Today New Zealand's Prime Minister John Key issued an apology to Kim DotCom for failing to protect him against illegal surveillance performed by NZ authorities. DotCom is the brains behind the long defunct MegaUpload, a file sharing service shut down due to International copyright concerns.
The Prime Minister's apology stems from an inquiry which unveiled the Government Communications Security Bureau mistakenly believed it could legally spy on DotCom -- a concerted effort between NZ authorities and the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation.
"I apologise to Mr Dotcom, I apologise to New Zealanders because every New Zealander that sits within the category of having permanent residency or is a New Zealand citizen is entitled to be protected from the law when it comes to the GCSB, and we failed to provide that appropriate protection for him,"
Source: tvnz.co.nz, John Key - New Zealand Prime Minister
The case against MegaUpload's founders has grown increasingly controversial since the initial bust. A New Zealand judge determined the warrants supposedly allowing authorities to raid DotCom's mansion were invalid. DotCom himself also had trouble receiving "fair" legal representation while there continue to be concerns of excessive force and jurisdiction issues, all factors coalescing into a less-than-perfect trial.
The GCSB's confusion was caused by Kim DotCom's German origins. As a foreign national, the bureau maintains legal authority to monitor and surveil Kim DotCom to their liking. The former MegaUpload Kim DotCom has dual citizenship: he is both a German and New Zealand citizen. By law, the GCSB is only allowed to spy on foreign nationals while ordinary citizens are protected under other NZ laws.
Prime Minister Key attempted to explain the legal convolution:
"Mr. Dotcom applied under the old legislation. He was granted a visa under the old legislation and had he come into New Zealand at that time he would have not have been protected and therefore the agency would have been able to spy on him,"
"But in the interim period he came in, the legislation changed and at the point the NZ Government, through the GSCB, got it completely wrong."
Source: John Key - New Zealand Prime Minister
The GCSB's director Ian Fletching admitted the agency's blunder, taking responsibility for the error. He said that the case highlights flaws found in the bureau -- flaws which will be corrected in the future.
Despite his many months of legal troubles, DotCom is still eye-balling future online endeavors like MegaBox, a cloud-based music service which aims reward artists 90 percent of the revenue their music generates.