Whale Oil has this audio of Kim DotCom telling his wife Mona how Germans built the Eiffel Tower and Statue of Liberty several hundred years ago and how they cost billions of dollars. It seems not a single “fact” is correct. It does make you wonder about his claim he has “proof” John Key lied.Tags: Kim Dotcom
This morning, a strategy document written by Labour associate information and communications technology (ICT) spokesperson Clare Curran was accidentally sent to ICT Minister Amy Adams’ Office, Ms Curran says (though not by her specifically).
That’s the second time they have done that, it seems. Taking open data to a new level!
The document is here.
Telecom is bristling at the suggestion Labour could impose a “content levy” on internet providers.
Labour was left red-faced today after MP Clare Curran’s ideas on ICT policy were accidentally emailed to her National Party counterpart, Communications Minister Amy Adams.
These include imposing a revenue-based levy on telecommunications carriers to create a contestable fund to support the “creation and accessible distribution of New Zealand digital content”.
This is a tax on telcos and ISPs. That is effectively a tax on Internet users, as it would be passed on. So Labour is thinking of taxing people to use the Internet, and give the money to “content producers”.
One might wonder if it would be used to help fund programmes by broadcasting Icons like Brendan Horan, Tamati Coffey, Shane Taurima, Martin Bradbury, Fran Mold, Kris Faafoi and Matt McCarten!
The Herald further reports:
The minister said she only had a brief look at the documents but it appeared that Labour’s main idea was to start all their policies with the word Kiwi.
Ms Curran’s document outlined plans for policies called KiwiMap, KiwiCode, KiwiCall, KiwiCap, KiwiCloud and Kiwis Come Home.
Maybe they could call their levy plan, KiwiTax!
What is even more interesting is where all these policy ideas came from. I understand that they are very similiar to policies that will be announced by the Internet/DotCom Party and that they may have been discussed between Dotcom and Curran. The purpose being to have policy alignment between the parties, so they could be endorsed when he winds his party up just before the election and asks his supporters to vote for whichever parties he endorses.
So a simple question is whether these policy ideas were ever discussed with Kim Dotcom, and what input has he had into them.
UPDATE: Vodafone also is against Labour’s idea to tax us all more through our ISPs:
Vodafone chief executive Russell Stanners described the proposed levy as “crazy and outrageous”.
“Labour should go the whole hog and nationalise everything,” he said. “The document also says multiple networks are wasteful. Why don’t we go for one network, one TV company, one bank, so there is no wastage, and then you can have as many levies as you want.”
I am worried that Labour may take up Stanners ironic suggestion and adopt it as serious policy.
UPDATE2: Clare Curran has been unfairly maligned as responsible for the accidental e-mail leak. She silently took one for the team, but it has been revealed it was actually a staff member in David Cunliffe’s office who sent it out. It seems it was Irish Bill, so that is not a good week for The Standard with one blogger sending Labour party policies to National and the other being the genius behind Cunliffe’s secret trust!Tags: Clare Curran, iTax, Kim Dotcom, KiwiTax, Labour
Kim Dotcom’s extradition hearing is likely to be delayed by eight months – and the internet mogul believes it is because of this year’s election.
It’s likely to be delayed as Dotcom is appealing to the Supreme Court. Nothing to do with the election.
Dotcom wants the cloned hard drives returned to New Zealand. He says without them his legal team can’t prepare for the hearing.
That seems difficult to comprehend. They are clones. How can the location of them affect his access to the original? It sounds like a red herring.
It was bad that the FBI were allowed to take a clone, which was not authorised by the court. There should be consequences for that breach. So I am not excusing that. But again, how does the existence and location of the clones drives impact the ability to go to trial? It sounds like an excuse to delay to me.Tags: Kim Dotcom
Fran O’Sullivan writes in the NZ Herald:
Kim Dotcom and Len Brown are linked by several personal characteristics. Both are showmen. Both are prone to vanity. Both hate being out of the limelight.
In the personality world that drives mainstream media coverage these days, each of them is also a long-running news story.
This week, each man was under a new round of pressure.
Dotcom because the Court of Appeal found the police raid on his rented mansion was legal (but that the police giving the FBI the seized material was an unauthorised legal breach). The Herald’s splash showing Dotcom (or his companies) had not paid a number of small creditors while he ostentatiously lived high on the hog did not help his reputation.
But his natural audacity and fighting spirit keep him centre-stage.
Brown is also endowed with fighting spirit. He has a thick hide when it comes to public opprobrium. He was booed at the Auckland Nines and was asked not to attend a community military tattoo this weekend.
Maybe they could swap roles? Dotcom goes to all the public events, and Brown sets up a new political party?Tags: Fran O'Sullivan, Kim Dotcom, Len Brown
The Herald reports:
Kim Dotcom is facing calls to pay $500,000 in debts by creditors who have watched him appear to embrace again an opulent lifestyle.
Seems to have enough money to fly to Huka Falls, to try and throw massively expensive free parties, to fund his own political party and to advertise himself on the back of half the buses in town. But not enough to pay people he legally owes money to.
