Kim Dotcom Allowed To Sue Kiwi Government For Illegal Spying

from the and-off-we-go dept

You may recall that last fall, the New Zealand government admitted that its equivalent of the NSA, the Government Communications Security Bureau (GCSB) had illegally spied on Kim Dotcom for US law enforcement. Like the NSA (in theory), the GCSB is not allowed to spy on people domestically. But they did exactly that. Now the other shoe has dropped, as Kim Dotcom has been allowed to sue the government over illegal surveillance, for which Dotcom may receive compensation. The NZ government had tried to argue that it was “inappropriate,” but a court has rejected that idea. This also means that Dotcom (and his lawyers) will be told what information was captured and who it was sent to — though the actual documents won’t be shown to him.

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Comments on “Kim Dotcom Allowed To Sue Kiwi Government For Illegal Spying”

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20 Comments
Arthur Moore (profile) says:

Re: Re:

I’m heavily paraphrasing here, but the problem is that the extradition court has said it doesn’t need to do anything but look at a summary of the evidence presented, not the evidence itself.

So even though Dotcom might eventually prove that the evidence used in the extradition hearing was illegally obtained, it might be too late.

As for the US, he’s not a US citizen and was not on US soil. Thus the three letter agencies will argue that they can do whatever they want, and the US constitution doesn’t apply. They’ll probably win that argument too.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:

I agree with the comment here even though I don’t like the US between the US and Dotcom.

The US has already given a summery of charges and evidence of the case against Dotcom when they applied for the extradition and now that the Appeal Court has ruled in favour of the US in that they don’t have to give fuller disclosure of evidence then there is nothing more that the US will supply or disclose evidence wise to the NZ court or even to Dotcom as the US have already presented the summery of the charges and evidence already.

As the summery of charges and evidence has already been presented before any action of the NZ police then any illegalities caused by the NZ police, ie illegal spying, raid, search and seizure of property of Dotcoms home and transfering of that evidence to the US will not affect the evidence already presented and given in the summery of evidence that the US has already supplied when they made the extradition request as these illegalites and actions by the NZ police were done after the charges and evidence of summery were already presented.

As the US are already preventing Dotcom from accessing any evidence in the US etc. then it is going to be very difficult now for Dotcom to show that the charges and evidence in the summery are untrue in the extradition hearing as the evidence in the summery will not be affected by illegal actions of the NZ police being as the evidence was presented before the involvement of the NZ police.

The Appeal Court ruling could still be overturned by The Supreme Court but its doubtful being that the extradition hearing is not an actual trial to prove guilt or innocent of charges but to actually determine if the extradition is warranted based on the summery evidence which is now going to be difficult for Dotcom to disprove being as he cannot see all the evidence.

I hope that Dotcoms extradition is refused but based on the Appeal Court ruling I am beginning to think that the US has now got the extradition in the bag.

Wally (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

“The Appeal Court ruling could still be overturned by The Supreme Court but its doubtful being that the extradition hearing is not an actual trial to prove guilt or innocent of charges but to actually determine if the extradition is warranted based on the summery evidence which is now going to be difficult for Dotcom to disprove being as he cannot see all the evidence.”

I think that it will be. US law strictly prohibits withholding information from the Defense Attorney, even in an extradition hearing. Once this case hits the US Supreme Court, it will become very clear that the withholding of evidence was present, thus nullifying the case entirely.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Re:

The only way that the US will release the evidence to the defense for the actual case is once Dotcom has been extradited and he is on US soil and no doubt in prision pending court case trial. The US does not have to give the defence the actual evidence of the case but only summery of evidence as now ruled by the Appeal Court which can be overturned by the NZ Supreme Court which is doubtful.

If Dotcom wins the NZ Supreme Court appeal (if they give the go ahead to hear the appeal that is) then he stands a good chance of rebutting the charges and evidence in the extradition hearing. If the Supreme court does not overturn the Appeal Court ruling then Dotcom is well and truly shafted as he has already been given the summary evidence by the US and I don’t believe that the US will give any more evidence considering that they won there appeal not to do so by the Appeal Court and the only way that Dotcom will actually get to have all the actual evidence of the case against him is once he is extradited and not before.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:

“As for the US, he’s not a US citizen and was not on US soil. Thus the three letter agencies will argue that they can do whatever they want, and the US constitution doesn’t apply.”

By that standard, any foreign country’s law-enforcement organization can do the same thing to any American anywhere else in the world!

So what should they accuse Arthur Moore of?

John Fenderson (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:

As for the US, he’s not a US citizen and was not on US soil. Thus the three letter agencies will argue that they can do whatever they want, and the US constitution doesn’t apply. They’ll probably win that argument too.

That wouldn’t be a sure-fire win for them.

Most of the Constitution applies to anything the government does, regardless of whether or not it’s doing it to US citizens or on US soil. There are some narrow exceptions, and it is possible to craft an argument to take advantage of them, but it’s far from a carte blanche.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re:

Indeed, that’s what makes the US’ claims that they don’t have to show Kim Dotcom the evidence they have against him before he’s extradited even more pointless and outrageous.

If you’re showing that kind of bad faith already at doing what’s legally required, then it doesn’t look like you’re going to be playing by the rules in court. Or the way the US government has been post-9/11 there might not even be a trial, he might be thrown in jail without charges and tortured. I wouldn’t put it past them to do that, and I’m a US citizen.

mockingbird (profile) says:

Re: Re:

that’s an excellent point.
further, there’s a the posioned fruit concept where anything further that you would not have gotten if you had not broken the law in the first place is excluded as well.
which would probably leave not much of a case at all.
except, there will likely be arguments that they didn’t break any US laws.. which would fall into areas like guantanamo, it’s not here, we’r enot breaking US laws, that’s someone elses prison, etc etc..
ie. the letter vs the spirit of the law, etc.
after all, we have to protect the children.

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