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Megaupload Co-Founder Allowed Bail

Unknown Lamer posted more than 2 years ago | from the no-one-escapes-new-zealand dept.

Piracy 132

New submitter masterfpt writes "TorrentFreak is running the following article: 'The co-founder of Megaupload has been freed on bail by a judge in New Zealand. Mathias Ortmann will be the subject of strict conditions including no Internet access. The U.S. will now rely on a United Nations treaty to extradite the Mega team. Separately, it was revealed that the FBI remotely monitored last month's raids and congratulated New Zealand police on their work.'"

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132 comments

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Who's a good police force? You are! Yes you are! (5, Funny)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 2 years ago | (#39044153)

the FBI remotely monitored last month's raids and congratulated New Zealand police on their work

Did they FBI at least have the decency to give them the promised snausage treat?

Re:Who's a good police force? You are! Yes you are (5, Funny)

Theophany (2519296) | more than 2 years ago | (#39044209)

Ask Anonymous, they were listening in on the call.

Re:Who's a good police force? You are! Yes you are (0)

WrongSizeGlass (838941) | more than 2 years ago | (#39044227)

the FBI remotely monitored last month's raids and congratulated New Zealand police on their work

Did they FBI at least have the decency to give them the promised snausage treat?

You're assuming that the FBI had permission to remotely monitor the raids. ;-)

Re:Who's a good police force? You are! Yes you are (2)

JosKarith (757063) | more than 2 years ago | (#39045009)

Sure they did - RIAA gave it to them.

First, They Came for the Terrorists (5, Insightful)

Jeremiah Cornelius (137) | more than 2 years ago | (#39046717)

And I did not speak out --
Because I was not a "Terrorist".

Then they came for the operators of file-sharing sites, and I did not speak out --
Because I was not the operator of a file-sharing-site.

Then they came for the blog-posters, and I did not speak out --
Because I was not a blog-poster.

Then they came for me --

And there was no one left to speak for me.

Re:First, They Came for the Terrorists (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39047453)

We ... will ... adapt

Re:Who's a good police force? You are! Yes you are (1, Funny)

sensationull (889870) | more than 2 years ago | (#39044325)

They were apparently sutibly brutal and uncompromising using all sorts of overkill for a few unarmed people in a house so I'm guessing they got a kindly pat on the head at least.

Re:Who's a good police force? You are! Yes you are (1)

chrb (1083577) | more than 2 years ago | (#39044389)

a few unarmed people

Media reports that there were shotguns in the house, two were sawn-off shotguns, and Kim locked himself in his safe room with one of the sawn-off shotguns. Kim didn't have a gun license, so owning these guns was illegal in NZ. Guns were to protect my family, says Megaupload founder Kim Dotcom [theaustralian.com.au]

Re:Who's a good police force? You are! Yes you are (1)

omnichad (1198475) | more than 2 years ago | (#39044789)

Wait, his legal last name is Dotcom??

Re:Who's a good police force? You are! Yes you are (4, Informative)

X.25 (255792) | more than 2 years ago | (#39045229)

Media reports that there were shotguns in the house, two were sawn-off shotguns, and Kim locked himself in his safe room with one of the sawn-off shotguns. Kim didn't have a gun license, so owning these guns was illegal in NZ. Guns were to protect my family, says Megaupload founder Kim Dotcom

He had gun safes, shotgun in panic room was in gun safe and had 1 rubber bullet, and Kim was nowhere near the safe when arrested.

Since noone has bothered to give Kim DotCom a chance to say anything or defend himself, one NZ reporter tried to present things from different (one that doesn't burn witches) angle. You should watch the videos, at least for amusement factor.

Links are listed in the order reports were broadcast:

http://www.3news.co.nz/Campbell-Live-enters-Kim-Dotcoms-Coatesville-mansion/tabid/817/articleID/242116/Default.aspx [3news.co.nz]

http://www.3news.co.nz/Police-defend-actions-during-Dotcom-raid/tabid/423/articleID/242115/Default.aspx [3news.co.nz]

http://www.3news.co.nz/Dotcom-charges-fraction-of-world-awash-with-copyright-breaches/tabid/817/articleID/242208/Default.aspx [3news.co.nz]

http://www.3news.co.nz/Kim-Dotcoms-mansion-seized/tabid/423/articleID/242276/Default.aspx [3news.co.nz]

There might be more reports, I might have not seen them all.

Re:Who's a good police force? You are! Yes you are (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39044447)

What news report of the raid did YOU read. Kimble was far from unarmed. The dude was well armed in a secure compound.

Re:Who's a good police force? You are! Yes you are (1)

LordLimecat (1103839) | more than 2 years ago | (#39044765)

When you say unarmed, did you actually read the articles about this or are you following the great slashdot tradition of deciding on your own what the news should have been?

Because Im pretty sure "loaded gun" doesnt qualify as "unarmed".

Re:Who's a good police force? You are! Yes you are (3, Insightful)

X.25 (255792) | more than 2 years ago | (#39045317)

When you say unarmed, did you actually read the articles about this or are you following the great slashdot tradition of deciding on your own what the news should have been?

Because Im pretty sure "loaded gun" doesnt qualify as "unarmed".

A gun, stored in gun safe and loaded with a single rubber bullet certainly doesn't make one "armed" either.

