Kim Dotcom Cleared To Pursue Case Against New Zealand For Illegal Spying

from the opening-up-a-can-of-worms dept

The latest in the saga of New Zealand’s Government Communications Security Bureau (GCSB) — their version of the NSA — illegally spying on Kim Dotcom, is that he’s been cleared to file a lawsuit against the GCSB for its activities and the GCSB will be told to reveal some of the details of its secret electronic spying setup.

The order for the GCSB to reveal top secret details came as the High Court at Auckland ruled the spy agency would now sit alongside the police in a case probing the unlawful search warrant used in the raid on Dotcom’s north Auckland mansion.

Chief high court judge Helen Winkelmann said the GCSB would have to “confirm all entities” to which it gave information sourced through its illegal interception of Dotcom’s communications.

She said her order included “members of Echelon/Five Eyes, including any United States authority”. The Echelon network is an international intelligence network to which New Zealand and the United States are members, along with Australia, Canada and the United Kingdom.

You have to imagine that New Zealand officials are seriously regretting falling for the DOJ’s version of the Megaupload story without bothering to actually check the details, huh?

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Comments on “Kim Dotcom Cleared To Pursue Case Against New Zealand For Illegal Spying”

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Gothenem (profile) says:

Don’t get me wrong here, I am no fan of Kim Dotcom and I have never used Megaupload for any purpose. That said, what happened to him is even more tragic.

This is a case of government doing what their financial backers wanted, despite lack of evidence of any wrongdoing. Oh, there was reasonable suspicion, but they went ahead and broke the law to nab one person.

While I personally think that Dotcom is a slimeball, he does have the same rights to privacy, security, and freedom that we all do. Those rights were violated by a government bent on taking him down, regardless of the cost.

And that cost is high, because now the government feels empowered to do this to anyone. Maybe you’ll be next Mike, maybe Out_of_the_Blue will be next. When our rights are violated like this, and no one stands up to it, the government will feel justified in continuing it.

So, despite my dislike for Mr. Dotcom, I support his fight against the seizure of Megaupload. He has become the champion for rights in the digital age. He is far from perfect, but he is what we have.

I remember back in high school, reading Mr. Orwell’s 1984. I remember thinking that it would never happen. Now I am older, and wiser, and looking at the world we live in today, I am very afraid that Orwell only got one thing wrong. The year.

Richard (profile) says:

Re: Re:

While I personally think that Dotcom is a slimeball, he does have the same rights to privacy, security, and freedom that we all do. Those rights were violated by a government bent on taking him down, regardless of the cost.

Yes it’s the “Man for all seasons” quote:
“William Roper: So, now you give the Devil the benefit of law!
Sir Thomas More: Yes! What would you do? Cut a great road through the law to get after the Devil?
William Roper: Yes, I’d cut down every law in England to do that!
Sir Thomas More: Oh? And when the last law was down, and the Devil turned ’round on you, where would you hide, Roper, the laws all being flat? This country is planted thick with laws, from coast to coast, Man’s laws, not God’s! And if you cut them down, and you’re just the man to do it, do you really think you could stand upright in the winds that would blow then? Yes, I’d give the Devil benefit of law, for my own safety’s sake! “

The US government has most certainly “cut a great road through the law” to go after Dotcom.

We should all be very afraid for the winds that may blow now.

PaulT (profile) says:

Re: Re:

Indeed. What’s the old quote about freedom of speech, something like “I disagree with what you say but I will fight to the death for your freedom to say it”? That definitely applies here.

Whatever your thoughts on Dotcom’s personality or his behaviour, he must be given the same rights as every other person and prosecuted within the law. Those who violate these conditions must equally be open to prosecution, else why should a government respect any rights for any of us?

Wally (profile) says:

Re: Re:

I understand your skeptisim on Kim Dotcom. I was, admittedly, a bit wary of him until I saw the body language he conveyed during his interview. He was once known for throwing outlandish parties that most people in their mid 20’s would throw and was rather non-“hey there thailer” flamboyant about everything he did.

Since he got married and settled with wife and kids, the man took his work very seriously and when you start to realize how much he has matured since his party days. He’s almost teddybear-like in his mannorisms now.

