The Megaupload arrests

January 21st, 2012 at 9:03 am by David Farrar

I’m in an area with very limited phone and Internet access, so I heard about the arrests yesterday, but couldn’t blog on them.

I’m reserving judgement on the issue, until details of the alleged offences are known more fully. I would make the point that to my mind there has always been a significant difference between someone who accesses a file-sharing site or torrent in order to (for example) see the latest episode of a TV show not available in NZ, and those who are commercially making money from infringing , or assisting others to infringe.

Whether or not Dotcom and others have broken the law, will of course be a matter for the courts. It is worth noting that the NZ courts will not extradite unless the charges are for something that is also an offence under NZ law. So if for example there was an arrest warrant out for you because you took part in (adult consensual) oral sex in Utah, they would not extradite as thankfully oral sex is not illegal in NZ. Not sure if it still is illegal in Utah, to be honest – just using this as an example.

I’ve been saying for sometime that copyright issues will be a massive battle involving the Internet for the next decade or more.

In this case the US are not necessairly on the wrong side of the argument. I’m not saying their actions are justified either – it really depends on the details of the case. But few would argue that making money out of infringing other people’s copyright is a good thing (if that is what they have done). There is an argument they were just providing a service that “pirates” used. Again, will depend on what is revealed in court.

In other copyright news (and no I don’t think the timing is deliberately related), it looks like the SOPA and PIPA bills in the US Congress are dead. Senators have been dropping their co-sponsorship of PIPA as millions of Americans signed an online petitions and e-mailed their representatives on it.

Also of note is all the remaining Republican candidates for President have come out against the bills. So chalk this victory up to people power.

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96 Responses to “The Megaupload arrests”

  1. wolfjung (61 comments) says:

    Sounds like they were becoming too big and flaunting the profits too openly………….they (the great moral barometer of the world the USA) are using Megaupload as an example. They could equally go after Rapidshare, Wupload, and the multitude of other upload/download services……..thankfully most people who upload mirror the site somewhere else. It’s a losing battle, and I think they are better off targeting China where servers are based offering nearly anything under the sun. At least Mega attempted some degree of discretion by relying on the user to post the link himself elsewhere. The chinese just openly flaunt the warez.

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  2. kowtow (8,936 comments) says:

    See this story from The Telegraph
    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/technology/9027871/Kim-Dotcom-the-millionaire-playboy-behind-Megaupload.html

    So how does someone with previous convictions get NZ residency?
    This guy is no hero.

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  3. Farmerpete (58 comments) says:

    I would have thought copyright infringements were a civil matter. Therefore the arrests and no bail provisions seem draconian to me. They could have just frozen their assets and seized their passports.
    Having said all that, I have no sympathy for those who steal intellectual property.

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  4. Viking2 (11,672 comments) says:

    But have they or have they provided a file sharing service?

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  5. Scott Chris (6,178 comments) says:

    David Farrar says:- “there has always been a significant difference between someone who accesses a file-sharing site or torrent in order to (for example) see the latest episode of a TV show not available in NZ, and those who are commercially making money from infringing copyright, or assisting others to infringe.”

    Interesting how you characterize the two parties. The former as an organized crime syndicate, and the latter as an innocent consumer exercising his right to access restricted material.

    But in reality you’ve simply got the big thief and the little thief. Heck, I’ve been that little thief a few times, mostly because I know I can steal with impunity. But I don’t try to convince myself I’m something I’m not.

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  6. Pauleastbay (5,035 comments) says:

    Seeing a TV programme early is stealing intellectual property how?
    The programme will be avaiable free to air in NZ in May what is the problem with seeing it in April.?

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  7. Viking2 (11,672 comments) says:

    Death throes of the Mega corps. These guys are on the same path as major retailers. Its all down hill for them unless they join the world in 2012.

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  8. Scott Chris (6,178 comments) says:

    “The programme will be avaiable free to air in NZ in May what is the problem with seeing it in April.?”

    Because you either didn’t pay your sky subs for it, or you didn’t have to endure your sponsor Harvey Norman yelling at you. There is no such thing as a ‘free’ commodity in the capitalist world.

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  9. Pauleastbay (5,035 comments) says:

    Well having been able to fast forward ads for the last 30 years, only fuckwits endure Harvey Norman, Scott?

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  10. MT_Tinman (3,315 comments) says:

    ’tis not the intellectual (has there ever been a less inappropriate misnomer?) property “thieves” that ripping people off, it is the “entertainment” and “music” industries and copywrite itself.

    The recorded noise industry is the only industry that rivals chicken wings in the race for the biggest rip-off known to man.

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  11. metcalph (1,367 comments) says:

    So if for example there was an arrest warrant out for you because you took part in (adult consensual) oral sex in Utah, they would not extradite as thankfully oral sex is not illegal in NZ. Not sure if it still is illegal in Utah, to be honest – just using this as an example.

