US Court Rules That Kim Dotcom Is A 'Fugitive' And Thus DOJ Can Take His Money

from the um. dept

In the long, convoluted and complex legal battles facing Megaupload founder Kim Dotcom, there was some bizarre stuff that happened late last year. As you may recall, early on, the US government seized basically all of his stuff and money. Dotcom has made efforts to get some of it returned, as it's tough to fight the most powerful government in the world when it's holding onto all of your money. Keep in mind from our previous discussions on asset seizure and forfeiture, the government can basically seize whatever it wants, just by claiming it was somehow related to a crime, but the seizure is only a temporary process. If the government wants to keep it, it then needs to go through a separate process known as civil asset forfeiture, which is effectively the government suing the assets. Back in July, the US government moved to forfeit everything it had seized from Dotcom in a new lawsuit with the catchy name USA v. All Assets Listed In Attachment A, And All Interest, Benefits, And Assets Traceable Thereto. As you may have guessed, Attachment A [pdf] is basically all of Kim Dotcom's money and posessions.

Back in November, the DOJ argued that it should get to keep all of Kim Dotcom's money and stuff because he's a "fugitive", which is a bizarre and ridiculous way to portray Kim Dotcom, who has been going through a long and protracted legal process over his potential extradition from New Zealand (though he's offered to come to the US willingly if the government lets him mount a real defense by releasing his money). Dotcom's lawyers told the court that it's ridiculous to call him a fugitive, but it appears that Judge Liam O'Grady didn't buy it.

In a ruling [pdf] that was just posted a little while ago, O'Grady sided with the government, and gave the DOJ all of Dotcom's things. You can read the full reasoning here and it seems to take on some troubling logic. Dotcom's lawyers pointed out, as many of us have, that there is no secondary copyright infringement under criminal law, but the judge insists that there's enough to show "conspiracy to commit copyright infringement." But the reasoning here is bizarre. Part of it is the fact that Megaupload did remove links to infringing content from its top 100 downloads list. To me, that seems like evidence of the company being a good actor in the space, and not trying to serve up more infringing downloads. To Judge O'Grady and the DOJ, it's somehow evidence of a conspiracy. No joke.
The government has alleged that the conspirators knew that these files were infringing copyrights, as evidenced by their exclusion of infringing files from the "Top 100" list. The "Top 100" list purported to list the most frequently downloaded files on Megaupload.... According to the government, an accurate list would have consisted almost entirely of infringing content, so the claimants "carefully curated" the list to make the site look more legitimate.... Additionally, the claimants regularly told copyright holders, including many U.S.-based organizations, that they would remove infringing content, when in actuality they only removed particular links to the files.... The actual infringing files remained on the Mega-controlled servers and could be accessed from other links.
As for that latter part, there are tons of perfectly legitimate reasons to only remove the links and not the underlying files. If Megaupload was doing deduping, then some version of the same file could be perfectly legitimate. Let's take an example: say that you and I have an MP3 of a Katy Perry song. I upload it to Megaupload to keep as a backup. You upload it to distribute to the world. Megaupload dedupes it, and just has the file stored one time. Your link could be potentially infringing if you distribute unauthorized copies, whereas my copy may be a legitimate personal backup. Given that, Megaupload should only delete the links that are called out as infringing, rather than the underlying files, which -- depending on their use -- may or may not be infringing. But the court just takes the DOJ's version and says "good enough for me."

The court also has no problem with the fact that most of the assets aren't in the US, noting that since some of the "conspiracy" took place in the US, that's good enough. It more or less brushes off the concerns raised by Dotcom and the other defendants that this appears to violate existing treaties between New Zealand and the US -- basically saying that because Dotcom refuses to come to the US, it's not "punitive." Huh? On top of that, the judge says that taking all of Dotcom's assets shouldn't interfere with the legal process in New Zealand, because the New Zealand courts could (yeah right) reject the DOJ's request after this ruling to hand over Dotcom's assets.

Then we get to the whole "fugitive" bit. Judge O'Grady notes that the statute does allow him to call anyone who "declines to enter" the United States a fugitive, and argues that Dotcom fits that description. Furthermore, he actually argues that Dotcom's offer to the DOJ to come willingly to the US if the money is freed for his defense actually works against Dotcom, and gives weight to the fugitive claim:
As demonstrated, Dotcom need not have previously visited the United States in order to meet the prerequisites of § 2466. The statute is satisfied where the government shows that the claimant is on notice of the criminal charges against him and refuses to "enter or reenter" the country with the intent to avoid criminal prosecution. Because the court assesses intent under the totality of the circumstances, it is certainly relevant that Dotcom has never been to the United States and that he has lived in New Zealand since 2011, where he resides with his family. This tends to show that he has other reasons for remaining in New Zealand besides avoiding criminal prosecution. However, the existence of other motivations does not preclude a finding that he also has a specific intent to avoid criminal prosecution. Dotcom's statements, made publicly and conveyed by his attorneys to the government, indicate that he is only willing to face prosecution in this country on his own terms. See Technodyne, 753 F.3d at 386 (2d Cir. 2014) ("The district court was easily entitled to view those [requests for bail], evincing the [claimants'] desire to face prosecution only on their own terms, as a hallmark indicator that at least one reason the [claimants] declined to return in the absence of an opportunity for bail was to avoid prosecution"). Dotcom has indicated through his statements that he wishes to defend against the government's criminal charges and litigate his rights in the forfeiture action. If it is truly his intent to do so, then he may submit to the jurisdiction of the United States.
In short, damned if you do, damned if you don't. This is the justice system, ladies and gentlemen. The DOJ gets to seize and keep all your money, and merely asking for access to it to fight to show your innocence is used as a reason to allow the DOJ to keep it. So he comes to the US and has to fight criminal charges without his own money, or he stays in New Zealand and the government uses it as an excuse to keep all the money. How is any of this even remotely fair? Where is the "due process" in totally handicapping Dotcom from presenting a defense?

Again, it is entirely possible that Dotcom and the others broke the law -- though the case certainly does look pretty weak to me. But what's really astounding is how far the DOJ appears to want to go to make it absolutely impossible for Dotcom to present a full defense of his case.

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  • identicon
    Dr Evil, 27 Feb 2015 @ 7:54pm

    glad thats over

    Now the DOJ can distribute those ill gotten Kim DotCom gains to the rights holders, da? oh, wait, you mean they won't distribute those funds at all?

    Since this should be a civil matter, not a criminal one, can Kim not just litigate from afar?

    on another note, if I leave the city/state/country after any other police department confiscates my stuff, even if they haven't charged ME with anything, they can say I am a fugitive now too?

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

    • icon
      PaulT (profile), 28 Feb 2015 @ 1:53am

      Re: glad thats over

      "Now the DOJ can distribute those ill gotten Kim DotCom gains to the rights holder"

      The ones that paid Megaupload to legitimately store backups and distribute their own content, some of whom have been trying to battle in court to get access to their own files that were seized by the US government? Or is this a case where only a handful of major corporations get a look in, if anyone does?

