Salmond on DotCom

February 12th, 2014 at 3:00 pm by David Farrar

(former Labour Parliamentary Political Director) blogs:

As readers will know, has promised to wind up his party if it isn’t polling 5% by the time the ballots are printed, and then throw his (considerable) resources behind another party of his choosing.  …

I think it is almost certain that the Internet Party will not be polling 5% at any point this year. The party’s figurehead cannot legally run for anything, they will have no TV presence, and no debate presence, either. Further, the party’s policy offerings are “thin” to say the least, not covering the issues that the overwhelming majority of New Zealanders say they care most about. Together with a crowded field in a close contest, all this spells near certain failure. (The TV3 revelation that one in five people said they would “consider” voting for the Internet Party – when specifically pushed on the subject – does nothing to change my mind on this.)

If I am right about that, then come ballot-printing day Mr Dotcom will be throwing his weight in with someone else. And by “his weight,” I presume he means large buckets of money. That sets up an silent auction for parties to compete for Dotcom’s money on the basis of policy promises, first and foremost about Dotcom’s own extradition case. That is, if parties decide they want to play.

I think the opposition parties should all take a pass. 

Very pleased to see Rob say this. I think all the party leaders who have been repeatedly going out to Dotcom’s mansion to discuss his party and extradition case should front up and reveal how often they’re met him, and what promises (if any) have been made to try and get him to endorse their party once he withdraw’s the Internet Party.

To me, it all sounds pretty icky. One of the reasons the left parties worked hard to try and make election funding fairer in the late 2000s was to limit the influence of individuals seeking to essentially buy government policy for cash. (These measures were, naturally, rejected by the right, citing freedom of speech and freedom of spending and so on.) Breaking it down, this gambit looks exactly like a convluted version of a rich guy offering up cash in exchange for personally favourable policies. Yuck.

Rob’s wrong on the Electoral Finance Act (and I note third party spending limits were retained by National, as well as donation transparency) but he is right that this looks like a rich guy trying to purchase policies that benefit him personally.

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89 Responses to “Salmond on DotCom”

  1. Tom Jackson (2,553 comments) says:

    Very pleased to see Rob say this. I think all the party leaders who have been repeatedly going out to Dotcom’s mansion to discuss his party and extradition case should front up and reveal how often they’re met him, and what promises (if any) have been made to try and get him to endorse their party.

    Good news Dave

    The courts are going to make John Banks do this.

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  2. Pete George (23,683 comments) says:

    It’s worth adding Barry Soper’s comments here:

    Now there are reports that Luigi’s been getting comfy at Coatsville. He was asked about it, the face crinkled, pearly whites gleamed and he laughed it off telling the nosey parkers to take out membership of his party and they can become familiar with his dairy.

    Pressed he said he’s not talking about who he sees, what he sees and why he does it unless it’s a matter of public interest. Well he is standing for public office, so surely it is in the public interest if he wants to hook up with the internet guru.

    Still smiling Luigi said he’s not about to talk about his private affairs that the media so loves to exercise themselves about. He remonstrated that he’ll tell the media what they’re entitled to know but when it was put to him that his supporters were surely entitled to know, he said not one of them have bothered to ask him whether he’d been dating Dotcom, so who cares?

    And besides Luigi, now clearly flustered, said he wasn’t prepared to say whether he’d followed others dallying with Dotcom because it was none of our business.

    But it’s the country’s business if The Kermits insist, as part of their deal with Labour, that Dotcom’s extradition to the United States is on the table.

    From Political Report: Questioning Peters is like blood from a stone

    And:

    @CTrevettNZH
    Winston Peters says PM is “widdling in the wind” over claim Peters visited Dotcom three times. But won’t deny it.

    And this could be interesting:

    ‏@Garner_Live
    @RusselNorman joins me after 5pm on what he told Kim Dotcom at the mansion. @RadioLIVENZ Drive from 3pm

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  3. Joanne (177 comments) says:

    It frustrates me that those with half a brain see clearly that ‘this looks like a rich guy trying to purchase policies that benefit him personally’. But the Greens/Labour are still making twats of themselves but sucking up to a person who is laughing at them.

    All Cunliffe and Norman look like to me when they appear in the media is people who are so spinless they can be manipulate by a convicted fraudster.

    They make us look like a friggin banana republic.

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  4. Ross Miller (1,706 comments) says:

    Methinks that any Party Leader revealed as cosying up to crimdotcom will pay a substantial electoral price for his stupidity. For Norman stupidity goes with the territory.

    Don’t tell me that Winston hasn’t learned from his dalliance with Owen Glen ……… errrrrrrrrrrrrrr, perhaps not. Blinded by ego and all of that

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  5. igm (1,413 comments) says:

    The Labour/Green losers have no money, none of them ever have done anything to earn an honest buck, living lives of iley of ratepayers, taxpayers, and unionists. They will leech a buck from anyone to fight the election, and this obese criminal will use them to try and get out of facing his charges in the States. Shows the mongrel is guilty as sin.

