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FBI Used FedEx To Sneak Dotcom's Hard Drives Out of NZ

samzenpus posted more than 2 years ago | from the overnighting-the-evidence dept.

Piracy 292

First time accepted submitter bpkiwi writes "FBI agents, working with New Zealand police on the Megaupload case, took a copy of Kim Dotcom's hard drives and then immediately sneaked out of the police facility and FedEx'ed them back to the USA. Despite the fact that removal of evidence in this manner without official approval (and a chance for the defendant to challenge it) appears to be illegal, the New Zealand government is now left arguing on a technicality — that the law only covers 'physical' items." Things got slightly better for Megaupload users trying to get their files back today. In a court filing the MPAA said users can have their files back as long as access to copyrighted files is blocked. “The MPAA Members are sympathetic to legitimate users who may have relied on Megaupload to store their legitimately acquired or created data, although the Megaupload terms of use clearly disclaimed any guarantee of continued access to uploaded materials,” MPAA lawyers write.

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Wait, what? (4, Insightful)

_KiTA_ (241027) | more than 2 years ago | (#40238751)

Wait, the MPAA is claiming the Megaupload EULA/TOS as a reason why people shouldn't get their data back? That's kinda a dick move.

Also, if I was the NZ government, I would be asking FedEx some pretty hard questions. Like: "Considering that you helped a foreign power conspire to break NZ law, why should we allow you to continue to work in our country?"

Re:Wait, what? (5, Insightful)

f3rret (1776822) | more than 2 years ago | (#40238771)

: "Considering that you helped a foreign power conspire to break NZ law, why should we allow you to continue to work in our country?"

To which the answer would be something like : "Because we're a hideously rich gigantic corporation operating out of your lord and master the US, suck it Kiwis."

Re:Wait, what? (4, Informative)

shutdown -p now (807394) | more than 2 years ago | (#40239437)

NZ already had a pissing match with USA when they banned [wikipedia.org] US vessels that were either nuclear powered or carrying nuclear weapons from entering their waters. That's still in force today, as are the measures US had taken in response.

If a private individual tried this (4, Insightful)

Scareduck (177470) | more than 2 years ago | (#40238783)

it would be tortious interference of contract [wikipedia.org] , but because they've bought themselves criminalization of copyright violations, we now have the FBI chasing halfway around the world for stuff like this. Great going, FBI!

Re:If a private individual tried this (4, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40238843)

here in the united states of skullduggery we DO have something called the chain of custody. by obtaining the materials outside of what is legally acceptable they have violated the chain of custody, and by using a non governmental agency without judicial oversight they have violated the chain of custody. this SHOULD, according to US law, make the hard drives inadmissible as evidence in court proceedings.

Re:If a private individual tried this (1)

symbolset (646467) | more than 2 years ago | (#40238883)

... And any information derived by things learned from them are the fruit of this poison tree - also inadmissable.

Re:If a private individual tried this (5, Informative)

philip.paradis (2580427) | more than 2 years ago | (#40239015)

Law enforcement agencies and cooperating entities send evidence via FedEx all the time. It's an accepted mode of transit. As for chain of custody, sorry, you're wrong there too, as long as it was properly documented. As for legally acceptable means of obtaining the materials (in this case, copies of data stored on hard drives, presumably bit-for-bit images of the drive contents), well, they're federal agents who I'm sure signed affidavits attesting to the means utilized to create the copies. Whether or not NZ decides it was okay is up to NZ, but will probably have little to no effect on proceedings in the US.

Now, on to the really important point. Where did you get your legal and/or law enforcement experience? I suspect it may have been a crackerjack box. Sorry, old episodes of Law and Order don't count.

Re:If a private individual tried this (4, Funny)

TheGratefulNet (143330) | more than 2 years ago | (#40239057)

Sorry, old episodes of Law and Order don't count.

are the more recent ones, ok, then?

*snark*

Re:If a private individual tried this (1)

philip.paradis (2580427) | more than 2 years ago | (#40239081)

Only the ones that don't involve computer crimes. Those are still pretty dreadful.