I would presume that SWAT team is doing all arrests in the USA, since pretty much everyone could have a gun. Right?

Re:Who's a good police force? You are! Yes you are (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39046103)

The US is a different beast. Here whether the person has a gun or not, the team performing the raid will shoot the suspect multiple times along with their dog and sometimes immediate family. Many raids end in injury and/or death and are more and more often occurring at the WRONG ADDRESS altogether. AMERICA!

Re:Who's a good police force? You are! Yes you are (2)

Mister Whirly (964219) | more than 2 years ago | (#39045347)

You can own all the loaded guns in the world - if you aren't holding any of them you are not "armed". The shotgun referenced was locked up in a gun safe. It wasn't like he was hanging on to the thing the whole time. He didn't even get it.

What do people think he was going to do - shoot his way out? Yeah I am sure nobody would ever recognize that unforgettable figure out in public...

Re:Who's a good police force? You are! Yes you are (1, Insightful)

jesseck (942036) | more than 2 years ago | (#39045651)

He may have been armed, but one thing that stuck with me was this quote from New Zealand Detective Inspector Grant Wormald (source here) [arstechnica.com] :

"Police arrived in two marked Police helicopters ... Despite our staff clearly identifying themselves..."

Reading between the lines, and from observing pictures released to the Press of the raid, the vehicles and officers on the ground were clad in black. For all Kim Dotcom knew, he was under attack by terrorists pretending to be police. He had to look away from the vehicles, people, and guns, just to find one marked vehicle which indicated a Police operation. And that vehicle was high above him.

Internet Ban (5, Insightful)

Aladrin (926209) | more than 2 years ago | (#39044221)

Why did they bar him from using the internet? What are they afraid he'll do, start another illegal website?

If they're afraid he'll try to hide evidence, they'd have to cut him off from all contact, since others could easily just do the hiding for him.

Do they bar people accused of telephone fraud from using the telephone?

I'd understand if it was a car or gun, where he could do something stupid with it, but the internet?

Re:Internet Ban (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39044275)

There is a belief that computer criminals are able to cause nuclear attack by whistling into a phone, people are scared of what they dont understand etc.

Re:Internet Ban (2)

GodInHell (258915) | more than 2 years ago | (#39044457)

Would you like to play a game?

Re:Internet Ban (1)

Canazza (1428553) | more than 2 years ago | (#39044633)

Hack the Gibson!

Re:Internet Ban (2)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 2 years ago | (#39044469)

David Lightman was able to launch nukes with just a payphone and a pull-tab. Hackers are magic.

Re:Internet Ban (3, Funny)

Karzz1 (306015) | more than 2 years ago | (#39044583)

David Lightman was able to launch nukes with just a payphone and a pull-tab.

That was MacGyver, not this "David Lightman" character. Jeesh.

Re:Internet Ban (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39047205)

No, MacGuyver *built* nukes out of a pay phone and a pull-tab.

Re:Internet Ban (1)

someWebGeek (2566673) | more than 2 years ago | (#39044787)

No doubt that explains why those old-style pull-tabs are no longer available.

"We got plenty of youth. What we need is a 'Fountain of Smart.'"

Re:Internet Ban (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39045139)

my mom thinks i built a death ray i put a bunch of lazer pointers on a old dish with a device that can move them so they focus on one spot with crtic spyder lazers

Re:Internet Ban (1)

VortexCortex (1117377) | more than 2 years ago | (#39045535)

my mom thinks i built a death ray i put a bunch of lazer pointers on a old dish with a device that can move them so they focus on one spot with crtic spyder lazers

My neighbors think I build a death ray. I epoxied 4cm square mirrors all over the surface of my big-old parabolic satellite dish.
They were RIGHT!

Re:Internet Ban (1)

Saintwolf (1224524) | more than 2 years ago | (#39045339)

Only at 2600Hz ;)

Re:Internet Ban (2)

undeadbill (2490070) | more than 2 years ago | (#39046935)

People with computer knowledge are analogs to witches of the Middle Ages. All you have to do is accuse someone of being a "hacker", and if they have any actual computer knowledge, they are pretty much convicted and sentenced to jail terms that others would get for only the most heinous murders and violations.

Re:Internet Ban (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39044281)

I'm pretty sure I've seen people do stupid things with the internet!

Re:Internet Ban (5, Insightful)

Xest (935314) | more than 2 years ago | (#39044287)

It's to stop him being able to carry out valuable research, or contact people who could aid in his defence.

In other words, it's to make it harder for him to build a defence now they've stitched him up.

Re:Internet Ban (1)

stms (1132653) | more than 2 years ago | (#39044441)

I'm pretty sure that building his defense/contacting people who could help him is his lawyers job.

Re:Internet Ban (-1, Flamebait)

Sarten-X (1102295) | more than 2 years ago | (#39044597)

Every Slashdotter knows that lawyers can't be trusted! They're just greedy rent-seekers perpetuating their own existence.

While the lawyer charges $400 an hour to write about wherefores and herebys, the defendant should be trying hard to prove his innocence, using the most irrefutable and accurate evidence yet known: Protests, jury nullification campaigns, and witness intimidation.

Remember the Slashdotter motto: Gub'ment bad, whatever-I-want good.

