New Zealand Spy Agency Deleted Evidence About Its Illegal Spying On Kim Dotcom

from the oops dept

I have to admit that I'm consistently amazed at just how badly law enforcement in both the US and New Zealand appeared to screw up the raid and the case against Kim Dotcom. I've said it a few times before, but it really feels like authorities in both places actually believed the bogus Hollywood hype being spread by the MPAA about how Dotcom was really a James Bondian-villain, and acted accordingly, while ignoring any evidence to the contrary. As you know by now, the New Zealand equivalent of the NSA, the GCSB, illegally spied on Kim Dotcom and other New Zealand residents and citizens -- and the New Zealand government then decided to try to hide that. While the police agreed that the spying was illegal, they declined to do anything about it, so Dotcom sued the government himself.

The latest news in this: GCSB appears to have deleted key evidence in the case in a hamfisted attempt to cover up its illegal activities. Even more ridiculous, GCSB is trying to cover this up by claiming that the material had "aged off" -- implying that it was deleted automatically. New Zealand Prime Minister John Key claims that they had to delete the information under the law.

Of course, there are a few problems with that. The first is that under New Zealand law, like most countries these days, parties have an obligation to preserve documents likely to be necessary in a legal case. But, even more damning is that there's video of John Key in the New Zealand Parliament trying to defend against an earlier claim that GCSB had deleted some evidence by insisting that GCSB does not delete anything ever:
In the video, he notes: "This is a spy agency. We don't delete things. We archive them. And they went right back to the ultimate source document, and asked themselves the question: Has there ever been a deletion? And the answer was NO!!" And yet now he's claiming that it's normal everyday policy to delete key evidence?


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  1.  
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    rw (profile), Feb 4th, 2014 @ 10:45am

    Mmmm, having his cake and eating it too!

     

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  2.  
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    That One Guy (profile), Feb 4th, 2014 @ 12:00pm

    'We never, ever delete evidence, except when we do, and even then we only ever delete evidence when it might be used against us, by showing illegal activity conducted by our agency.'

     

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  3.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 4th, 2014 @ 12:29pm

    It's pretty obvious, everything thing John Key and GCSB says about this case, is a flat-out lie. Other liars involved in this case, includes, the US DOJ, MPAA, and the Vice President of the United States himself.

    Quite the list of liars! They should be ashamed, but you'd need a conscious and moral compass to feel that emotion.

     

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  4.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 4th, 2014 @ 12:30pm

    Re:

    Which is probably worse and more damning than having kept the evidence itself. In this case, the court/public is open to speculate about just how much illegal activity was conducted...

     

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  5.  
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    silverscarcat (profile), Feb 4th, 2014 @ 12:31pm

    Re:

     

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  6.  
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    S. T. Stone, Feb 4th, 2014 @ 12:33pm

    I haven’t seen this much legal incompetence since the last Prendapocalypse update.

     

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  7.  
    identicon
    arcan, Feb 4th, 2014 @ 12:37pm

    NEWS OF THE HOUR

    INTELLIGENCE AGENCIES ACTING LIKE CHILDREN WHEN THEY ARE CAUGHT RED HANDED. READ ALL ABOUT IT.

     

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  8.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 4th, 2014 @ 12:43pm

    No one ever deletes evidence that proves their innocence.

     

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  9.  
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    mr. sim (profile), Feb 4th, 2014 @ 12:44pm

    wonder which republican senators are gonna throw a hissy fit about the "budget" when kim dotcom wins a fortune for this from the court.

     

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  10.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 4th, 2014 @ 12:46pm

    question

    i'm not very familiar with law in new zealand but can they drop the case because of this?

     

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  11.  
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    Me, Feb 4th, 2014 @ 12:47pm

    I suspect when the revolution comes, those in the "intelligence" agencies will - and should - be the first head's on the chopping blocks.

     

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  12.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 4th, 2014 @ 12:48pm

    From what I recall, in the U.S. evidence spoilation requires the court to take the destroyed evidence to be as damning as possible to the party that did it. If NZ is even close to similar, the GCSB just committed judicial suicide. Granted, they'll be able to spin it publicly however they like since there's no evidence, but legally they would have just screwed themselves.

    Given that the GCSB did that, I'm guessing that either there's something even more damning than anyone guessed, and/or (probably and) that they intend to play something along the lines of the NSA's state secrets game. Namely, lying and denying everything until (and after) confronted with evidence directly opposing their statements.