Re:Wait, what? (5, Insightful)

russotto (537200) | more than 2 years ago | (#40238815)

Also, if I was the NZ government, I would be asking FedEx some pretty hard questions. Like: "Considering that you helped a foreign power conspire to break NZ law, why should we allow you to continue to work in our country?"

How would FedEx know? You may as well blame Level 3 for illegal export of bits.

What I want to know (1)

MickLinux (579158) | more than 2 years ago | (#40239249)

I'd like to know if they copied more than 10% of the data, and /or if that falls under the classification of fair use. *Douuble snark*

Re:Wait, what? (4, Funny)

WrongSizeGlass (838941) | more than 2 years ago | (#40238959)

Wait, the MPAA is claiming the Megaupload EULA/TOS as a reason why people shouldn't get their data back? That's kinda a dick move.

I'm sure that the MPAA also wants some type of payment for all those illegal copies the FBI stole and shuttled out of NZ.

Re:Wait, what? (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40239167)

FedEx only shipped a box - it's hard to imagine they knew the exact contents.

Also, isn't there a judge in this case? Why the F*** is the MPAA sympathetic to anything?
It's not in their realm or authority to limit users to their legitimate data, and acting in this
manner will only garnish more distrust for them. It's not by the grace of MPAA, but the execution
of legal principles.

CAPTCHA = waived

Re:Wait, what? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40239201)

Wait, the MPAA is claiming the Megaupload EULA/TOS as a reason why people shouldn't get their data back? That's kinda a dick move.

TFS says:

In a court filing the MPAA said users can have their files back as long as access to copyrighted files is blocked.

Re:Wait, what? (5, Insightful)

Dishevel (1105119) | more than 2 years ago | (#40239247)

I would be asking FedEx some pretty hard questions. Like: "Considering that you helped a foreign power conspire to break NZ law, why should we allow you to continue to work in our country?"

WTF?

So you want FedEx prosecuted in every country for millions of crimes?
You seriously want to bust FedEx because they were the shipper?
Sure why blame the people shipping shit out of a country illegally when you can just bring down the hammer on FedEx.
How did you get an insightful mod with that crap in there?
You prosecute the agents or you penalize the country. You don't go after FedEx or UPS or DHL because the agents used them as a shipper.
Should FedEx have asked if the hard drives were stolen evidence? Do you think that should be one of the check boxes on the shipping form?
I can not fathom how it is possible for you to say that and be smart enough to type. I can only come to the conclusion that you put no thought whatsoever into any part of the drivel that spewed froth from your keyboard.
Next time think about what it is you are saying before you hit submit.

Re:Wait, what? (1)

poetmatt (793785) | more than 2 years ago | (#40239293)

How does the MPAA have any right to do that? Don't they have, you know, zero rights as it's Mega's TOS and their choice of how to enforce it?

Re:Wait, what? (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40239373)

IANAL, but my guess would be they filed papers with the court saying they wouldn't contest the action. It's just makes them sound more ominous and full of themselves to state it as them giving permission.

Re:Wait, what? (5, Interesting)

stephanruby (542433) | more than 2 years ago | (#40239339)

Like: "Considering that you helped a foreign power conspire to break NZ law, why should we allow you to continue to work in our country?"

I can imagine FedEx's response.

"What are you suggesting? That we open every FedEx package we ship out? To check against some kind of real-time up-to-second list provided by the police department for what's already in their evidence locker?

What happens if we don't do that? Are you going to arrest us and freeze all our assets too? Wouldn't it be easier to just put a lock on your evidence locker and carefully vet/punish the people who took out the evidence in the first place? Or at least punish/fire/jail the people who gave them access to that locker? "

Re:Wait, what? (1)

kelemvor4 (1980226) | more than 2 years ago | (#40239471)

Like: "Considering that you helped a foreign power conspire to break NZ law, why should we allow you to continue to work in our country?"

I can imagine FedEx's response.