Creditors’ frustrations have soared in recent months amid a high-profile marketing campaign for his Good Times album, helicopter trips to the Rhythm and Vines music festival and a weekend at Huka Lodge.
A spreadsheet on the court file dated January 23, 2012 stated there were 80 creditors owed between $69 and $133,916.
Documents lodged with the High Court at Auckland during 2012 show $634,000 of debt was declared by Dotcom’s lawyers, who tried to get access to money seized in the raid to pay the debts. Opposition by police kept the money tied up, with the courts accepting in August 2012 that there was no “legal ability” to release Dotcom’s restrained funds to pay debts of Megastuff, now called called RSV Holdings.
Certainly some of his funds are frozen, but as noted above he seems to have no problem paying for extravagances.
Creditors spoken to by the Herald have pointed to apparent recent indulgences by Dotcom as raising frustration with bills for work at the mansion still unpaid.
West City Electrical’s Neil Stratful said he was among many creditors who had not been paid.
So these bills are not to do with Megaupload. They are personal bills.
She said it was galling to hear Dotcom declaring he would like to support Team New Zealand when his company still owed $5000.
“When we heard that bold claim, we joked that we thought our name should be on the side of the boat. Because it’s our money.”
Dotcom had enough money to pay Martin Bradbury $8,000 a month for political advice – but not enough money to pay his electrician.
Paul Davis supplied uniforms to the staff at the Dotcom mansion and is owed $1138. The offer of around 10 per cent of the total owed was “completely unacceptable” given Dotcom at one stage was granted a personal monthly allowances from seized funds of $20,000.
“I understand Dotcom cannot be held legally liable for this, there’s nothing we can do about it,” said Mr Davis. But he said Dotcom had a court-ordered allowance of $20,000 a month from seized funds – money he believed could be used to clear debts.
“We were a relatively small creditor but it irritates me every time I see him on the back of a bus, or on the news, and people saying what a wonderful guy he is.”
I’m sure it is. A good question to ask Dotcom is whether he is using the $20,000 a month to pay any of his debts at all?
Like many of the other creditors, he said he was a small business owner who had borne the brunt of the economic downturn by making personal financial sacrifices in order to keep their employees in a job.
“We’ve been out of pocket for two years now. Every time he comes on TV, he gets me going.”
Good this story has finally been run. One could ask why so long.
UPDATE: On a related issue today the Court of Appeal has ruled the search warrants used in the raid were valid, over-ruling the High Court. They ave said some minor defects did not invalidate them.
Tags: Kim Dotcom
Isn’t it nice that Winston Peters has finally found an immigrant he wants to help stay in New Zealand!
It seemed to strike a chord with 32 retweets and 36 favourites. And that’s because it is all very curious. Peters was basically condemning the Government for letting Dotcom into New Zealand in the first place. He then met Dotcom at his mansion, and came away a defender of Dotcom. Winston – the great defender of immigrants’ rights.
Also of interest are the two dates that Russel Norman flew (at taxpayer expense, like Winston) to meet Dotcom. Again, how interesting that they go to him, almost like supplicants. He met Dotcom on the 1st and 29th of November 2013.
On the very same day he met him on the 1st, he attacked the Police on Radio NZ over Dotcom’s case. Shouldn’t the leader of a party that believes in transparency have revealed “Oh by the way I just met with my buddy Kim this morning, and tried to persuade him not to set up his own political party, and instead endorse the Greens”.
And then again on the 29th, when he again met Dotcom, he was again in the media talking about his case – again with no mention of his meetings, and attempt to get Dotcom to endorse the Greens instead of set up his own party.
Of course we now know that the plan Dotcom came up with is to set up his political party, spend up massively and then at the last minute self-destruct the party and endorse parties he approves of. Now Parliament has laws restricting how much a political party can spend during the regulated period. Wouldn’t it be a nice way to get around that pesky law by having a second political party able to spend a couple of million dollars running your attack lines, and then pulling out and endorsing you. I’m sure that isn’t the intent, but it could well be the outcome – and the sort of outcome the Greens would condemn with their most lofty rhetoric if it involved other parties.
Vernon Small writes on the issue:
But Norman went badly wrong by confirming in public that in government he would push for Dotcom’s extradition to be overturned.
On the political level it threw the door open to accusations of secret trade-offs – despite Norman’s denials.
For a party that has made hay over ‘‘private’’ meetings and implied conflicts of interest between National ministers and corporate interests, it was a naive own-goal. Deny it all he likes, he has loaded a gun for National to fire at him every time he mutters ‘‘SkyCity convention centre dirty deal’’.
But he also erred badly in apparently pre-judging the outcome of the ministerial consideration that must follow the court’s extradition ruling – especially if he is serious about being a senior minister or potentially the deputy prime minister in the next government.
Norman says the extradition is a two stage process – the court case and then the justice minister’s final call.
But ministerial discretion to over-ride an extradition order should be something other than a purely political act and must be seen to be divorced from party political interests.