If you watch the interviews the that Kiwi press did in conjunction with the BBC, you might be able to at least get a feel for his human side today, rather than the party boy that he was in the past.

Colin Rogers (user link) says:

Re: Re:

Why is he a slimeball? For Megaupload??? He provided a service to people. It shouldnt be his concern whether or not people use it for storing pirated software or not. People chose to use his service for ‘nefarious’ acts, and he took the fall for that.

The whole thing is a bunch of bullshit to begin with. Why only megaupload? Why are the other sites… which most are hosted in the United States… that provide the exact same service, still up and running like nothing ever happened, while Dotcom got screwed over?

He did nothing wrong, in terms of this lawsuit, and the U.S. needs to mind their business

JMT says:

Re: Re:

“While I personally think that Dotcom is a slimeball…”

Why do you feel that way? The strong personal feelings some people seem to have about Dotcom baffle me. Slimeball is the kind of insult I reserve for people whose actions regularly hurt other people. What exactly has he done that’s upset you so much?

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

i think you might want to consider business pracices in the white-collar world…banks, enron, Lehman brothers, etc pp. Plus, what does this have to do with the case? fundamental rpinciple of our legal system: a case is treated on its own merits. Last recouse of the troll: if you don’t have arguments about the present case, drag up something else to divert attention to.

Anonymous Coward says:

it also makes me wonder why the MPAA had the gfall to put out the bull shit statement of how successful was the shutting down of the Mega sites and how that forced the closure and disruption of other sites. it is pure fantasy and typical of the type of make believe statement that Hollywood issues. they have been dealing with fiction for so long now, they dont know how to distinguish what is true from what isn’t. what a shame the gullible politicians will fall for it, as usual!

Call me Al says:

Re: Re:

It did result in the closure and disruption of other sites. However I think I am right in saying there are now new ones in their place, possibly even more than before.

As they found when they went after P2P networks, the tools which can be used for piracy are like a hydra. Cut off one and two more take their place.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:

Oh, I can guarantee that there are far more such sites. If you let them be for a long time they will catch all the traffic and smaller sites will close, essentially creating a monopoly/diopoly etc. If you close down that exclusivity the former competitors will spring to life again.

As for market, internet is as close as you come to the true free market from the textbooks. That is neither good, nor bad compared to the physical world.

The problem is that it is governed by other rules and getting them in sync with the physical worlds is impossible. Que, lobby against piracy. The definition of an eternal lobby: Using every possibility to plea their case and fighting for something that is absolutely impossible to achieve.

For some reason the use of them as parts in negotiations and ignoring university research in the wake has become the standard. It is quite disturbing for rational thinkers!

gorehound (profile) says:

Re: Re:

MAFIAA is so full of shit.I have also been following this Case closely.
Here’s hoping KD will be able to eventually Sue the US Government.By doing that it would probably leak out the details to the Public of US Gov & MAFIAA Corruption.
Many of us US Citizens hate Corruption and the breaking of Laws by Officials.
I want to see those in Government crucified over this, ACTA, TPP, PIPA, SOPA, CISPA…………..


The Real Michael says:

Re: Re:

They’re going to be. As stated, the High Court gave the order and the GCSB must comply. Quite unlike here in the US where they just make a blanket claim for “national security” and cover up their misdeeds.

It’s looking more and more like Kim is going to be cleared in the end. Just because he’s not the greatest guy in the world, that doesn’t give governments an excuse to step all over his rights.

This case proves what we already knew, that spying agencies are using illegally gathered info against the people, hence “illegal interception of Dotcom’s communications.” The content industries colluded with the DOJ in order to raid Kim’s estate and now there’s egg on their face.

out_of_the_blue says:

Gov't spying IS bad, and "Dotcom" IS a grifter! Not mutually exclusive.

Mike is yet again presenting this only because he wishes Megaupload to be able to get money off other people’s work. Mike is always for grifting; Megaupload’s operation is clearly immoral and depends entirely for income upon infringing — despite Dotcom’s claim of “lost wedding pictures”; yeah, those give lots of page views and are much downloaded. The guy is a grifter AND a liar.

