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.

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  • identicon
    dadtaxi, 30 Aug 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

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 30 Aug 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.

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

    • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
      identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 30 Aug 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.

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

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 30 Aug 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.

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

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 30 Aug 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!!!!

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

      • icon
        Bergman (profile), 30 Aug 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.

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

  • identicon
    سمَـَّو&, 30 Aug 2013 @ 1:07pm

    Go Kim Go

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

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

    • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
      identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 30 Aug 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.

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

      • icon
        Ferel (profile), 30 Aug 2013 @ 2:05pm

        Re: Re: Go Kim Go

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

        ftfy

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

      • icon
        AzureSky (profile), 30 Aug 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)

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

      • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
        identicon
        slinkySlim, 30 Aug 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.

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

        • identicon
          slinkySlim, 30 Aug 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.

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

  • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 30 Aug 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.

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 30 Aug 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.

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 30 Aug 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!!!

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

    • icon
      James Burkhardt (profile), 30 Aug 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.

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

      • icon
        Malor (profile), 31 Aug 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.

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

    • identicon
      Joe Dirt, 30 Aug 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?

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

  • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 30 Aug 2013 @ 1:14pm

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

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

  • icon
    Zangetsu (profile), 30 Aug 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.

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

  • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
    identicon
    out_of_the_blue, 30 Aug 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.

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 30 Aug 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.

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

    • icon
      Rikuo (profile), 30 Aug 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?

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

    • icon
      JMT (profile), 31 Aug 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...

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

  • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 30 Aug 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.

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 30 Aug 2013 @ 1:35pm

      Re:

      I know pebbles more interesting than you.

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

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 31 Aug 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...

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 30 Aug 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

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 30 Aug 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.

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 30 Aug 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.

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

  • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 30 Aug 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!

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

  • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 30 Aug 2013 @ 1:48pm

    I know pebbles more interesting than you.

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

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

    • icon
      Togashi (profile), 30 Aug 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.

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 31 Aug 2013 @ 8:13am

      Re:

      Several of them seem to reside inside your head

      - based entirely on an analysis of your posts

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

  • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 30 Aug 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.

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 30 Aug 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).

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

  • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 30 Aug 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.

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

  • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 30 Aug 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.

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

  • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 30 Aug 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.

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

  • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 30 Aug 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.

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

  • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 30 Aug 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.

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

  • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 30 Aug 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.

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

    • icon
      Rikuo (profile), 30 Aug 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?

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

  • icon
    Zos (profile), 30 Aug 2013 @ 2:21pm

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

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 30 Aug 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!!

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

  • icon
    That One Guy (profile), 30 Aug 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.

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

  • identicon
    Fentex, 30 Aug 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.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 30 Aug 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.

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 31 Aug 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.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 30 Aug 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.

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

  • icon
    art guerrilla (profile), 31 Aug 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

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

  • icon
    China Mike (profile), 31 Aug 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.

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


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