US Government denies Megaupload fair legal representation for a fourth time

By Lee Kaelin on April 17, 2012, 10:30 AM

It quickly became obvious with the raids on Megaupload and its founder Kim Dotcom in January that US authorities were taking a no-nonsense approach to the file-sharing service, in what they aptly called the biggest criminal copyright case ever brought before the courts. Now it appears the government might be taking things a step too far, after refusing the ill-fated company and its founder their forth consecutive legal counsel.

After three previous law firms had been refused by the courts, well-known and highly prominent Quinn Emanuel Urquhart and Sullivan sought permission to represent Megaupload and its founder, Kim Dotcom. Unsurprisingly, the government raised yet more objections in a filing last week, which among other points included the refusal to free up seized money to enable the prominent law firm to represent them in court.

The government's court filling (PDF) argues that Kim Dotcom's current allowance as authorized by the New Zealand courts should provide him with the funds to pay for an adequate defense. Among other objections, the government also rejected representation by the top legal firm on the grounds that several companies have employed their services in similar cases in the past, and the government's calling of several of them as witnesses would create a conflict of interest.

Quinn Emanuel Urquhart and Sullivan hit back by counter-filing an 18-page document (PDF) in support of Kim Dotcom's right to legal representation, noting under no uncertain terms that the government was deliberately trying to make a scapegoat of Megaupload.

Megaupload Limited (hereinafter, “Megaupload”) is a corporate entity charged as a Defendant in this case. It has constitutional rights to due process and to the advice of counsel. Yet, if the Government is to have its way in this case, the only lawyers before the Court will be those representing the Government.  If the Government is to have its way, the only evidence available to the Court would be that cherry-picked by the Government, for the Government, from the universe of relevant servers slated to be wiped. If the Government is to have its way, in sum, Megaupload will never get its day in Court and the case will effectively be over before it has even begun. Megaupload’s fate will have been sealed by virtue of an indictment and corresponding asset freeze executed without the benefit of any adversarial proceeding or opportunity to be heard. Megaupload’s constitutional rights to contest the charges against it in a fair proceeding would be rendered worse than nugatory; they would be transformed into empty promises.

As well as rejecting every single point stated in the government's filing, Megaupload's lawyers pointed out that the file-sharing company has no available finances to pay for legal fees in its defense, and that the New Zealand courts specifically released the previously agreed monthly allowance purely for "living expenses" of Kim Dotcom, which does not extend to the payment of legal fees for himself or his corporation. Kim Dotcom they argue, will require experts in the relevant fields of forensics, as well as expert copyright lawyers, all of which costs considerable money and would prevent a fair trial without experienced legal counsel.

They also hit back strongly at the conflict of interests arguments, stating that the "government’s putative basis for disqualifying Quinn Emanuel would stand to disqualify essentially any law firm equipped to litigate one of the largest criminal copyright cases ever brought by the United States." The filing went on to say that such a broad statement, combined with the fact that only the government knew exactly what has been discovered in the estimated 25-petabytes of Megaupload content places them in the unique position to play "Gotcha" with any forthcoming legal firm prepared to defend them in court.

It goes completely against the very fabric of the US legal system, which considers a person innocent until proven otherwise by a jury. Therefore they have the right to a fair opportunity to defend themselves, which rather worryingly appears to be dissolving further at every turn. 

It will be interesting to see the reaction of the New Zealand legal system, as the ongoing extradition battle should supposedly be granted only on the condition the person(s) are subject to a fair trial after extradition. It could be strongly argued that the US legal system with their current stance is giving the distinct impression of a completely one-sided "show" trial, which is ultimately against the best interests of Megaupload's founder.

The courts and the US government are yet to respond to the filing by Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan.




User Comments: 49

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MilwaukeeMike said:

Here's a link if you want to read WHY the govt is going after them. Sorry, it's completely free of Techspot's "Big Evil Government is infringing on someone's right's" bias.

[link]

Guest said:

And Another US "Rip-Off" its on the way

MilwaukeeMike said:

Awesome... it says above they have no money for legal expenses and in the other story it says..