Now, it may be that some good will come from yet more exposing how much gov’ts are illegally spying, but there again, Mike only tells the part that suits his narrow purpose: specifically, Mike never worries about Google’s “commercial” spying and tracking everyone all over the web — even though that’s all available to national intelligence for a small fee. Mike is inconsistent except that he always promotes piracy and presents Google as champion of internet freedom.

Support Mike “Streisand Effect” Masnick’s proprietary interest!
He innovated the term all by himself! He alone! It’s HIS!

Titania Bonham-Smythe (profile) says:

Re: Gov't spying IS bad, and "Dotcom" IS a grifter! Not mutually exclusive.

Is it possible to simply apply a “Mike” filter when I’m browsing the comments on Techdirt. Every comment that starts “Mike” seems to be written by some fucking nutter who should go out and get a proper job.

As for me, I’m going to go back to the important job of stacking the cat muzzle shelf at the Glastonbury Tor gift shop.

Julian Perez (user link) says:

Re: Re: Gov't spying IS bad, and "Dotcom" IS a grifter! Not mutually exclusive.

Hey, you work at the Glastonbury Tor gift shop? I was there a year ago with some friends sightseeing!

There was a lady there who said I looked like Harry Potter, which is very true.

If that was you, this might be the second time I just randomly came on someone I met in real life on a comments thread…since I encountered at random my hippie geology professor’s response to a political blog, that is.

nasch (profile) says:

Re: Re: Gov't spying IS bad, and "Dotcom" IS a grifter! Not mutually exclusive.

Is it possible to simply apply a “Mike” filter when I’m browsing the comments on Techdirt. Every comment that starts “Mike” seems to be written by some fucking nutter who should go out and get a proper job.

If you’re a geek and a Firefox user you could try modifying this Greasemonkey script:

It currently filters by commenter name but could be changed to filter by comment content.

Cory of PC (profile) says:

Re: Re:

Really Blue, this is one out of many comments you made WHY people don’t listen to your bat-crap crazy comments. You take one opportunity to come in and be anonymous, hijacking the threads to where people are incline to comment to you and then have them hit the report button to cover up your personal attack and otherwise nonsensical response.

You really could have potential to be taken seriously on here, but yet you have to go and attack Mike and everyone else because he doesn’t match your viewpoints and you want to feel morally superior to a guy who has a life outside of posting stories on the Internet. It’s really sad and pathetic that you of all people just stay here with your finger hovering over the F5 button and constantly hitting that button to refresh the page, just so that when a new story pops up, you have to make a comment on it and be closer to the top.

First off, hardly any one of us gives a crap about your comments. Sure you do have a few bits of logic hidden deep in there, but they’re littered with attacks towards this site. No one’s going to take you seriously if you’re going to behave like a toddler throwing a tantrum. You try to sound like you’re supporting us, but everybody can see that you’re really trying to get in and bring everyone down while placing yourself on top. It’s not going to work.

Second, let’s make this clear: what proof do you have that says what Mega did was immoral and was profiting off infringing? I know you don’t have it and even then, you’re not going to show it to us. Now I do get that people do have personal preferences when it comes to businesses, but it’s utter crap to believe that storing files online is immoral and then go on to say that those files are infringing! It was an legitimate business and it was unlawfully shut down because someone believed that Mega was making money off of these “infringing” files when artists were using it as a different means of getting their products out.

Sure you may question whether or not Mega was immoral. The real question is what our governments did was the moral thing or not? Well is it?

And here’s another thing: I believe I told you (or someone else) that the Internet is huge. There’s much more to it than Google. Why don’t you go off on a tangent about Microsoft or Yahoo! or someone else that isn’t Google? At least it’s something different than constantly

Finally, I know you like to use a certain word, but now it’s time for me to say this line to you: “You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.”

Internet, Blue. Get off TechDirt. Use Bing. Look up a thesaurus. Type in “grifter” and check to see what other words that are available. Got it?

Good day to you Blue. We’ll talk in another article…

PaulT (profile) says:

Re: Re:

“In a filing to the Office of the US Trade Representative the major movie studios describe how successful the shutdown of Megaupload has been.”