"What are you suggesting? That we open every FedEx package we ship out? To check against some kind of real-time up-to-second list provided by the police department for what's already in their evidence locker?

What happens if we don't do that? Are you going to arrest us and freeze all our assets too? Wouldn't it be easier to just put a lock on your evidence locker and carefully vet/punish the people who took out the evidence in the first place? Or at least punish/fire/jail the people who gave them access to that locker? "

Even if they had opened the package and seen hard drives, to know there might have been a problem they would have had to connect them to computers and read the data off them. It's just not reasonable in the slightest.

Re:Wait, what? (1)

PPH (736903) | more than 2 years ago | (#40239529)

I can imagine FedEx's response.

"What are you suggesting? That we open every FedEx package we ship out? To check against some kind of real-time up-to-second list provided by the police department for what's already in their evidence locker?

Think of it as a kind of physical 'deep packet inspection'. And if you were an ISP, yes. That's what we'd be having you do once we get our legislation in place.

I think ISPs, cloud services and the like should argue based on a principle of legal equity the next time one of these bills comes up. The Feds aren't rummaging through every UPS package or prying open every mini storage unit on the chance that there's some contraband in there.

Re:Wait, what? (1)

kelemvor4 (1980226) | more than 2 years ago | (#40239459)

Wait, the MPAA is claiming the Megaupload EULA/TOS as a reason why people shouldn't get their data back? That's kinda a dick move.

Also, if I was the NZ government, I would be asking FedEx some pretty hard questions. Like: "Considering that you helped a foreign power conspire to break NZ law, why should we allow you to continue to work in our country?"

Have you even once heard of the MPAA doing anything that could not be accurately described as a dick move? I haven't.

Physical items? (3, Insightful)

Nidi62 (1525137) | more than 2 years ago | (#40238755)

So then what are the hard drives made of if they are not physical?

Re:Physical items? (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40238799)

So then what are the hard drives made of if they are not physical?

Oh, it's funnier than that.

From TFA:

"FBI agents who copied data from Megaupload founder Kim Dotcom's computers and took it overseas were not acting illegally because information isn't "physical material", the Crown says."

Copying information is theft when MPAA says it is, but copying information is not theft when the NZ Feds, acting on FBI's behalf, who themselves were acting on MPAA's behalf, say it isn't!

Re:Physical items? (2)

Mashiki (184564) | more than 2 years ago | (#40238999)

Sounds to me like he should sue them all for copy infringement.

Re:Physical items? (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40239071)

We poke fun at rich people for hypocrisy like this. And yet....they get away with it...

Re:Physical items? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40239319)

NZ doesn't have any Feds. We don't have any states so don't need Feds. We just have the NZ Police

Re:Physical items? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40239329)

Exactly what I came here to say, megaupload was taken down with choppers and guns because people had copied materials on his servers yet when the FBI goes and does the same stunt to the guys they are trying to destroy it's ok. How about America plays by the rules it demands and enforces from the rest of the world, or stands back as another country gets to raid fbi headquaters via helicopter and post all there data back to another country.

Re:Physical items? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40239527)

NZ has Feds? Wouldn't they need to be a federation for that to be possible?

Re:Physical items? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40239645)

Yes.

Also, FBI = Nazi.

Re:Physical items? (4, Informative)

ClintJCL (264898) | more than 2 years ago | (#40238809)

They didn't take the harddrives, they took the copied files. Understand your enemy.

Re:Physical items? (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40238833)

Ah, so making a copy isn't stealing? :P

Re:Physical items? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40238927)

No. It isn't taking. It is stealing, except when it isn't.

Re:Physical items? (1)

mhogomchungu (1295308) | more than 2 years ago | (#40239341)

Making a copy of something and then taking the copy is not stealing since the original something is still there.

If the content on the hard drive were under a copyright, then making a copy without the permission of the license the content was under or without the permission of the owner of the content is copyright infringement

Re:Physical items? (4, Funny)

lightknight (213164) | more than 2 years ago | (#40239357)

I find this irony particularly delicious.