To avoid bringing the process into disrepute, and to keep faith with partner countries, it has to be grounded – and the law contains specific grounds for rejecting extradition. Some are obvious, such as an assurance that the country seeking the extradition order will not execute an extradited New Zealander.
The minister’s decision should be exercised in light of all the facts at the time. Some of those may be illuminated by the court. None ought to be assumed months in advance.
Small points out that Norman has now accepted he can not be involved in any decision making around the case if he is a Minister. I suspect no Green MP could be.
I yesterday blogged on MPs who had met Dotcom and asked questions about his case. Trevor Mallard was one of those. I’m told his meeting was around 30 seconds in the gallery of Parliament, so fair to say that doesn’t count as a real meeting. Also fair to say that Trevor doesn’t need anyone to encourage him to ask parliamentary questions – he asks thousands.
Winston however is a much more curious case He flipped 180 degrees from wanting Dotcom never allowed into New Zealand, to championing his cause. Is it merely a mutual enemy, or something more? Could Dotcom endorse NZ First as well as Labour and the Greens at the election after he spends two million dollars on a fictitious party, which gets him around third party spending limits?
UPDATE: A good ODT editorial:
There are suspicions of a link between the number of questions being asked around Mr Dotcom and the conclusion the Opposition is seeking political favours from the man who has promised to start the Internet Party – but then added that he would not run in the election if the polling is less than the 5% MMP threshold (followed up by stating the party would be a contender in the election).
Parliamentary records show Labour MP Trevor Mallard has asked 132 questions regarding Mr Dotcom, New Zealand First leader Winston Peters 82, Labour MP David Shearer 36, deputy Labour leader Grant Robertson 17 and Green co-leader Russel Norman 13.
Actually Grant is no longer Deputy Labour Leader.
And it emerged that Dr Norman has suffered what is commonly called a ”brain fade” about his visits with Mr Dotcom. He cannot remember if he phoned Mr Dotcom first, or if it was the other way around, when setting up a meeting to ask Mr Dotcom not to
launch the Internet Party because it would take voters away from the Greens target.
Dr Norman, who has often attacked Prime Minister John Key about his apparent lack of recall on meetings with senior government officials, dismissed a regulation question of who contacted whom as of no material value.
Dr Norman, when pushed in an interview, also indicated he would be prepared to overturn any extradition ruling that ordered Mr Dotcom back to face charges of internet piracy in the United States if he was in a position to do so.
Given that admission, and the fact the visits to Mr Dotcom appear an attempt to stop him from launching the Internet Party, Dr Norman has effectively ruled out any hope the Green MP could have at becoming associated with the justice portfolio in a Labour-led government.
That is a good thing!
Dr Norman and Messrs Peters, Mallard, Robertson and Shearer need to make public statements declaring whether they have met Mr Dotcom and, if they have, in what capacity.
If they are offering political deals, then their outrage at Mr Key saying who he is prepared to work with after the election later this year can be seen in its true light.
If taxpayer-funded transport was used to travel to the mansion, that information should also be released.
As I said above, Trevor Mallard has clarified it was a 30 second meeting at Parliament.
Tags: Kim Dotcom
I’m enjoying the belief some have expressed that because John Key repeats something (that Winston had visited the Dotcom mansion three times) five days after the Herald printed it, that he must have found this out via the GCSB.
That is completely and totally rubbish.
He got told by Barack Obama over golf, and Obama found out from the NSA satellite permanently focused on following Kim Dotcom about.
That is far far more likely that the possibility that the Prime Minister actually reads the NZ Herald!Tags: GCSB, John Key, Kim Dotcom, Winston First
Has been fascinating to look at the nexus between certain MPs and Kim Dotcom. We now know some MPs have had multiple meetings with him at his mansion (lesser mortals visit MPs in their offices, but for Dotcom they flock to his mansion), and the same MPs have asked multiple questions about his case in Parliament. And again at least one of those MPs is vowing to fight his extradition – even if the NZ Courts find he should be extradited. And finally, we have learnt that Dotcom will wind up his political party during the election campaign and endorse one or more other parties – no doubt those who have been helping him so much.
So who have been Kim’s little helpers. I’ve searched the parliamentary database and these MPs have asked multiple questions on his behalf or about his case.
- Trevor Mallard – 132 questions (128 written, 4 oral)
- Winston Peters – 82 questions (71 written, 11 oral)
- David Shearer – 36 questions (22 written, 14 oral)
- Grant Robertson – 17 questions (15 oral, 2 written)
- Russel Norman – 13 questions (7 written, 6 oral)
We know that Mallard has met with Dotcom, Peters has been to his mansion three times and Norman at least twice. Norman can’t recall whose idea the meetings were.
Audrey Young has written on how Peters is back to his Owen Glenn tricks and refusing to answer questions about his taxpayer funded trips to talk to Dotcom. Many a wag has suggested he should wave the NO sign up when asked if Dotcom has donated to his party or him.
John Armstrong also writes on the issue:
It is bad enough that the Greens are naive enough to sign up to the fan club which accords Kim Dotcom the folk hero status he clearly craves, but scarcely deserves as some modern-day Robin Hood of cyberspace.