"The indictment goes after six individuals, who between them owned 14 Mercedes-Benz automobiles with license plates such as "POLICE," "MAFIA," "V," "STONED," "CEO," "HACKER," GOOD," "EVIL," and?perhaps presciently?"GUILTY." The group also had a 2010 Maserati, a 2008 Rolls-Royce, and a 1989 Lamborghini. They had not one but three Samsung 83" TVs, and two Sharp 108" TVs. Someone owned a "Predator statue." Motor bikes, jet skis, artwork, and even 60 Dell servers could all be forfeit to the government if it can prove its case against the members of the "Mega Conspiracy."

cliffordcooley cliffordcooley, TechSpot Paladin, said:

With the government acting so strangely, it seems they are the biggest conflict of interest.

How could you hold a trial, when everyone could be a conflict of interest?

Staff
Jos Jos said:

@MilwukeeMike All of those assets were seized back in January. He still gets a hefty $60,000 monthly allowance, although whether that is enough to hire expert copyright lawyers it's unclear to me.

In any case, the article does not suggest MegaUpload is innocent in any way, only that they have the right to a fair trial under U.S. laws.

example1013 said:

@Jos so what you're saying is, you're no expert, you have no clue whether the government has a legitimate claim, and at the very least, the title is extremely misleading.

captainawesome captainawesome said:

You have to ask why the prosecution is being so silly. Their attempts to stop Kim from using adequate legal representation could be the very grounds that this case is won for the 'defense'.

If they continue with this the court will have to intervene and might even throw the case out! I don't know if any other lawyers on this forum will disagree? I after all didn't study american law but I know the SA constitution will not allow this!

Staff
Jos Jos said:

@example1013 No, try again.

The government may have a legitimate claim and MegaUpload may or may have not built their entire business around piracy. My reply was specifically in response to MilwaukeeMike's accusation of bias. Therefore I said the article does not suggest MegaUpload is innocent in any way, only that they have the right to a fair trial.

Vrmithrax Vrmithrax, TechSpot Paladin, said:

@Jos so what you're saying is, you're no expert, you have no clue whether the government has a legitimate claim, and at the very least, the title is extremely misleading.

The government has refused Megaupload's selection of legal counsel. Again. For the fourth time. All of that is well-documented and reported fact. So, in what twisted universe do you live in that the title is anything but accurately representing the facts?

captainawesome captainawesome said:

I too do not think that the title is misleading.

example1013 said:

@Jos I apologize, I shouldn't have directed my comment towards you, as I was commenting on the article itself, not your specific post. And since you're not the author, it really isn't fair to say something like that.

lawfer, TechSpot Paladin, said:

Excuse me for a second, but isn't denying a defendant the right to legal counsel, um, I don't know, a violation of both Article 10 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the Sixth Amendment of the United States Constitution?

veLa veLa said:

Forget the government. Saying people need the government to survive is like saying animals need farms to survive.

edit by LNCPapa - vulgarity

Guest said:

Lawfer's reply is why the title is misleading. They are not being denied the right to legal counsel, they are being denied the ability to *pay* for legal counsel. That's a huge difference and worse, it's a larger travesty. The government's stance is essentially that Megaupload shouldn't be able to use funds earned through illicit means, but haven't yet proven that the funds are, in fact, illicit. It's not a right to legal counsel issue, it's an innocent until proven guilty issue.

Darkshadoe Darkshadoe said:

Forget the government. Saying people need the government to survive is like saying animals need farms to survive.

edit by LNCPapa - vulgarity

Yeah..Forget the Government!! Forget them Hard!!

1 person liked this | Leeky Leeky said:

@Jos I apologize, I shouldn't have directed my comment towards you, as I was commenting on the article itself, not your specific post. And since you're not the author, it really isn't fair to say something like that.

Oh, I see. So accusing me of it is okay instead then is it?

There is nothing misleading about the title at all. Considering the facts between both the Government and those "trying" to gain permission to represent Megaupload draws that conclusion.