Re:Internet Ban (1)

Xest (935314) | more than 2 years ago | (#39045415)

What if he wants to defend himself? What if he can't afford a lawyer? what if he can't afford a lawyer trustworthy enough to be handed his password? what if he can't afford a lawyer both trustworthy enough, and competent enough to gather the information from Megauploads servers? Could you really trust your lawyer to search through the guts of a large scale distributed system effectively to find evidence showing the relative scale of copyright infringement to legitimate use for example?

To be fair my previous post was made somewhat tongue in cheek in order to provoke discussion on the topic, but I think there's a valid debate to be had over how fair it is to ban someone from the internet in a case like this. Consider that you're involved in a car crash where someone died and the police decide to press charges for manslaughter even though you believe you were not at fault - would you be happy if the judge granted you bail, but prevented you returning to the scene of the crash so you could better think through the events to help compose your defence?, or to see if you recognise anyone who witnessed the incident and who you could hence ask to provide their version of events as a statement?, or to take photographs of for example skid marks, or other points on the road that may be relevant such as oil patches or similar.

Sure your lawyer can do some of these things, but they wont be able to do so effectively as you could. Why should anyone have to suffer such a disadvantage in building their case when the ban on visiting the location (i.e. using the internet in this case) is of negligible value?

Laywers.... you get what you pay for (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39045749)

I don't know how much experience you've had with lawyers, but from this comment I'm going to go out on a limb and say none.

Basically, when it comes to lawyers, you have to do the work and pass it on for them to formalize or nothing other than form letters will get done. This is from multiple experiences :( -- And no, I do not have a criminal record either but I have friends and family who do because of lawyer screw ups. I do admit, if you can afford the good ones you can get good service but truthfully, most can NOT EVEN come close to affording that...

I had a friend dragged in handcuffs at 10pm from his home (in front of his kids) because the lawyer didn't tell him his court date and then at the court hearing the lawyer told the judge his client was moving to another state.... Ah, gotta love lawyer mistakes.

Re:Internet Ban (1)

LordLimecat (1103839) | more than 2 years ago | (#39044821)

Yes, because without computers its absolutely impossible to contact lawyers or do research.

How our parents, or even kids in the 90s, got along, Ill never know.

Its really telling (and a little sad) that so many people agreed and modded you insightful, being unable to contemplate picking up a phone book or going to a library. Oh no, wikipedia is down, however will I do legal research?

Wish I had mod points to mod you up (-1, Offtopic)

kiwimate (458274) | more than 2 years ago | (#39045163)

Its really telling (and a little sad) that so many people agreed and modded you insightful

Exactly. The posts that are getting modded up at the moment on this story and the posts that are being left to languish really show what side the Slashdot community is on. Shame - no chance of a meaningful discussion, just more mutual onanism on the part of the same people who already all agree and have their minds made up.

Re:Internet Ban (2)

Xest (935314) | more than 2 years ago | (#39045267)

This is the 21st century, where many people only know many other people online, where much useful content is online and many libraries have been outright closed. This is a case about the internet where facts on the internet are important to the case.

Pray tell how exactly he intends to phone people when he doesn't have their phone number, or perhaps even their address or real name?

Sure he could ask his lawyer to get these things, but that assumes he can find and afford a lawyer who is competent enough to use the internet, whom he can trust with his passwords and accounts, and who knows where online to look for the information in question.

Look, I get your point, people are too dependent on the internet nowadays, but your argument doesn't really work in this case - this is a case about a very modern issue, one that is simply not well catered to by the pre-90s disconnected world. The guy should have every right to connect to the net and grab any information relevant to his defence himself - he shouldn't have to depend on anyone else for his defence if he chooses not to, he should have the right to log onto his servers, and extract logs demonstrating the scale of illegal content if it aids his case for example, he shouldn't have to employ anyone else, or trust anyone else.

The fact is there's also more, and more useful information than one has ever been able to find or access in the disconnected world. Whilst my previous comment was actually a little mischeivous if I'm honest, this has the inherent implication that he is still disadvantaged in his defence, and this should frankly never be the case. Even if it's simply that it'll take him many hours longer travelling to a library and finding something of relevance than it would going to Google, searching, then using ctrl+f to find what he's looking for then that's still time loss that he could otherwise be using to better build his defence.

Fundamentally the point is that an internet ban is meaningless, if he really was going to do something that'd hide evidence he'd get someone else to do it to avoid the ban anyway and besides police took their own copies of the data. If he was going to do something else genuinely criminal he'd only be worsening the case against himself. The damage he could do by being allowed internet access is completely and utterly negligible relative to the fact that people should not be disadvantaged in building their defence in a fair and just justice system. If a justice system has to do things like this to stack the odds against the defendant, there is something grossly problematic with that justice system in that it is no longer there to administer justice, but instead to push politically charged agendas.

Re:Internet Ban (1)

LordLimecat (1103839) | more than 2 years ago | (#39045563)

Pray tell how exactly he intends to phone people when he doesn't have their phone number, or perhaps even their address or real name?

Heres a skill more useful than GoogleFu: Pick up your phone, and press '0'. A friendly person will assist you in finding what you need.

or perhaps even their address or real name?

You can also get a phonebook, but thats getting rather advanced. Theres this thing called "the yellow pages", and its counterpart "the white pages" where you can find such things.

Sure he could ask his lawyer to get these things, but that assumes he can find and afford a lawyer who is competent enough to use the internet, whom he can trust with his passwords and accounts, and who knows where online to look for the information in question.