Much worse, however, is that it now turns out that party is blithely willing to play politics with New Zealand’s courts, the country’s extradition laws and its extradition treaty with the United States.
Were John Key to allow some right-wing businessman facing extradition to stay in New Zealand in exchange for him abandoning his plans to establish a political party which might drain votes off National, then the Greens would be climbing on their high horses at break-neck speed and leading the charge in slamming the Prime Minister in no uncertain terms. And rightly so.
By appearing to countenance such a massive conflict of interest through political interference in Dotcom’s potential ejection from New Zealand, Norman has instantly disqualified his party from having any ministerial posts in a coalition with Labour which involve responsibility for the extradition process.
In fact, Norman has probably disqualified his party from having any role in the Justice portfolio full stop.
That’s a win for New Zealand!Tags: 2008 US Presidential Election, Audrey Young, Greens, John Armstrong, Kim Dotcom, Winston First
Rob Salmond (former Labour Parliamentary Political Director) blogs:
As readers will know, Kim Dotcom 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.Tags: Kim Dotcom, Rob Salmond
Patrick Gower writes:
So now it is becoming clear why Kim Dotcom wants a change of Government so badly – Labour and the Greens could stop his extradition.
Yes, it is that simple: a Labour/Green Government could save Dotcom’s bacon.
Because under the Extradition Act, the Government of the day’s Justice Minister has the final say on whether someone stays or goes.
It doesn’t matter what the courts find, the Justice Minister can stop one “for any reason”.
The Extradition Act 1999 says the Justice Minister can say no “for any other reason the Minister considers that the person should not be surrendered”.
So Dotcom has a final get-out clause should he lose the extradition hearing.
I have consistently said that the decision on whether DotCom gets extradited should be made by the appropriate Judge, after hearing the evidence. The Minister should and must go along with the decision of the court. We head towards corruption if people can buy themselves a different decision.
Yesterday, we asked David Cunliffe and Russel Norman.
3 News: In terms of Kim Dotcom – would you stop him being extradited?
Cunliffe: That’s in part a legal matter – and I would want to take some further briefing before I gave you a view on that.
3 News: You know it’s a Government that signs off an extradition – if it was a Labour Government – would Kim Dotcom have a chance that any court decision could be overturned?
Cunliffe: ”I haven’t formed a view on that yet and I’d want to see more of the arguments. Prima Facie the current Government’s operation against Mr Dotcom appears to be outside the law in a number of respects my anticipation is that would make it quite difficult for an extradition to proceed but because that’s currently before the courts I don’t think that’s a matter politicians should be opining on”.
3 News: A Government of the day has to sign off on Kim Dotcom’s extradition – should the Government sign off on Dotcom’s extradition?
Norman: No. I’ve always said I don’t support the extradition process. I mean, I just don’t think it’s fair. I mean the fairness isn’t there – look at the way they have been acting illegally against him… They illegally raided his mansion, they illegally obtained evidence, they illegally gave the evidence to the U.S Government against the directions of a judge. That is not a lawful or fair process…The case that John Key has jacked up with the US Government I don’t think stands up.
3 News: So if the Greens were in power, would you fight to keep Kim Dotcom in New Zealand?
Norman: Yes. I think that we would
This is appalling. The only acceptable answer is that the decison is one for the courts to make, and we will not over-turn whatever decision they make.
Russel Norman has been out twice to meet Dotcom, and ask him to support the Greens instead of setting up his own political party. And in return he is offering that a Labour/Greens Government would basically corruptly over-turn the decision of the court in Dotcom’s favour. Cunliffe is not ruling out that he would also over-turn any court decision. We also learn Winston Peters has been out to meet DotCom multiple times.
I have no animosity towards Dotcom. He has been charged with serious criminal charges in the United States. The decision on whether the charges warrant extradition should be made by the relevant NZ Judge after a hearing, and if he is extradited the decision on his guilt or innocence is up to a US court. It shouldn’t be up to politicians, who are saying they will over-turn the courts in his favour at the same time as they meet him to discuss political strategy. That is pretty close to corruption.
Which brings me to the folly of Dotcom’s Internet Party – having a political movement behind him will obviously be another argument against extradition.
While it polled 0% in the first 3 News-Reid Research poll since it was named, when asked specifically, 1 in 5 voters said they would “consider” voting for it.
Most of its potential voters come from “undecideds” or Labour/Greens/NZ First – technically the Opposition.
But with Dotcom incredibly unlikely to make 5% or win an electorate seat, then this will be what’s called “wasted vote”, rather than change the Government.
And that favours one person – John Key.
It seems a bit of a selfish political own goal by Dotcom to me, and is why Russel Norman has been scurrying up to the mansion begging Dotcom not to stand.
But what a delicious irony: Kim Dotcom might actually help John Key win the 2014 election.
That would be irony.