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  6. Pete George (23,683 comments) says:

    This is so ironic.

    ‏@mcquillanatorz
    Winston Peters refusing to say if he’s been to the Dotcom mansion – it’s private – and “proper” journalists wouldn’t ask such questions

    @felixmarwick
    an entertaining stand up with @winstonpeters who’s refusing to confirm or deny the PM’s allegation he’s visited Dotcom 3 times

    And Peters was kicked out of Parliament for questioning the Speakers rulings – he came very close to this yesterday, in fact he was blatantly defiant and abusive at one stage.

    @mcquillanatorz
    Me: “Did you use taxpayer money to get to the Dotcom mansion?” Winston: “Are you stupid?”

    jessica Williams ‏@mizjwilliams
    how long anyone has or hasn’t been a journalist, and how things might have been in ye olde days? not relevant.

    @toby_etc
    very helpful, though: shows you’re on to something.

    He likes dishing out questions and accusations demanding answers, he’s not so hot on it when the heat is on him.

    His targeting Key over transparency yesterday is looking even more hypocritical.

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  7. Pete George (23,683 comments) says:

    And it looks like this is just the start of the unravelling of the Dotcom disease. Whale Oil:

    Probably because Labour is donkey deep in dealing with Kim Dotcom too…with at least two MPs regular visitors to the mansion and one making regular and rather long phone calls to kim Dotcom.

    http://www.whaleoil.co.nz/2014/02/russel-norman-brain-fade-secret-dotcom-meetings/

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  8. davidp (3,587 comments) says:

    >That sets up an silent auction for parties to compete for Dotcom’s money on the basis of policy promises, first and foremost about Dotcom’s own extradition case.

    I’d be absolutely amazed if John Banks was the only politician that Dotcom had donated money to. And that Peters, Norman, and whoever else that has been visiting Dotcom AT HIS HOME have been doing so on the basis of charity and a love of Dotcom’s music. Especially given the amount of time the Greens, Labour, and NZ First have spent running interference for Dotcom in parliament.

    So, I really want to know who Dotcom has been financing. Including secret trusts like Peters and Len Brown are known to use. I suspect that all the while Labour, the Greens, and NZ First have been banging on about ownership of NZ assets it will turn out that they’ve sold their party, the parliament of NZ, and their policies to an international fraudster.

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  9. queenstfarmer (782 comments) says:

    So one foreign politician determined to wreck NZ’s economy has done a dirty deal with a wealthy foreign fugitive businessman determined to buy his way out of facing justice.

    Nice doing business with you, Mr Norman.

    Likewise, Herr Dotcom.

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  10. Pete George (23,683 comments) says:

    Whale has just named Clare Curran and Jacinda Ardern as being mansion visitors.

    “Yes, Clare twice at least, plus rings him, Jacinda to be fair at social function only”

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  11. Pete George (23,683 comments) says:

    So, I really want to know who Dotcom has been financing. Including secret trusts like Peters and Len Brown are known to use.

    This could be just a coincidence, but right now a seemingly very well funded Green connected election campaign group is recruiting staff. See How Green is ActionStation?

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  12. chris (647 comments) says:

    I suspect we’re seeing some serious corruption in New Zealand politics here. The Greens have pretty much said they won’t extradite him if in Government, and Cunliffe has indicated that Labour probably wouldn’t. Given dotcom’s party (if he ever really intended to start one, it could have just been him wrapping these parties around his little finger) would steal votes of Labour & the Greens and probably not make 5%, National would stand to gain the most. So the conspiracy theorist in me says they’ve managed to get him to shut down his party if they promise not to extradite him. And no doubt get some of his cash too in donations.

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  13. Mobile Michael (463 comments) says:

    Dotcom clearly doesn’t understand the constitutional niceties that NZ has – chiefly that political donations are made not to buy future favours but as an endorsement of the policies and philosophical positions of that party. If he wants that type of arrangement, he needs to bugger off to some third world crackpot dictatorship that finds that behaviour acceptable.

    Despite John Banks indiscretion with his donation return, he didn’t intervene illegally for Dotcom. Will Norman, Peters and Cunliffe be willing to do so?

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  14. Psycho Milt (2,419 comments) says:

    …Cunliffe has indicated that Labour probably wouldn’t. [citation needed]

    Whale has just named Clare Curran and Jacinda Ardern as being mansion visitors.

    My God, it’s an outrage! Won’t somebody put a stop to this criminal conspiracy! There’s a real danger Pete will wet himself!

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  15. thedavincimode (6,871 comments) says:

    Milt

    He wet himself about 20,986 posts ago. I blame the government.

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  16. Tom Jackson (2,553 comments) says:

    Wild and unsubstantiated rumours for the win.