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

    • icon
      Padpaw (profile), 28 Feb 2015 @ 9:02am

      Re: glad thats over

      they will probably say a lot of things to tarnish your name, and support whatever crimes they commit against you

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

  • icon
    Greevar (profile), 27 Feb 2015 @ 7:57pm

    What a load of shit!

    That is all.

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

  • icon
    That Anonymous Coward (profile), 27 Feb 2015 @ 8:13pm

    So accusations are facts.
    Imagining laws make them real.

    Gee, still can't figure out why people have lost faith in the legal system in this country.
    Show them video of a cop shooting someone who is cuffed, no wrongdoing.
    Make claims not supported by actual law, OMG TAKE ALL THE THINGS!

    Remember back when you were innocent until proven guilty, and they actually have to prove it not just say it?

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

  • icon
    jupiterkansas (profile), 27 Feb 2015 @ 8:15pm

    Here is our government openly stealing the fortunes of a foreigner simply to please some people that make movies.

    PEOPLE THAT MAKE MOVIES!

    This is the real piracy folks.

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

    • identicon
      David, 28 Feb 2015 @ 1:09am

      Re:

      Well, business starts routing around the U.S.A. already. Lots of U.S. network gear manufacturers have been placed on "do not want" lists by other countries. Large "Internet Companies" are left with the choice of leaving either the U.S.A. or the rest of the world for good since the DoJ megalomania is not compatible with the laws in the rest of the world.

      The U.S. may be rich, but a fat rabid dog is still a rabid dog.

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

    • identicon
      ConceptRat, 4 Mar 2015 @ 11:15pm

      Re: Crazy stuff

      That makes shit movies and charges a bomb to watch em. Oh and wait that's right uploads perfect digital copies of pre-released movies to legitimate cloud storage sites to use as evidence in prosecution of competitors to the aforementioned movie companies crappy streaming services.

      How's that sound?

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

  • identicon
    Nomad of Norad, 27 Feb 2015 @ 8:33pm

    Hells bells!

    Please tell me this can and will be appealed to a higher court. This is insanity! They have pretzelized the law around so thoroughly that it no longer even remotely resembles justice. This is either corruption of the highest water, or this is the colossal arrogance of an insular, out of touch law people who just don't want to admit they've got it monstrously wrong! The more of this I see, the more I pray that the wrath of God comes down on them with the force of 10,000 suns!

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

    • icon
      jupiterkansas (profile), 27 Feb 2015 @ 8:43pm

      Re: Hells bells!

      It is both corruption and arrogance.

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

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 27 Feb 2015 @ 9:12pm

        Re: Re: Hells bells!

        No it is awesome! We can apply the same logic to laws in foreign countries and have literally everyones' assets seized! No more tax problems. We can just seize the money, hold it until they run out of appeals and then spend it! The interests earned in the mean time can pay off any bribes or other minor issues that might hamper this plan. Feel free to copy and adapt!

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        • identicon
          David, 28 Feb 2015 @ 7:00am

          Re: Re: Re: Hells bells!

          Uh, we already do that. We outsource the seizing by delivering the weapons needed for taking the lands, natural resources and assets from the people living there, but that's essentially how "developing countries" by paying dictators for their resources works.

          The people left without goods are then herded into ghettos where they can try siphoning off of petty crime and droppings from their masters' tables.

          It's called "urbanization" and a lot of other names.

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

        • icon
          Padpaw (profile), 28 Feb 2015 @ 9:05am

          Re: Re: Re: Hells bells!

          do what I say not what I do bullies tend to react very badly when their own tactics are used against them.

          bombs get dropped on cities in the worst cases

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 27 Feb 2015 @ 9:19pm

      Re: Hells bells!

      Instant vaporization is too good for them. Let them all rot in jail forever.

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

    • identicon
      Jon, 1 Mar 2015 @ 7:01pm

      Re: Hells bells!

      Your prayer has been answered:

      Revelation 16:8-9New King James Version (NKJV)

      Fourth Bowl: Men Are Scorched

      "Then the fourth angel poured out his bowl on the sun, and power was given to him to scorch men with fire. 9 And men were scorched with great heat, and they blasphemed the name of God who has power over these plagues; and they did not repent and give Him glory."

      AMEN!

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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 27 Feb 2015 @ 8:41pm

    I stay at home here in the US because this is where I live and work. Therefore, by the judge's determination, I'm probably also avoiding prosecution in another country and I clearly qualify as a fugitive.

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

  • icon
    Uriel-238 (profile), 27 Feb 2015 @ 8:54pm

    Does this smack of Howard Hughes?

    Essentially, some folks in the justice system don't like a fellow, so they go to all lengths possible to ruin him. And like Hughes, Dotcom is becoming particularly famous as an eccentric guy who has some enemies in the US justice system.

    Still, the Kim Dotcom case was one of the first ones to show that our police really are only hired guns for whoever pays for them (in this case Hollywood money), rather than being directed by, oh, like the letter of the law or the safety of the people or something.

    The DoJ is a mob-style syndicate, and has no more ethical standing or moral high ground than such an organization.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 27 Feb 2015 @ 8:58pm

    I am literally seething with anger.
    I just...don't know what to say.
    I've never been more disappointed with anything in my life as I am in my disappointment for the culmination of evil this country and all of its leadership, justice system and law enforcement in it right now have done.
    As a veteran (USAR), I'm ashamed to have had anything to do with our government. Thank you for your service? No, I'm sorry, I was up against the wrong enemy.
    The Internet is a global place and as I deal with people all around the world, I feel actual shame when I inform others that I am a citizen of the United States.

    These are not feelings we Americans should have.

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 28 Feb 2015 @ 2:57am

      Re:

      Your government i detest and am just as angry with

      You, i'd share a meal with

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

    • icon
      Padpaw (profile), 28 Feb 2015 @ 9:09am

      Re:

      Most just feel apathy for how corrupt things have gotten until it affects them personally. Then they care, but it is usually too late by then.

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

      • identicon
        Pragmatic, 3 Mar 2015 @ 3:02am

        Re: Re:

        That's called "Rugged individualism," Padpaw. The rest of us call it "narcissism."

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

        • icon
          Uriel-238 (profile), 3 Mar 2015 @ 8:09am

          It's also "normal"

          At least it is since the 50s and keep-up-with-the-Flanders neighborhood rivalry used to push consumption.

          Maybe the need to resist government, to avoid invoking (or provoking) the police will be the thing that reunites our communities.

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

    • icon
      Uriel-238 (profile), 28 Feb 2015 @ 1:03pm

      "...if wrong, to be set right."

      It's a hard and humbling lesson for those who were raised to believe that the United State was a nation who could do no wrong, who looked upon Germany and the USSR and believed it cannot happen here.