Also Kim Dotcom has tweeted that if his party is not polling 5% by the time ballot papers are printed, he’ll scrap the party and endorse another party. Wonder which party? Maybe the very same party that is promising not to extradite him! So much for one law for all.Tags: Greens, Kim Dotcom, Labour
The Diary reports:
Russel Norman visited Dotcom’s mansion twice late last year to talk him out of entering politics, the Green Party co-leader told The Diary. And he left a rather large carbon footprint flying to Auckland Airport and hailing a Green cab for the 44km journey to Coatesville for the meetings.
“I met with him twice, about policy issues and his proposed party. I’ve got a lot of time for Kim, but I don’t support the Internet Party.”
Norman says although he backs some of Dotcom’s views on the GCSB and the internet, he feels he’d be competing for votes. “I tried to talk him out of setting up his party.”
Maybe Russell should have just offered him a spot on the Green Party list instead? Oh wait, he can’t stand for Parliament. But how interesting that the Greens are so worried by Dotcom’s party, that they flew Norman twice (paid for by taxpayers) to Auckland to meet with him and try and talk him out of it.Tags: Greens, Kim Dotcom, Russel Norman
Josie Pagani blogs at Pundit:
If the FBI case is weak, that begs the question, why are the New Zealand Police continuing to pursue it?
Because it is not their role to decide if a case is weak. If a valid extradition request is received, the NZ Police are obliged to act on it, just as we expect the FBI to respond to extradition requests from NZ.
Whether a request results in extradition will be effectively decided by a New Zealand Judge (and rubber stamped by the Minister of Justice). It is a legal decision, not a political decision.
The NZ Judge does not decide if someone is guilty or not, just that the charges laid are ones that would also be crimes in NZ, and that there is a prima facie case to answer.
So the fate of Dotcom in a legal sense is a decision for Judges, not politicians. First a NZ Judge has to decide if he can be extradited, and then a US Judge (and possibly jury) will decide if he is guilty of the offences he has been charged with.
As I have said in the past, he may have run Megaupload in such a way that it stayed within the law. Again that is a decision for a judge (or jury to make). The US is not Albania. It has a robust court system, with guaranteed rights under the Bill of Rights.
If a NZ Judge finds that he should not be extradited, then good on him. And if he is extradited, and is found not guilty, then also good on him.
The New Zealand government better hope that Dotcom doesn’t get extradited and then win his case, because the damages owed will be in the millions. It was our police who shut down a multi-million global business. It’ll be New Zealand tax payers who pay the reparation.
This is not correct. NZ Police did not shut it down. The FBI did. NZ taxpayers are not responsible for reparation. What NZ taxpayers may be responsible for is mistakes made by the Police in his arrest, and that is (as it should be) being heard in court.
Now we turn to the politics, and that should be separate to the legal issues, but they get mixed up. National has the misfortune to be in Government when the charges were laid and extradition requested. Hence Dotcom blames them. If Labour had been in power, I suspect exactly the same would have occurred to him, and he would now be railing against the evil Labour Government and Helen Clark.
Dotcom is obviously not keen to face trial in the United States. He is trying to turn a legal issue into a political one. I don’t blame him for that. If I was in his shoes and with his money, I’d try to do exactly the same. If you are a political party leader, then that make extradition a political issue, not a legal issue. You extradite alleged criminals, not politicians.
So whenever Dotcom does something in the political sphere, I ask a simple question. Would he be doing this, if he wasn’t facing extradition to the United States on these criminal charges?
My preference is for Dotcom to have his day in court (first NZ and then if extradited, the US). If he wins at either of these, then I’d welcome all his plans to invest in a new cable, promote more fibre, have encrypted file sharing etc. But again, would he be throwing parties for 25,000 people if he wasn’t facing extradition?
I am no fan of the way the Hollywood entertainment industry have tried to cripple the Internet and some of the laws they have tried to get countries to enact. In fact I have fought against them. But in terms of applying the law, that is a decision for courts, not politicians.
In terms of the political impact of the proposed party, Liam Hehir writes in the Manawatu Standard:
Is Kim Dotcom’s new “Internet Party”:
a) A new party geared towards internet- conversant millennials;
b) Another Left-wing party entering an already crowded field; or
c) Some new force poised to tap into massive disillusionment with politics-as-usual?
No matter what the party’s founders intend, the voters will come to their own conclusions. The answer will determine what impact (if any) the new party has on the electoral landscape.
The first possibility would be a potential threat to the National Government. More than a few libertarian-ish millennials vote National by default. The “ish” suffix is appropriate because these voters are not particularly ideological. They can abide neither Labour’s slavish political correctness nor the Marxian economics of the Greens. They do not have any particular love for National.
They do care about issues an internet-oriented party could capitalise on.
Take, for instance, the matter of geo-blocking. This occurs when media rights holders prevent access to pay-services by New Zealand addresses. The most obvious example is the popular service Netflix, which streams television and movies over the web for a pretty reasonable cost. Like many such services, it is closed to New Zealanders.
Geo-blocking is one of my pet hates. It is not something that NZ can do anything about, but eventually I believe it will die, and we will have one global market for content.
On the other hand, if the Internet Party is seen as just another anti- John Key party – along with Labour, the Greens, Mana and New Zealand First, then I think any threat to the Government will be negligible. Its existence could even help National in a tight election year.