I've even included the links to the full copies of both parties filed court papers as a means for those to verify them.

MilwaukeeMike said:

@Jos @lawfer @Guest

From the story...

After three previous law firms had been refused by the courts, well-known and highly prominent Quinn Emanuel Urquhart and Sullivan sought permission to represent Megaupload and its founder, Kim Dotcom. Unsurprisingly, the government raised yet more objections in a filing last week, which among other points included the refusal to free up seized money to enable the prominent law firm to represent them in court.

The govt refused to free up seized money because it was needed to pay for the servers that contain all of the files Megaupload holds. It was NOT going to be used for legal representation. Megaupload wants to buy back all the data that was seized.

The reason the Quinn Emanuel lawyers aren't being allowed to represent Megaupload is because much of the stolen content on Megauploads servers belongs to YouTube. And YouTube is a client of Quinn Emanuel. The Govt plans on using witnesses from YouTube and it would be a conflict of interest for the Govt witnesses to be clients of the defense's law firm.

Facts came from CNET. [link]

MilwaukeeMike said:

The government has refused Megaupload's selection of legal counsel. Again. For the fourth time. All of that is well-documented and reported fact. So, in what twisted universe do you live in that the title is anything but accurately representing the facts?

The twisted universe that believes the owners of the content that Megaupload stole also deserve a fair trial.

This guy made millions and lived a life of luxury from running what's described as the biggest piracy site in the world. And above me is a whole list of people defending him because the title says he's being denied a fair trial. He's not being denied a fair trial, he's trying to scam his way into an unfair one.

It would be like saying 'Chevy Volt catches fire again, claims three lives' without mentioning that the guy was driving 90mph drunk and hit a tree.

H3llion H3llion, TechSpot Paladin, said:

Forget the government. Saying people need the government to survive is like saying animals need farms to survive.

edit by LNCPapa - vulgarity

Yeah..Forget the Government!! Forget them Hard!!

I sense sarcasm in your post Dark. But veLa is right. Government is not needed to our survival, why would it. Instead its rather a failure more then anything.

1 person liked this | lawfer, TechSpot Paladin, said:

Lawyers cost money.

When the government shut down Megaupload's servers and arrested its top officials, it also froze the assets of Megaupload and its founder, Kim Dotcom. Lawyers generally don't work for free, so Megaupload needs some of its assets unfrozen to cover its legal costs.

But the government not only objects to releasing funds for Megaupload's defense, it argues it's such a clear case that Quinn Emanuel lawyers shouldn't even get the opportunity to make their argument to the judge.

The New Zealand courts have authorized Kim Dotcom to withdraw tens of thousands of dollars to cover his living expenses while they decide on his extradition case. The US government argues that these funds give Kim Dotcom and Megaupload plenty of money to pay for legal representation.

"It will be a high hurdle to prove that an individual with a monthly income of $48,000 USD for at least the next seven and a half months, and a monthly income of at least $16,000 USD thereafter, is prevented from retaining competent defense counsel?even if such funds prove insufficient to pay Quinn Emanuel's billing rates," the government argues in its brief.

But as Quinn Emanuel points out in its reply, the New Zealand court specifically earmarked the money for living expenses, not legal fees. More importantly, Megaupload is a legally distinct entity from Dotcom, and it has no funds with which to pay its legal bills. Also, while $16,000 per month might be plenty of money for a typical criminal trial, this is not a typical case. Megaupload's defense is likely to require computer forensics, expert witnesses, and attorneys with in-depth copyright expertise. Those don't come cheap.

No copyright lawyers?

The government also objects to the selection of Quinn Emanuel due to conflict-of-interest problems. The firm has extensive experience handling copyright cases, and its past clients include Disney, Paramount, Time Warner, Fox, and Intuit. All of these firms have allegedly had their products illegally distributed on Megaupload. Quinn Emanuel has also counted YouTube as a client, and Megaupload is alleged to have illegally scraped YouTube movies for posting on Megaupload. The government said it planned to call Google--another Quinn Emanuel client--as a witness because Google once cut Megaupload off from using its AdSense advertising network due to copyright concerns.