    Lawrence versus Texas has made such laws unconstitutional. A better example would be sex with a sixteen year old which is legal here but not so in over half the US states.

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  12. northern (44 comments) says:

    I confess my ignorance! I thought NZ’s Skynet law applied only to P2P torrents and not to file lockers (which I think Megaupload and the like are)??? And if I were correct then Mega wasn’t in breach of NZ law, only US law?? Grateful advice please!!

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  13. tristanb (1,127 comments) says:

    This poor bastard was treated rougher than most murderers, drug dealers and rapists.

    He didn’t even pirate stuff! He ran a website where you can post files and link them for download. Much like Google Docs, or Dropbox.

    Why our police are wasting time being the heavies for US music and movie companies, I don’t know. I’m more concerned about the rapes in Mt Roskill and Manurewa. Good on him for having a panic room.

    Intellectual “property” only exists, because we have laws that say it exists. And those laws give far too much power to large companies at the expense of small companies and individual citizens. Now those bastards are trying to take apart the internet.

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  14. Neebone (26 comments) says:

    Scott Chris said

    “There is no such thing as a ‘free’ commodity in the capitalist world.”

    What commodities are ‘free’ in the socialist world?

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  15. kowtow (8,936 comments) says:

    Civil doesn,t make it any less devastating to the property owner. Just a question of definition and place.That’s why lawyers can make so much dough.

    http://www.thisislondon.co.uk/standard/article-23980757-fear-grows-of-romanian-squatting-network-as-sisters-home-is-invaded.do

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  16. davidp (3,585 comments) says:

    According to the Dom Post, the police flew to Dotcom’s home in two helicopters. I can’t think of any reason why it wouldn’t have been just as efficient and a fraction of the cost to just drive there. Is this part of a strategy to show Americans just how gung ho our coppers can be?

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  17. Lazybum (259 comments) says:

    I bet Kim.com’s chubby arse will be popular in prison. He reminds me of the chubby new inmate that got the bash in The Shawshank Redemption.

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  18. Pauleastbay (5,035 comments) says:

    Its a 6 ft 7 ” chubby arse and I’m struggling when murderers are bailed why have we got some computer nerds taking up cell space.

    The only reason I can see is that they were taken to Corut too late to apply to the High Court for bail but still they are not really a threat to the Citizens of Albany.

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  19. fish_boy (152 comments) says:

    I have more sympathy than I used to for need to protect copyright from infringement. Look at the whimper that was the end of the Big Day Out yesterday. A direct consequence of the loss of revenue from copyright fees is the reduction of new Zealand to a musical backwater. With live appearances now being the sole source of income, artist fees have skyrocketed. And with all your income coming from one source, you are less likely to do a gig in NZ for way less because you want to play here, lest word get out that you reduced your fee.

    But that doesn’t mean I accept the right of the United States to do stuff like arbitarily increase the time before copyright expires (the “Mickey Mouse” clause) and then demand the rest of the world re-write it’s IP laws to reflect what they want. The United States is using bully boy tactics to run an IP protection racket on behalf of big corporations that seek to do little more than extract copyright rents from the rest of the planet. Mark my words, US Corporations via a corrupt Congress will use these anti-piracy laws on more than just file sharing sites if they can get away with it. An American corporation gets into an IP or patent dispute with you? Easy for them, just complain you are a IP pirate and whammo, the American government will have your DNS adddress seized and you sitting in an Auckland jail on a trumped up charge. By the time you’ve sorted it out three years later you might as well not have bothered with trying to protect your intellectual property or patent.

    No one is suggesting that Megaupload was anything but prompt in its removal of copyright material when the copyright holder requested it. I read that the US DOJ have seized the servers of Megaupload. That is wrong. Millions of legitimate users of Megaupload just lost access to their files. This has wider implications for the United States as a leading technological power than just copyright. Every organisation in the world will sit up and take notice that the integrity of their sensitive data in the cloud is meaningless if the United States decides it wants to take it. That is ultimately self defeating for the United States. The message loud and clear is to have your servers farmed across several countries with none at all in the United States, and to start using non-US controlled DNS addresses.

    I find the way that anything touched by US enforcement authorities seems to involve a routine use of excessive state force in the arrest and seizure very disturbing. The charges against Megaupload are no different to those laid against Youtube that were eventually thrown out. Megaupload have not been found guilty of anything yet. No one has seriously said that the Megaupload executives are dangerous and desperate criminals. But already, its DNS has been taken over and its hardware seized and its owners arrested by armed police and thrown in jail for at least this weekend without bail. Why was bail denied? Are they a threat to the physical safety of the community? I doubt it, but the media is breathlessly reporting that cash, cars, and (a) gun(s) has been seized, as if possession of these things by a multi-millionaire is impication of something illegal. I am surprised the police didn’t “find”some drugs – I suppose they’ve got plenty back at the station to “discover” if it looks like the case might be coming unstuck.