The Greens are sounding rather hostile to the party, and Labour less than enthused. If even 2% of their supporters vote for it, and the vote is wasted, that may be enough to keep National in power. Intentions and impacts are not the same thing.
The final possibility is that the Internet Party could become a true protest party – absorbing the votes of the disenfranchised and generating new voters from among the increasing numbers of those who would otherwise not turn out.
This is the hope of at least some of Mr Dotcom’s Left-wing boosters. In a gushing write-up by socialist commentator Chris Trotter, for instance, the Internet Party was heralded as a potential parallel to Italy’s Five Star Movement, an ‘anti- politics’ party which rode a wave of voter disgust to a stunning electoral performance in that country’s elections last year.
But New Zealand is not Italy. Going into its last election, the latter country had been forced into austerity by a sovereign debt crisis. Things were so bad that, at the time, Italy was actually being governed by an unelected proconsul of the European Union. By contrast, our leaders have generally steered a good path through the recession and the economic forecast is now fairly sunny.
One can understand why the Government’s antagonists might be frustrated at the apparent immovability of the polls. If they are counting on some groundswell of disenchantment with New Zealand politics to wash John Key away, however, I think they do so at their peril.
It will be interesting to see the impact, if they ever get around to an actual launch, policies and candidates. I’ll probably like some of their policies. But there are policies I like (to varying degrees) in most political parties (except Mana probably).Tags: Josie Pagani, Kim Dotcom, Liam Hehir
If the party aims to get 5%, I’m looking forward to reading their policies on:
- The living wage
- The Treaty of Waitangi
- Housing affordability
- Top tax rate
- Immigration laws
- Reducing crime
A party with just one policy (don’t extradite me and I’ll give you some free stuff) is unlikely to go far.Tags: Kim Dotcom
- Don’t have Whale Oil release the strategy for you
- Don’t have people find out that those media types who have been saying such nice things about you, are on the payroll
- Don’t have as your proposed central strategy a policy to bribe an entire electorate by giving them free Internet
- Consider reading electoral law before you announce a party to launch your party, so you don’t have to cancel it at the last moment.
This has been the political equivalent of the launch of Wheedle!Tags: Internet Party, Kim Dotcom
Kim Dotcom has announced the name of his proposed political party will be The Internet Party. Wallace Chapman has also stated he was asked to stand for it, and has declined. He has also been asked to stand for Labour in the past he discloses.
Also of interest is that Martin Bradbury is talking up the Dotcom Party, and states that “urban professional male Gen X National Party voters who don’t derive an income from the Dairy Industry will find Kim Dotcom’s economic vision a genuine way forward”
What I find interesting is how Martin knows what that economic vision is, when their policies have not been released. It’s almost as if he is involved. But of course he would disclose that if he was, right?
UPDATE: In an exclusive Whale Oil discloses how two journalists are on the payroll of the Internet Party, or hold a leadership role in it. They key details are:
- Martyn Bradbury on payroll for $8000 per month plus $5000 advance payment for technology upgrades
- Bradbury to stand for Auckland Central
- Scoop General Manager Alistair Thompson is to be the Party’s Secretary (a statutory role)
- Scoop has registered the domain names for the party
This is the second time that Bradbury has been revealed to be on, or seeking to be on, the payroll of a political party he blogs favourably about, without disclosing it.
There are serious issues for Scoop and the press gallery also. Can a member of the press gallery be a senior office holder of a political party? Is it appropriate to have a party secretary asking hostile questions of the PM at his media press conferences, in his role as a journalist.
UPDATE: Bradbury says he has not yet been placed on the payroll, it was just a proposal. But the problem remains that he is publishing favourable articles on them, while trying to advise them, get paid by them, and be a candidate for them.Tags: Internet Party, Kim Dotcom
Meanwhile, further revelations about the nature of the charges against the Megaupload founder could be made public, if a court lifts a suppression.
US prosecutors are seeking to expose the allegations against Dotcom and his co-accused, so victims of his alleged crime can make a claim against his cash and assets seized in the raids.
The US has asked New Zealand authorities to lift the order on the case record, an almost 200-page document with all the details – before the victims’ claim rights expire.
Dotcom is fighting the request, saying it will affect his chance of a fair trial, according to his US lawyer Ira Rothken.
A decision is expected later this week.
Dotcom relentlessly plays to the public, and tells his side of the story. Yet he is in court demanding that the other side of the story not be allowed to be made public. If he really thinks he has done nothing wrong, then why oppose it? Shouldn’t he want it released so he can rebut it in his favourite court – the court of public opinion.Tags: Kim Dotcom
Whale has this video of Kim Dotcom being interviewed by Paul Holmes:
Holmes: Should there be heavy damages?
Dotcom: Well, I’m not interested in damages from the New Zealand Government. I’m interested to resolve this case. I’m interested for people to realise the people who attacked me, they made a mistake and that this needs to be resolved in a diplomatic fashion, and soon, because this is just going to drag on. It’s going to hurt everybody. It’s going to embarrass those who are attacking us. And there’s no point in taking this further.