Re:Physical items? (2)

PPH (736903) | more than 2 years ago | (#40239469)

Stealing isn't stealing if you are the US government.

Re:Physical items? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40239673)

No. Making a copy isn't stealing - PERIOD. Send the message to the MAFIAA that we are consistent, unlike them, we don't pick and choose.

It's a shame that the same level of effort (or greater) wasn't spent going after wallstreet bankers after the GFC. Number of convictions/court cases? Just about ZERO.

There is NO JUSTICE. The system is broken. Funny that my captcha code is "systemic" - describes the probelm quite well..

Re:Physical items? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40238939)

Yeah, and copying file's isn't illegal. Wait, didn't the FBI just copy a freaken shiitload of copyrighted material before the FedExed it?! Um.... didn't the FBI just commit BILLIONS of dollars of theft/damage? ;-) Makes as much sense to me as this case at any rate...

Re:Physical items? (2)

I_am_Jack (1116205) | more than 2 years ago | (#40239321)

I think if you read the article again, it's fairly clear these were the HD's from Dotcom's personal computers. The actual Megaupload servers are in Virginia in the US and a location in France. Unless he poached files from Megaupload and stored them on one of his personal HD's, there's no copyrighted material.

Re:Physical items? (2)

GumphMaster (772693) | more than 2 years ago | (#40239485)

Unless he poached files from Megaupload and stored them on one of his personal HD's, there's no copyrighted material.

Anything on those personal hard disks written by DotCom is a work protected by copyright, and that copyright is held by Dotcom. Any email received by Dotcom and stored on those hard disks is a work subject to copyright where the copyright holder is not Dotcom. Any software on those hard disks that was licensed to Dotcom for use on that machine, e.g. Windows, is subject to copyright law and the copyright holder is not Dotcom. To say there is nothing "copyrighted" on those hard disks is to ignore the obvious and swallow the "Big media" line that only they create works subject to copyright law and the protections that offers. Whether Dotcom and others have remedies for unauthorised reproduction of those works available under New Zealand law is a separate matter.

Re:Physical items? (1)

Volante3192 (953645) | more than 2 years ago | (#40238951)

So...they violated Kim's copyrights?

Re:Physical items? (1)

the eric conspiracy (20178) | more than 2 years ago | (#40239061)

Yes, but criminal investigations are immune from copyright infringement claims.

Re:Physical items? (1)

a_n_d_e_r_s (136412) | more than 2 years ago | (#40239169)

So since when is FBI sanction to perform official criminal investigations in NZ ?

Re:Physical items? (1)

philip.paradis (2580427) | more than 2 years ago | (#40239315)

since when

Since the police in NZ gave them access to the source media and allowed the tools required (a bare bones PC, more or less) to use something like "dd" to make copies of said source media. Whether or not NZ is happy about the end result doesn't really matter in real life, and will have little effect on proceedings in the US. Feel free to take the issue up with the NZ authorities if you're upset about it, though.

Re:Physical items? (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40238811)

They were full copies of the hard drives, not the original hard drives themselves.

That sound you're hearing is the frantic scrabbling of millions of freeloading nerds, desperately trying to rationalize some way such that "it's technically not STEALING, so there's nothing at all wrong with downloading movies for free" and "those darn FBIs weren't technically stealing, but it's still entirely WRONG!!!1!" can coexist in the same discussion.

Re:Physical items? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40238855)

That sound you're hearing is the frantic scrabbling of millions of freeloading nerds

What's that I hear? A straw man is coming...!? And useless ad hominems and generalizations too!? The horror!

Re:Physical items? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40238985)

Will someone please think of the children? We need to stop these pedophiles!

(I guess we're listing these, right?)

Re:Physical items? (2, Interesting)

Volante3192 (953645) | more than 2 years ago | (#40239009)

You know that old saying "two wrongs don't make a right"?

A police officer can't break into your room to steal cocaine as evidence against you. Sure, you're breaking the law, but so did law enforcement.

