NZ Prime Minister apologizes to MegaUpload's Kim DotCom

By on September 28, 2012, 6:00 PM

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.




User Comments: 27

Got something to say? Post a comment
Tygerstrike said:

Not this again. They really need to do two things for this case. Either prosecute him or let him go. Second put him on a treadmill, he could use the exersise.

Wendig0 Wendig0, TechSpot Paladin, said:

He is going to be acquitted, and rightfully so. This entire case has been one big cluster f*** on the part of the authorities. Apologizing is the very least the PM can do.

Guest said:

This guy makes me want to vomit. I think his girlfriend does.

Darkshadoe Darkshadoe said:

Not this again. They really need to do two things for this case. Either prosecute him or let him go. Second put him on a treadmill, he could use the exersise.

This guy makes me want to vomit. I think his girlfriend does.

Gotta love internet tough guys..they are always good for a laugh.

1 person liked this | NTAPRO NTAPRO said:

This guy makes me want to vomit. I think his girlfriend does.

As long as you don't, you'll be fine

1 person liked this | Guest said:

A guy is wrongfully prosecuted, so wrongfully that a PrimeMinister issues a formal apology. If you still want to vommit, it must have been something you ate...

NTAPRO NTAPRO said:

So it's the prime ministers fault that I can't download all the good files

Guest said:

Let this D-Bag go so he can make money off everyone else?

Guest said:

Everyone who makes money make it "off everyone else". He ran a file hosting service that made him a fortune because of people abusing the service. There are countless other sites still doing the same thing. They all work the same way... if a file is reported to be illegal, they remove the link. What more can they do? Youtube is full of illegal content as well... why not go after them?

M E G A Upload to me today. Send me a file. Megaupload. Meeeeeeega.

NTAPRO NTAPRO said:

Let this D-Bag go so he can make money off everyone else?

How do you make money without other people?

Tygerstrike said:

@above Guest.

Yes you are correct, however his copyright infringment case is not only one that he faces. There is also the embezzelment case against him. What you are descibing that Mr. Dotcom has done is close to a drug dealer middleman. He isnt directly hosting the files, he is however offering a service that allowed ppl to commit copyright infringment. As for those countless other sites that you state. They are slowly but surely being taken down.

The loss of all that potential revenue that is lost due to piracy is enough to even get the Lawmakers off their butts so you can bet that we wont see any letup on closing those sites.

Guest said:

Comparing to a drug dealer middleman is illogical. That business is illegal through and through. It's more like shutting down a performance car dealership because of street racers. File hosting is a legitimate business with legitimate sales. People abuse the service...

Darkshadoe Darkshadoe said:

"@above Guest.

Yes you are correct, however his copyright infringment case is not only one that he faces. There is also the embezzelment case against him."

"Kim Dotcom (born Kim Schmitz January 21, 1974), also known as Kimble and Kim Tim Jim Vestor, is a German-Finnish computer programmer and businessman who generated much publicity during the dot-com bubble and was convicted of insider trading, and embezzlement in its aftermath."

[link]

Might want to get a newer version of the interwebz..This is OLD news.

" What you are descibing that Mr. Dotcom has done is close to a drug dealer middleman. He isnt directly hosting the files, he is however offering a service that allowed ppl to commit copyright infringment. As for those countless other sites that you state. They are slowly but surely being taken down."

Well if this is the case, then we should shut down every library in the world. Then shut down cable companies, ISPs, Google, etc. All of these facilitate the downloading or copying of copyrighted material.

The loss of all that potential revenue that is lost due to piracy is enough to even get the Lawmakers off their butts so you can bet that we wont see any letup on closing those sites.

All potential revenue is a guess at best. You can't lose money you did not have in the first place. Every one of these media outlets claim they have lost billions to illegal downloading. Some of them can not face the reality that their product is doo doo and nobody wanted to buy it anyways.

Please keep posting your MPAA/RIAA Handbook answers though, I am always looking for a good laugh.

Guest said:

Prime minister:

I apologize for my government's blunder... but you're still a pirate so we will get you next time.

kim dotcom:

lol.

music/video industry:

ffffff********.

