch. I'm going to sue the GCSB and OFCANZ and use the police report against them

    Minion: And how much will you be asking for sir?

    KD: I'll start out at a bazillion dollars but I'll settle for front row seats with Peter Jackson at the world premiere of the Hobbit Part 2 ... and Part 3. Can't let them get away that easily.

    Minion: Yes, sir.

     

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    out_of_the_blue, Aug 30th, 2013 @ 1:22pm

    Criminality by NZ Gestapo doesn't exonerate Dotcom!

    Criminals abound and prosper. Anyone civilized must keep watch on ALL of them.

    Mega-grifter Kim Dotcom got millions by hosting infringed content. That's not even capitalism, that's THEFT.

     

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  9.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 30th, 2013 @ 1:24pm

    Re:

    Funnier still is the fact that you bought the "without intent" argument.

    If you truly believe that, let me tell you about this really nice bridge I own in New York...priced to sell!!!

     

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  10.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 30th, 2013 @ 1:26pm

    Re: Criminality by NZ Gestapo doesn't exonerate Dotcom!

    1. Go Google "fruit of the poison tree"
    2. Come back
    3. Post comment that's identical to the one you just posted

    That's what I expect of you...simply because you're obviously dense.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 30th, 2013 @ 1:31pm

    Funnier still is the fact that you bought the "without intent" argument.

    If you truly believe that, let me tell you about this really nice bridge I own in New York...priced to sell!!!


    Nice distraction, but the fact remains that Mikey doesn't understand basic criminal law concepts like specific intent, and he looks like an idiot publishing this stuff. I don't know if there was such intent here or not, and neither do you. But I do know that Mikey doesn't know what he's talking about, as per usual. That's why he's so scared of discussing anything with me. That's why he routes all of my posts to his censorship filter all the while being too ashamed of himself to admit publicly that he's doing it. Alas, such is the substance, or significant lack thereof, of Pirate Mike.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 30th, 2013 @ 1:33pm

    Re:

    1. Go Google "fruit of the poison tree"
    2. Come back
    3. Post comment that's identical to the one you just posted

    That's what I expect of you...simply because you're obviously dense.


    Can you explain how any of that applies to the United States' case against Dotcom? I expect not.

     

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  13.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 30th, 2013 @ 1:35pm

    Re:

    I know pebbles more interesting than you.

     

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

  14.  
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    James Burkhardt (profile), Aug 30th, 2013 @ 1:38pm

    Re:

    So, if I intentionally take a bunch of electronics from a party at another persons house, as long as I didn't intend to steal those items, its legal right? Because it was unclear if the electronics left lying around were owned or not.

     

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  15.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 30th, 2013 @ 1:41pm

    Re: Re:

    I'll explain it when you explain exactly what my reply to another poster has to do with YOUR comment.

    Can you explain THAT? I expect not.

     

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  16.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 30th, 2013 @ 1:46pm

    Re:

    so, where did you get your law degree? what area(s) do you practice in? I don't know criminal law, but without credentials, I have no reason to think that you do either. Without that info, you're just a punk AC

     

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  17.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 30th, 2013 @ 1:46pm

    Re:

    The point still stands that you bought the "without intent" argument.

    With the degree in which the raid was conducted and what they were looking for you honestly expect me to believe that they had no idea about the status of Dotcom's residency?

    You're so obsessed with copyright that you're willing to break whatever laws are in place to meet that end. And for that, you're a sad, sad person.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 30th, 2013 @ 1:47pm

    I'll explain it when you explain exactly what my reply to another poster has to do with YOUR comment.

    Can you explain THAT? I expect not.


    So you can't explain how the fruit of the poisonous tree doctrine based on the actions of the NZ government applies to the case in the U.S. Got it!

     

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  19.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 30th, 2013 @ 1:47pm

    Re: Re:

    ...and by the way, how's that case the US has against Dotcom going?

    Got a court date set yet?

    Bwahahahahahahaha!!!!

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 30th, 2013 @ 1:48pm

    I know pebbles more interesting than you.

    And I know rocks who are more honest than Pirate Mike.

     

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  21.  
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    Rikuo (profile), Aug 30th, 2013 @ 1:49pm

    Re: Criminality by NZ Gestapo doesn't exonerate Dotcom!