Holmes: If you got damages, of course, I suppose that could go some way to paying for a new broadband cable across the Pacific.
Dotcom: Yeah, but if I would seek damages, I would not seek them in New Zealand. I would seek them from the US Government, which has acted in bad faith, and I would seek that also from Hollywood Studios who are paying the MPAA and Chris Dodd, you know, to do this kind of thing. And I think they are liable because there has been a lot of bad faith and a lot of misinformation.
And in case you missed it here’s the Herald story about him claiming NZ taxpayers owe him damages of $6 million.
Would be nice if media did more than just print his words as press releases with no scrutiny.
Tags: Kim Dotcom
Kim Dotcom now says he canstand for Parliament at next year’s election.
Last week, the Teutonic tech titan told media he was going to form his own political party, and take a run at the ballot box himself – only for Kiwiblog’s David Farrar to dig up Section 47(1) of the Electoral Act, whose citizenship provision seems to clearly ruleout Mr Dotcom.
But iin a new interview published today with the Washington Post, Mr Dotcom says, “When I made that statement, my lawyers were still looking into it, and their preliminary answer was that you can only run as a citizen of New Zealand. But they went through the full several hundred pages of New Zealand election law, and they found that if I’m a permanent resident of New Zealand who’s lived here for more than a year and is a registered voter — which I will be in November — you can run for office. I’ll get more specifics on Tuesday when I sit with my lawyers, but at the moment it looks like I can run myself.”
Keeping Stock blogs these responses from Graeme Edgeler:
I know whose money I’m on for being right!Tags: Electoral Act, Graeme Edgeler, Kim Dotcom
The Herald reports:
Prime Minister John Key has dismissed as a stunt Kim Dotcom’s plans to begin a political party.
The Herald on Sunday reported yesterday that the internet mogul was planning to start a political party with the aim of gaining the 5 per cent of the vote required to get into Parliament.
Dotcom told the paper “It is much too early to say anything about a new political party”, but later tweeted ”My embryonic NZ political plans leaked by whistleblower. Still looking for partners. Not ready yet”.
I think it is a great idea to splinter the anti-Govt vote.
However Mr Dotcom may have overlooked one problem. He is ineligible to be an MP.
S47(1) of the Electoral Act states:
Regardless of anything in subsection (1), a person is not qualified to be a candidate or to be elected unless he or she is a New Zealand citizen.
In 2002 an MP was disqualified after it emerged she was not a citizen. Kelly Chal was provisionally elected on 2002 election night for United Future but then disqualified as a candidate and MP after they realised she was not a citizen.Tags: Kim Dotcom
Like many I watched the ISC hearings over the TV live-streams. Dotcom really made a speech more than a submission. New Zealand must be the only country in the world where a convicted criminal who is the subject of an extradition warrant to the US gets to debate security issues with the country’s Prime Minister for 25 minutes.
At least it was a step up from yesterday when the PM had to endure Penny Bright demanding that he hand over details of all his bank accounts to her!
The Herald reports:
Prime Minister John Key last night described former Megaupload tycoon Kim Dotcom as a “conspiracy theorist” after the internet mogul again claimed that the Prime Minister knew about him before his Coatesville mansion was raided in January 2012.
Mr Dotcom called the GCSB bill that Mr Key is promoting “morally indefensible” and said that, in reality, NZ’s foreign spy agency was a subsidiary of the National Security Agency (NSA) in the United States.
Mr Dotcom told TV3 last night that he would produce evidence during his extradition hearing to the US that Mr Key had lied about not knowing of him before the raid.
That hearing could be next year.
Earlier, Mr Key told reporters that Mr Dotcom “is a well-known conspiracy theorist. He has never ever found a piece of evidence to support that.”
Dotcom has been claiming for almost a year to have this evidence. If he had it, I have no doubt that he would have released it by now. There is no court rule that prevents him.
Near the end of the 20-minute session, Mr Shearer asked Mr Dotcom if he thought Mr Key had known about Mr Dotcom before the raids.
Mr Key said he hadn’t. “You know I know,” Mr Dotcom said.
“I know you don’t know actually, but that’s fine,” Mr Key said.
“Why are you turning red, Prime Minister?” Mr Dotcom asked.
“I’m not. Why are you sweating?”
That was comic.
There were some useful submissions that day from other submitters on important issues. KDC’s submission was not one of them.Tags: GCSB, John Key, Kim Dotcom
The Green Party has called the independent report on the 2007 Urewera raids damning and said a dramatic overhaul of police culture was still needed.
The review, released today, labelled police actions ”unlawful, unjustified and unreasonable”.
The party’s police spokesman, Dave Clendon, said it was not okay to “descend like masked ninjas” on a small community, adding that police thinking about the raids had not fundamentally changed.
He believed racial discrimination played a part on the abuse of rights and illegal detention of innocent people.
“Would the police have raided Remuera in Auckland, or Khandallah in Wellington in the same way?” he asked.