Googling someone wont really tell you about their competence any more than the yellow pages. And heres yet another free tip: Ask a trusted friend who they recommend for a lawyer. Or even better, ask THEM to do the research.

The possibilities abound, when you dont stake your entire life on a single 1.5mbps connection.

Re:Internet Ban (1)

LordLimecat (1103839) | more than 2 years ago | (#39045589)

One other thing, accused murderers dont generally have access to the murder weapon once the case has started, due to real concerns about evidence tampering. Likewise, someone accused of computer mischief is not likely to be allowed access to said server because of how easy it would be to clear evidence.

And when you are on bail, there are real restrictions that come with it because of the risk that you could take actions subversive to the case-- such as messing with evidence or fleeing the country.

Re:Internet Ban (1)

Xest (935314) | more than 2 years ago | (#39045787)

"One other thing, accused murderers dont generally have access to the murder weapon once the case has started"

No but they often have permission to visit the scene of the crime to look for anything pertinent to proving whether or not they were there.

"Likewise, someone accused of computer mischief is not likely to be allowed access to said server because of how easy it would be to clear evidence."

The police took copies of everything they needed. Unless you think he's going to hack into the police to access data that may not even be network attached then this is really really silly. Almost as silly as implying that finding a random unknown lawyer using an operator or yellow pages is a magical solution to the issue of being able to access data essential to your defence stored on a large scale distributed system that requires quite some in depth knowledge to acquire necessary data for defence from.

"And when you are on bail, there are real restrictions that come with it because of the risk that you could take actions subversive to the case-- such as messing with evidence or fleeing the country."

Yet he's been granted bail with neither of these things at issue. If he was a flight risk he wouldn't have been granted bail. What was the relevance of this point? it's meaningless in the context of the discussion.

So are you done now with your irrelevant points, or would you like to scream "get off my lawn" pointlessly for a little longer?

Re:Internet Ban (1)

Sarten-X (1102295) | more than 2 years ago | (#39046847)

he's been granted bail with neither of these things at issue. If he was a flight risk he wouldn't have been granted bail.

[citation needed]. The article mentions that the bail restrictions include no Internet access. He may be restricted from leaving the country (which is highly likely, since one of the reasons his bail process took longer than others is that he was considered a flight risk, so they had to work out a suitable agreement.

What was the relevance of this point?

To point out that Internet access is not mandatory for any legal defense, but merely convenient. Considering that one of the issues is that Mr. Ortmann made $3.5 million more than MegaUpload paid him, he very likely already has a competent lawyer. The only reason for him to have direct Internet access would be to unjustly sway public opinion.

Re:Internet Ban (1)

X.25 (255792) | more than 2 years ago | (#39047041)

To point out that Internet access is not mandatory for any legal defense, but merely convenient. Considering that one of the issues is that Mr. Ortmann made $3.5 million more than MegaUpload paid him, he very likely already has a competent lawyer. The only reason for him to have direct Internet access would be to unjustly sway public opinion.

Considering that they froze all bank accounts, how much money he might have earned is irrelevant.

Re:Internet Ban (1)

0111 1110 (518466) | more than 2 years ago | (#39047529)

To point out that Internet access is not mandatory for any legal defense, but merely convenient.

How convenient that is for the prosecution. I think it's only fair that you deny the prosecution and police involved in the case access to the internet as well. After all, it is not mandatory for them to develop their case and they might use it to unfairly influence public opinion.

Could the accused not also use the telephone or even his own voice to influence public opinion? Let's take away his right to use a telephone and gag him until trial too. We could even bind his hands so he can't write in to newspaper editorials. Of course we won't restrict the prosecution in that manner as that would be unfair.

Re:Internet Ban (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39045899)

How our grand-parents, or even kids in the 50s, got along, I'll never know.

Being unable to contemplate sending a message by carrier pigeon, or going down to the city main square and stand on a bucket screaming that you're looking for an attorney. Oh no, the phonebook hasn't been updated in 5 years, however will I do legal research?

The funny thing with people who compare the present to the past, is that they don't seem to realize there was a past before their time. The thought of painting cave walls in the absence of pen and paper would seem ridiculous to them, but we're all lazy kids for demanding our internet!

And Lord Limecat, why don't you put your money where your mouth is and send letter to your local newspaper instead of posting comments on Slashdot?

Re:Internet Ban (1)

Mashiki (184564) | more than 2 years ago | (#39047239)

It's to stop him being able to carry out valuable research, or contact people who could aid in his defence.

In other words, it's to make it harder for him to build a defence now they've stitched him up.

So does this mean New Zealand doesn't have full disclosure laws like Canada does? Remind me not to go there. For those that don't know in Canada, when you're accused of something, you get a thing called full disclosure. Showing all of the evidence against you, and I do mean all. Every single bit, right down to how they did what they did, and when they started doing it.

Remind me not to go to New Zealand...ever.

Re:Internet Ban (4, Insightful)

X.25 (255792) | more than 2 years ago | (#39047641)

So does this mean New Zealand doesn't have full disclosure laws like Canada does? Remind me not to go there. For those that don't know in Canada, when you're accused of something, you get a thing called full disclosure. Showing all of the evidence against you, and I do mean all. Every single bit, right down to how they did what they did, and when they started doing it.

To put things into perspective...