    In a sane and fair world, it should, considering that in a court case, if the guys doing the prosecuting and gathering evidence had to, BREAK THE LAW, in order to prove that the guy opposite them BROKE THE LAW and deserves to go to jail...can you figure out where I'm going with this?

     

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  22.  
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    Joe Dirt, Aug 30th, 2013 @ 1:49pm

    Re:

    Wait...Let's say I am driving down the road and accidentally run over a pedestrian. Since I never actually intended to hit him, according to the NZ authorities, I committed no crime right?

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 30th, 2013 @ 1:50pm

    The point still stands that you bought the "without intent" argument.

    With the degree in which the raid was conducted and what they were looking for you honestly expect me to believe that they had no idea about the status of Dotcom's residency?

    You're so obsessed with copyright that you're willing to break whatever laws are in place to meet that end. And for that, you're a sad, sad person.


    The fact remains that they aren't prosecuting because they can't prove specific intent. However you get from that to me being "willing to break whatever laws" is hilarious.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 30th, 2013 @ 1:51pm

    Wait...Let's say I am driving down the road and accidentally run over a pedestrian. Since I never actually intended to hit him, according to the NZ authorities, I committed no crime right?

    If it were an accident, you wouldn't be prosecuted under a statute that requires specific intent. Other statutes would probably apply though. This stuff isn't hard. Specific intent means specifically intending to violate a known duty.

     

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    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 30th, 2013 @ 1:53pm

    So, if I intentionally take a bunch of electronics from a party at another persons house, as long as I didn't intend to steal those items, its legal right? Because it was unclear if the electronics left lying around were owned or not.

    If the statute says you must specifically intend to violate a known duty and you don't have that intent, you wouldn't be prosecuted under that statute. This stuff is easy.

     

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  26.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 30th, 2013 @ 1:53pm

    Re:

    Here you go:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Conversation_threading

    Hopefully you'll look a little less like a dipshit now.

     

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  27. This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
     
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 30th, 2013 @ 1:55pm

    ...and by the way, how's that case the US has against Dotcom going?

    Got a court date set yet?

    Bwahahahahahahaha!!!!


    I love how Pirate Mike lies and pretends like he's not pro-piracy, yet his boards are full of pirate fools like you. The case is going well. Megaupload is shutdown. The principals are indicted. Assets have been seized. Looks like a win so far to me. Still working on extradition, as you well know. Once here, I think the jury will deliberate for about 10 minutes.

     

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  28.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 30th, 2013 @ 1:55pm

    Re:

    The fact remains that if anyone else used the "we didn't mean to do it" defense, the outcome would be entirely different.

    But no worries - you keep overlooking that they are not allowed to spy on NZ residents (and did).

     

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  29.  
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    Joe Dirt, Aug 30th, 2013 @ 1:56pm

    Re:

    SO if the law states that you can't spy on someone from NZ and you then spy knowingly on someone from NZ, how is that not specific intent, as you describe it?

     

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  30. This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
     
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 30th, 2013 @ 1:56pm

    so, where did you get your law degree? what area(s) do you practice in? I don't know criminal law, but without credentials, I have no reason to think that you do either. Without that info, you're just a punk AC

    This is basic first week of Crim Law stuff. Ask any 1L. They'll know more about the law than Mikey.

     

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  31.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 30th, 2013 @ 1:57pm

    Re:

    But nothing in court, right?

    Just a lack of due process. Thanks for further making my point.

    Pirate fools? No. Just ordinary people who don't care for governments that are clearly out of control.

     

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  32.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 30th, 2013 @ 1:58pm

    Re:

    BTW, did you still miss this one?

    Here you go:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Conversation_threading

    Hopefully you'll look a little less like a dipshit now."

     

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  33. This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
     
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 30th, 2013 @ 1:59pm

    so, where did you get your law degree? what area(s) do you practice in? I don't know criminal law, but without credentials, I have no reason to think that you do either. Without that info, you're just a punk AC

    This is basic first week of Crim Law stuff. Ask any 1L. They'll know more about the law than Mikey.

     

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  34. This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
     
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 30th, 2013 @ 2:01pm

    Re: Go Kim Go

    Here you go:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Conversation_threading

    Hopefully you'll look a little less like a dipshit now.


    I'm hitting "reply," but it's not threading for me. I imagine it's the proxy I'm using that's mucking it up. Sorry, but it's beyond my control. If Mikey weren't censoring me by routing my posts to his censorship filter, I wouldn't have this problem. Ask Mikey. He won't give you an honest answer. But ask anyway.

