US Government denies Megaupload fair legal representation for a fourth time

By Leeky
Apr 17, 2012
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  1. People who share 'warez' generally believe that software should be free and available to all.

    This fatcat made soooo much money from that ideal that he should be carved up and sold in a meat market. He cashed in on an ideal of free distribution. Get him Gov!
  2. Tor Oncio

    Tor Oncio Newcomer, in training

    US is acting like they own the world, well, be careful, because the fall can be harsh
  3. Marnomancer

    Marnomancer TechSpot Booster Posts: 808   +51

    As a hint at what's coming for the US, read this. Julian Assange, back with a vengeance. A big ray of hope for the the cyber rebellion.
  4. MilwaukeeMike

    MilwaukeeMike TechSpot Evangelist Posts: 1,896   +611

    You know... if this CEO was the CEO of a financial firm and was being tried on insider trading the story above would be calling for his head. But since he's part of the 'internet revolution' and all he stole was digital content, everyone is coming to his defense.

    @lawfer.... you may be right... perhaps ANY law firm with any copyright experience would create a conflict of interest. I guess that's the consequence you have to deal with when you've stolen from just about everyone. The guy is still guilty as hell (and we all know it), and it's pretty disturbing to see him defended so blindly.
  5. I personally think it is not about the copy write issues. It probably has to do with wiki leaks and documents secret documents shared by many users. It was probably an untraceable heaven for hackers. So now the data seized probably in for analysis. The case has to be stalled till they decrypt some of the data to see the embedded stega hide stuff how hackers communicate.
  6. MilwaukeeMike

    MilwaukeeMike TechSpot Evangelist Posts: 1,896   +611

    Another thing that sounds fishy about this case.... Thinking from Kim Dotcom's point of view. It's a Win-Win for him to try to hire Quinn Emanuel. Either he gets a legal team with obvious conflicts and advantages, or he gets denied and gets the internet communities compassion.

    The latter is probably better. This guy knows he's facing prison time and the more times he gets denied, the longer it will take to go to trial. Why would the govt want to deny him representation since they can't try him without it?
  7. Marnomancer

    Marnomancer TechSpot Booster Posts: 808   +51

    Because they don't want to be embarrassed. Simple. I'm not "defending anyone blindly", but why, in your opinion, was Wikileaks a "terrorist" organization to some? There are some things which the Govt prefer to be silenced. Soldier suicides in Afghanistan? War crimes in the Bush regime? These 'cyber acts' are just a distraction tactic, IMO. Kim and Julian's arrest, privacy and intellectual property rights acts, everything's just a distraction.

    And for those who have anything else to defend the new acts assuming developers are starving, this article right here on TS is a slap. My apologies for saying that.
  8. Tygerstrike

    Tygerstrike TechSpot Enthusiast Posts: 827   +93

    Really!?! 60k a month for living expenses? Thats 3x what the average American makes in a year! I mean WTF!! How can they justify that amount of money.
    As forDotcom not getting adaquate representation, The only barrier I see is the cash. We all know the more money you can throw at your legal defense, the greater the odds of you getting off scott free. Im guessing Dotcom will have to settle for an attorney he can actually afford. Which means he will prolly be in jail for several lifetimes lol.
  9. Leeky

    Leeky TechSpot Evangelist Topic Starter Posts: 4,378   +97

    I love how everybody assumes a person is guilty before said person has been tried, and actually found to be guilty of their accused crimes.

    I'm not saying he's a saint, but the whole fabric of the US legal system is you ARE presumed innocent until proven GUILTY in a court of law. The fact he was a playboy style multi-millionaire and had fortunes most of us could only dream of is absolutely immaterial -- he is entitled to exactly the same rights as the next person, and in the eyes of the court, and the legal system should be treated the same.

    His allowance is a lot of money but it is proportionate to his living expenses for the lifestyle he led, and for the ongoing costs (which includes his family home) he occurs. Added to which, the amount he was given by the NZ courts was specifically (and only) for living expenses. Therefore the US government cannot "force" him to use that allowance to pay for legal representation and Dotcom has every right to apply for additional funding from his seized assets to cover the costs of it.

    And that doesn't even bring into consideration the fact that Dotcom's company, Megaupload requires representation in court, and currently has absolutely no money in order to pay for such services. The financial circumstances of Megaupload and that of Kim Dotcom are two separate issues. Megaupload needs to pay for legal representation from its own company funds, which have been seized and therefore this is impossible.

    At the end of the day, his income, however sickening you may feel it is, is exactly that until he is tried, and found guilty. You can't refuse his finances for legitimate reasons when you don't even have a conviction to suggest they're any different. He might be found guilty of his crimes, and the money might not be his legally, but until that conviction is given, it cannot be treated as such.

    The latest lawyer firm that wishes to represent him should be allowed to do so. At the end of the day Dotcom is protected by the conflict of interest rules, and his decision to waiver them, as well as the law firm being happy to represent him should be taken into account. If Dotcom is aware of the implications of having them represent him, and accepts them, the government really shouldn't be dictating otherwise.