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  17. Tom Jackson (2,553 comments) says:

    Dotcom clearly doesn’t understand the constitutional niceties that NZ has – chiefly that political donations are made not to buy future favours but as an endorsement of the policies and philosophical positions of that party.

    Pray tell, which loony bin you are posting from…

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  18. AM1 (17 comments) says:

    If I am contacted by a polling company I’m going to tell them I’m voting for Dotcom. Hopefully others will do the same and he’ll register 5+ in the polls and stay in the game … and then less than 5 on voting day, causing a great deal of the looney vote to be wasted.

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  19. chris (647 comments) says:

    …Cunliffe has indicated that Labour probably wouldn’t. [citation needed]

    Hmm maybe I jumped too soon on that one. I’m sure I’d read something where he had a real YeaNah type response, but according to this 3 News article they apparently “‘won’t intervene’ in Dotcom extradition”, not that necessarily means anything. According to all the recent posts here by Graeme Edglar at the end of the day it’s down to the minister.

    http://www.3news.co.nz/Labour-wont-intervene-in-Dotcom-extradition/tabid/1607/articleID/331863/Default.aspx

    The Greens on the other hand, will do anything they can to keep him here.

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  20. PaulL (6,045 comments) says:

    So, is it only the young female Labour MPs who have been visiting DotCom’s mansion for “social occasions”? Didn’t a certain Italian politician have young female MPs visit his mansion for “social occasions”? Any similarity?

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  21. Tom Jackson (2,553 comments) says:

    Why are you guys so scared of Kim Dotcom?

    His name is enough to send the majority of people here frothing at the mouth.

    Why? Do you really care that much about copyright infringement?

    Is it that he is responsible for exposing John Banks as a bit bent?

    Just what has he done to make you so angry?

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  22. thedavincimode (6,871 comments) says:

    Have you forgotten the war already Tom?

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  23. Pete George (23,683 comments) says:

    More Winston irony (he’s currently having a Q&A):

    Comment From Mike
    Have you visited Kim Dotcom at his mansion?

    Winston Peters:
    This is a question beloved of the media. They don’t get it. In my job I am asked to see a lot of people in confidence for a wide range of sound reasons. When I meet someone in confidence, I keep that confidence. Fishing expeditions by the media will get them nowhere.

    It’s not as if he would ever try a fishing expedition. What’s the whisky equivalent of Tui?

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  24. nickb (3,696 comments) says:

    You can’t compare the greatest alcoholic beverage to NZ’s worst beer (out of all of our mediocre beer).

    So much for Hollow Men and the American bagmen?

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  25. Tom Jackson (2,553 comments) says:

    Or is it that Dotcom made the NZ establishment look stupid?

    The dumb, hamfisted raid, the GCSB mess, Key’s memory lapses, Banks’ corruption?

    Is that it?

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  26. flash2846 (289 comments) says:

    Copyright infringement is theft Tom Jackson. If he wasn’t caught he may well have distributed say Lorde’s music free to end users but big dollars to him and poverty for Lorde. Would you then go into bat for Lorde? (just an example)
    Dot Com made his money illegally, no different from white collar crime that the left are always screaming about.
    Remember, when trash like Dot Com steal they reduce the income of artists and raise the prices for all of us. End of story!

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  27. Tom Jackson (2,553 comments) says:

    Copyright infringement is theft Tom Jackson. If he wasn’t caught he may well have distributed say Lorde’s music free to end users but big dollars to him and poverty for Lorde.

    Oh noes. People will never again be able to find Lorde’s “music” on the internet for free when Kim Dotcom is incarcerated in PMITA Prison.

    I’m amazed at the hordes of New Zealanders who are irate about copyright infringement. Perhaps they’re too busy watching their illegal Netflix accounts to protest at this outrage.

    Would you then go into bat for Lorde? (just an example)

    I’ll leave the white knighting for her to Sir David Farrar. ;-)

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  28. PaulL (6,045 comments) says:

    @Tom Jackson: the US have made a case that Kim Dotcom broke the law in both the USA and NZ, and have requested us to extradite him. He doesn’t appear to be fighting the case as to whether or not he broke the law, rather he appears to be trying to bribe politicians directly so as to have them not extradite them.

    Do you not find that to be something that you would be angry about? Because it definitely makes me angry that someone would attempt to subvert our justice system in this way, purely on the basis that he’s rich. I’m very surprised that someone who purports to be from the left wouldn’t be similarly outraged.

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  29. Lindsay Addie (1,589 comments) says:

    Re Winston Peters and this DotCom business, I smell a mixture of obfuscation and mendacity in the air……….

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  30. Psycho Milt (2,419 comments) says:

    Have you forgotten the war already Tom?

    Indeed:

    Dennis: And this darts match, right, it’s not the World Cup, or a replay of World War II. It’s just meant to cement the harmony and the goodwill amongst the British and the Erics. Agreed?