      But it can happen anywhere. And even the UK who has taken more of a own-our-errors attitude with their bloody and brutal history have still sunken into a frightful surveillance and censorship state. And they have Orwell saying I told you so! from the grave.

      The best thing we can do is to fix it and get past it. Fixing it is going to be hard. But remembering it is going to be even harder. Many parts of the US have an attitude that ideology is more important than accuracy when teaching history to our children.

      Maybe a thorough and brutal watering of the Tree of Liberty will be enough to change their minds.

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

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 28 Feb 2015 @ 6:38pm

        Re: "...if wrong, to be set right."

        I was with you until you wanted to water the tree.

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

        • icon
          Uriel-238 (profile), 28 Feb 2015 @ 8:24pm

          Descriptive, not prescriptive.

          I don't much anymore indulge in fantasies about what should happen. Maybe more things that would be nice that I'd enjoy in the moment, but if a conspiratorial genie were to affect them, I certainly wouldn't vouch for a happy ending for us all.

          When it comes to the human species learning why we don't do certain things (e.g. give absolute despotic dictatorial powers to a charismatic psychopath), I have little faith in the human animal to take such lessons to heart without a magnificent human disaster to remind us.

          But in this era, I have to say that even that kind of sacrifice may be pointless, given that the US already has its own privileged caste of freikorps above the law. It also has defined its own untermenschen among the impoverished, minorities, and any other non-mainstream subsect. And the elite and their indoctrinated are certainly asking a Jewish Question, namely which of the undesirables are most objectionable, and how to get rid of them.

          And Israel has shown not one bit of compassion or empathy for other peoples oppressed by another with access to a powerful military. They seem to understand that anyone who is not them can be determined to be unpersons and cluster-bombed into a neolithic existence.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 27 Feb 2015 @ 9:03pm

    How about we find a way to sue Judge O'Grady for all of his stuff?

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

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    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 27 Feb 2015 @ 9:17pm

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 27 Feb 2015 @ 9:18pm

      Re:

      I am sorry. I am angry.

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

    • icon
      Oblate (profile), 28 Feb 2015 @ 12:31am

      Re:

      If you were Kim Dotcom, you would now be charged with multiple counts of rape and arson.

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

      • identicon
        Zonker, 2 Mar 2015 @ 4:45pm

        Re: Re:

        Nah, the more accurate analogy would be that TechDirt would be charged with conspiracy to commit such because they host the site where the comment was made. Hiding the comment using the "Report" button would be at least as incriminating as ignoring it because the comment was not removed: it's still accessible, only hidden.

        (To be clear, I do not wish any such injustice against TechDirt, Kim Dotcom, or any one else. Rather it infuriates me to no end that the injustice of the Dotcom case we're watching could happen at all to anybody in the world.)

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

  • icon
    Binko Barnes (profile), 27 Feb 2015 @ 9:43pm

    Once the checks and balances have all been co-opted the people in power just weave webs of power and privilege that let them do whatever they want. At that point you have tyranny.

    Our current Federal government can be equated to the old Soviet regime. Unaccountable police, oppressive and punitive legal system, massive gulag prison complex, secretive oligarchs holding all power. It's bad folks.

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

    • icon
      Padpaw (profile), 28 Feb 2015 @ 9:10am

      Re:

      Can you imagine how bad it would be if they had disarmed the populace.

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

      • icon
        jupiterkansas (profile), 28 Feb 2015 @ 12:28pm

        Re: Re:

        The armed populace is one of the things that empowers the government to militarize the police force. It makes things worse, not better.

        They know the populace isn't going to rise up en masse and take over the government, so it's not like people having guns changes anything.

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

        • icon
          Uriel-238 (profile), 28 Feb 2015 @ 1:21pm

          Um...

          The notion of giving our police military hardware came from a program to make something useful of surplus and function creep.

          As you know, putting police in camouflage is about as useful as dressing your ninjas like kabuki. You want law officers to be clearly visible and distinguishable, not able to blend into the background.

          There were few to no guns involved on the protestors' side in Ferguson, and yet they were regarded by the containment force as if one toke of pot was all that was necessary for a black man to Hulk out and bend tanks in half. Those police officers were terrified of the Ferguson civilians despite that they were pathetically armed.

          So no justification is needed. I'm still waiting for the NYPD commissioner to explain why he thinks he needs emplaced machine guns to police his crowds from demonstrators. There aren't many guns in New York City.

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

          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 28 Feb 2015 @ 2:11pm

            Re: Um...

            It's not unlike the situation with the US military, the police are trained and indoctrinated to be paranoid. So unless they have an overwhelming advantage in strength against potential adversaries, they live in constant fear for their safety.

            While the strength of adversaries gets highly exaggerated, when no enemies exist at all, they must be created in their imagination.

            The lawyers in the US "justice" system seem to take on a similar "kill or be killed" mentality. Instead of pursuing an honest prosecution, they use every dirty trick in the book in their attempt to win at all costs. The Dotcom case is a prime example of this vicious "killer instinct" that masquerades as justice.

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

          • icon
            Padpaw (profile), 1 Mar 2015 @ 2:33am

            Re: Um...

            dissent is terrorism to the power hungry elite. if new yorkers are not 100% for whatever the NYPD does they are the enemy in his eyes, and must be suppressed with lethal force until they get back licking his jackboots clean

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

          • icon
            MrTroy (profile), 2 Mar 2015 @ 5:59pm

            Re: Um...

            As you know, putting police in camouflage is about as useful as dressing your ninjas like kabuki. You want law officers to be clearly visible and distinguishable, not able to blend into the background.


            I'm not sure if I can agree with this. The blatantly obvious difference between camouflage police and kabuki ninjas is just how freakishly cool the kabuki ninjas would be!

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

        • identicon
          JEDIDIAH, 28 Feb 2015 @ 4:41pm

          It helps to get around and see things.

          Except the American police are not nearly as militarized as some in Europe. While American police do have their moments, they don't routinely prowl the business districts of large cities with infantry weapons.

          Americans actually still find those things shocking even if our police sometimes escalate to that level.

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

          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 28 Feb 2015 @ 5:25pm

            Re: It helps to get around and see things.

            "Except the American police are not nearly as militarized as some in Europe. While American police do have their moments, they don't routinely prowl the business districts of large cities with infantry weapons."

            US cops usually keep their infantry weapons in their cars until needed. But do police in any European country keep fleets of MRAPs or .50BMG rifles?

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

        • icon
          Padpaw (profile), 1 Mar 2015 @ 2:31am

          Re: Re: Re:

          odd then your framers went out of their way to make it so people had a right to being armed.


          So you think that if people were disarmed your government would have no reason to spy, torture and militarize to compensate?

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

          • icon
            jupiterkansas (profile), 2 Mar 2015 @ 9:07am

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            No, I think the government is going to spy, torture, and militarize whether we're armed or not. Even if everyone had a gun it wouldn't change things.