The government describes all of these companies as victims of Megaupload, and suggests that Quinn Emanuel can't fairly represent Megaupload given its ties to them. "It would be inappropriate to permit Defense Counsel to enter even a limited appearance without first fully investigating and resolving these potential conflicts," the government argues.

In its reply, Quinn Emanuel points out this broad interpretation of conflict-of-interest rules would prevent Megaupload from retaining almost any law firm with experience in copyright matters. After all, firms that specialize in copyright law regularly accept major content companies as clients, and Megaupload's servers likely contain content from the majority of those firms. So the government's broad interpretation of the conflict of interest rules would effectively mean that Megaupload can't have a lawyer with experience litigating copyright cases.

In any event, conflict-of-interest rules are supposed to protect Megaupload. Quinn Emanuel says Dotcom and Megaupload are willing to have Quinn Emanuel represent them despite these supposed conflicts.

"Empty promises"

The government raises several other objections. It argues that because Dotcom is fighting extradition, he is a "fugitive from justice" and not entitled to be represented in US courts until the extradition fight is over. And the government complains that it would be too confusing to have to deal simultaneously with two different Dotcom legal teams?one in the United States and the other in New Zealand.

TL ; DR

The title is fine.

P.S. I would recommend reading Ars when it comes to legal stuff, not CNET.

SNGX1275 SNGX1275, TS Forces Special, said:

It seems to me that if the law firm is ok with taking on the case, then the government's excuse for keeping them from taking the case is moot.

Government is saying the law firm handles companies that have files on megaupload's servers and its a conflict of interest. The law firm says 'thats ok, we'll still represent them'. If Kim Dotcom still wants to hire that law firm, and the law firm wants the case, then whats the prob?

Darkshadoe Darkshadoe said:

Forget the government. Saying people need the government to survive is like saying animals need farms to survive.

edit by LNCPapa - vulgarity

Yeah..Forget the Government!! Forget them Hard!!

I sense sarcasm in your post Dark. But veLa is right. Government is not needed to our survival, why would it. Instead its rather a failure more then anything.

Actually I was just poking fun at the vulgarity correction :P

Guest said:

Actually, considering that they are also barring every legal council Megaupload has attempted to correspond with on grounds of 'conflict of interest', they are indeed preventing them fair legal council, not just the ability to pay for it...

H3llion H3llion, TechSpot Paladin, said:

Actually I was just poking fun at the vulgarity correction :p

Oh I see, I see! :P

Also PS:

Loving the alert system, going to try and find one for my phpBB forum :3

Guest said:

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!

Tor Oncio said:

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

Marnomancer Marnomancer said:

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.

MilwaukeeMike said:

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.

Guest said:

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.

MilwaukeeMike said:

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?

Marnomancer Marnomancer said:

Why would the govt want to deny him representation since they can't try him without it?

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.

Tygerstrike said:

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.

Leeky Leeky said:

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.

SNGX1275 SNGX1275, TS Forces Special, said:

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.

Leeky Leeky said:

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.

SNGX1275 SNGX1275, TS Forces Special, said:

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.

Marnomancer Marnomancer said:

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.

Tygerstrike said:

@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.

1 person liked this | captaincranky captaincranky, TechSpot Addict, said:

....[ ].....The US government aren't stupid, and they're just as aware of the .....[ ]......
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

SNGX1275 SNGX1275, TS Forces Special, said:

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.

Leeky Leeky said:

@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.

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.

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

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

Thanks for the education, good Sir.

captaincranky captaincranky, TechSpot Addict, said:

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....

Marnomancer Marnomancer said:

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

TJGeezer said:

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?

captaincranky captaincranky, TechSpot Addict, said:

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

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.
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

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

Tygerstrike said:

@ 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.

Leeky Leeky said:

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.

Tygerstrike said:

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

Leeky Leeky said:

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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