Do I need to read further than this to know that the claims will consist of lies, half-truths and cherry-picked facts? The MPAA claims their actions “worked”, despite there not being any notable rise in actual sales. What a surprise. Interesting that you’d link to Torrentfreak, though – aren’t you one of the morons who attacks Mike every time he links there, or am I getting my bridge dwellers mixed up?

“As one of the main instigators of the Megaupload investigation the MPAA tells the U.S. Government that as a direct result of the takedowns many other ?rogue? sites were rendered useless.”

Cool, so now they’ve reached the same point where the RIAA were at the start of the millennium, when they shut down hubs on centralised distribution networks. Centralised distribution networks have centralised vulnerabilities, whoopy do (though they do of course ignore the perfectly legal uses of the sites they shut down and the similar negative effect on that content).

If history and common sense are any clue, people will now switch to decentralised methods that will take a further decade or 2 of ineffective attacks that do nothing to actually increase legal sales and cause huge amounts of collateral damage on perfectly legal markets.

Oh look – that’s already happening with magnet links, darknets and the like. Is it too much to ask that they offer decent legal services to everybody before they play legal whack a mole? I guess so, sadly…

nasch (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:

The MPAA claims their actions “worked”, despite there not being any notable rise in actual sales.

For some reason, they don’t consider sales an important criterion of success. They seem to have a hard time defining reasonable goals. Or even useful ones. I mean, what would they do if they wiped out piracy and in so doing drove people to free independent music sources? Talk about a Phyrric victory!

John Fenderson (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

For some reason, they don’t consider sales an important criterion of success.

Sales aren’t an important criterion for success except in the long term. You’re misunderstanding what they’re fighting for.

This isn’t a battle against piracy, and music sales aren’t their immediate concern. This is a battle for control over this new means of distribution. Piracy is just the cover story.

The labels only really had one thing going for them: they had nearly complete control over distribution. You could replace every other service a label provided except for that one. Now, you don’t even need them for that.

For the labels, this looks like an existential crisis — how could they survive when they no longer have an exclusive asset? They can survive and thrive, of course, but to do so requires that they change the way they do business and accept lower margins. This is not acceptable to them, so they must destroy the internet in terms of being an effective distribution channel.

nasch (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Re:

This is not acceptable to them, so they must destroy the internet in terms of being an effective distribution channel.

Well that goes back to “not having reasonable goals”. 🙂
Although I kind of forgot this case is about movies rather than music. The principles are the same but the markets are a little different. I would guess the MPAA doesn’t have as clear a threat from independents as the RIAA does. There’s a plethora of independent music just as good as label music, but I’m not sure the same is true of feature-length movies (yet). It will get there eventually I’m sure.

Wally (profile) says:

I really worry about this case and constantly pray about the injustices upon Kim Dotcom and Megaupload getting reciprocated back to those who committed the injustice in 10-fold.

Megaupload’s shutdown not only affected people for their personal use, it cut off a large majority of historical software preservation projects as well.

My worry stems from the Luddite nostalgist that I am. I own an old iMac running MacOS 8.5, and most archival websites for any software pertaining to internal maintainence of that machine is now scattered to the wind because most of said software was stored on MegaUpload.

Rekrul says:

Re: Re:

My worry stems from the Luddite nostalgist that I am. I own an old iMac running MacOS 8.5, and most archival websites for any software pertaining to internal maintainence of that machine is now scattered to the wind because most of said software was stored on MegaUpload.

Apple considers that a good thing. They want you to be using the latest hardware & software and anything that helps push you in that direction is considered good.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

And yet, despite what you just said, it was YOU who mentioned Apple. Not the AC you’re replying to. In point of fact, it seems to ALWAYS be YOU who brings up Apple at every opportunity. Especially in articles that are very much NOT about Apple.

You consistently label others as trolls for questioning you and telling you to stop talking about Apple. Yet you fail to note that ONLY an Apple fanboi/troll does what you seem to do day in and day out.