    All in all, it looks like our plods have made the3mselves into the enthusiastic enablers of a global bullies tantrums.

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  20. Pauleastbay (5,035 comments) says:

    Look at the whimper that was the end of the Big Day Out yesterday. A direct consequence of the loss of revenue from copyright fees is the reduction of new Zealand to a musical backwater. With live appearances now being the sole source of income

    More to do with the shit lineup of bands.

    Record companies have been the ones peeling back artists ,and have done since the first wax disc,not the consumer, everyone has conveniently forgotten this.

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  21. Scott Chris (6,178 comments) says:

    neebone says:- “What commodities are ‘free’ in the socialist world?”

    None. Where you have finite resources you have cost.

    But that is beside the point.

    We are living in a capitalist world, so that provides a moral context to this issue.

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  22. Nostalgia-NZ (5,318 comments) says:

    Over the top bs. Now we are getting leaks about sawn off shotguns and the like. One thing for certain is that we’ll see all the law tested to confirm whether the police actions are legal and I pick it might fritter out to be about nothing enforceable. Dotcom has got some serious money, instead of trying to imprison him we should be assisting him to the country’s financial benefit.

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  23. Nick K (1,259 comments) says:

    I tend to agree with the commenters who criticise the overbearing nature of FBI enforcement, police helicopters etc. I cannot understand, after reading what I have, why it is a criminal offence to provide a site to host and share files. To me, that’s ridiculous.

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  24. Viking2 (11,672 comments) says:

    Yep

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  25. Lazybum (259 comments) says:

    Nostalgia – I am sure NZ Govt will confiscate some of the wealth under proceeds of crime laws.

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  26. Tauhei Notts (1,687 comments) says:

    Pauleastbay at 10.18
    Absolutely spot on!

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  27. Viking2 (11,672 comments) says:

    Ah but didn’t you read a report the other day of how the number of armed offender call outs have skyrocketed through the roof?
    Yep that’s our plods. What with their drug control and booze control etc they are becoming the country thugs akin to the types of police regimes we see oversea’s. And its interesting to note the qualifications of the new lot of commanders as listed in today’s Herald. By the way don’t forget who made them the brave defenders(Collins is the name, Crusher by default)Still complete sense of misguided policing.

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  28. Nostalgia-NZ (5,318 comments) says:

    The NZ Govt have already confiscated cash and other items, I predict they’ll have a hard time holding onto it though. I’ve got the impression that NZ Government is being compliant in restraints against its own citizens by a foreign country.

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  29. Viking2 (11,672 comments) says:

    And don’t forget we gave those same studio’s lots of subsidies and rights to make films here. Perhaps its time we stood on our own two feet.

    You should point this out to your MP’s.
    When you bend over for tyrants they will inevitably screw ya.

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  30. Tauhei Notts (1,687 comments) says:

    Apparently one of the movies that was pirated was “Bad Teacher”.
    My wife and I are still searching our brains to recollect any movie as bad as that one. I kept watching it as I thought it must improve, and then the final credits came up.
    To talk about Bad Teacher and intellectual property in the same sentence is surely oxymoronic.

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  31. kowtow (8,936 comments) says:

    Helicopters get you onto the property faster,especially when you consider the place was gated,guarded etc.
    This guy is clearly a big operator so sending Clouseau in on foot and expecting cooperation and a cup of tea from a guy with previous convictions and a sawn off shotgun would have been a mistake

    If one of the search party hadda been shot I’m sure the same people who accuse the cops of over reacting would be criticsing them for not doing it right in the first place.

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  32. metcalph (1,367 comments) says:

    why it is a criminal offence to provide a site to host and share files

    It’s not criminal. What is criminal is to provide a site and allowing it to be used for the purposes of piracy in the same fashion that I could be convicted of allowing a warehouse that I own to be used knowingly for the purposes of trafficking drugs. Now Megaupload says they took steps to combat piracy but the few statements on the DoJ case indicates that the US thinks they were either welshing on their obligations or actively condoning piracy.

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  33. fish_boy (152 comments) says:

    “…Helicopters get you onto the property faster,especially when you consider the place was gated,guarded etc…”

    Did the police think he was running Megaupload from a server in his bedroom? Perhaps they suspected he had Thunderbird One stashed away under the swimming pool ready to make a quick getaway? What could he have had that required an armed invasion by the state’s para-military goons?

    “…This guy is clearly a big operator…”

    So is Graeme Hart.

    In fact, since Mr. Hart is much richer than Mr. Dotcom, I suppose you would approve using a LAV-25 to hose down his place with a bit of 25mm before serving an illegal tree felling notice?