Ummm. Engage brain before operating mouth,
Can anyone think of a high profile raid a couple of years ago in Coatesville? One that involved armed police and helicopters? I’m pretty sure the targets were not Maori, but German and Finnish.
And according to the 2006 census, the ethnicity of Coatesville is 80% European, 4% Maori, 3% Asian and 12% other so the racism claim from the Greens is quite unfounded.Tags: David Clendon, Greens, Kim Dotcom, racism, Urerewa
The Herald reports:
Kim Dotcom has called for an investigation into the FBI case against Megaupload in a legal review which accuses Prime Minister John Key of being misled by the United States.
The “White Paper” released by Mr Dotcom last night also alleges the illegal spying by the GCSB went on for 10 days longer than the spy bureau has previously admitted.
The 39-page document written by his legal team aims to dissect the FBI investigation against him and three Megaupload colleagues arrested on criminal copyright charges last year. It is entitled “Megaupload, the Copyright Lobby, and the Future of Digital Rights: The United States versus You (and Kim Dotcom)”.
It calls for investigations by US Senate oversight committees, linking the motives for the prosecution to Hollywood studios’ political contributions and support for President Barack Obama.
It’s not a “white paper” with or without the quote marks. White papers are government documents. It is a PR document put out by the defence team for someone who has been charged with multiple criminal offences. It isn’t even a legal document – it is purely a PR document. But for this it get heralded as some sort of official white paper, and gets Mr Dotcom a free q&a session on the Herald website. I wonder if they plan to do this for all other people charged with criminal offences in other countries?
Dotcom is trying to turn this into a political issue, rather than a legal one. On the politics of copyright law, i actually agree with much of what he says. But I also believe you try to act within the law and accept consequences if you do not.
Whether the charges laid by the US Government are valid under our extradition treaty is a legal issue to be determined by the NZ courts. If they find they are valid, then he should be extradited – just as the US extradites people from the US to NZ if they face criminal charges here.
If he is extradited to the US, then his guilt or innocence is a matter for the US courts and/or juries. Again it is a legal matter.
If Mr Dotcom wins his legal cases, then as far as I am concerned he is welcome to stay in NZ, despite his less than reputable past and previous criminal offending. But justice should not be decided in the media by PR strategies. The charges he faces are legal matters for the NZ and then the US courts to determine.Tags: Kim Dotcom
The Herald reports:
In the same poll 48 per cent of voters said internet magnate Kim Dotcom should be allowed to stay in New Zealand – 42 per cent say Dotcom should be sent back to the US, and 10 per cent didn’t know.
This was a poll by 3 News.
I think it was a very bad decision to do a poll on this issue. It is tantamount to doing a poll on whether someone charged of a crime is guilty – before it has even gone to trial!
The decision on extradition is effectively one for the courts. Their role is to determine whether the offences he has been charged with in the US qualify under our extradition treaty and laws.
The decision on extradition is one for the courts, not one for public opinion. Of course Mr Dotcom is trying to make it into a cause celebre, but I am unsure as to why TV3 would play along.
If the courts find Dotcom should not be extradited, then he is very welcome here. If he is extradited and is found not guilty in a trial, then again he is welcome here. But the court processes should be allowed to reach a conclusion.Tags: Kim Dotcom, Polls
Kim Dotcom’s fight against extradition to the United States looks set to go to the Supreme Court after losing his latest legal battle.
The Court of Appeal has overturned a High Court decision that ordered the disclosure of the documents that are the basis of the case against Dotcom.
The court said extradition hearings were not trials and the full protections and procedures for criminal trials did not apply.
US authorities want to extradite the German-born internet entrepreneur to stand trial on criminal charges alleging copyright piracy and racketeering.
Dotcom’s lawyer, Paul Davison, QC, said his legal team would seek to appeal to the Supreme Court.
The Supreme Court will need to give leave to appeal, as this would be the third appeal. The original ruling was in the District Court. The first appeal was to the High Court and the second appeal to the Court of Appeal.Tags: copyright, Kim Dotcom, Supreme Court
Over the last couple of hours the usual suspects in our tired old media have cut and paste an article from Computerworld. In their efforts they report that Mega has received 150 copyright infringements since its launch. Mega have provided their flunkies at Stuff and the Herald the usual weasel words about how they are doing everything correctly and they have removed any files that are found to be infringing the law.
All good so far.
However, two points that need to be considered.
1. If Mega is fully encrypted (as an artifice to dodge the rules by the site owners maybe) how can anybody know what is in the supposed infringing files?
2. And by far the single most explosive point to this story is that Computerworld have provided further info that Stuff and the Herald chose to ignore.
If you visit www.mega-search.me you will see that the whole scheme is just like the old scheme. Mega is a file sharing service to allow you to upload data and share it. There are dozens of listings for copied and copyrighted material that are quite clearly illegal.
We are not suggesting that Kim Dotcom owns, runs, manages or even knows anything about the search site but I bet he will be trying very hard to get it closed as it clearly shows exactly what this latest business is. We note that the search utilises Mega’s logo extensively.
It will be interesting to see if further legal action eventuates on this.Tags: Kim Dotcom, Truth