    [murmurs of agreement]

    Dennis: Good.

    Oz: Mind you, it might only be a darts match, but us British have still got to try and hammer these Germans.

    Wayne: What for?

    Oz: ‘Cos they’re the bastards that bombed me granny.

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  31. Tom Jackson (2,553 comments) says:

    @Tom Jackson: the US have made a case that Kim Dotcom broke the law in both the USA and NZ, and have requested us to extradite him. He doesn’t appear to be fighting the case as to whether or not he broke the law, rather he appears to be trying to bribe politicians directly so as to have them not extradite them.

    There’s absolutely no evidence for the latter.

    Extradition is for serious crimes, not allowing people to watch The Big Bang Theory over the internet. Are we going to extradite shoplifters, doggers or public urinators next?

    Do you not find that to be something that you would be angry about?

    Yes. I am outraged that people illegally watch the Big Bang Theory on the internet. I think that anyone who allows them to do so is the moral equivalent of a murderer or rapist and should be treated accordingly.

    Almost every person illegally copies material off of the internet. You can freely buy region free DVD players in most countries, which is apparently against the law. It’s only a problem because the industry and the law have been left in the dust by technology. Trying to prosecute people for internet copying is like trying to make wanking illegal.

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  32. nasska (11,797 comments) says:

    From Dotcom’s POV it is totally understandable for him to bribe weak politicians to prevent his deportation. In his position, living in a foreign country to which I owed no allegiance & with my back to the wall I’d do the same.

    What smells to the heavens is how the stinking left have bent over & allowed him to do it.

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  33. deadrightkev (511 comments) says:

    “To me, it all sounds pretty icky. One of the reasons the left parties worked hard to try and make election funding fairer in the late 2000s was to limit the influence of individuals seeking to essentially buy government policy for cash.”

    Fairer? Rubbish, its a con. Its places a grossly unfair advantage with National and Labour. No party should get taxpayers funding. It doesn’t stop a limit being placed on the funds a party can spend at an election.

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  34. Tom Jackson (2,553 comments) says:

    How many people here have never downloaded anything illegally over the internet?

    Crickets…

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  35. Colville (2,298 comments) says:

    I’m not going to have people ask private questions which are not being asked by the public, which are not in the purview of public interest in this matter, which doesn’t involve taxpayers money and … respond and give you my diary,” Peters said.

    doesnt involve taxpayers money? The Peters Party paid for the trip? Peters himself paid for it? bollocks.

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  36. Tom Jackson (2,553 comments) says:

    Come on. The GCSB has informed me that the ECHELON system has recorded that Filipina Anal Liberation has been pirated by 85% of visitors to Kiwiblog.

    Alas, I am unfamiliar with this cinematic piece de resistance.

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  37. nasska (11,797 comments) says:

    Was Harriet one of them Tom? :)

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  38. burt (8,313 comments) says:

    DPF

    Do you recall who purchased the Winston First “NO” sign – Winston might be wanting it back so he can deny visiting Dotcom.

    [DPF: I raised $10,000 to buy it, but was outbidded!]

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  39. Tom Jackson (2,553 comments) says:

    Was Harriet one of them Tom?

    Apparently dime was all of them…

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  40. burt (8,313 comments) says:

    Tom Jackson

    How many people here have never downloaded anything illegally over the internet?

    Typical lefty approach – Others did it too ….

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  41. srylands (414 comments) says:

    “Almost every person illegally copies material off of the internet.”

    In this context you are making a foolish statement. Are you really saying that Mr Dotcom’s activities are, prima facie, no different from those of Jane Doe of Kelburn who illegally downloads a series of Game of Thrones?

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  42. Tom Jackson (2,553 comments) says:

    In this context you are making a foolish statement. Are you really saying that Mr Dotcom’s activities are, prima facie, no different from those of Jane Doe of Kelburn who illegally downloads a series of Game of Thrones?

    He wouldn’t have been in business if not for them. Remember that people who buy stolen goods create a market for them.

    Personal responsibility and all that…

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  43. thedavincimode (6,871 comments) says:

    Alas, I am unfamiliar with this cinematic piece de resistance.

    Not for the faint-hearted (so I hear) Tom. It features some rather dark and unpleasant passages. No doubt leaves a bit of a sour taste in the mouth. Shane Jones might be able to fill you in on the detail.

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  44. Tautaioleua (313 comments) says:

    Dotcom is guilty of providing online storage. There is no crime here. America knows it too.

    It’s like a storage company being held liable for someone cooking drugs in one of the storage units. This guy is a self-made millionaire.

    Any true blue conservative would applaud his ingenuity. Hand him over to the yanks? and for what? if the charges are legal here, there’s no need to. Assange and Snowden too. Nobody cares about the US anymore. They’re a “has been” superpower.

    Dotcom is contributing to our economy. Why hand him over to the fat cats in the US?