     

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  13.  
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    Baldaur Regis (profile), Feb 4th, 2014 @ 12:50pm

    "We're not a rogue agency, we're just criminally incompetent."
    Yeah. That's not going to work out as well as they may like.

     

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  14.  
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    Internet Zen Master (profile), Feb 4th, 2014 @ 12:53pm

    The US and NZ should just drop the case against Dotcom

    It's pretty clear at this point that they were either willing or ignorant dupes of the MPAA/Hollywood when they decided to go after Megaupload and Kim Dotcom, what, 2 years ago?

    And what do they have to show for it? More and more egg on their face. Seriously, the ratio of headlines where Kim Dotcom makes the US/NZ look like mindless thugs of the MPAA (or at the very least total buffoons) compared to the number of articles that paint Dotcom as an 'evil copyright infringer/counterfeiter/money-launder/whatever they're accusing him of being this week' is so lopsided in Dotcom's favor that it's not even funny.

     

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  15.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 4th, 2014 @ 1:01pm

    This should not surprise anyone any more than the CIA *mysteriously* deleting all its video of "enhanced" interrogations at Guantánamo.

     

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  16. This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
     
    identicon
    out_of_the_blue, Feb 4th, 2014 @ 1:05pm

    Oh, rats! Because though (allegedly) obtained illegally, it's evidence of actual crimes by Kim Dotcom.

    That's of course obvious, but equally obvious not the pirate position.

    Listen, kids: no matter what crimes other people committed (nor all of them since the dawn of time), Dotcom is still guilty of contributory infringement.

    Keep perspective, kids: Megaupload is not the leading edge of new content delivery modes, it's just trailing edge of theft from the old producers who are well justified in stomping out piracy. (181 of 195)

    09:05:31[k-26-4]

     

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  17.  
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    sehlat (profile), Feb 4th, 2014 @ 1:06pm

    The Trouble With Lying

    You then must remember which lies or truths you have already told. Forever.

     

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  18. This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
     
    icon
    krolork (profile), Feb 4th, 2014 @ 1:08pm

    They need a revolution.

     

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  19.  
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    Kim, Feb 4th, 2014 @ 1:14pm

    Re: question

    The Govt would love to drop this case..Unfortunatly for them this case is about Kim Dotcom sueing the Govt not the govt going after Dotcom..which makes thier actions a lot worse in my eyes.

     

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  20.  
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    PRMan, Feb 4th, 2014 @ 1:14pm

    Re: question

    Since Kim is suing the government in this case, I would hope not.

     

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  21.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 4th, 2014 @ 1:15pm

    Re: Oh, rats! Because though (allegedly) obtained illegally, it's evidence of actual crimes by Kim Dotcom.

    In which court of law has that been proven?

     

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  22.  
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    PRMan, Feb 4th, 2014 @ 1:15pm

    Re:

    Let's see... Probably right behind bankers, the MAFIAA...

     

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  23.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 4th, 2014 @ 1:16pm

    It's their law something we wished we had here in the states.
    relevant data is archived not deleted "aged off"

    http://www.legislation.govt.nz/act/public/2003/0009/latest/DLM187853.html?search=ta_act_G_ac%40a inf%40anif_an%40bn%40rn_25_a&p=1

    This is just another blown up cause to get dotcom back in the headlines.

     

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  24.  
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    Kim, Feb 4th, 2014 @ 1:17pm

    Re: Re: question

    Wow..Basicly the same comment at the same time ...great minds think alike..lol

     

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  25.  
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    PRMan, Feb 4th, 2014 @ 1:18pm

    Re: Oh, rats! Because though (allegedly) obtained illegally, it's evidence of actual crimes by Kim Dotcom.

    How?

    He didn't tell anyone to violate copyrights on his site.

    He gave the MAFIAA tools to police it themselves.

    And it's already been proven that the only case he didn't do this was at the request of the US government themselves.

     

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  26.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 4th, 2014 @ 1:25pm

    When will commentors learn?

    How long is it going to take for everyone who comments here to learn that by responding to OOTB that you're GIVING HIM EXACTLY WHAT HE WANTS: attention!

    Evidence here: "Yet they can't keep from commenting at me"

    It's about time people learn to

    REPORT OOTB AND EVERYONE WHO RESPONDS TO HIM

    Those "conversations" add NOTHING OF VALUE to the site and are DRIVING PEOPLE AWAY FROM TECHDIRT (myself included soon if something isn't done to reign in this nuisance)

     

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  27.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 4th, 2014 @ 1:36pm

    Re: When will commentors learn?