Megaupload founders have been arrested, all of their assets have been frozen, their company has been destroyed, user files might be lost, bail has been delayed for 2 people who had it granted almost 2 weeks ago (police had to 'inspect premises', which seemingly takes more than a week), they have been 'demonized' in media... all of that without DoJ/FBI presenting *any* evidence to New Zealand police, or the court (for extradition case). Everything was seemingly based on the indictment document, which is not evidence but speculation (and fishing expedition - you should really read it). Judge that was deciding on bails said that he doesn't know whether case against Megaupload (in NZ) will be strong or not, because FBI has not presented any evidence to them. First extradition hearing is scheduled for 22nd of February (unless it was moved), and some evidence should be filed by then. We'll see.

That 3news reporter tried to talk to NZ ministry of justice and police, in order to find out what evidence FBI possibly presented to them before the operation, but nobody would talk to him. Governments are run like private companies now, they even get to decide whether they'll talk to people who pay their salaries.

I don't want things like this to happen. I don't want that UK guy to get extradited to the US for hosting a forum with links to 'copyrighted material. I don't want that journalist to die in Saudi Arabia because of a tweet. I don't want US threatening Sweden in order to get The Pirate Bay guys tried in court.

But people don't seem to care anymore, they think none of this affect them.

How wrong they are, they will learn in few years time :(

Re:Internet Ban (5, Insightful)

Rich0 (548339) | more than 2 years ago | (#39044373)

The modern judicial system recognizes that convicting people is hard. Therefore, the process has been engineered to be as punitive as possible before a verdict is rendered, and to tarnish your reputation as much as possible after the verdict is rendered regardless of what it is.

Get accused of a crime, step one execute a search warrant and be sure to generally destroy all your personal property in the process of rummaging through it. Step two is to grab any computers you own and hold onto them for several years as evidence. That computer you bought for $1500 last week will get returned to you just in time for you to claim a $100 tax deduction when you give it away to a local school. Step three is to drag you through the press. Step four is to charge you with 47 life sentences and a bazillion dollars in fines, and then try to get you to plea to 15 years in prison. If they can't get you to accept the plea they just make the proceedings long and expensive - since so much is at stake you can't afford not to mount a vigorous defense. Oh, if they can seize any property without a trial under forfeiture, we go ahead and do that too.

By the time it is all over, a guilty verdict is just the icing on the cake for the authorities. They've sent a clear message regardless of the outcome.

Re:Internet Ban (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39044663)

Funny thing, is that you haven't mentioned if the person is innocent or not. But, honestly, if it's politics, or incompetent police/FBI trying to save face, innocence is a moot point.

Re:Internet Ban (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39044793)

This is the USA FBI-Gestapo at work. You think "Innocence" is something these jumped up shitwads give a crap about?

Re:Internet Ban (1)

Hatta (162192) | more than 2 years ago | (#39045013)

You're innocent until you're proven guilty. Everything in his post applies to people who haven't been proven guilty.

Re:Internet Ban (1)

misexistentialist (1537887) | more than 2 years ago | (#39045745)

You're missing "step zero" where you can be held in jail for months or years while you wait for trail. While state investigators build their case, you are investigating how to hold the soap; while they are getting overtime pay, your mind begins to weaken.

Re:Internet Ban (1)

camelrider (46141) | more than 2 years ago | (#39044467)

Of course, nobody does anything stupid with the internet.

Re:Internet Ban (2)

Sarten-X (1102295) | more than 2 years ago | (#39044501)

If he told someone else to destroy evidence, the act of communication is likely to leave more evidence. Allowing him the opportunity to destroy evidence himself is much more risky.

From another aspect, the terms of his bail include no internet access. While I haven't done very much more research than reading TFA, I expect the terms also include no talk show appearances, public opinion campaigns, or other mechanisms where he could directly influence a potential juror outside the court. Even a simple blog post could cause irreparable harm to a jury's ability to be impartial. Being released on bail is a compromise between the complete preservation of evidence that the justice system needs, and the freedom to continue a normal life that the presumption of innocence needs.

Re:Internet Ban (2)

TFAFalcon (1839122) | more than 2 years ago | (#39044665)

But announcing his arrest and all the crimes he's supposed to have committed will in no way influence a juror?

Re:Internet Ban (1)

Sarten-X (1102295) | more than 2 years ago | (#39044711)

Usually the jury is informed about that when they hear evidence, anyway.

Re:Internet Ban (2)

LordLimecat (1103839) | more than 2 years ago | (#39044857)

"You jurors have been called here to determine the innocence or guilt of a person we may or may not have arrested and who may or may not be appearing in court at some indeterminate time in the future...."

Re:Internet Ban (1)

TFAFalcon (1839122) | more than 2 years ago | (#39045385)

You were claiming that someone announcing their innocence would taint the jury pool. I'd like to know how announcing that person X was arrested for crime Y is any different? Why should the defendant be prevented from speaking in public, but the police and the prosecutor should be free to do the same? Or should any juror that has heard anything about a case be automatically excluded?

Re:Internet Ban (1)

LordLimecat (1103839) | more than 2 years ago | (#39045495)

I wasnt claiming anything. Check who posted what post before making such accusations; I was merely poking fun at the absurdity of jurors not being allowed to know of the defendants arrest.