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  34. dime (10,212 comments) says:

    fish boy – the big day out died because they took their audience for granted. “lets put together another shitty line up of no names and it will sell out like usual”. the BDO was always all over the place. what were the headliners this year? soundgarden and a rapper? lol

    check out the soundwave line up – hopefully they will come here next year. they put together an amazing line up. i dont know how they do it.

    as for megaupload being targeted. i guess its cause the owners were in the wrong countries. cant see the rapidshare guys being arrested. i never actually liked megaupload. i mainly use fileserve at the moment.

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  35. Keeping Stock (9,373 comments) says:

    The TV3 website has a link to the Grand Jury indictment against Dotcom and his partners. It’s fascinating reading, and those who are criticising the NZ Police for their heavy-handedness should take the time to understand what has been alleged. If these guys are found guilty in the USA, they are facing SERIOUS jail time.

    http://www.3news.co.nz/pv_obj_cache/pv_obj_id_9C15DE53B6E8CF16FAB1B48877EE93081B3B0F00/filename/Mega%20Indictment.pdf

    And on a related issue, it would be interesting to know the circumstances of the approval of NZ residency to Dotcom, especially as to whether or not the “good character” requirement was met, whether it was waived, or whether his past criminal behaviour was ever disclosed.

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  36. Viking2 (11,672 comments) says:

    Did he do Jail time? Plenty of people with incidents in their past move here just as they move elsewhere. He has splashed a fair bit if cash about, so we should say thanks.

    Rather him than a bunch of others who will end up doing real crime or finishing up on our social benefit list.

    metcalph (739) Says:
    January 21st, 2012 at 10:48 am

    What is criminal is to provide a site and allowing it to be used for the purposes of piracy in the same fashion that I could be convicted of allowing a warehouse that I own to be used knowingly for the purposes of trafficking drugs.

    So you reckon a landlord who rents his house out or wharehouse or office and finds out that drugs are sold from the house is a criminal.
    I hope so cause that makes Housing NZ andits staff criminals under your criteria and by implication their Cabinet Minister.
    Now I’m sure Phil Heatley isn’t a criminal.

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  37. Viking2 (11,672 comments) says:

    At least this time it wasn’t Tuhoe that were the beneficiaries of the Nazi Squad.

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  38. metcalph (1,367 comments) says:

    Viking2

    So you reckon a landlord who rents his house out or wharehouse or office and finds out that drugs are sold from the house is a criminal.

    If the landlord continued to turn a blind eye or actively encouraged the selling of drugs after discovering that drugs were being sold from his premises, then he is a criminal by definition. The crime is called aiding and abetting and can even be conspiracy depending on how involved the landlord was with the activity.

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  39. dime (10,212 comments) says:

    hey was this the dude that paid for the fireworks new years eve 2010?

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  40. ciro (1 comment) says:

    Most appealing thing is that there were 80 police officers performing the arrest. What a waste of taxpayers money! When there was an attempt to steal my car (car was left outside driveway on street with broken window), the New Zealand Police did not bother to come and secure the evidence (photos, fingerprints, etc.) They just took a report over the phone and that was it. They did not really care about securing my property rights! I know, I am only a small guy, but democracy is about everyone being equal before the law. But when their puppet-masters from the USA call and ask for “assistance”, they are more than happy to send 80 officers to secure someone’s else property rights, rights of some dodgy overseas entertainment companies who do not even pay taxes to New Zealand!!! This is all disgusting and clearly shows that there is no true democracy in New Zealand, all is just a charade and corruption. New Zealand Government is just a poppet to their masters in the USA… Shame on you, NZ Government!

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  41. Fletch (6,523 comments) says:

    I confess my ignorance! I thought NZ’s Skynet law applied only to P2P torrents and not to file lockers (which I think Megaupload and the like are)??? And if I were correct then Mega wasn’t in breach of NZ law, only US law?? Grateful advice please!!

    Northern, that is what I thought too, but it might only apply to those downloading from the lockers; not those who own them? According to the INternet NZ site, the new 3 strikes law does not include file lockers.

    InternetNZ (Internet New Zealand Inc) has obtained clarification from the Ministry of Economic Development (MED) that the intention of the Copyright (Infringing File Sharing) Amendment Act 2011 is to cover copyright infringement by online file sharing using peer-to-peer protocols only.

    The new notices and penalty regime introduced by these amendments is not intended to cover video/music streaming websites or online file lockers.

    InternetNZ Chief Executive Vikram Kumar says, “What this means is that watching videos on YouTube or via blinkx, streaming music from Grooveshark, and downloading from online file lockers like MediaFire and 4shared will not be subject to the changes introduced by the amendments to the law coming into force on 1 September 2011. MED’s confirmation addresses some of the questions that arose when we were looking at the law changes in detail”.