    Anonymous Coward, Feb 4th, 2014 @ 1:25pm

    When will commentors learn?
    How long is it going to take for everyone who comments here to learn that by responding to OOTB that you're GIVING HIM EXACTLY WHAT HE WANTS: attention!

    "Evidence here: "Yet they can't keep from commenting at me"

    It's about time people learn to

    REPORT OOTB AND EVERYONE WHO RESPONDS TO HIM

    Those "conversations" add NOTHING OF VALUE to the site and are DRIVING PEOPLE AWAY FROM TECHDIRT (myself included soon if something isn't done to reign in this nuisance)"

    This comment added NOTHING OF VALUE to the site "off with his head"

     

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  28. This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
     
    identicon
    out_of_the_blue, Feb 4th, 2014 @ 1:45pm

    Re: When will commentors learn? -- "if something isn't done to reign in this nuisance"?

    No, that's not censorship, 'cause YOU are teh High Arbiter of teh internets.

    Where the fanboys troll the site with vulgar ad hom, and call anyone disagreeing "trolls"! (7 of 195)

    09:44:56[k-937-2]

     

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  29.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 4th, 2014 @ 1:45pm

    Re: Re: When will commentors learn?

    Reported!

    oshi

     

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  30.  
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    weneedhelp (profile), Feb 4th, 2014 @ 1:49pm

    We dont delete things...

    unless we delete them.

     

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  31.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 4th, 2014 @ 2:06pm

    Re:

    I have. However, it involved blue paint, three zombie strippers and an angry gazebo.

    Otherwise known as "Saturday at the GCSB".

     

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  32.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 4th, 2014 @ 2:31pm

    no different to any other politician and government member! they're all out and out liars who will do whatever they can, whatever they have to do, to be able to cover the arses of themselves and their friends!
    i still remember where a NZ politician was speaking in parliament prior to voting in favour of a bill to make downloading music illegal. she was of the opinion that it was different and ok to do the downloading when SHE was sharing 'with a few friends' (which is exactly what 99.9% of people want to be able to do) but had to stop everyone else from doing the same!! even worse than others, or so it seems, these NZ politicians!

    i'm waiting for the headlines to appear of how Dotcom has been killed in an 'accident caused by car brake failure' or similar. there's too many big names going to get badly burnt here and they are not gonna let it happen if they can help it!

     

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  33.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 4th, 2014 @ 2:58pm

    Re:

    It will be a heart attack and he'll live ,then sue the donut companies .

     

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  34.  
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    jupiterkansas (profile), Feb 4th, 2014 @ 3:01pm

    Re: Re: Oh, rats! Because though (allegedly) obtained illegally, it's evidence of actual crimes by Kim Dotcom.

    You think he cares about your arguements? Why ever bother replying to him.

     

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  35.  
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    jupiterkansas (profile), Feb 4th, 2014 @ 3:04pm

    Re: Re: When will commentors learn?

    There's a big difference between one comment adding nothing of value and every comment for years adding nothing of value.

     

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  36.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 4th, 2014 @ 3:07pm

    Re: The US and NZ should just drop the case against Dotcom

    At this point it is a bit late to just drop the case, even though they have totally screwed the pooch on it. They've broken their own laws to do this. Worse, they've put a business out of business that was successfully making money, they have confiscated all the money they could lay their hands on, and generally smeared Kim's rep to the best of their ability.

    If they drop the case now, they leave themselves open for false actions that have resulted in financial disaster for Kim and he has the right to go after them to make him whole again.

     

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  37. This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
     
    identicon
    out_of_the_blue, Feb 4th, 2014 @ 3:07pm

    Hello, me: you've been censored again for complaining about censoring! They're on a real kick today!

    This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it -- The horror! Turn away, weaklings!

    identicon
    out_of_the_blue, Feb 4th, 2014 @ 1:45pm

    Re: When will commentors learn? -- "if something isn't done to reign in this nuisance"?
    No, that's not censorship, 'cause YOU are teh High Arbiter of teh internets.
    Where the fanboys troll the site with vulgar ad hom, and call anyone disagreeing "trolls"! (7 of 195)

    09:44:56[k-937-2]


    Insanity is doing same thing and expecting different results. You kids keep using same stupid tactics that I've worked around -- besides YOU are ruining this fine site -- and don't seem able to change.