Re:Internet Ban (1)

TFAFalcon (1839122) | more than 2 years ago | (#39045769)

And I'm pointing out that it's just as absurd to prevent the jury from hearing the defendants claims of innocence.

Re:Internet Ban (1)

Sarten-X (1102295) | more than 2 years ago | (#39046685)

I was claiming that a celebrity with normal access to media can taint a jury. The defendant's lawyer, assuming competence, will make statements for the defendant that are (usually) suitably phrased to promote neutrality. He'll say things like "my client maintains his innocence, and has been working with investigators to find the truth." A competent spokesman for the police will say things like "We found a bloody handprint in the defendant's car, and a dead monkey in the kitchen" but the police don't often say "the defendant killed his wife and pet monkey."

Either side making statements that are obviously intended to sway public opinion could result in a judgement against the offender. Regardless, it certainly won't make the judge very happy. I know it goes against the popular underdog mentality here, but surprisingly, most cops are trying to do what's right, and most judges are trying to ensure a fair trial.

Re:Internet Ban (2)

TFAFalcon (1839122) | more than 2 years ago | (#39047173)

From the FBI press release:

According to the indictment, for more than five years the conspiracy has operated websites that unlawfully reproduce and distribute infringing copies of copyrighted works, including movies—often before their theatrical release—music, television programs, electronic books, and business and entertainment software on a massive scale. The conspirators’ content hosting site, Megaupload.com, is advertised as having more than one billion visits to the site, more than 150 million registered users, 50 million daily visitors, and accounting for four percent of the total traffic on the Internet. The estimated harm caused by the conspiracy’s criminal conduct to copyright holders is well in excess of $500 million. The conspirators allegedly earned more than $175 million in illegal profits through advertising revenue and selling premium memberships.

It seems to me the jury pool is pretty much tainted now. Or is inserting the word 'allegedly' the thing that makes it all OK? What exactly can the defendant say on a talk show that will taint the jury more?

Re:Internet Ban (2)

0111 1110 (518466) | more than 2 years ago | (#39047263)

most cops are trying to do what's right

Something tells me you haven't dealt much with actual real life policemen. Your comment is only true for the ones played by actors on TV.

Re:Internet Ban (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39046761)

I'm sure it would be sanctionable behavior for the police, or the prosecutor, to lie to the public in an attempt to taint the jury pool. Simply talking about someone's being arrested doesn't do that.

By what mechanism could the court control the speech of the accused in such a way as to ensure that they don't tain tthe jury pool or otherwise contaminate the right to a fair trial?

Re:Internet Ban (1)

0111 1110 (518466) | more than 2 years ago | (#39047409)

By what mechanism could the court control the speech of the accused in such a way as to ensure that they don't tain tthe jury pool or otherwise contaminate the right to a fair trial?

By the same mechanism you are implying keeps the prosecution and police in line. It would be 'sanctionable' behavior.

Re:Internet Ban (2)

Sloppy (14984) | more than 2 years ago | (#39044951)

I expect the terms also include no talk show appearances, public opinion campaigns, or other mechanisms where he could directly influence a potential juror outside the court. Even a simple blog post could cause irreparable harm to a jury's ability to be impartial.

I think this is the best answer I've read so far, and it seems reasonable on the surface. Best of all, there's a way to test whether or not it's correct: we just need to find other people the same court has allowed bail for. If it imposes the Internet restriction on everyone, then you're very likely right. If it only imposes the internet restrictions on some people, then you're very likely wrong.

After all, the nature of crime someone is charged with, has no bearing on whether or not a defendant using the Internet might influence a juror.

Re:Internet Ban (1)

Sarten-X (1102295) | more than 2 years ago | (#39045127)

I'm now curious about other cases, but there is a problem with the test. This being a fairly high-profile defendant, his blog posts and public statements are likely to reach more people and be more influential than your average Joe's. The nature of the crime shouldn't have any bearing on the terms of the bail, but the capabilities of the defendant certainly should.

Re:Internet Ban (4, Interesting)

PopeRatzo (965947) | more than 2 years ago | (#39044913)

I'd understand if it was a car or gun, where he could do something stupid with it, but the internet?

You don't think people can do "something stupid" with the Internet?

But I agree that this whole thing is bullshit. Why is this guy even in custody? The CEO of MF Global stole billions from lots of people, including seniors and retirees, but I'll bet he's having a nice brunch at some Manhattan eatery about now, or playing squash at some exclusive "athletic club". The bankers at Bank of America admitted to widespread fraud (which is a crime. not a "white collar" crime, but a crime crime. if I sell an old couple a used car and give them a forged title, I will go to jail. Bank of America did that to the tune of a quarter trillion dollars in mortgages, but they get off by paying $5mil in "value" which is like me paying my credit card with a ball of string, which I happen to value at $758.12 (the current balance on my credit card, since I went a little overboard last month, with Valentine's Day and buying a new video card and stuff.).

Justice is for the rich. The rest of us get stepped on.

Who did the founder of Megaupload hurt? Show me the damage.

Re:Internet Ban (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39045955)

)

Had to.

Re:Internet Ban (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39045969)

You don't think people can do "something stupid" with the Internet?

No. It's 1's and 0's. Anything disruptive can be throttled or stopped at the ISP level. The rest is just information.

Re:Internet Ban (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39045069)

"I'd understand if it was a car or gun, where he could do something stupid with it, but the internet?"