    To suggest that he cannot hire anyone who has any previous experience dealing with conflicting clients that Megaupload's servers might contain the works of is outrageous. This is not the case for your small street corner law firm, and will require the services of specialised and highly experienced copyright lawyers with considerable staffing for the investigative and legal work a trial of this size requires. The US government even suggesting otherwise is without question turning this into a complete "show" trial and denying the accused of the legal team required to adequately defend himself in court.

    Finally, the NZ legal system ought to be watching this closely. As it stands right now, Megaupload and Kim Dotcom are not being given "fair" opportunities for legal representation, and his extradition should only be granted on the condition he is. Extradition laws are supposed to ensure a person being extradited isn't consequently unfairly treated -- in that respect, the US government are almost feeding him ammunition to aid his defence that he is being poorly treated.
  10. SNGX1275

    SNGX1275 TS Forces Special Posts: 12,277   +223

    Leeky - I agree with what you posted concerning the US legal system and how he should be treated and his funds. But, (and unfortunately I can't cite specific cases right now, but I'm sure I could find them) there are special cases where funds are not allowable even before a guilty verdict exists. I know that a meth cook can make a lot of money, but if they get arrested for cooking/selling/whatever, the 'man' will prevent the money they made selling from being available for their defense.
  11. Leeky

    Leeky TechSpot Evangelist Topic Starter Posts: 4,378   +97

    Aye, I understand that SNGX, but the US government cannot make him use money the NZ courts have specifically only given to him as living expenses to pay for his legal defence. The money has to come from somewhere, and it is not the responsibility or the right ethically or legally for the US government to "choose" legal representation for him or his company in the manner they are currently doing.

    If Kim Dotcom uses his awarded money for legal counsel he will no doubt risk losing it for breaking the specific court agreement under which it was awarded. The US government aren't stupid, and they're just as aware of the facts as anyone else reading the various legal documents available online.

    Simply put, the US government are far from playing fair. If he is guilty, he should be found so with a fair trial, and not one that is unquestionably turning totally one sided. If the evidence is that bloody compelling it shouldn't make a blind bit of difference who represents him, so they should just let him get on with choosing whoever he wishes.

    Although, frustratingly I doubt it will have any impact on his extradition hearings. I doubt a country the size of NZ is going to risk a full on public PR disaster at government level by refusing to allow extradition of him to the US to face charges. It just makes the US government appear even more of a bully than they already are in my personal opinion.

    He should be tried on the facts they have, on the terms he's accused of. All this legal rubbish shouldn't even be happening.
  12. SNGX1275

    SNGX1275 TS Forces Special Posts: 12,277   +223

    I concur. lol. I know that is a funny catchphrase from old TS days, but I don't have much else to offer in this discussion, I agree with your posts. I think the US govnmt is trying to do a lot of things that are 'scary', but that should be reserved for another thread.
  13. Marnomancer

    Marnomancer TechSpot Booster Posts: 808   +51

    Yeah, or the FBI will be raining down on you. LOL. But as it has been already said, the Govt doesn't want anything that'll embarrass them, and that leaves us to wonder where is our 'independence' (outta the window?) as the USA claims to be a bastion of freedom.
     
  14. Tygerstrike

    Tygerstrike TechSpot Enthusiast Posts: 827   +93

    @Leeky

    Im pretty sure the US govt. is denying his representation because of appeal issues. The US govt. isnt going to go through the extradition process just to have Dotcom turn over any conviction due to a controlable error.
    Any Lawyer worth their fee would be doing the same thing for Dotcom. It seems to me that you are hating on the US govt. because they are trying to make sure that everything goes smoothly. Seems as if you yourself have lost the objectivity that your profession demands.
  15. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 10,014   +716

    Oh for God's sake Leeky, "The US Government", is a singular entity / subject. It therefore requires a singular verb. Allow me to suggest "isn't" to replace, "aren't".Then we should go ahead and replace "they're", with "it's".

    This message on proper use of the King's English, brought to you by one of your adoring fans, in the former colonies.

    Oh yes, before I forget, "God save the Queen(s)", buy a ticket to a broadway play
    Leeky likes this.
  16. SNGX1275

    SNGX1275 TS Forces Special Posts: 12,277   +223

    LOL CC. That often bothers me too, but I figured I was just not smart enough to understand proper english. I don't care how many 'people' are involved in a company, a company (IMO, which I guess is wrong), should be treated as a singular.
  17. Leeky

    Leeky TechSpot Evangelist Topic Starter Posts: 4,378   +97

    I'm not hating on the US government at all. If you replaced them with any other agency, department or entity my personal reaction would be the same under the circumstances.

    Allowing Dotcom to use the law firm he requested actually works in the governments favour. I fail to see how it could be justified as a means of ensuring a "smooth transition" as you suggest.

    My news articles remain objective, but outside of them I do believe I'm entitled to my own personal opinion on the matter as well. The comments section is meant precisely for this, and I'm making use of it the same as any other member is entitled to.

    And finally I can "like" one of your posts! :haha:

    Thanks for the education, good Sir.
  18. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 10,014   +716

    No SNGX, the "US Government" is a singular subject. The only way to justify a plural verb, would be to modify the subject to a plural. For example, "the US government's attorneys aren't stupid". Like that.