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

        • identicon
          Pragmatic, 3 Mar 2015 @ 3:06am

          Re: Re: Re:

          Agreed. Guns are just a rabbit's foot, a lucky charm that makes us feel a little better. Actually take that thing outside to oppose the government and you'll soon find that a) you're the only one doing it or b) you're in a very small minority and c) you'll be labeled a terrorist. It's not worth it.

          You change this at the ballot box, not with bullets. We need the numbers so you need to spread the word.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 27 Feb 2015 @ 9:56pm

    This judge has an interesting record. He appears to be generally conservative, anti-environmental protection, anti-feminist, pro-military, and pro-death penalty.

    Kim Dotcom is lucky that the arsonist that burned down Judge Liam O'Grady's house (did they ever catch that guy, BTW?) did it a few weeks before the big MegaRaid. Because otherwise it must be tough dealing with a judge who might assume the arson was probably connected to a person on trial in his court, and of course Dotcom has been the judge's highest profile defendant.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 27 Feb 2015 @ 10:39pm

    I bet he'd win on appeal, or sue NZ for the return of his assets as they may be illegally seized due to his compliance with extradition law.

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

  • icon
    Alien Rebel (profile), 27 Feb 2015 @ 10:54pm

    In short, damned if you do, damned if you don't. This is the justice system, ladies and gentlemen. The DOJ gets to seize and keep all your money, and merely asking for access to it to fight to show your innocence is used as a reason to allow the DOJ to keep it.

    Sweet! This means no more of this "we can't criminally prosecute anybody, it'd be too hard" nonsense, DOJ can just clean out the rats nests of conspirators at Bank of America, HSBC, JP Morgan-Chase. I can't wait to read tomorrow's papers, . . .
    --

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

    • identicon
      David, 28 Feb 2015 @ 5:06am

      Re:

      DOJ can just clean out the rats nests of conspirators at Bank of America, HSBC, JP Morgan-Chase.

      Why would they do that? It would be like the Mafia closing down its insurance business.

      You can't just rely on asset forfeiture from stealing from the populace. Have you never heard of crop rotation?

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

  • identicon
    yes, 27 Feb 2015 @ 11:19pm

    Fugitive?

    Wouldn't it be necessary to have been in the US first before you can become a fugitive by leaving the US?

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 27 Feb 2015 @ 11:55pm

    Corporate Sovereignty is needed

    This, ladies and gentlemen, is why we need the TPP and its corporate sovereignty provisions. It would stop rogue states with corrupt justice systems from seizing property despite the rule of law.

    (Before I get shot down, can I at least get one or two clicks for funny comment?)

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

    • icon
      eaving (profile), 28 Feb 2015 @ 12:04am

      Re: Corporate Sovereignty is needed

      Are you forgetting the unwritten 'except when it us' clause. I mean clearly we're the good guys, right?

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

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 28 Feb 2015 @ 3:05am

        Re: Re: Corporate Sovereignty is needed

        Oh, why didnt you say so "good" guys......in that case obviously do whatever the fuck you like......including the "good" things

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

  • identicon
    Stephen, 28 Feb 2015 @ 12:14am

    A Disturbing Trend

    But what's really astounding is how far the DOJ appears to want to go to make it absolutely impossible for Dotcom to present a full defense of his case.
    I'm more astounded that anybody would be astounded that the US DOJ would go to such lengths. After all that was essentially what they did with whistleblower Edward Snowden by charging him under the Espionage Act, an enactment which essentially prevents whistleblowers being able to fully defend themselves.

    If you look around you will probably find lots of other examples of cases where the non-doj side in court cases are being placed at an unfair disadvantage by state and federal DOJs in the US. Civil asset forfeiture cases in general, for example. Or all those torture or NSA surveillance cases in which the federal government has attempted tp prevent what could constitute evidence of government wrongdoing being brought into the public eye on the ground that they need to remain state secrets for the good of the country.

    This particular case is merely one variant in a disturbing American trend.

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

    • identicon
      Nomad of Norad, 28 Feb 2015 @ 1:12am

      Re: A Disturbing Trend

      Thing is, I wonder how long this sort of skewed "justice" can continue before it starts costing the American DOJ dearly. How long will it be before things like this start backfiring on the DOJ, and it all blows up in their face? Sooner or later, the general population might just start demanding a massive house cleaning, or demand the house and senate outlaw many of the sorts of things the DOJ are now doing.

      I DO gather that civil forfeiture is beginning to turn into a hot issue among the people, along with a number of other things. There are a LOT of things the law enforcement parts of our government have been getting away with under the radar until recently that have all been boiling to the surface of late, and it seems likely that things are about to get very ugly very fast if it doesn't look to the general public as if things are being corrected.

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

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 28 Feb 2015 @ 3:44am

        Re: Re: A Disturbing Trend

        Justice is not blind now, but it will be soon. The same computer that learned to master Jeopardy is being taught law. As soon as it has everything digested, it will be able to tell us when strings have been pulled one way or another in every historic case including this one. Using graphics, we will probably be able to see how distorted and unusual this case has been. Other examples are when a cop is being accused of a crime compared to when they have been a victim.
        To those pulling the strings behind this:
        You can lie to everyone including yourself but the truth wants to be free, no matter how crooked it reveals you to be.

        History will have access to all of those pesky records you arranged to exist also. Good luck with keeping a non evil reputation.

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

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 28 Feb 2015 @ 9:24am

          Re: Re: Re: A Disturbing Trend

          I wish them good luck teaching that Computer to replace a court.
          A lot of decisions are based on an informed belief system in where there is lack of sufficient evidence.
          Having evidence to prove your innocence has never stopped the courts or the DOJ from blocking you from entering it.
          A lot of evidence is based on eye-witness testimony, something that is difficult to translate to a computer.
          And of course the morality of some crimes.

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

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 28 Feb 2015 @ 9:25am

          Re: Re: Re: A Disturbing Trend

          Plus, the computer is bound by the laws that are written by the corrupt.
          Even if it's 100% accurate, it's still punishing people based on the corrupted laws, such as Copyright.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 28 Feb 2015 @ 1:05am

    Well this should put every business in the US on notice that removing infringing links will not protect you from the wrath of the US globally. Apparently our laws extend beyond our national boundaries. You can be found guilty of a law that isn't a law.

    Corruption at it's finest.

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

    • icon
      That One Guy (profile), 28 Feb 2015 @ 1:50am

      Re:

      Yup. If you don't remove links to infringing instances of a file, then you're supporting and encouraging piracy. If you do remove links, then you're supporting and encouraging piracy and trying to hide it.

      If you need any more indication that the 'trial' he would get should he wind up in the US would be nothing but a pre-determined one, this would certainly be a prime example. They've already determined that he's guilty, now it's just a matter of twisting the law until it does what they want.