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  45. Pete George (23,683 comments) says:

    He could not recall whether he or Mr Dotcom initiated the meeting but denied that he was having a “brain fade”.

    Greens have previously criticised Act leader John Banks and Prime Minister John Key of “brain fades” in relation to Mr Dotcom and spying laws.

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11200834

    Things coming back to bite Russel on the bum. Greens were busy trying to run diversion in Twitter today but this could be seriously embarrassing for them.

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  46. thedavincimode (6,871 comments) says:

    Taut

    I think the difference is providing the storage in the knowledge that it is to be used for cooking drugs and even facilitating those endeavours.

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  47. nasska (11,797 comments) says:

    Tautaioleua

    ….”Dotcom is contributing to our economy. Why hand him over to the fat cats in the US?”….

    The problem is that we might end up like Libya or Egypt & develop “human rights” issues that required US intervention.

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  48. Tautaioleua (313 comments) says:

    He claims to have had a clause for every upload that basically said “I accept liability if the content of my storage is illegal”. Most online storage sites provide a similar “tick box” exercise – thus removing liability from the website provider/s.

    He’s smart enough to cover his tracks, I assure you. How else did he manage to evade the German authorities? said to be some of the most ruthless in all of Europe.

    :-)

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  49. PaulL (6,045 comments) says:

    It’s not really for me to judge whether he’s guilty or not. That’s for a court in the USA. It’s also not for me to judge whether he meets the threshold for extradition or not, that’s for a court in NZ.

    But I think what Tom’s saying is “I don’t agree with the law, therefore it’s OK for Kim Dotcom to bribe politicians, and it’s OK for the left to accept those bribes.” Sorry, I don’t think that’s OK.

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  50. thedavincimode (6,871 comments) says:

    Taut

    Such a cunning clause would not save him. Consider it this way: you accompany an un-armed robber into a bank and then sell him a gun in the knowledge that he is use it to hold up the bank. The bank robber signs the waiver/acknowledgement along the lines of that which you described.

    Such behaviour would be severely frowned upon and I suspect the vendor would be off to the pokey for some anal therapy.

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  51. Tautaioleua (313 comments) says:

    Apples and oranges. The internet is still largely unregulated. The law of the jungle is slowly being replaced by online safety regulations, but even this is at an infancy. We know this because the Dotcom trials are said to be the first of their kind.

    On a daily basis, the site enjoyed millions upon millions of hits. There was no practical way to monitor all of that online traffic. His company was not a multinational corporation. It was a self starter from home that got bigger with time.

    You can’t expect him to be held responsible for content submitted by hundreds of millions of online users?

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  52. queenstfarmer (782 comments) says:

    @Tom Jackson

    “Extradition is for serious crimes, not allowing people to watch The Big Bang Theory over the internet.”

    We have an Extradition Act (legislation) and a long-standing treaty with the USA that defines what alleged crimes are covered (interested parties can google it). Dotcom’s alleged crimes are covered.

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  53. Tom Jackson (2,553 comments) says:

    Sorry, I don’t think that’s OK.

    Hardly.

    My point is that there’s no point treating a minor crime as if it were a serious one just to indulge some foreigners who don’t have New Zealand’s best interests at heart.

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  54. lolitasbrother (749 comments) says:

    And another thing. The Orcon broadband offer is crap. Dotcom’s Orcon offers no more than other parties.
    Expensive. Give us cheap land lines to mobile and I join Dotcom.

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  55. Tom Jackson (2,553 comments) says:

    We have an Extradition Act (legislation) and a long-standing treaty with the USA that defines what alleged crimes are covered (interested parties can google it). Dotcom’s alleged crimes are covered.

    Lots of crimes are covered. How many of them customarily result in extradition?

    Most crimes don’t have anything to do with propping up antiquated industries either.

    And, the law here has bungled the case, which means Dotcom should get a pass.

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  56. queenstfarmer (782 comments) says:

    @Tautaioleua

    “Dotcom is guilty of providing online storage.”

    I suggest you read the FBI’s summary of charges and evidence against him. While these are allegations (i.e. yet to be tested in court) the allegations are much more complex than simply providing storage and not knowing what people were doing with it.

    Basically, the charges are that Dotcom was actively encouraging – even paying – people to upload pirated content and then illegally share it, in order to generate more traffic and advertising revenue. He also deliberately refused to remove pirated content when requested. He also deliberately promoted popular pirated content to increase traffic. And much more allegations.

    He deserves his day in court, but they are serious charges of a major criminal and fraudulent enterprise.

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  57. OneTrack (3,223 comments) says:

    “Dotcom is contributing to our economy.”

    Examples? Over and above free fireworks and free icecreams? He has talked a lot of talk. I dont see much walk.

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  58. OneTrack (3,223 comments) says:

    “He deserves his day in court, ”

    If he really thought he was innocent, he would want to go and prove it. Wouldn’t he?