Yeah. (Oh, and I don't see anyone here regularly saying "there's nothing at all wrong with downloading movies for free", troll. In fact, most posters agree to some degree about copyright. What we have problems with are the specifics of the laws, the methods used to enforce them, and the double standard in which they are enforced.)

Re:Physical items? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40239433)

They can't break into your home, but they can and do use prepaid cell phones to report anonymous tips from 'a neighbor smelling pot' or 'a concerned driver behind an erratically swerving sedan' and use that as justification to obtain a warrant or traffic stop of someone guilty of driving-while-black

Let's just say the law isn't the barrier it's cracked up to be when confronted with unchecked corruption.

Re:Physical items? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40239377)

No just the sound of American Hypocrisy. I know you don't hear much but that's because it's being going on since you were born and you just tune it out as part of your enviroment.

Re:Physical items? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40238813)

So then what are the hard drives made of if they are not physical?

It says in the summary that they took a copy.

Re:Physical items? (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40238821)

I guess they'd argue those particular physical hard drives were theirs to begin with. And copying the data isn't depriving the original owner from it.
And we will all get a new chance to be aghast at the turns these cases take.

Re:Physical items? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40238931)

Magic, of course.

Re:Physical items? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40238933)

So then what are the hard drives made of if they are not physical?

Well the data stored on the original drive is stored in a particular way with the platters etc to make it accessible. When it was replicated the data would be cloned so that the data stayed in its same state. Therefore without the hard drive being in the exact same physical state, the drive would be useless.

One could theorise that the drives exported out of the country were infact the original drives with every bit position (which is physical) is the same bit position as the original hard drive. That in itself is physical. The data is irrelevant in this case as the data is made up of those bit positions.

Re:Physical items? (1)

linatux (63153) | more than 2 years ago | (#40238989)

Not enough bandwidth available in NZ to SCP the images - sneakernet wins again!

Re:Physical items? (1)

MartinSchou (1360093) | more than 2 years ago | (#40239193)

Well, if they simply used the internet to send the copies, they'd all be liable for copyright infringement and risk being sent to jail.

Duh!

Another CEO that needs to be Guillotined (4, Insightful)

cpu6502 (1960974) | more than 2 years ago | (#40238807)

When the revolution comes, MPAA's CEO and the managers under him should be in the line for beheading. (Or we could just pass a constitutional amendment that corporations don't have human rights and are not a fictional "person" under the law.)

Re:Another CEO that needs to be Guillotined (1)

Sponge Bath (413667) | more than 2 years ago | (#40238891)

...corporations don't have human rights and are not a fictional "person"

I agree, but I like the beheading idea better. You could even do a ventriloquist act with the severed head to please the angry mob: [moving chin up an down] "Hey kids! Copying that file is bad, m'kay?"

Re:Another CEO that needs to be Guillotined (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40238957)

I've been hearing "when the revolution comes" and "is going to be lined up against the wall" since I was a kid in the 70's. I strongly suspect the revolution will be technological in nature. My generation certainly isn't going to change the status quo. I don't think much of yours (only guessing based on UID) either.

As for corporations, they are made of people. The problem isn't the human rights, the problem is the lack of human responsibilities.

Re:Another CEO that needs to be Guillotined (1)

cpu6502 (1960974) | more than 2 years ago | (#40239037)

Hopefully it will be a peaceful revolution like the Revolution of 1800.

Uhhh... Binary data is physical... (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40238829)

An actual altering of the magnetic particles on the disk between 1 and 0 states.
So it is a physical item. Lots and lots and lots of them. Billions of bits worth of physical items.