And what’s more is that I noticed yesterday you seem to have some “knowledge” of psychology, I put that in quotes for a reason. So it seems especially interesting the way you project onto others labels that more suitably apply to yourself. Then again, I have come to find that most people who study psych to some degree have difficulty attributing to themselves that which they attribute easily to others, and a vast majority of the young upstarts, like yourself, grossly overestimate their abilities/knowledge of psychology.


Wally, let me not beat around the bush, STOP fuckng bringing up Apple at every opportunity. And STOP dismissing the validity of comments who remark upon said fact. If YOU can’t stay on topic WITHOUT mentioning Apple then quite obviously you really have nothing value to say, much less add to the discussion.

Cory of PC (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Re:

Um… can I ask: how is this any different from one of the usual trolls that come on to this site and throws a whole discussion out of the window?

Now I’m not going to speak for Wally, but let the guy be. Sure I don’t like Apple and that’s my personal preference. I’m not going to go bashing him every time he brings up his computer or any other products he owns from Apple. Just because he has said product doesn’t mean that he’s a fan boy of them.

I don’t find this to be a big deal, but yet you do. Again I personally don’t like Apple, but I don’t go bashing him for it if he brings his computer up. Sheesh and I though the others were going off-topic…

Wally (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:3 Re:

Thanks Corey of PC.

It should be noted that since some pretty much the average size of the software made Mac System 6.0.8 is less than 1 megabyte in size and is relatively easy to archive anywhere you look. System 6 Hell is an excellent source for games like Cairo Shootout, Phrase Craze, and the original Cap’n Magneto.

But when you get to CD-ROM titles like Cassedy and Green’s “Glider Pro” (12 Megabytes on a hard disk) and Cyan Worlds’ “Cosmic Osmo and the Worlds Beyond the Mackerel” (50MB of data and a 12 title Sound Track) it’s not cheep to keep paying for reluable bandwidth. Megaupload was the best service for that.

Wally (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Re:

Wow that’s the longest Strawman argument I’ve ever seen.

I love how I just mention my reasons for not liking Megaupload being shut down. If you would be as so kind to read my ENTIRE statement and use what little brain power you had, you would see that my one of my hobbies is a software archivist. Mine happens to be specifically THIRD PARTY APPLICATIONS THAT RAN ON MacOS 8.5 or older.

You beat around the bush and used a Strawman argument without any regaurd because of your subconscious fear that a corporate entity who shares the name of a fruit.

So to give you the worst nightmares ever:


Of course I’ll expect you to respond in derp which sounds a bit like this to most other people here who don’t mind seeing the words “Apple Computer” put together. This also may reflect what I think is going inside your head as you read my comment the moment you see Apple:


Do I make myself perfectly clear that what I said had nothing to do with the promotion of an Apple product? Or do you want to be flamed more? Either way the choice is yours.

The Infamous Joe (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:5 Re:

Very well, since you expect me to believe you weren’t mad or crazy when writing that mad, crazy post, I’ll expect you to believe that I have never once met a psychology major that wasn’t at least moderately bat-shit crazy. My theory is that deep down they know they’re crazy, so they have a subconscious desire to know how “normal” people behave, so they can attempt to emulate it.

You have reenforced my theory.


Wally (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:6 Re:

I’ll tell you a deep dark secret 😉

Everyone is crazy!!! In one way or another 😛

Seriously though, if you look through the DSM you will find a lot of behavior quirks in others pertaining to multiple symptoms of multiple disorders. There are a lot of tests done to actually determine specifically what’s wrong For instance, manic depression can be both temporary and pervasive at the same time, or either of the two. Everyone shows signs of the disorders at any given time of day.

Anonymous Coward says:

‘New Zealand officials are seriously regretting falling for the DOJ’s version of the Megaupload story’

they didn’t fall for the ‘DoJ’s version of the Megaupload story’, they fell for the ‘DoJ’s version of the USA entertainment industries version of the Megaupload story’. and as long as there are politicians that keep getting ‘financially backed’ by these industry liars, nothing is going to change. look at the bull shit that has been released by O’Leary concerning the unmitigated success of the Mega close down. i bet you could count on 1 finger the number of politicians that dont believe it and less than that who will dispute it! complete one-sided crap that relies totally on bribes to give it some substance!

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