     

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  35.  
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    Joe Dirt, Aug 30th, 2013 @ 2:02pm

    Re:

    Just for reference... it looks like they did break the law, based on this definition - http://legal-dictionary.thefreedictionary.com/Specific+Intent

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 30th, 2013 @ 2:05pm

    SO if the law states that you can't spy on someone from NZ and you then spy knowingly on someone from NZ, how is that not specific intent, as you describe it?

    Good question. I haven't seen the particular statute at issue, but what is obvious from the article Mike linked to is that the statute requires specific intent. They did intend to do the spying, which would be general intent, but they didn't do it knowing that Dotcom had whatever citizenship status he had that made it illegal. They didn't specifically intend to violate a known duty.

     

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  37.  
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    Ferel (profile), Aug 30th, 2013 @ 2:05pm

    Re: Re: Go Kim Go

    If I were capable of posting constructively, I wouldn't have this problem.

    ftfy

     

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  38.  
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    Zos (profile), Aug 30th, 2013 @ 2:21pm

    an old bit of wisdom comes to mind-
    "why not? because fuck you, that's why not"

     

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  39.  
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    Rikuo (profile), Aug 30th, 2013 @ 2:30pm

    Re:

    ....you do know that you are advocating for GCSB to sidestep the law?
    GCSB is told "No, you can't spy on NZ residents/citizens". So, according to you, if GCSB wants to do domestic spying, all they have to do is neglect the very important step of checking whether their target is a NZ resident/citizen. That gets them off the hook?

     

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  40.  
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    Togashi (profile), Aug 30th, 2013 @ 2:37pm

    Re:

    Well of course you do. I've never heard a rock lie in my life. If Mike has ever told even the smallest lie (and who hasn't?), then all rocks must be more honest than he is.

     

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  41.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 30th, 2013 @ 2:49pm

    no one else would ever be allowed to use 'i didn't do it intentionally' as an excuse! if Dotcom tried it, he would be laughed all the way to Gitmo! it shows how bad the justice system has got and when it suits, anyone can get away with anything!!

     

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  42.  
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    That One Guy (profile), Aug 30th, 2013 @ 3:13pm

    Ah good old double-standards...

    I notice the trolls are out in force on this one, guess when you go on and on about how 'piracy is bad because it's against the law!', and those enforcing it do so by breaking the law, it doesn't look so good for their argument.

     

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  43.  
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    AzureSky (profile), Aug 30th, 2013 @ 3:18pm

    Re: Re: Go Kim Go

    reported(so you dont think mike is why this is hidden from view...mind i would hit "stupid" if that where an option but its not)

     

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    slinkySlim, Aug 30th, 2013 @ 3:31pm

    Re: Re: Go Kim Go

    The proxy is mucking it up, huh? Riiight...

    The only thing I see making any muck here is your bitch ass.

    And the only thing I need to ask Mike is where his mama is because she's late.. I mean, if, you know, whatever.

    dumbass.

     

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  45.  
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    slinkySlim, Aug 30th, 2013 @ 3:49pm

    Re: Re: Re: Go Kim Go

    Actually, maybe I would ask Mike something.

    I'd ask if perhaps he could give some thought to giving the ability to collapse/expand a reported top post's thread. It seems pollution can get rampant when folks respond to reported comments, especially when the post's topic pertains specifically to things like copyright it would seem (ahem). It can be hard to resist having one's reading and thoughts captured by trolls. A quick glance at thread contents *might* save people from the abyss. The very same abyss that brings forth critters like you and, clearly, attempts to consume critters like me.

    Tool.

     

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  46.  
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    Fentex, Aug 30th, 2013 @ 4:31pm

    This is the NZ Police, as they often do, attempting to side step politically charged cases that involve holding authority to account.

    Their argument is transparently incorrect. They are acting as if the GCSB lacked mens rea (an intent to commit a crime) as it is generally held in criminal justice systems with history and traditions similar to NZ (i.e Britain and the U.S) to be a necessary element for a crime to have occurred.

    Without it although a law may be broken it's more likely a civil matter (such as defamation) - to be criminal a criminal intent is required.

    However the evidence uncovered clearly demonstrates an intention to commit a criminal act and Police obliviousness to it a deliberate turning of a blind eye.

    It is a demonstration of how proclamations that there is oversight of secret squirrel spies are nonsense - authority does not police itself.