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

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 28 Feb 2015 @ 2:33am

        Re: Re:

        If you don't remove links you're supporting piracy. If you remove them and leave the underlying files on your server you are trying to hide it. If you delete those files you are obstructing evidence.

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

        • identicon
          David, 28 Feb 2015 @ 5:38am

          Re: Re: Re:

          "Original Sin" is a religious concept. What happened to the separation of state and religion?

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

          • icon
            Uriel-238 (profile), 28 Feb 2015 @ 1:24pm

            Such as Red Mass?

            C'mon. Church and State in the US isn't that separated.

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

          • identicon
            PRMan, 28 Feb 2015 @ 5:39pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            I have no doubt that Kim Dotcom is a sinner (his license plates are GOD (blashphemy) and EVIL). Heck, we all are.

            But I don't believe he is guilty of anything here.

            But guess what guys, the same media companies that are attacking him are keeping this 100% out of the MSM, so most people have no idea that this is even going on.

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

            • identicon
              qyiet, 1 Mar 2015 @ 12:03pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              FYI the exotic cars with the personalised plates were not picked out by dotcom. He accepted them in lieu of payment from someone who owed him money, but was unable to pay.

              Sure dotcom kept them, but they were not his idea.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 28 Feb 2015 @ 1:26am

    Sigh...

    The only way to show your support is to use mega.

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

    • identicon
      Rekrul, 28 Feb 2015 @ 6:51am

      Re: Sigh...

      The only way to show your support is to use mega.

      Except that you can't pay for an account now because U.S. politicians put pressure on the payment processors to stop doing business with them.

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

      • identicon
        PRMan, 28 Feb 2015 @ 5:52pm

        Re: Re: Sigh...

        You can use bitcoin for Mega like this:

        1. Go to mega.co.nz
        2. Go to Pro and Buy Now
        3. Choose hosting.co.uk
        4. Make an account and choose bitcoin
        5. Pay the account with bitcoin

        It's a little bit more ($13 instead of $9.99), but at least it seems to have worked.

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

        • identicon
          Rekrul, 3 Mar 2015 @ 10:37am

          Re: Re: Re: Sigh...

          You can use bitcoin for Mega like this:

          Yeah, if you can figure out how to use BitCoin in the first place. Every single "tutorial" I've looked at glosses over the details and only talks about it in abstract terms. Installing "wallets", "mining". Where's the tutorial where it tells you step by step how to set it up, put money into it using a normal payment method and then use it to pay for something?

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

          • icon
            PaulT (profile), 4 Mar 2015 @ 4:39am

            Re: Re: Re: Re: Sigh...

            "Where's the tutorial where it tells you step by step how to set it up, put money into it using a normal payment method and then use it to pay for something?"

            Nowhere, because that's not how it works. You don't "put money" into bitcoins. You either mine them (create bitcoins by using your computer to solve algorthms) or buy them from an exchange. Either way, you put the resulting bitcoins into your wallet and use that to spend them.

            There's plenty of guides (e.g. https://bitcoin.org/en/getting-started), but it sounds like you've either completely misunderstood the concept or been looking at technical mining guides rather than simple guides on how to use them.

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

      • identicon
        PRMan, 28 Feb 2015 @ 5:58pm

        Re: Re: Sigh...

        I have instructions for paying for Mega with bitcoin, but they are being held for moderation. But it does work.

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

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 28 Feb 2015 @ 6:24pm

          Re: Re: Re: Sigh...

          Techdirt's "held for moderation" system sucks. I've made posts on a Friday that did not get approved until Monday (In fact, that happened just last week). Maybe it's designed to gently encourage user registration?

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

          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 2 Mar 2015 @ 2:55am

            Re: Re: Re: Re: Sigh...

            "held for moderation"

            Interesting to note that, when I post via Tor, "held for moderation" happens. So, *anonymous* posting is fine as long as your *actual* IP address can be recorded.

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

            • icon
              Uriel-238 (profile), 2 Mar 2015 @ 8:21am

              If it makes any difference...

              All the posts I've had held for moderation, for whatever reason (too many links, no body text, mentioning Google by name) were posted including countless premature sends and a hasty miss-pasting of a segment from a lonely hearts ad.

              TechDirt has been really lenient regarding my postings, especially for ones I've regretted later.

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

          • icon
            That One Guy (profile), 2 Mar 2015 @ 4:38am

            Re: Re: Re: Re: Sigh...

            More likely that just means the ones who go through and check the comments that have been held to make sure that they aren't spam are enjoying relaxing on the weekends.

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

          • icon
            PaulT (profile), 3 Mar 2015 @ 12:31am

            Re: Re: Re: Re: Sigh...

            "Maybe it's designed to gently encourage user registration?"

            What you just described is actually a system designed to let moderators have a life at the weekend.

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

          • icon
            John Fenderson (profile), 3 Mar 2015 @ 8:26am

            Re: Re: Re: Re: Sigh...

            "Maybe it's designed to gently encourage user registration?"

            Probably not. I'm registered, but I get comments held for moderation every so often. Being registered doesn't seem to affect that.

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

            • identicon
              Anonymous Coward, 3 Mar 2015 @ 2:26pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Sigh...

              That's odd that Techdirt won't even whitelist the site's most trusted commenters. The main reason for moderation dumps is presumably to keep hit-and-run spambots from posting links. If registered users get no better treatment than anonymous posters, then there's probably not a huge incentive to join.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 28 Feb 2015 @ 2:43am

    'how far the DOJ appears to want to go to make it absolutely impossible for Dotcom to present a full defense of his case.'

    obviously they haven't got a case! what is even worse is how the US courts are aiding in this complete 'please Hollywood and the entertainment industries'. without any money, he is at best, going to have to rely on a 'court appointed lawyer' and we can all surmise how that person will be threatened as to how to conduct him/her self and what consequences will be if the orders are not followed.
    the studios and the DoJ have concocted a complete fantasy over Dotcom and what he was doing and will stop at nothing to get him into a US court. you can now bet that his extradition will follow pretty quickly, having no money to pay for defense even in NZ. this is disgraceful behavior by the USA court system and it's security forces. removing his money is one thing, preventing him from being able to defend himself is a whole new ball game. it comes hot on the heels of the latest company of Dotcom's being removed after a US government official threatened payment services and credit card operators. disgusting! how could anyone trust the US courts to be 'JUST'?

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

    • identicon
      David, 28 Feb 2015 @ 7:15am

      Re:

      how could anyone trust the US courts to be 'JUST'?

      Well, if the DoJ was not still afraid of some amounts of justice seeping out from courts, they'd not need the "plea deal" blackmail to get their bidding but could just rely on the court to deliver the prescribed verdict.

      So the DoJ still has to work in order to arrive at injust outcomes and cannot rely on the courts alone.