    Hell, there's even yet another attempt to organize censorship:

    "REPORT OOTB AND EVERYONE WHO RESPONDS TO HIM"


    http://www.techdirt.com/articles/20140204/07522126085/new-zealand-spy-agency-deleted-evidence-about- its-illegal-spying-kim-dotcom.shtml#c341

     

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  38.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 4th, 2014 @ 3:12pm

    Re: Re: Re: When will commentors learn?

    I value every comment, but hey I'm just one guy.

     

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  39.  
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    Sunhawk (profile), Feb 4th, 2014 @ 3:25pm

    Re: Oh, rats! Because though (allegedly) obtained illegally, it's evidence of actual crimes by Kim Dotcom.

    Out of the blue, perhaps I should say
    That official abuse everyday
    Is far more serious
    And deleterious
    Than taking a movie with no pay

    In plain English - there are some very serious reasons why illegally gathered evidence is thrown out, and it's because it's considered far more grave to the health of our society for law enforcement to abuse their power than catching even the most deadly of criminals.

     

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  40.  
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    Sunhawk (profile), Feb 4th, 2014 @ 3:32pm

    Re: Hello, me: you've been censored again for complaining about censoring! They're on a real kick today!

    I find "this fine site" quite curious -
    Are your past comments quite spurious?
    As you rant and you rave
    And you feel oh so brave
    Because Google makes you furious?

     

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  41.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 4th, 2014 @ 3:32pm

    i'm not very familiar with law in new zealand but can they drop the case because of this?


    Kim Dotcom is suing for $6 Million. In NZ you can sue for recompense and/or exemplary damages (that is an amount set to punish the guilty).

    I believe Dotcom is currently claiming $6 Million loss and recompense - that seems improbable given his greater loss was incurred at the hands of U.S authorities destruction of servers outside of NZ's jurisdiction.

    He may have a better shot at exemplary damages (punishing the government for the illegal actions of it's agencies) but that also seems unlikely with too much secret squirrel nonsense being leveraged against him.

    The GCSB is claiming it ages out source material automatically (such as raw intercepts) unless it is purposefully retained as part of an investigation. Mr Key will say the material he spoke of archiving was not that raw material but documentation regarding actual investigations.

    That could be true but all it highlights is how poor over-sight and knowledge of the behaviour of spies and spooks is revealing the very problematic issues with their even existing in the first place and the very real issues with badly written legislation designed to protect government and it's agencies from accountability.

     

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  42.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 4th, 2014 @ 3:41pm

    So, THATS how you get a government to delete all information they illegally have on you
    start a multi million dollar business, entice squat to bang in your door, take them into a million dollar court, and tell truthfull things about the governments behaviour
    And here i thought it was gonna be difficult!

     

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  43.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 4th, 2014 @ 4:17pm

    Re: Oh, rats! Because though (allegedly) obtained illegally, it's evidence of actual crimes by Kim Dotcom.

    It's only "allegedly" when no copyright is involved with you. When copyright is involved, it's "GUILTY GUILTY GUILTY! Evidence? Pffff, fuck that."

     

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  44.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 4th, 2014 @ 4:32pm

    There once was an out of the blue
    Who hated the process of due
    Each product he'd paid
    Was DMCAed
    And shoved up his ass with a screw

     

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  45.  
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    art guerrilla (profile), Feb 4th, 2014 @ 4:58pm

    Re: Re: Oh, rats! Because though (allegedly) obtained illegally, it's evidence of actual crimes by Kim Dotcom.

    *shhhh*!
    its, um, a, um, sekret kourt ! ! !
    (so sekret it exists in one mind on the planet ! ! !)

    but, seriously, because, um, its DOTCOM, for dog's sake !
    isn't that enough ?
    and, um, well, he's fat, too, so, that must mean he's guilty...
    um, and, he, like, um, flaunts his nouveau riches, which really irks old riches, um, so there's that...
    and, um, OH YEAH! something something filehosting = piracy ! ! !
    so, yeah, obviously guilty, off with his head ! ! !

     

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  46.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 4th, 2014 @ 5:00pm

    Re: Re: Hello, me: you've been censored again for complaining about censoring! They're on a real kick today!

    burma shave ?

     

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  47.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 4th, 2014 @ 6:27pm

    What are the odds that... ?

    ... the NSA has a copy of this deleted evidence?