    More at – http://internetnz.net.nz/news/media-releases/2011/Scope-copyright-law-changes-limited-P2P-file-sharing

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  42. Dave Mann (1,240 comments) says:

    fish_boy is new to this site as a commenter. Judging by the comments he has made so far on this thread, I am going to teally enjoy reading more from him in the future :D

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  43. beautox (409 comments) says:

    I wonder why they are picking on this particular file locker service. There are dozens of them. What use is closing one down? Anyway, it’s akin to blaming someone who operates a lock up garage service for the crimes committed by the people who rent garages.

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  44. Dazzaman (1,082 comments) says:

    In other copyright news (and no I don’t think the timing is deliberately related)…

    There’s an old Jewish saying, “Coincidence is not a kosher word”……How bloody naive can you be? This would seriously seem to appear to be part of an attempt to breathe new life into the dead and dying PIPA & SOPA bills (or keep those issues to the forefront) before US lawmakers at the moment.

    Some whacked out shit going on here…Megaupload are the first victim, rightly or wrongly, of Obama’s attempt to control the internet. Soooo weird to see a black man on the side of the ballheads…

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  45. Viking2 (11,672 comments) says:

    metcalph (740) Says:
    January 21st, 2012 at 11:37 am

    You haven’t answered my question. Are the people at HNZ criminals when they trun a blind eye to houses being used to sell dope?

    Their own saftey means they do.

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  46. Scott Chris (6,178 comments) says:

    fish boy says:- “What could he have had that required an armed invasion by the state’s para-military goons?”

    Good question, for which there may be a reasonable answer. Apparently it takes 70 police to arrest a couple of geeks, because as we all know, geeks have special powers.

    I would not consider “sending a sinister message to software pirates” to be a reasonable answer however.

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  47. Sofia (857 comments) says:

    … unmarried oral-sex aficionados in Utah could face up to six months in jail and $1,000 in fines …

    … someone had to do it

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  48. Johnboy (17,015 comments) says:

    What’s wrong with banning oral sex?

    Works fine in Utah.

    Check out the Osmond family’s teeth! :)

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  49. Dave Mann (1,240 comments) says:

    Gee… lil ol noozild really knows how to dance to uncle sam’s tune doesn’t it? 76 police were sent to this creep’s place and 2 choppers were deployed! Fuck! That’s around 112% of Auckland’s total active police recources at any given time. Still, I guess it gave some relief to the poor motororist from being unnecessarily targeted and ‘cracked down’ on for a couple of hours…

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  50. Nick K (1,259 comments) says:

    Quite, Dave. All for breaches of copyright. There are some *big* interests behind this, and I’m not talking about the US Government.

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  51. metcalph (1,367 comments) says:

    Viking2

    You haven’t answered my question.

    On the contrary I have. You just didn’t like the answer so slandered housing NZ. I have no time for your bullshit.

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  52. Johnboy (17,015 comments) says:

    “Gee… lil ol noozild really knows how to dance to uncle sam’s tune doesn’t it? 76 police were sent to this creep’s place and 2 choppers were deployed! ”

    Quite right Dave. I feel utterly marginalised cause a similar response was not apparent at our local drinking hole when a few of the bro’s got a bit pissed.

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/dominion-post/news/6286892/Two-stabbed-in-Wainuiomata-brawl

    I believe a squad car with 200,000k’s on the clock shit its self racing over the hill at it’s top speed of 60kph and back-up had to be called away from the Commissioner’s barbecue leaving all the VIP’s at the mercy of whatever pink elephants they happened to be seeing climbing the walls at the time.

    Unfortunately no bro’s were terminated in the making of this news incident.

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  53. Scott Chris (6,178 comments) says:

    Nick K says:- “There are some *big* interests behind this, and I’m not talking about the US Government.”

    What, you mean the big interests who ‘sponsor’ congress I assume?

    All the more reason to put and end to corporate and union financial influence within congress:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Change_Congress

    Funny thing is… I don’t know of any politicians who are keen on the idea.

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  54. flipper (4,328 comments) says:

    Just a small point, and putting aside the rights or wrongs of the allegations….,,.,.
    How is it that “FBI agents” accompanied NZ Police (well, as reported) ? They have absolutely NO STATUS in NZ. Their presence is a matter of REAL concern.

    Does this indicate NZ subsurvience to FBI?
    Would this have happened in US (NZ Police presence)?

    The fact that so many media seem to have been pre-briefed makes me wonder where there azre PR aspects ……. a good defence lawyer/attorney will have a field day.

    Actually, a sad business all around.

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  55. nasska (12,095 comments) says:

    flipper

    …”How is it that “FBI agents” accompanied NZ Police”…..