     

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  47.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 30th, 2013 @ 5:28pm

    The only job in the world that actually works in your favor if you fuck up.

    Really? I figured they'd give at least one of the abusers a paid vacation errr I mean suspension.

     

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  48.  
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    Bergman (profile), Aug 30th, 2013 @ 7:43pm

    Re: Re:

    It's very simple: The constitution limits government action, it grants no rights at all. It also doesn't specify that only citizens have rights.

    There is no constitutional loophole for hiring someone else to do something the hirer is forbidden to do.

     

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  49.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 30th, 2013 @ 7:46pm

    Here's something average_jackass doesn't seem to get: if you spam, as you have done, you get routed to the spam filter. This isn't hard.

    average_joe just hates it when due process is enforced.

     

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  50.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 30th, 2013 @ 10:50pm

    Re:

    ...And I thought the FBI didn't raid foreign countries, too.

    The specific intent is right there. Why allow a foreign domestic intelligence organisation to operate on your lands after ignoring the laws you are sworn to uphold?

    Way to make the people trust you, GCSB.

     

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  51.  
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    JMT (profile), Aug 31st, 2013 @ 1:24am

    Re: Criminality by NZ Gestapo doesn't exonerate Dotcom!

    "Criminals abound and prosper. Anyone civilized must keep watch on ALL of them."

    I bet the Stasi and KGB thought they were pretty 'civilized' too...

     

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  52.  
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    art guerrilla (profile), Aug 31st, 2013 @ 4:24am

    well, this *is* highly unusual...

    usually, scumbag spook in country A, gets scumbag spook in country B to spy on someone back in country A that they are not 'allowed' (i know, i know, i make a funny!) to spy on; then scumbag spook in country A will return the favor and spy on someone in country B for their scumbag spooks...

    the mafia had a term for this: one hand washes the other...

    and that is about all you need to know: 'our' (sic) countries are nothing more than loosely affiliated criminal enterprises to do the bidding of the billionaire puppetmasters...

    art guerrilla
    aka ann archy
    eof

     

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  53.  
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    Malor (profile), Aug 31st, 2013 @ 7:52am

    Re: Re:

    No, because you know *someone* owns them, and you're depriving that person of the use of their item.

    If, however, you were able to wave your hand and make an exact copy of the electronics you found laying in their house, without changing the original electronics in any way, would that be theft?

    What harm would have been done, and to whom?

    Unauthorized enjoyment is not a crime.

     

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  54.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 31st, 2013 @ 8:10am

    Re:

    You seem to be upset by the term butthurt....thats very telling

     

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  55.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 31st, 2013 @ 8:12am

    Re: Re:

    Mike why don't you stick a post saying YES you do censor horse/OOTB etc.

    They'd practically rip their own genitals off with joy....hence no more troll posts...

     

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  56.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 31st, 2013 @ 8:13am

    Re:

    Several of them seem to reside inside your head

    - based entirely on an analysis of your posts

     

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  57.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 31st, 2013 @ 8:17am

    Re: The only job in the world that actually works in your favor if you fuck up.

    I for one take extreme offence at the suggestion that GCSB would give someone a paid vacation for screwing up.

    The standard reward is a 10% pay rise AND a promotion.

    Vacation time (with spending money) is only given by the GCSB in the most serious cases where an employee shoots someone completely unrelated to any ongoing investigation.

     

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  58.  
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    China Mike (profile), Aug 31st, 2013 @ 1:51pm

    Your Newsletter is crap

    I didn't know where to complain. I get your newsletter, and it is so messed up! It doesn't word wrap! I use Gmail, and the damn newsletter is like three pages WIDE! For a tech website, I think this should be pretty damn embarrassing to have such a crappy newsletter.

     

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  59.  
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    nasch (profile), Sep 1st, 2013 @ 7:18am

    Re: Your Newsletter is crap

    I didn't know where to complain.

    In case you're still watching:
    http://www.techdirt.com/contact.php

     

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  60.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 2nd, 2013 @ 12:15am

    Re:

    Because illegally obtained evidence is automatically suspect, and generally not admissible in court.

     

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  61.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 2nd, 2013 @ 2:04am

    Re: Re: Re:

    New Zealand doesn't have a constitution.

     

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

  62.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 3rd, 2013 @ 7:27am

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    We're talking about a US court case.

     

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


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