    Wouldn't it be fantastic if Snowden's trove contained this and Greenwall et al once again proved them to all be lying two faced bastards who break the law for their own ends

     

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  48.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 4th, 2014 @ 7:36pm

    It is also their law to preserve documents likely to be used in a court of law.

    They don't win either way.

     

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  49.  
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    Sunhawk (profile), Feb 4th, 2014 @ 10:13pm

    Re: Re: Re: Hello, me: you've been censored again for complaining about censoring! They're on a real kick today!

    Nah, although good thought.

    A couple days back I just got tired of some AC comment or other, and decided rather than to just ignore it, to respond in the form of a limerick.

    And, unfortunately, responding in the form of limericks is kind of addictive, so I find myself doing it more and more.

     

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  50.  
    icon
    Sunhawk (profile), Feb 4th, 2014 @ 10:17pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Hello, me: you've been censored again for complaining about censoring! They're on a real kick today!

    Ah, I remember now! An Anonymous Coward had given out a challenge.

    http://www.techdirt.com/articles/20140131/16224426064/dr-matthew-rimmer-takes-closer-look- fair-use.shtml#c660

    "Really? Because almost every store that I visit sells "culture kits." Pencils and paper, cameras, musical instruments, art supplies - all of these things are nothing but "culture kits." "

    So I give you a pen and paper, start creating a culture! start NOW !!!!

    ok what did you do, what is this culture you created? explain a few of the aspects of this 'culture' you now have?


    So, well, I decided to demonstrate. And, since the limerick is a nice traditional poetic way to poke fun at someone...

    http://www.techdirt.com/articles/20140131/16224426064/dr-matthew-rimmer-takes-closer-look- fair-use.shtml#c786

    A man called Anonymous Coward,
    Upon many comments just glowered.
    For a troll such as he,
    Ne'er an answer there be;
    By any post he is empowered.

     

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  51.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 5th, 2014 @ 2:56am

    out_of_the_blue supports breaking the law to enforce copyright, what a surprise.

     

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  52.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 5th, 2014 @ 4:25am

    Re:

    Nah, the prefered NZ government method of dealing with such is Really dubious tax related shenanigans leaving the individual in question with no funds and no recourse to reclaim them. Then having a chat with the media to make sure the story dies quietly. (Most of the news media in NZ is owned by the government or one or two (I'm unsure) US interests.) Or things to that effect.

     

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  53.  
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    Pragmatic, Feb 5th, 2014 @ 5:24am

    Re:

    So, with no evidence against Dotcom, there's no point in pursuing the case against him, is there?

    Oops.

     

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  54.  
    identicon
    Pragmatic, Feb 5th, 2014 @ 5:26am

    Re:

    Rand Paul, I presume, but the rest will say nothing unless they think it'll give them a political advantage.

    Let's face it, the number of Dem faces with egg on is a gift to the Reps, but will they make the most of it, even for a "Look over there!" over surveillance?

     

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  55.  
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    That One Guy (profile), Feb 5th, 2014 @ 8:34am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Hello, me: you've been censored again for complaining about censoring! They're on a real kick today!

    Feel free to continue, the limericks are both entertaining, and a great response to the nonsense spouted by the various trolls that infest the site.

     

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  56.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 5th, 2014 @ 12:29pm

    Re: When will commentors learn?

    Mike could IP ban him. But that's most likely not his style.

     

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  57.  
    identicon
    Richard Milhous Nixon, Feb 5th, 2014 @ 12:40pm

    Repeat after me...

    Repeat after me... "I am not a crook!"

    NSA: "I am not a crook!"

    GCSB: "I am not a crook!"

    GCHQ: "I am not a crook!"

    All Together Now!!! "I am not a crook!"

    Next meeting of the Richard M. Nixon Fan Club coming soon!

     

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

  58.  
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    btrussell (profile), Feb 6th, 2014 @ 2:23am

    Re: Re: When will commentors learn?

    That will stop them as much as it stops me from watching american hulu or anything else they try to block.

     

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  59.  
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    btrussell (profile), Feb 6th, 2014 @ 2:29am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Hello, me: you've been censored again for complaining about censoring! They're on a real kick today!

    There is no need to respond to blue
    as so many here are prone to do
    for him it is feed
    that is their need
    really, trolls have nothing on you

     

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

  60.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 8th, 2014 @ 5:26pm

    Kim Dotcom FTW

     

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


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