    Do you have any links for that. I’ve checked over a dozen ‘googled’ news sites & none refer to the FBI doing anything other than giving information to the NZ police. If they were physically involved in the arrests & subsequent search I would expect our political masters to act with undignified haste.

    Last time I checked we were still a sovereign nation.

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  56. Pauleastbay (5,035 comments) says:

    If copyright holders complained about a specific link to the website, prosecutors said Megaupload.com would remove that link, but scores of others existed to the same material, according to prosecutors.

    Other material found uploaded included child pornography and terrorism propaganda videos, according to the indictment.

    This indictment sounds like a real catch all if you can, surprised nothing in there about the grassy knoll.

    To me its seems this is like the rent a shed scenario ,you sign a contract saying you’ll be a good bugger and then set up as cocaine dealers, all the while not giving the rent a shed people the power of search.

    They got Napster because they were putting the stuff up and letting people access, these new sites are different they are not dealing in the product per se.

    Hope they fight extradiction in New Zealand, this’ll have ramifications for the english kid they want to extradict as well.

    Lastly if they were so concerned regarding child porn and shit why aren’t they knocking over purveyors in eastern Europe???????????

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  57. reid (16,682 comments) says:

    nasska:

    Detective Inspector Grant Wormald of OFCANZ said the team will continue working at the North Shore Policing Centre through the weekend.

    “Our focus now is on completing all the documentation required by Crown Law ahead of the next court appearance on Monday.

    He confirmed that the team of four FBI staff working on the searches would also continue to do so “for the next few days”.

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10780142

    Perhaps Google doesn’t pick up on the NZ Herald. Who can blame them?

    Last time I checked we were still a sovereign nation.

    That was before we started negotiating the TPP.

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  58. Johnboy (17,015 comments) says:

    Thank God you are here PEB.

    My other Lawyer wont speak to me anymore. :)

    Question: How old does a sheep have to be to cease being considered as a minor? :)

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  59. Pauleastbay (5,035 comments) says:

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/technology/6293542/Megaupload-attempting-to-get-back-online

    Nasska theres 4 of them here and staying on. This isn’t unusal to have foreign cops here on international jobs, we have police stationed in the States, Australia and Asia and the UK

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  60. nasska (12,095 comments) says:

    reid

    Read the link but I’m having trouble believing what I read. Do you (or anyone else) know under what authority or legislation unsworn agents from another country are permitted to operate here?

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  61. nasska (12,095 comments) says:

    Pauleastbay

    Sorry…didn’t check for updates before I posted the last comment. I can understand foreign cops supplying intelligence & supervising extradition proceedings but how can they be allowed to work operationally?

    To push things to an illogical instance, do I have to expect FBI officers to be doing license checks next time I’m in town?

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  62. Pauleastbay (5,035 comments) says:

    No, they will be at the scene but they have no powers and are ‘observers’ only

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  63. nasska (12,095 comments) says:

    Pauleastbay

    Thanks.

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  64. gump (1,683 comments) says:

    John Banks was very friendly towards Kimble. I remember reading an article a few months ago in which John Banks mentioned that he’d been offering advice to Kimble on how to deal with the Overseas Investment Comission.

    Given Banksies close involvement with other business scoundrels like David Henderson, I’m really starting to doubt his ability to judge a person’s character.

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  65. gump (1,683 comments) says:

    As an aside, there were supposed to be five defendants. But Kimble ate one of them before the Police managed to gain entry to his saferoom.

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  66. Scott Chris (6,178 comments) says:

    He’s a sharp one is Kimble Dotcom aka Kim Schmitz. (couldn’t be the resident Kblog kimble could it?)

    Check out this scam:

    :arrow: “In 2001, Schmitz purchased $375,000 worth of shares of the nearly bankrupt company LetsBuyIt.com and subsequently announced his intention to invest EUR 50 million in the company. Unknown to others, Schmitz did not have the funds available to invest, although the announcement caused the share value of LetsBuyIt.com to jump by nearly 300%. Schmitz quickly sold the shares and profited $1.5 million as a result.”

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kim_Schmitz

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  67. Nick K (1,259 comments) says:

    From Granny:

    Kim Dotcom and three others were arrested in New Zealand after a request for “mutual legal assistance” by the United States Government – which plans to extradite the accused.

    Last time I looked, mutual meant something like “you scratch my back and I’ll scratch yours”. What criminal interests does the NZ Police have in the USofA?

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  68. plebe (271 comments) says:

    From CNET
    http://ct.cnet-ssa.cnet.com/clicks?t=1116787136-6f0f83bcbd5ee4f0f2b2c23c58f4a37a-bf&brand=CNET-SSA&s=5

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  69. Johnboy (17,015 comments) says:

    What’s all this bleeding heart shit about?