You'd be surprised to see the number of stupid things you can do with internet.. Go check facebook or chatroulette sometimes ;)

Re:Internet Ban (1)

KhabaLox (1906148) | more than 2 years ago | (#39046039)

I'd understand if it was a car or gun, where he could do something stupid with it, but the internet?

They're doing it so he doesn't download a car.

Am I missing something? (3, Insightful)

DJ Jones (997846) | more than 2 years ago | (#39044277)

Since when has the FBI's charter allowed them to operate on foreign soil?

Re:Am I missing something? (2)

Loughla (2531696) | more than 2 years ago | (#39044431)

Oh, That was passed in 1995, or 1996. I can never remember. Here's the legal document on that [brokenarrowwear.com] Good luck deciphering the legal speak.

Re:Am I missing something? (4, Informative)

chrb (1083577) | more than 2 years ago | (#39044521)

Congress gave them the power

Overview of the Legal Attaché Program [fbi.gov] The FBI’s legal attaché program was developed to pursue international aspects of the FBI’s investigative mandates through established liaison with principal law enforcement and security services in foreign countries and to provide a prompt and continuous exchange of information with these partners. The FBI currently has 60 fully operational legat offices and 15 sub-offices, with more than 250 agents and support personnel stationed around the world. The growth of transnational crime caused by the explosion in computer and telecommunications technology, the liberalization of immigration policies, and the increased ease of international travel has made it necessary for the U.S. to cooperate with countries around the world concerning security issues. The FBI’s role in international investigations has expanded due to the authority granted by the Congressional application of extraterritorial jurisdiction.

Also note:

FAQ [fbi.gov] What authority do FBI special agents have to make arrests in the United States, its territories, or on foreign soil?

In the U.S. and its territories, FBI special agents may make arrests for any federal offense committed in their presence or when they have reasonable grounds to believe that the person to be arrested has committed, or is committing, a felony violation of U.S. laws. On foreign soil, FBI special agents generally do not have authority to make arrests except in certain cases where, with the consent of the host country, Congress has granted the FBI extraterritorial jurisdiction.

French or Latin (1)

ThatsNotPudding (1045640) | more than 2 years ago | (#39047463)

The FBIs legal attache program ...

Whenever a Western governernment wants to pull some legal shenanigans that are abject bullshit, they always turn to French or Latin to give it that cachet of legitimacy.

Re:Am I missing something? (3, Insightful)

Robert Zenz (1680268) | more than 2 years ago | (#39044535)

Who said the FBI operated on foreign soil?

Re:Am I missing something? (1)

i kan reed (749298) | more than 2 years ago | (#39044573)

Probably since 1940. FDR created an administrative branch called the international legal attachés, who were responsible for investigations in cooperation with foreign police forces. I just love answering rhetorical questions.

Re:Am I missing something? (1)

Kjella (173770) | more than 2 years ago | (#39044611)

It's not unusual for various national police forces to exchange information, cooperate on coordinated raids, apprehending fugitives and that sort of thing. As long as they're not exercising police power on foreign soil, they're well within their mandate to participate in any investigation to bring people in front of a US court. Maybe now it's live video instead of a paper report saying they've apprehended the suspects, but I don't see anything fundamentally new or controversial in that alone.

Re:Am I missing something? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39045179)

Welcome to the world.

It is now 2012 by the calendar you are probably most familiar with. The political/economic situation has changed a bit, most notably, China has emerged as a Great Power. There has been a decline of Britain and France to second-rate. Russia is no longer communist. Africa is no longer a patchwork of colonies, but it's still poor and scary. There is a new awful weapon called an "atom bomb" (you may have read about the possibility of such a weapon already) which has shaped most of world history since the end of the second Great War (which happened in 1938-1945).

Other than that, things are pretty much as you left them at the beginning of the 1930s. I see you've found the Web already. Good on you. A site called wikipedia.com probably has most of the answers you will be looking for in the next few months.

Re:Am I missing something? (4, Informative)

kiwimate (458274) | more than 2 years ago | (#39045227)

Am I missing something?

Yes, yes you are, and so are all the people who modded up up.

Read the other replies.

Look up the definition of "extradition", "cooperation", and "treaty".

Find where it states the FBI operated on foreign soil.

Re:Am I missing something? (1)

jesseck (942036) | more than 2 years ago | (#39045731)

A few decades longer than the New York City PD has been allowed to operate outside of their city limits (and state and national borders as well).

Nothing (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39044313)

The Windows Ouija programs are nothing -- few hundred lines of code. My OS is 130,000 LOC.

Why ban? (1)

dimko (1166489) | more than 2 years ago | (#39044331)

He didn't seem to be internet troll in the first place. OK, he did troll FBI, but who didn't??? Someone called Ananymous do it all the time. Heck, only lazy people didn't, it's so easy to do.

Real crime (5, Insightful)

roman_mir (125474) | more than 2 years ago | (#39044403)

It's good to see the governments doing what their citizen given mandate is asking them to do. Not making sure that the money is good enough to support the economy. Not making sure that the States are not engaging in anti-competitive behaviour, such as requiring different professionals to license in every State (well, at least your driver license is good everywhere, yes?) Not making sure that the government is not treating different groups of citizens preferentially based either race, gender, age, political or religious affiliation or size of the bank account. Not making sure that the will of the people is actually exercised whenever a new war is started or another individual is arrested or even killed without a warrant and a court order and a day in court. Not making sure that the country is on an actual solid economic path in terms of total government spending, borrowing, printing, taxing, regulating. Not making sure that the trade is in fact free.