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  59. Tautaioleua (313 comments) says:

    queenstfarmer,

    It was Dotcom that fought for the release of the so-called evidence. The FBI resisted calls for its release until the very end. Brings the quality of the evidence into question.

    The US agencies have already gone public with the fact that they want to make an example of Dotcom under the banner of online piracy. He’s not stupid enough to agree to an extradition; they’ll throw the book at him and confiscate his riches too.

    There are thousands of sites like his one, they don’t all have the FBI on their coattails. The FBI are trying to nail him because he’s fat, German, and therefore the perfect public enemy number 1 for internet piracy.

    Hollywood has been bleeding profit for years. They want a scapegoat and Dotcom fits the profile.

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  60. queenstfarmer (782 comments) says:

    @Tom Jackson:

    “Lots of crimes are covered. How many of them customarily result in extradition?”

    Don’t know – you could try googling it. But not many – because fugitives generally don’t flee to a country like NZ that has an extradition treaty. They usually flee to some South American tinpot dictatorship (which Russell Norman perhaps wants to turn NZ into)

    “Most crimes don’t have anything to do with propping up antiquated industries either.”

    That doesn’t make sense. Are you saying the digital music / movie industry is antiquated? You might want to check out the iTunes revenue.

    “And, the law here has bungled the case, which means Dotcom should get a pass.”

    That will be a relevant issue for Dotcom’s trial in the US, but it’s not a criteria for him being extradited to face those charges. Otherwise any country that wanted to block an extradition request could “accidentally” bungle something and then say oh dear, so sorry we can’t allow this person to be extradited now. The question is whether the extradition request is valid, not how well the NZ authorities process it.

    In any case, the search issue is still before the courts and not finalised yet.

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  61. PaulL (6,045 comments) says:

    @OneTrack: I’m not a supporter of Kim, but even I’m not naive enough to believe it. It’s like hospitals – every time you enter one there’s a chance you’ll catch something bad and die. Don’t go to hospital unless you have to. Every time you go to a court, there’s a chance someone will find you guilty of something, irrespective of whether you did it or not. Nobody in their right mind wants to go to court.

    My problem is with the politicians who are pandering to this. I see no good reason for them to do it, and it brings them into disrepute.

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  62. Tom Jackson (2,553 comments) says:

    That doesn’t make sense. Are you saying the digital music / movie industry is antiquated? You might want to check out the iTunes revenue.

    If TV shows and live sports were available at $2.50 a pop anywhere in the world, piracy would not be much of a problem. The dickheaded attitude of content companies makes piracy inevitable.

    For example, if you want to watch a sports match, you either have to fork out a fortune for Pay TV or pay a ridiculous subscription running into hundreds of dollars just to watch one game. Is it any wonder that people go to streaming sites?

    People don’t want to wait to watch TV shows, they don’t want to pay for other crap that they don’t want just to watch one thing, and they don’t want DRMed crap. If content companies cannot get that into their thick heads, they deserve to go out of business.

    People will pay for things if the delivery method is modern and they are treated decently. Steam is a good example of that.

    In addition, we shouldn’t send people to the US. It’s a torture state and has a bad human rights record.

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  63. PaulL (6,045 comments) says:

    @Tom: again, this isn’t about whether the law he broke is a good law. This is about whether it’s appropriate for him to bribe his way out of that. Are you deliberately avoiding or ignoring that question? Is this just more “Labour good, National bad” thinking on your part? If so, I’ll stop interacting on the basis that it’s a waste of my time.

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  64. queenstfarmer (782 comments) says:

    @Tautaioleua:

    “It was Dotcom that fought for the release of the so-called evidence. The FBI resisted calls for its release until the very end. Brings the quality of the evidence into question.”

    Nothing unusual about that. The evidence was “sealed” by court order. This is normal for these types of court cases in America. The FBI resisted releasing it earlier than it had to – which again is normal. Prosecutors don’t play their hand sooner than they have to – watch some Law & Order episodes! The quality of the evidence is what will be tested when Dotcom’s US trial starts.

    “There are thousands of sites like his one, they don’t all have the FBI on their coattails. The FBI are trying to nail him because he’s fat, German, and therefore the perfect public enemy number 1 for internet piracy.”

    His was the biggest and most prominent file sharing site, and the evidence is that Dotcom actively solicited for pirated content, i.e. that was his business model. That’s what made him the obvious target.

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  65. queenstfarmer (782 comments) says:

    @Tom Jackson

    “If TV shows and live sports were available at $2.50 a pop anywhere in the world, piracy would not be much of a problem.”

    That’s not the issue. If cars costs $2.50 a pop, then auto theft would not be much of a problem either. Perhaps car theives should be let free because cars aren’t cheaper.

    The issue is whether the US has made a valid extradition request. If it has, then Dotcom goes to the US and will get his day in court.