      Of course, the plea deal blackmail business also requires the defendant not to trust in the court for justice. Depending on social standing, that's a reasonably safe bet.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 28 Feb 2015 @ 2:43am

    The original raid was illegal and so far beyond their juristriction, the mpaa, doj and us government can all go fuck themselves.........their probably circlejerking each other right now.......dont like what i say........STOP.WHAT.YOUR.FUCKING.DOING........otherwise tough cookies

    This was a corporate arrest, no victim no crime.......profit is not a person, ahhhhh i get it......NEITHER IS A FUCKING COMPANY

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 28 Feb 2015 @ 3:08am

    Cant wait, SARCASM, till they define piracy as terrorism, and have all that lovely fantastatic legal SARCASM authaurity

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

  • identicon
    Daydream, 28 Feb 2015 @ 3:14am

    I request clarification:

    As I understand it, way back in 2012, Kim Dotcom was arrested by New Zealand police forces and taken into New Zealand custody.
    Since then, determining that he wasn't a flight risk, he was released from custody by a New Zealand judge, on bail.
    And so far, as I understand, Kim Dotcom has abided by all of the bail conditions imposed on him.

    Now, if this US Judge O'Grady is ruling that Kim Dotcom is a fugitive, despite his being arrested, processed, and released on bail (the conditions of which have not been violated) by the New Zealand police and judicary,
    does he rule that by extension, the US does not recognize the current government of New Zealand, and its judical decisions, as legitimate?

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

    • icon
      art guerrilla (profile), 28 Feb 2015 @ 4:01am

      Re: I request clarification:

      "...the US does not recognize the current government of New Zealand, and its judical decisions, as legitimate?"

      *bingo*
      we have a winner ! ! !

      um, except, it ain't just NZ, it is EVERYONE ELSE, EVERY OTHER COUNTRY whose sovereignty, laws, boundaries, and LIVES just happen to disturb Empire in the slightest...

      of course, should it suit their purposes, Empire will argue equally vehemently the opposite tomorrow, and certainly aver that these types of (il)legalistic shenanigans -of course!- don't apply to ourselves...

      i know some people (in fact, i work with them) who *think* they are some kind of reasonable human beans, who are abject authoritarians, who refuse to actually observe, reason, and come to their own conclusions based on archaic stupid things called 'principles', 'fairness', and 'ethics' ... they reflexively side with WHATEVER 'their' gummint (the fools) says, and want to ELIMINATE people like me who do not knuckle under the weight of Empire...

      let me make this clear: i would like to get rid of (by any means necessary) the .1% who perpetrate this horrific charade; but, i do not want to eliminate the authoritarian dupes (i'd like to educate them, but -if you read up on authoritarians- they are NOT amenable to reason); but they WOULD lynch me tomorrow if they could, AND SEE THAT AS BEING HEROIC, NOT MONSTROUS... they see themselves as eliminating 'savages' and 'traitors', NOT humans...

      they are quislings to the constitution, they are about as UNamerican as you can get, but they will NEVER see that; and WILL string you up righteously, all the while hiding behind the flag... never realizing THEY are what is wrong with amerika, THEY are unpatriotic and have abandoned the constitution, reason and equity in their sham patriotism...

      i pity them, they hate me...

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

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 28 Feb 2015 @ 7:41am

        Re: Re: I request clarification:

        "Villains who twirl their moustaches are easy to spot. Those who clothe themselves in good deeds are well-camouflaged."

        - Captain Jean-Luc Picard, "The Drumhead"

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 28 Feb 2015 @ 4:36am

      Re: I request clarification:

      Where have you been? There is only one world government the United Sadistic Assholes.

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

    • icon
      Padpaw (profile), 28 Feb 2015 @ 9:14am

      Re: I request clarification:

      doesn't recognize anything but itself as defacto ruler of the world and everything in it

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 28 Feb 2015 @ 3:58am

    What surprises me is how fast this Judge has ruled on this forfeiture considering this Judge is still yet to rule on other matters of the case against Megaupload that has well preceded this forfeiture by months.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 28 Feb 2015 @ 4:24am

    Executive AND Judicial Malfeasance

    "...what's really astounding is how far the DOJ appears to want to go..."

    Now, now, don't underplay the collusion of "hizzonner." We have two branches of gumint sinnin' 'gainst The Constitution here.

    Time to thin the herd of these culls.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 28 Feb 2015 @ 4:39am

    U S A! U S A! U S A!

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

    • identicon
      David, 28 Feb 2015 @ 8:53am

      Re:

      Well, in Zimbabwe the government is cheaper. But you get so much more value in the U.S. once you have a few billions to throw on the scales.

      So indeed: U S A! U S A! U S A!

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 28 Feb 2015 @ 4:45am

    Meanwhile, other file storage sites are hosting child porn openly and searchable on Google and yet nothing is being done about it...

    It seems like this is nothing less than a pissing contest except one of them is drunk and pissing on everyone including themselves...

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

    • identicon
      David, 1 Mar 2015 @ 5:36am

      Re:

      Meanwhile, other file storage sites are hosting child porn openly and searchable on Google and yet nothing is being done about it...

      Child porn does not affect Hollywood's bottom line all that much. It's not like if you pull the child porn, people will watch "Bambi" instead. You'd probably have to make gay porn illegal to make a difference. And gay-bashing is not currently in the hip space.

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

  • icon
    DB (profile), 28 Feb 2015 @ 5:24am

    There was a comment above about Investor-State Dispute Settlement, with the expectation that it would be considered off-topic.

    It's not. This is exactly on point.

    The companies pushing for ISDS are thinking of situations such as Venezuela's nationalization of the oil fields. But this is the same situation.

    Well, not exactly. Venezuela had a much more defensible process. A clear law was passed years in advance that the production facilities would revert to government control at the oil field lease termination. The courts supported the clear wording of the law. The law wasn't especially just or wise, but the legal process was followed without twisting the law into a pretzel.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 28 Feb 2015 @ 5:44am

    can Dotcom appeal this decision or does that have to be done in person, in the USA? if it does, it means that basically, the complete bed of lies that the DoJ has used has given them a win. if he can appeal but has no money, or he can appeal, but must do so in person in the USA, then he has lost, without having done anything wrong and without having any charges against him being proven. which ever way he goes, he is well and truly screwed! the really frightening thing about this is how a security force has been transformed into a personal service for an industry and the way it has lied, cheated at every turn to ensure it gets the ruling the entertainment industries want!

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

  • identicon
    Claire Rand, 28 Feb 2015 @ 6:00am

    Google..

    Would not be surpised to find someone has had a quiet word with google about leaving some vile content available. Given net connections are monitored makes a very easy way of finding some of the more clueless harlfwits out there.

    Assume most of the stuff linked to is on government controlled locations and accounts? bait?

    Won't catch the clever, but will easily identify the stupid

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 28 Feb 2015 @ 8:08am

    Yeah well its not like the US has a good reputation to uphold anymore...

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

  • icon
    edinjapan (profile), 28 Feb 2015 @ 8:13am

    So when

    Now that it's come to this Dotcom has 2 alternatives.