But the government is doing what all the citizens want it to do - fighting the absolute evil that the people of the world are facing - distribution of copyrighted materials.

FBI is doing a good job, it has absolutely paid for its own existence, as the Constitution mandates it to be. Now it's just a matter of ensuring that the criminals, these terrorists are properly and Constitutionally renditioned to the best and most aligned foreign ally that USA has - Saudi Arabia, and that the warrant says: Muslim apostates.

Re:Real crime (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39044609)

I see. So the people whose livelihoods depends on copyright are not citizens? That includes not just the copyright holders, but all the people employed by music companies, movie studios, software houses, etc. They don't count for anything. The government is doing exactly what it is supposed to - enforcing the laws that are in place to protect it's citizens.

Re:Real crime (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39044739)

"The government is doing exactly what it is supposed to - enforcing the laws that are in place to protect it's citizens."

You mean "its citizens".

I bet you're a cop.

You are certainly stupid enough to be one.

Learn to use an apostrophe correctly, you stupid shit.
I am weary of semi-literate morons like you.

Re:Real crime (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39045019)

Not a cop, it speaks in complete sentences. It smells like MAFIAA.

well (1)

unity100 (970058) | more than 2 years ago | (#39045087)

french aristocrats were also french citizens too, whose livelihood depended on their property ownership.

albeit, they practically owned all property. others, did not.

Re:Real crime (1, Troll)

LordLimecat (1103839) | more than 2 years ago | (#39044877)

Yes, until every hint of bigotry is stamped out and the economy is fixed, the FBI should cease all of its operations. They should recall all of their field agents and have them start working on the economy right away, and on a campaign to end discrimination.

You do realize that "the government" isnt a single entity, right? And that the FBI has nothing to do with how the economy is doing and how our money is spent?

(Hint, that second part is what Congress is working on right now. I suppose the FBI should go on leave till they make a decision?)

Re:Real crime (1)

ScentCone (795499) | more than 2 years ago | (#39045141)

Right, because the government can only do one thing at a time.

Did you note that the president's new budget only adds $17,000 to your personal share of the national debt this year because of the number of things that it's setting out to do simultaneously? Regardless, which government policy would you change, in terms of how the government treats people based on skin color, since you bring that up? What is your worry in that area ... that things like government contracts and government backing of things like student loans and home loans take skin color into account, and favor some over others? That is a worry. Regardless, please be specific.

Re:Real crime (1)

Sir_Sri (199544) | more than 2 years ago | (#39045927)

Right, because the government can only do one thing at a time.

Did you note that the president's new budget only adds $17,000 to your personal share of the national debt this year

er... ~900 billion dollar deficit, 313 million americans = 2875/person. If you want to count working age or whatever, you can double that since there's only about 157 million working age people in the US. Which is in no way 17k.

Are you talking about projected future liabilities maybe? Or the 10 year budget assumptions? Because those are basically nonsense numbers.

Re:Real crime (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39046441)

Nah, the government is serving its citizens and fulfilling its mandate perfectly! ... the government's citizens being MAFIAA and the corporations. Everything is done for their benefit.

Everybody else are not real citizens. Joe "on welfare, don't pay income taxes" and Jane "unemployed, in debt, with a useless degree" are not citizens. They don't own any capital. They do not produce anything of value. They are not the job creators.

Not even the guys with an honest job are citizens. They're just employees for the rich owners, at best subcontractors. Only those at the very top (the rich, MAFIAA, corporations, etc) are citizens.

This is America, the Randean paradise where you're only a free man if you're at the top. Anything less and you're a moocher, trying to get the rich to sacrifice their wealth for you.

mod dowN (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39044673)

exactly wh4T you've

corporate overlords (4, Funny)

jduhls (1666325) | more than 2 years ago | (#39044709)

Ah, the Corporate States of America: it even outsources its storm trooping duties to the New Zealand police.

Makes sense for this guy (1)

Sloppy (14984) | more than 2 years ago | (#39044729)

Not surprising they allowed bail for this guy. Ortmann is a totally believable name for a website founder, unlike Dotcom.

Re:Makes sense for this guy (1)

Beyond_GoodandEvil (769135) | more than 2 years ago | (#39046457)

Not surprising they allowed bail for this guy. Ortmann is a totally believable name for a website founder, unlike Dotcom.
Seeing as how Dotcom had a history of fleeing jurisdictions where he was charged, that probably had more to do with denying him bail than what his name was. Oh and the multiple passports with different aliases didn't help either.

No internet!!! (1)

raymansean (1115689) | more than 2 years ago | (#39045001)

I wonder if that includes telephone?

Sovereign country (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39045121)

...and I thought New Zealand was a sovereign country.

In jail for being accused much. (1)

sgt scrub (869860) | more than 2 years ago | (#39045133)

I was wondering how long their jail sentence would be while waiting for trial. At least one of them isn't doing time while the U.S. government finds there isn't sufficient evidence to imprison the prisoners. Why not have the trial, invite the accused to present evidence against the accusations, then put them in prison if found guilty? I thought we were trying to make the world more civilized.

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