    Myself I think the US government isn't stupid because it's letting the ANZACs feed and care for the big guy himself, until it can round up some humongous orange jumpsuits, and a cell big enough to hold him.... [​IMG]
  19. Marnomancer

    Marnomancer TechSpot Booster Posts: 808   +51

    You never cease to provide me invaluable education, captain. Which is why I've come to like your posts. :p
  20. TJGeezer

    TJGeezer TechSpot Enthusiast Posts: 385   +10

    A right to legal representation? When did anyone in the U.S. have that? Oh - maybe once, before the government declared the entire country to be a battfield, but not now.

    Down to brass tacks: as George W. Bush accurately observed, the U.S. Constitution is "nothing but a god-damned piece of paper." Well, okay - parchment - but that's a big word. Dubya still got the essential part right, as it has turned out.

    Geez, people, do you *still* think the government reports to YOU?
  21. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 10,014   +716

    As a matter of fact, the "Federal Defenders Office", (lawyers you get if you can't afford a lawyer), pulls it's paycheck from the same place as the USAO.

    A lot of people also correctly observed that George W. Bush, was an imbecile looking for an attic to rent, and accidentally wound up living at1600 Pennsylvania Ave, Washington D.C. This was by virtue of the, (what Wubbya called)," a mandate to govern", victory of 52% of the popular (!!!) vote. Remember, in the case of a true or false statement such as this, "the US Constitution is just a piece of paper", getting the right answer is a 50% statistical probability, given that it is open to semantic interpretation, and who gives a crap what, "parchment", is actually made out of

    It's a shared fantasy. The truth is far too depressing to deal with head on. Wubbya is planning a library, to showcase the "greatness and accomplishments" of his presidency. So,When an individual is that far of the target, it would be correct to call that individual, "delusional". But, when you're you're dealing with large groups, political correctness must be observed, so the word, "fantasy" is a much more solid choice.
  22. Tygerstrike

    Tygerstrike TechSpot Enthusiast Posts: 827   +93

    @ Leeky

    First and foremost your "rant" however educational, is still just that, a rant. As Dotcom isnt in US custody. And isnt on US soil. He isnt covered by the constition or any of its amendments. He is still in a NEW ZEALAND jail. Being judged by a NEW ZEALAND magistraite. Till he gets released one way or the other, you cant sit back and make judgments such as you have in your posts. This is a waiting game. Certain perameters need to be met before Dotcom even gets his day in court.
  23. Leeky

    Leeky TechSpot Evangelist Topic Starter Posts: 4,378   +97

    Aye, but I'm still entitled to my opinion -- half the replies to this article are exactly what you've accused me of doing. So I don't see any reason to single me out given the context of the discussion. At least I've got the foresight to realise he's not actually guilty of anything until proven otherwise -- though reading through the some 3 pages of comments it would appear most people have already made a judgement.

    If you don't like the fact I'm entitled to a personal opinion outside my objective articles like everyone else that's your problem, not mine, it's pretty clear its my personal opinion as it's not in the article I wrote, it's in the comments section alongside comments from other members, and guests doing just the same thing.

    He's not in jail at all Tygerstrike. He hasn't been for some time after NZ judge's ruled (to the dismay of the US) that given that all of his assets were frozen he wasn't a flight risk.

    You are indeed correct about his constitutional rights though, as right now he is considered an alien. That said, the extent to which the US government is pushing this is not doing it any favours, neither is continually denying the accused of legal counsel. His extradition among other things will also be dependent on him getting fair treatment once he arrives in the US, and right now it does not appear he is going to be getting it.
  24. Tygerstrike

    Tygerstrike TechSpot Enthusiast Posts: 827   +93

    Leeky

    Maybe Im not explaining myself to you. You as an contributor to Techspot. Your article may seem to be unbiased. Howeve by posting your personal opinions, your article then takes a hit because now ppl will be reading into your article what your personal opinions are. So your journalistic intergrity tends to also take that hit. Yes this is a public forum, but when someone reads what you post vs. what you wrote, it makes it very confusing.
    Also Im not saying youre not allowed a personal opinion. You are a person and not a cyborg bent on human conquest. But your spending a lot of energy jumping to conclusions that arent in evidence. As I said its a waiting game. As the US was only 1 of 7 different countries to file against Dotcom/Megaupload. The US may get first shot at Dotcom, there are still 5 other countries waiting their turn. To single out the US before Dotcom/Megaupload even get on US soil seems not only petty, but unprofessional
  25. Leeky

    Leeky TechSpot Evangelist Topic Starter Posts: 4,378   +97

    I think your views are a tad extreme, but I see the point your trying to make now. I'm just going to "agree to disagree" on the matter, however.

    I do not genuinely believe I've taken my right to personal opinion too far at all. You disagree, and that's fine, but to suggest I'm unprofessional and unable to remain objective, or as you put it, my "journalistic intergrity" is subsequently reduced is going a little bit too far.

    That said, if I responded in full again I fear we'd be back and forwards over and over with constant exchanges and really get absolutely nowhere. So on this occasion I'm just going to leave the final word up to you as I've made every point I'd like to make previously.


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