    1) Go to the United States and get assraped by Hollywood's bought and paid for judiciary

    2) Get the GOP to repeat what they did to Sony on all of the major Hollywood studios. Only this time they follow through with taking the money, take their cut and give Kim the rest.

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

  • icon
    Padpaw (profile), 28 Feb 2015 @ 8:59am

    how about we just start calling it the department of injustice

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 28 Feb 2015 @ 10:06am

    Great idea,
    the us now rules the world,
    they could seize assets,in the uk,eu etc ,
    they can seize all the assets,money from
    all the teens in russia ,europe,
    who ever downloaded a few mp3 songs from a non legit source,
    or cant prove all my files ,media are legit,
    take all my money,
    i,ll have nothing left to defend myself.
    or pay a lawyer or even fly to america.
    the mafia would love to do this.

    HOW can he be a fugitive ?
    he never was a us citizen,
    he never appeared in a us court,
    what happened to the principal,
    everyone is innocent until they are proven guilty in a usa court.

    the laws around file sharing , fair use ,etc are different in different countrys.

    SO can we take it if i do something in say holland thats legal in dutch law ,
    i could still be prosecuted in a us court ,
    cos some big american company doesnt like me .

    we all have great faith in the usa justice system,
    the system that threatened a usa citizen with 35 years
    in jail ,
    for downloading 1000,s of public domain scientific research files from mit .university .

    there are many things in the eu that would be classified
    as maybe a copyright infringement in the usa .

    this is about the worst legal judgement i,ve seen ,
    since corporations in the usa were given the status of people .

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 28 Feb 2015 @ 10:27am

    Greece's Finacial Solution

    Greece's or any country wanting some quick funds.

    Simply accuse executives of US companies of crimes, notify banks to freeze all their assets and those of the company, start extradition proceedings, hold mock trial on assets, inform banks to turn over the assets, profit.

    If US trys to argue against this, present as evidence the US agrees with this because of this case. In matter of fact they agree so strongly they think it is more important then treaties.

    Someone is trying to be cute with legal manuevering, they should be reminded that when you get cute, you get bit.

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 28 Feb 2015 @ 6:32pm

      Re: Greece's Finacial Solution

      Within a day Greece is invaded and the government destroyed. A week later the new government agrees to take on the full debt, as well as higher interest and repay all the banks in full, plus a four billion dollar fee for violating international law.
      Perhaps they even give the US full oversight and control of all their laws.

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

      • icon
        Padpaw (profile), 1 Mar 2015 @ 2:38am

        Re: Re: Greece's Finacial Solution

        or their leaders will develop sudden and unexplainable cancer.

        happens to a lot of people in positions of foreign power that oppose Us interests lately

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 28 Feb 2015 @ 1:25pm

    NEXT

    will be ruling that GOD is a fugitive and they have the DOJ confiscate the universe. There fixed that!

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

    • identicon
      David, 1 Mar 2015 @ 5:41am

      Re: NEXT

      What do you mean, next? It certainly does not look like GOD has any intention to enter the United States anytime soon. And the DoJ already lays claim to the universe.

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

  • icon
    Uriel-238 (profile), 28 Feb 2015 @ 1:42pm

    I certainly hope the outrage in response to case isn't limited to TechDirt.

    Of course, when Dotcom's home was invaded, everyone was distracted by the success of the SOPA blackout. I was the guy that informed all my friends why the raid on a New Zealand internet mogul was such a big deal and no, this one doesn't make me a crackpot either.

    The Cyberlocker market never recovered, and this screams of government conspiracy to destroy a man. And Jurist O'Grady is either in on it or just plain stupid.

    But stupid or corrupt, this whole case seems to be a clear marker that the DoJ is broken. Every child-rapist or bank-robber or rampage killer or terrorist in prison is now a political prisoner of the US, given the DoJ is clearly incapable of delineating right from wrong.

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

    • icon
      Padpaw (profile), 1 Mar 2015 @ 2:39am

      Re: I certainly hope the outrage in response to case isn't limited to TechDirt.

      I though when Eric holder committed perjury and refused to prosecute known criminals because they were too big to jail was when the DoJ proved it was hopelessly corruppt beyond the point of fixing.

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

      • icon
        Uriel-238 (profile), 1 Mar 2015 @ 11:24am

        The order of events.

        Maybe. It happened before SOPA and the Snowden revelations? My timeline may be inexact.

        There was the time that cops busted someone for picking up and posting info on a beta iPhone. That was also a conspicuous interest by Law Enforcement in what was unlikely to be an actual crime.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Anonymous Coward, 28 Feb 2015 @ 2:10pm

    Special Prosecutor

    What is needed is an independent special prosecutor, or actually several. The DOJ isn't going to do their jobs like go after bad cops, the FBI, lying to congress, etc. etc. etc. etc. etc. The problem is, who is going to have the brass cajones and appoint them?

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

  • identicon
    Nomad of Norad, 28 Feb 2015 @ 2:22pm

    We need another Stop-SOPA level uprising.

    With all the INjustice we have been seeing orchestrated by the copyright-maximalism crowd... we really need another major grass roots revolt of the type that photon-torpedoed SOPA just when the evil Powers That Be thought its passage into law was a slam dunk. There needs to be an uprising that exposes every single wrongdoing on the part of the ones involved in this legal case against Kim Dotcom, for one. Ideally, some of these people need to lose their legal careers and/or political over it. This entire injustice needs to become ABSOLUTELY RADIOACTIVE! There are probably public records of one form or another that can be used to demonstrate wrongdoing on this judge's part, or at least that shows biases that should force him to recluse himself, or something. (I DON"T think its appropriate to "dox" these guys! NO releasing of private information on them like the home addresses of them or of close relatives or the like, this must be done CLEANLY, not done DIRTY!)

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

    • identicon
      Nomad of Norad, 28 Feb 2015 @ 2:28pm

      Re: We need another Stop-SOPA level uprising.

      er... "...and/or political careers over it" I meant.

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 28 Feb 2015 @ 3:56pm

      Re: We need another Stop-SOPA level uprising.

      It's not going to happen any time soon. Maybe much later when we're all elderly or dead. If I'm wrong, another sopa-like blackout does happen soon and succeeds then I'll send you a gift card. I'm serious, I really want something good to happen but I strongly believe it won't.

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

      • identicon
        Nomad of Norad, 28 Feb 2015 @ 9:22pm

        Re: Re: We need another Stop-SOPA level uprising.