    Look at the guy. He looks like a crim. :)

    Bugger me he has made more money in the last two minutes than I have made in my whole miserable life.

    He must be a crim. :)

    We need big friends.

    God bless America! :)

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  70. CrazyIvan (92 comments) says:

    Re: international relationships, NZ Police regularly work with overseas police in arrests – the Pumpkin case and the Chinese guy and his Kiwi partner who took off after Westpac gave them a $10m overdraft are two examples where NZ police went overseas to assist in the hunt and arrest for criminals wanted here, so ‘the mutual assistance’ in the news articles is a more long-term, we’ve helped you, you help us sort of thing.

    Interestingly, p25 of the 2008 Police BIM (Briefing to Incoming Minister), noted that NZ was part of a Strategic Alliance Group with police forces in Australia, Canada, US and UK. This includes the FBI and US Customs. Sounds like sort of a UKUSA for police rather than spy agencies. Part of the mandate appears to be dealing with cyber-crime.

    http://www.police.govt.nz/resources/2008/bim_december08.pdf

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  71. Viking2 (11,672 comments) says:

    For a bloody broke nation they sure big note them selves.

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  72. Rat (383 comments) says:

    re BDO
    Ken West was saying that basically Australia subsidised the New Zealand leg and they couldnt sustain losses anymore. A good reason why we dont see Soundwave.
    Also Festivals in Australia are falling over left, right and centre as are the UK festivals.

    btw, Theres no accounting for taste

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  73. Viking2 (11,672 comments) says:

    metcalph (741) Says:
    January 21st, 2012 at 2:32 pm

    Viking2

    You haven’t answered my question.

    On the contrary I have. You just didn’t like the answer so slandered housing NZ. I have no time for your bullshit.

    No you didn’t.
    You side stepped the issue by announcing your prescription of the Law and failed to connect it to the real world that most of us live in.
    You have to be a cop.
    Don’t like what I have to say, well really I don’t give a stuff. I don’t like your attitude. You are welcome to leave and bury your santimonous head at the Stranded or some other looney website and leave us in peace.

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  74. Kimble (3,955 comments) says:

    He’s a sharp one is Kimble Dotcom aka Kim Schmitz. (couldn’t be the resident Kblog kimble could it?)

    I was very tempted to go completely silent.

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  75. Nostalgia-NZ (5,318 comments) says:

    Who pays for the nz police operation to arrest dotcom?
    Days, months of co-ordinating, an over the top number of police to arrest four non violent people in a house that had been under surveilance for an alleged ‘crime’ committed overseas. Most likely now we’ll see hundreds or thousands if not more spent on an extended battle for extradition. Any of those four could have been quietly arrested individually or as a group – there’s some kind of theatre going on here and the public is paying for it. In terms of the debate or actual pirating of material what difference has been made by this crap in nz? Why didn’t they just declare them terrorists, probably less fanciful than asking the public to believe wasting millions on this bs was justified.

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  76. Nostalgia-NZ (5,318 comments) says:

    Oh that’s right I forgot, one of the personalised number plates was ‘Mafia.’
    That explains it.

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  77. kowtow (8,936 comments) says:

    Good on Darien Fenton asking questions about this fellows’ status here.That’s what an effective opposition is for.
    Funny how immigration see him as of good enough character to be given a visa while another body think he’s not fit to wn NZ property.

    Criticise the Yanks all you like but there are alot of problems with our own administration and I hope our lame stream media do their job on this.

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  78. Viking2 (11,672 comments) says:

    Scott Chris (3,450) Says:
    January 21st, 2012 at 5:02 pm

    He’s a sharp one is Kimble Dotcom aka Kim Schmitz. (couldn’t be the resident Kblog kimble could it?)

    Check out this scam:

    :arrow: “In 2001, Schmitz purchased $375,000 worth of shares of the nearly bankrupt company LetsBuyIt.com and subsequently announced his intention to invest EUR 50 million in the company. Unknown to others, Schmitz did not have the funds available to invest, although the announcement caused the share value of LetsBuyIt.com to jump by nearly 300%. Schmitz quickly sold the shares and profited $1.5 million as a result.”

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kim_Schmitz

    Oh so Scott you have done some research about this fellow. Well that’s the same type of scam that Fran was refering to this morning and which you objected too when I called her comments a bitch slap.

    You are a joke.
    Go away and come back once you are old enough to talk with the adults.

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  79. Nostalgia-NZ (5,318 comments) says:

    kowtow 8.10

    Darien Fenton asked obvious, dumb questions. Pathetic, predictable opposition, of more interest is of a nz citizen’s independence and rights in his own country and who is paying for this third rate opera.

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  80. Scott Chris (6,178 comments) says:

    Kimble says:- “I was very tempted to go completely silent.”