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  66. Tautaioleua (313 comments) says:

    At the end of the day, if the case by the FBI against Dotcom was strong enough, he would have been extradited long ago. Sadly, they shot themselves in the foot with surveillance techniques on the blurry side of the law.

    There are also allegations against New Zealand customs for feeding private details to the FBI without Dotcom’s consent. Both the New Zealand government and the FBI have a lot to answer for here.

    Extradition is a long shot now.

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  67. peterwn (3,305 comments) says:

    Tom and others. Downloading a movie in breach of copyright is not a ‘crime’ but can lead to damages and/or civil penalties. However selling heaps of pirated DVD’s for example at a flea market is a fairly serious crime with a maximum penalty of 5 years jail, and hence is an extraditable offence. This same provision together with the ‘party’ provision in the Crimes Act covers pretty well what Mega was doing assuming the servers were in NZ. The servers Mega rented were situated in USA, and what Mega was doing breached US Federal copyright law which is similar to NZ copyright law (they are harmonised to meet international conventions).

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  68. queenstfarmer (782 comments) says:

    @Tautaioleua

    “if the case by the FBI against Dotcom was strong enough, he would have been extradited long ago”

    Huh? The extradition request was made in 2012. It’s been moving through the legal process since then. How do you think it could have happened “long ago”?

    “Sadly, they shot themselves in the foot with surveillance techniques on the blurry side of the law”

    This is a separate issue. It’s yet to be decided, but it is not grounds for blocking extradition.

    “Extradition is a long shot now.”

    On what grounds do you base that?

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  69. Tautaioleua (313 comments) says:

    The FBI has been in breach of extradition legislation according to a local ruling (Justice Winkelmann 2012). The extradition hearing has been postponed several times since then. The latest date has been set for July of this year.

    It doesn’t take a supreme court judge to see what’s happening here. The FBI is struggling to put its case together.

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  70. Tom Jackson (2,553 comments) says:

    @Tom: again, this isn’t about whether the law he broke is a good law. This is about whether it’s appropriate for him to bribe his way out of that.

    You are assuming he’s actually bribing his way out of it. I’ve seen no evidence that this is the case. I just don’t think he should be extradited, largely due to the inappropriate actions of the authorities towards him in NZ in what appears to be a politically or financially motivated prosecution.

    I’m neither a National nor a Labour voter. As I’ve said before on this blog I do not vote, and have not voted for a very long time now.

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  71. Tom Jackson (2,553 comments) says:

    Tom and others. Downloading a movie in breach of copyright is not a ‘crime’ but can lead to damages and/or civil penalties. However selling heaps of pirated DVD’s for example at a flea market is a fairly serious crime with a maximum penalty of 5 years jail, and hence is an extraditable offence.

    As far as I am aware, Dotcom sold no copyrighted materials.

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  72. Tom Jackson (2,553 comments) says:

    That’s not the issue. If cars costs $2.50 a pop, then auto theft would not be much of a problem either. Perhaps car theives should be let free because cars aren’t cheaper.

    If you could 3D print your own car, we would be in the same situation with regard to cars.

    The general principle is this: as soon as anything becomes easily replicable by anyone at virtually no cost, it can no longer be effectively sold as a commodity, and unless some other way is found to monetise it or the purveyor can persuade people to part with very small sums for it, that class of thing ceases to be part of capitalism, and increasingly authoritarian measures are required to keep it as part of capitalism.

    Whether people like it or not, digital media now effectively runs on post-scarcity communist principles, and there is nothing that you or anyone else can do about it.

    You got it yet?

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  73. queenstfarmer (782 comments) says:

    @Tom Jackson:

    “as soon as anything becomes easily replicable by anyone at virtually no cost, it can no longer be effectively sold as a commodity”

    Heard of iTunes, Tom? What about Microsoft? It costs virtually nothing to replicate a song or MS Windows or MS Office, but they are very effectively sold as commodities. Your argument doesn’t hold up.

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  74. queenstfarmer (782 comments) says:

    @Tautaioleua, the High Court found the search warrant unlawful. That’s currently under appeal and the Supreme Court will (presumably) make a decision in their own good time (I don’t think there’s any time limits on them?)

    “The FBI is struggling to put its case together”

    Example?

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  75. Tautaioleua (313 comments) says:

    I’m not talking about the search warrant. It was a breach of extradition law for New Zealand authorities to hand over the hard drives seized in the raid to the FBI. The FBI then cloned the content on those hard drives, another breach of extradition legislation.

    It pays to stay on top of these things if you’re so confident that Dotcom has a case to answer to. You’re another victim of the media hype.

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  76. queenstfarmer (782 comments) says:

    @Tautaioleua: it wasn’t “a breach of extradition law”. The judge ruled that the police couldn’t keep all the hard drives. It’s a side issue.

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  77. Tautaioleua (313 comments) says:

    The Dotcom saga has played out in four different New Zealand courts.