What seems to cover this would be say copyrights. And everyones all hard-on for defending copyrights these days...
So the goverments and riaa/mpaa/whoever broke the ONE rule they expect the rest of us to follow.. Not breaking peoples copyrights and illegally copying data.

the ONE THING they want us not to do.. they did in this case. lol

Looks like everyone involved here all agree.... Fuck copyrights. kim dotcom did nothing wrong. the goverment of the usa did nothing wrong. the goverment of new zealand did nothing wrong. Everyone needs to have a coke and a smile and shut the fuck up. EVERYONE involved is guilty.

um, so what's not copyrighted? (1)

Michael the Great (1322235) | more than 2 years ago | (#40238849)

So isn't practically everything created by someone not in the public domain copyrighted? What is musicians stored their music on megaupload? Don't my personal pictures basically have copyright unless I place them in the public domain? What in the world is the MPAA even saying?

Re:um, so what's not copyrighted? (1)

symbolset (646467) | more than 2 years ago | (#40238901)

Even inspecting the data to determine whether or not it's copyrighted material is a serious crime in many places where the customers of MegaUpload live.

Physicality Matters (2)

davidbofinger (703269) | more than 2 years ago | (#40238853)

One of the reasons for the law about shipping evidence out would be to make sure the evidence isn't lost or modified. So in this case the physicality of the data actually is relevant and the law may make sense.

Of course there are separate issues of privacy.

Re:Physicality Matters (2)

Obfuscant (592200) | more than 2 years ago | (#40239107)

One of the reasons for the law about shipping evidence out would be to make sure the evidence isn't lost or modified. So in this case the physicality of the data actually is relevant and the law may make sense.

The data was copied, not lost or modified.

I have no doubt that the copy cannot be used in court, but I also have no doubt that the original can If the FBI finds anything in their analysis of the copy they'll tell the kiwis where to look in the original and the original will be used in court. In fact, it is documented practice for forensic analysts to make a copy of the device they are studying just so that the defence cannot claim that the original was modified during the examination.

The original was obtained, I assume, under legal kiwi means, and thus the FBI looking at it and telling the kiwis what they found isn't much different than the kiwis hiring a technical specialist to do the same.

so who's checking all the files? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40238871)

if people can have access to their files as long as copyrighted files are blocked, then who's checking each and every file to make sure they're not owned by MPAA members?

Everything has copyright (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40238875)

The phrase "users can have their files back as long as access to copyrighted files is blocked" is meaningless as everything is subject to copyright.

Re:Everything has copyright (1)

Skapare (16644) | more than 2 years ago | (#40239531)

My files were encrypted.

nice move, FBI ! (1)

snemiro (1775092) | more than 2 years ago | (#40238879)

So...if the FBI had access to the data, then the data could have been modified. So this makes all hard drives' data accessed by the fbi not useful for a trial.....right? Weird. I would like to know how many people agree in paying tax dollars to an agency to sneak private data just for a private company benefit. Well... like Irak/Afganistan "war"...use tax dollars through the army, navy, cia, etc... to protect private companies assets...that's a good investment!! Then, there is no money for medicare or public education..... Evolution or involution?

Dodgy dealings (5, Informative)

josh_nz (1922612) | more than 2 years ago | (#40238917)

This article puts quite a different spin on it, http://www.nzherald.co.nz/technology/news/article.cfm?c_id=5&objectid=10811266 [nzherald.co.nz] From the article: "He said he had contacted the agents to offer to take clones of the items to the United States Embassy only to find they had already sent the clones to the US." Sounds like the NZ cops were going to give it to the FBI but the FBI wasn't waiting from permission anyway.

Re:Dodgy dealings (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40239605)

And the NZ cops were also supposed to wait for a hearing on the subject, so all the FBI agents did was pre-empt the Crown on messing up. Also, funny that the cop who was supposed to report the events 'went on vacation for a month' the day after.

Re:Dodgy dealings (2)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40239653)

With that sort of circumvention in procedure in mind, I no longer think this is about massive amounts of infringed movie files. This is about something else. The US Government doesn't make this many mistakes, and purposefully fuck up this much procedure, especially Internationally and very publically, unless they're using this farce as a distraction for one reason or another.