    Ahh, so they let you out on bail already? Clinton’s lawyer sure works fast. And I must say:

    -Sein Englisch ist makellos

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  81. Dany (7 comments) says:

    I say we skip all the due process stuff and give him 20 years of slingshot dial-up

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  82. Steve (4,536 comments) says:

    “Oh that’s right I forgot, one of the personalised number plates was ‘Mafia.’
    That explains it.”

    Friday 4.30pm there was a boat trailer in Bush Rd Albany with the Rego “NZ WANTED” There was no other Rego plate.
    Number plates have six letters/digits max.
    So that would explain 3 unmarked cars and about 10 Ds walking around this boat scratching their heads and holding up traffic

    Mr Dotcom’s boat escaping the seizure?

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  83. Rat (383 comments) says:

    Dime ?

    Why would Soundwave be so fucking stupid to come here ?

    It was okay when the NZ was at 90 odd cents, but we’re around 74c, we generate NZ revenue to pay for an Australian outfit

    BTW, I don’t know 70% of those bands… so they must be shit

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  84. swan (665 comments) says:

    “Kim Dotcom, also known as Kim Schmitz, was arrested yesterday by police in the FBI-led raid on the $30 million mansion he lives in with his family in Coatesville, north of Auckland.”

    Sounds like more than observers to me

    http://m.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10780142

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  85. Viking2 (11,672 comments) says:

    One is left wondering how the police could confiscate, bonds, cars, boats etc when as of today we haven’t seen that they have a court order ,that has been published, which gives them authority to confiscate anything.

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  86. Nostalgia-NZ (5,318 comments) says:

    A 55 year old released on police bond for possession of a firearm. The bodyguard? PV or someone similar attaching himself to the wealth, handy with a pistol to boot? Maybe it will be more interesting afterall.

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  87. Kimble (3,955 comments) says:

    Ahh, so they let you out on bail already?

    Not yet. But I planned for this day years ago and ate part of the internet. This gave me the power to post on t34 w3bz with just my mind.

    See, my posts actually are streams of consciousness, yours just read like they are.

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  88. Viking2 (11,672 comments) says:

    Hong Kong freezes $42 mln in Megaupload raids

    http://au.news.yahoo.com/a/-/newshome/12680104/hong-kong-freezes-42-mln-in-megaupload-raids/

    Hong Kong, Jan 21, 2012 (AFP) – – Hong Kong Customs officers have raided offices, domestic premises and luxury hotel suites as part of a worldwide FBI Internet piracy investigation into file-sharing site Megaupload.com.

    One hundred officers took part in the raids Friday which seized a large amount of digital evidence and uncovered about HK$330 million ($42 million) in suspected crime proceeds, Customs said.

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  89. Mary Rose (393 comments) says:

    As an fYI, From the FBI website:
    What authority do FBI special agents have to make arrests in the United States, its territories, or on foreign soil?

    … On foreign soil, FBI special agents generally do not have authority to make arrests except in certain cases where, with the consent of the host country, Congress has granted the FBI extraterritorial jurisdiction.

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  90. Tauhei Notts (1,687 comments) says:

    I note that in the decision of the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia dated January 5th 2012 that various assets are to be seized. These include things like motor cars, N.Z. Government Stock and the trust account number xx-xxxx-xxxx847-02 of Simpson Grierson. I would imagine that the first two “X” are 03, being the bank number Westpac Bank. The 00 suffix is ususally used for an operating cheque account and the 02 suffix, as in this case, is often used for a trust account.
    Now if I was involved in a conveyancing transaction where Simpson Grierson were acting for the other side I would become very nervous.
    Note also how this case dated 6th January (N.Z. time) never ever made the news here until 20th January.

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  91. Gulag1917 (1,083 comments) says:

    Media exaggeration plus police overkill = stupidity

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  92. Pete George (23,793 comments) says:

    A lot of guesses and claims are being made with very little detail known. Par for the course.

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  93. Gulag1917 (1,083 comments) says:

    With the police numbers involved that might indicate drugs and gangs. Not too smart having a sawn off shotgun in NZ, that would arouse suspicion. Americans need to assimilate faster to avoid making waves.

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  94. joana (1,983 comments) says:

    I am with Kow Tow. Why was he ever allowed to settle here? I recall that there was some kind of fuss when he was about to buy that ghastly house.

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  95. Steve (4,536 comments) says:

    Who rented the house to him joana?
    Is that the ‘Chrisco’ house?
    Why is it ‘Ghastly’ ?
    3 questions which you will know the answer of, of course

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  96. Nick K (1,259 comments) says:

    @ Tauhei Notts – they don’t freeze the trust account per se, only the trust a/c of Kim Dotcom, his companies etc. These are separate trust “accounts” within the actual bank account number listed above. Effectively they freeze his cash in that Westpac account.

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