        Thing is, the ground-up activist approach did recently succeed again even bigger than the kill-SOPA-dead thing, as described here:

        http://www.forbes.com/sites/marvinammori/2015/02/25/ten-reasons-the-net-neutrality-victory-is-b igger-than-the-sopa-win/

        ....and that was despite quite a lot of powerful media mouthpieces saying things should go the other way and at the same time while those same mouthpieces were trying to *force* the issue to *go* the other way. That said, I also see a number of different ongoing efforts to, for instance, pull the wind out of the sails of the NSA mass-surveilance system by going state-by-state to outlaw various parts of it, among dealing with other government-overreach issues ( http://www.tenthamendmentcenter.com/ ), and there's a particular grass roots endeavor to bring about election finance reform ( http://www.wolf-pac.com/ ) so that giant corporate elements can no longer elbow their politicians and tell them "Go deal with THAT for us, or else!" And it sounds to me like people are starting to get up at arms about the country-wide problem that the events in Ferguson were a symptom of, where among other issues the police go in behaving like hung-ho military outfits and get innocent people killed. But it also sounds like people are waking up to the great harm brought about by civil forfeiture laws (police grabbing cash and high-value items from people because they THINK those might have been used in, or been payed for via, crime and then FORCE you to prove it WASN'T related to crime ("Oh look, drug money! Gimme!") even when they have no proof you committed a crime!), as well as other matters.

        One of the most recent things that people are demanding action on is this matter here: http://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2015/feb/28/chicago-protests-police-black-site-homan-square

        So, yeah, I strongly suspect there's going to be some massive changes coming over the next year or two, coming from several different directions, despite the powers that be thinking everything will remain status quo.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 28 Feb 2015 @ 3:09pm

    Damn, the terrorists win, again.
    Thou shalt not steal.

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

  • icon
    GEMont (profile), 28 Feb 2015 @ 5:03pm

    The road to hell....

    In the relentless quest to prove authoritarian infallibility in all things, it is always inevitable that along the way, many innocents will be crushed and many laws will be bent and broken.

    But it is all done for a "(*1)good cause" and so it is all deemed to be a part of the unavoidable cost of doing business.

    (*1) - the eventual godhood of the 1% (god gold good)

    ---

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

  • identicon
    Ponkyperson, 28 Feb 2015 @ 7:37pm

    craptastic

    doodle headed twit heads of doodles of heads

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

  • identicon
    Just Another Anonymous Troll, 28 Feb 2015 @ 7:45pm

    This is chilling, and not just for Dotcom

    Basically, all the government needs to do to get rid of someone they don't like is to:
    1. Accuse them of a crime.
    2. Seize all their assets.
    3. Begin forfeiture proceedings against the money, and win because the target doesn't have any money to defend themselves.
    4. Prosecute them and win, because they are the government and are not above straight-up perjury and the defendant has no money.
    5. Lock them up for a long time.
    6. ???
    7. Profit.

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

    • icon
      Padpaw (profile), 1 Mar 2015 @ 2:43am

      Re: This is chilling, and not just for Dotcom

      or just send a drone strike then say they were a terrorist after the fact.

      Just wait until it comes out they are openly assassinating people because they don't like them and not because they are a criminal or a terrorist or whatever.

      To any rebuttals about the US government not killing off people that portray them in a bad light.

      Awful lot of murder suicides happening lately to the most vocal of critics. As well as "the USA does not torture people, we condone torture" well, up until about several months ago when people found they were lying yet again to save face and hide their war crimes.

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

  • icon
    Uriel-238 (profile), 28 Feb 2015 @ 8:20pm

    Maybe it's why they call them fat-cats.

    Well, less the government and more someone in the DoJ or with access to the DoJ. I'm pretty sure the MPAA and RIAA decided they wanted to ruin Mr. Dotcom.

    So, yeah, VIPs in the US now have the power and disposition of ancient Mayan gods, or felines among mice. If they take an interest in your affairs, they'll toy with you before breaking your neck.

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

  • icon
    SMobius (profile), 1 Mar 2015 @ 4:24am

    accused = guilty

    It seems that now if the authorities think your guilty, you will be found guilty.
    In cases like these the legal process is becoming just an act for the uninformed to hide what is happening. They will ensure the system is weighted against the accused that they will be found guilty regardless of the facts.
    The question is as more people realise what is happening will the system become more just; or will they just skip to locking people up and taking their assets without the show trial.

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

  • identicon
    AC, 1 Mar 2015 @ 2:02pm

    due process is for other people

    Fifth Amendment
    No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a grand jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the militia, when in actual service in time of war or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offense to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.

    Note that the 'without due process of law' statement is not in fact followed by 'unless a corrupt, treasonous, thieving, corporate whore, bureaucrat decides otherwise.'

    How inconvenient.

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

    • icon
      Uriel-238 (profile), 1 Mar 2015 @ 2:45pm

      This is a big era for constitutional exceptions.

      The DOJ is really fond of finding ways that your particular case doesn't count and so the US Constitution, including the Bill of Rights, does not apply to you.

      Apparently we also like to find exceptions due to the Geneva convention as well, much to the chagrin of the international community.

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

    • identicon
      David, 2 Mar 2015 @ 2:09am

      Re: due process is for other people

      Fifth Amendment
      [...]

      Note that the 'without due process of law' statement is not in fact followed by 'unless a corrupt, treasonous, thieving, corporate whore, bureaucrat decides otherwise.'

      How inconvenient.

      Why would that be inconvenient? The latter clause is always implied given an immature groveling timid complacent populace.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 2 Mar 2015 @ 2:23am

    Didn't the Judge in the criminal case against Megaupload/Dotcom rule months ago in the case against Megaupload/Dotcom something along the lines that Dotcom was not in the US and that Dotcom had to be actually physically present in the court in the US etc. and therefore what Dotcom requested at the that time was dismissed because he was not physically present in the US court?

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

  • icon
    Seegras (profile), 2 Mar 2015 @ 3:53am

    I'm a fugitive

    I'm a fugitive, apparently, because I refuse to enter the USA with "intent to avoid criminal persecution".

    It's not that I did something illegal in the USA, but apparently that doesn't stop the DOJ from persecuting.


    On a related note, the DOJ now presumably rounds up Jews for failure to turn themselves in by themselves.

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

  • identicon
    ukdirector, 2 Mar 2015 @ 10:15am

    US Control

    The people of the US have lost control of their country, much like the English have lost control of their own country.

    The main showdown will be Islam V Western Governments, with the citizens being the human fodder...!

    uk

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

    • identicon
      Pragmatic, 3 Mar 2015 @ 3:13am

      Re: US Control

      Yes, but they've lost that control to FUD-spewing authoritarians who have forgotten that Government is supposed to be our servant, not our master.

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

  • identicon
    Amos Shapir, 20 Mar 2015 @ 4:09am

    It's the same trick Israel uses to grab Palestinian land

    During the war of 1948, a law was passed which declared all owners of land within Israel which were residents of enemy territory at a certain date (mostly Palestinian Arab refugees) as "absentees" and allowed the Israeli government to take their land. (This was modelled after a British law enacted during WW2).

    After the war of 1967, the same law was enacted; since all of the occupied territories were in enemy hands in 1948, all residents there are considered absentees, and their land can be taken at will.

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


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