    1. Dotcom’s lawyers ask for the evidence held by US authorities. The US say “disclosure” of evidence isn’t required for an extradition hearing. Although the High Court ordered the evidence to be handed over, the Court of Appeal overturned it. This argument headed for the Supreme Court which favoured Dotcom.

    2. Search warrants deemed illegal; material seized to be returned. Police to answer to a potential compensation hearing.

    3. Compensation from the GCSB on the cards for breaking New Zealand law by spying on behalf of the FBI. A formal apology also made by John Key.

    It seems as though Dotcom is winning in the battle against NZ and US authorities. They want an extradition but they can’t even pull the case together without breaking the law.

    It reeks of incompetence.

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  78. queenstfarmer (782 comments) says:

    @Tautaioleua:

    I agree. We are talking about government agencies, after all.

    Incompetence, however, isn’t grounds for dodging extradition. It’s a question of whether the criteria are met, or not.

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  79. KevinH (1,236 comments) says:

    From a political perspective you would have to be an idiot having any interaction with Dotcom. Ask John Banks. Chances are any business dealings you have with Dotcom might blow up in your face.
    On that basis all those politicians who have beat a path to Dotcom’s mansion are fools.

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  80. Nostalgia-NZ (5,278 comments) says:

    Tautaioleua: Good summary of the ‘case’ against Dotcom, and its failing reliance on ‘might is right.’ However this:

    ‘He claims to have had a clause for every upload that basically said “I accept liability if the content of my storage is illegal”. Most online storage sites provide a similar “tick box” exercise – thus removing liability from the website provider/s.’

    Is an outdated smart now, ‘self indemnity’ of this type is failing in civil cases regularly now, of course that, if anything, is the argument against Dotcom – civil rather than criminal. Not only is the process against him probably wrong but the essence of the complaint is civil, a finger in the dyke against a trend of what you make or use, may only be your property once.

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  81. lolitasbrother (749 comments) says:

    yeah right dotcom has a case, change the judge, I will do it myself

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  82. lolitasbrother (749 comments) says:

    NZ Nat Government 2014 people

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  83. greenjacket (482 comments) says:

    Thanks queenstfarmer for such a clear explanation of the case.

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  84. ross69 (3,652 comments) says:

    Things coming back to bite Russel on the bum.

    Is that the next Tui ad, Pete? Where does Peter Dunne stand on this issue and how many times has he met KDC? :)

    The fact is that the Greens and KDC want the same thing – to get rid of John Key. The Greens and all opposition parties would be silly NOT to talk to him.

    By the way, will the PM talk to ACT’s candidate for Epsom – whose name escapes me – to stitch up a deal? Presumably the Right thinks that’s OK?

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  85. CHFR (234 comments) says:

    ross69 you are a fool or an MP of the left. I am pleased Banks is being prosecuted over accepting the donation but the irony is the fact he may be proved to be the least corrupt of all those who have been drawn to Mr Dotcom as he did nothing for his money.
    If you think it is OK because your team is doing it then you accept it will be OK when my team does it and next thing you know we are accepting corruption everywhere, banana republic next step. I for one care far too much about my country and fellow country men and women of all political stripes to want to see that.
    Wake up man this is not a good look on all sides of the fence. I for one was pleased to hear Annette King yesterday be the voice of reason when she sated on the 10am news on Newztalk ZB that Labour would not interfere in the process as it would have a huge impact on New Zealand’s standing internationally if we stopped the extradition, assuming it happens.
    I accept you hate John Key and the Nats but if the position had been reversed under Helen Clark’s leadership (Exclusive Bretherin do not count I am afraid) I would have been just as disgusted. If his creditors are anything to go by trust and Mr Dotcom are strangers.

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  86. burt (8,313 comments) says:

    ross69

    Yes yes it’s exactly the same…. The ACT candidate needs the government to intervene in their extradition case and will pay millions into a secret trust if required to effect it. Man, here were the rest of us thinking you might be a fruit loop socialist with a sense of entitlement to other people’s money but no … Your a complete fucking whack job apologist for corruption.

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  87. Pete George (23,683 comments) says:

    Where does Peter Dunne stand on this issue and how many times has he met KDC?

    He has publicly stated he has never been to see Dotcom or met him.

    If Act’s candidate for Epsom was facing extradition then trying to stitch up a deal would be very unwise, don’t you think?

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  88. bhudson (4,740 comments) says:

    The fact is that the Greens and KDC want the same thing – to get rid of John Key.

    They don’t want the same thing. Dotcom wants to avoid extradition. The Greens want to destroy the country by killing off profitable business and economic growth.

    The only thing they share, or so it would seem to me, is venality.

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  89. ross69 (3,652 comments) says:

    If Act’s candidate for Epsom was facing extradition then trying to stitch up a deal would be very unwise

    I didn’t mention extradition, so it might pay to avoid the straw man.

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