---

seriously, the new zealand government should resign because it kowtowed to the whims of the u.s.a.

what the n.z. government allowed is an act not of a sovereign state.

corby corby said:

Every ISP in the world are profiteering and with making millions from copyright theft/infringement with facilitaing people to infringe with uploading and downloading copyright material through them but have the US government got the FBI to shutdown all these ISP's or even prosecute anyone of them? I doubt any ISP will be prosecuted or shutdown because they will argue that they cannot be held responsible for what people upload/download through them and if so then Megaupload cannot also be held responsible for what people upload/download to store on the server. Also Megaupload complied with DMCA takedown notices and not only that Megaupload also gave studios direct access to its system with allowing them to delete the links to the files that the studio has a copyright to, so it seems kind of ironic that the MPAA (with the help of the US government and FBI) who own these studios to prosecute Megaupload for criminal copyright theft when their own studios were given and allowed access by Megaupload to delete its own files that they had the copyright to.

Guest said:

The reason people pay for megaupload because they get illegal content.

Guest said:

The reason people buy aftermarket performance car parts is because they do illegal street racing.

NTAPRO NTAPRO said:

I'd have paid for mega upload even for the legit content. As long as it was beneficial

The reason people pay for megaupload because they get illegal content.

WHERE IZ UR PROOF

Camikazi said:

The reason people pay for megaupload because they get illegal content.

You can find illegal content on every cloud storage website, there is no exception. I have found warez and other things on Google, SkyDrive, and many other sites so why did they go after MegaUpload? I mean MU was actually doing what the MPAA and RIAA said and was taking down every link they said was infringing and even made it simpler for them to get rid of them. Seems to me they were just looking to make an example of someone and MU was used for that reason.

Guest said:

It is time for Mr Dot Com to go home. Wherever that may be. He has been fun, but his meddling in our domestic affairs cannot be tolerated.

Guest said:

@Guest above - Kim Dotcom is already at home. He was granted residency in New Zealand last year whether people like it or not.

TJGeezer said:

I'm impressed! And dumbfounded. The PM and the head enforcement bureaucrat both admitted an entire country's government was (gasp!) in the wrong and then actually apologized. To a citizen, no less. I wish I could be a citizen of a country like that. With a government that realizes its loyalty should be to the people, not the other way around. Imagine that.

dividebyzero dividebyzero, trainee n00b, said:

The PM and the head enforcement bureaucrat both admitted an entire country's government was (gasp!) in the wrong and then actually apologized.....With a government that realizes its loyalty should be to the people, not the other way around. Imagine that.

John Key = Publicity seeking just-for-the-sound-bite politico looking for brownie points from the 15-second attention span electorate.

Chickens come home to roost in 3...2...1...

A review of Government Communications Security Bureau (GCSB) files has revealed Prime Minster John Key was told about the spy agency's role in the Kim Dotcom case in February.

Until now, Key has insisted he wasn't told until September 17 - when he was briefed about illegal snooping by the agency. He can't remember the reference in February but accepts it took place.

[source]

Pretty standard stuff wherever you go. Less a victory for government oversight than a reinforcing of the view that elected office- paying less than the private sector, also tends to attract a lower standard of smarts/acumen than business in general.

Guest said:

@dividebyzero

What a load of mindless burble!

dividebyzero dividebyzero, trainee n00b, said:

Guest = National Party spinner.

The PM only went high profile in order to deflect the upcoming review conclusions.

TJGeezer said:

The PM is a politician and acts like a politician. No big news there. But instead of spinning it to look like this action was on some sort of moral high ground, he apologized and so did his chief enforcement bureaucrat. That he wanted to deflect "review conclusions" (whatever that signifies in NZ) is hardly surprising. But instead of posturing and defending what his administration did he chose to apologize to someone who had wound up in the local system's grinder. I'm still impressed and surprised. You won't see politicians doing that for anything but getting caught with prostitutes or flirting with the same gender in public bathrooms in the U.S. Still seems to me politicians choosing to do something honorable, for whatever reason, ought to be celebrated, not criticized for acting in self-interest and especially not when he had alternatives.

dividebyzero dividebyzero, trainee n00b, said:

On the surface from a few thousand miles away, I'd grant that the gesture looks magnanimous- the desired effect, but Key's getting hammered (no pun intended) for this and every other misstep his government makes, makes it a fait accompi. He's apologising for something he helped instigate, and while apologising wants to quash a formal public inquiry...so, basically is sacrificing a few minutes of TV credibility in the hope that the Government and its security agencies don't have to suffer through a protracted airing of dirty laundry that almost certainly doesn't end with Kim Dotcom and a "request" from the FBI. A brief overview. ..>>here<<<.... [link] .

Aiming to be better than U.S. politicians isn't a great recommendation in this country, where a national political scandal is usually in the order of a politician padding out their expense accounts by a few thousand dollars, or saying something less than politically astute

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