To me, it's one of these scenarios:

1) They're purposefully screwing up procedure, and international treaty in the name of copyright infringement, to permanently sour the MPAA's perception world-wide. They're doing all of this on behalf of the MPAA. The DOJ is stocked with ex-MPAA legal puppets so it's easy to see why they'd pursue this to begin with.

or,

2) The US is using the scenario in 1, to get to some data that was put there serruptitiously, by a foreign entity. Think large amounts of 'pilfered' data, that necessarily wasn't able to get transferred over the net by normal means. This smells way too much of a cover for massive industrial espionage. Either government sponsored data, or corporate, and I'm betting it belongs to China.

FedEx filters (5, Funny)

Smiddi (1241326) | more than 2 years ago | (#40238925)

FedEx aided in copying data illegally. FedEx should have filters in place blocking any illegal items (or data) from passing through their services, thus stopping companies and people from breaking the law. /SARCASM

Re:FedEx filters (1)

lightknight (213164) | more than 2 years ago | (#40239407)

Indeed. The US economy hasn't been mishandled enough, let's impose a few more nightmarish policies to see just what it will take to break the backbone of this country.

Re:FedEx filters (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40239633)

If you think the backbone is still intact, boy do I have news for you buddy...

Re:FedEx filters (1)

Fnord666 (889225) | more than 2 years ago | (#40239651)

Indeed. The US economy hasn't been mishandled enough, let's impose a few more nightmarish policies to see just what it will take to break the backbone of this country.

You may say that in jest, but in reality that is probably what it will take for the United States to finally wake up and do something about it.

Re:FedEx filters (1)

enoz (1181117) | more than 2 years ago | (#40239627)

Redundant, Customs and Border Protection already does Deep Packet Inspection.

US Behaviour (4, Insightful)

ThePeices (635180) | more than 2 years ago | (#40238947)

I remember when the prosecution was opposing Kim's bail application, the reasoning for their opposition being that Kim would flee the country, being the dishonest rich person he is.

He never did.

And now the prosecution were caught doing unethical and illegal behavior.

Who are the dishonest ones here? Who are the criminals blatantly breaking the law?

Unsurprisingly, the majority of the NZ population side with Kim Dotcom throughout this entire farce.

Re:US Behaviour (1)

viperidaenz (2515578) | more than 2 years ago | (#40239039)

Flee the country... yeah right.
How? With a fake passport? If it's that easy for anyone with money to get on an international flight undetected wouldn't there be a few more terrorist attacks?
It's not like hes hard to spot either, a 7 foot tall 4 foot wide guy with an accent and a tiny asian wife next to him..

Re:US Behaviour (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40239441)

obviously your not a sailor.

Great way to burn your bridges (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40238981)

One thing which you can be sure of.

The FBI have really screwed themselves in the future as NZ will be disinclined to help them on any other subject matter.

FBI: "Here are the forms required to extradite this person"
NZ: "Oh I'm sorry you seem to have missed form 4b. You will have to start all over again and there is a cooling off period of 2 years."
FBI: "Wait, there is a no form 4b".

Sounds like a crime has taken place (1)

viperidaenz (2515578) | more than 2 years ago | (#40238993)

The FBI has made illegal copies of copyrighted material owned by Kim Dotcom and exported the illegal copies to USA. Arrest the FBI for copyright infringement and FedEx for smuggling illegal counterfeits

Re:Sounds like a crime has taken place (1)

the eric conspiracy (20178) | more than 2 years ago | (#40239027)

Under US (and I bet most other countries laws) Law enforcement agencies are immune from copyright law while investigating crimes.

Re:Sounds like a crime has taken place (2)

a_n_d_e_r_s (136412) | more than 2 years ago | (#40239183)

Yes, but are FBI an offically sanctioned law enforcement agency in NZ ?

Re:Sounds like a crime has taken place (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40239695)

Better Question: Do the FBI agents have diplomatic immunity?

Alert! PSA Required... (1)

ae1294 (1547521) | more than 2 years ago | (#40239053)

Hey FBI G-Men! - DON'T COPY THAT FLOPPY!!! [youtube.com] brought to you by the SIIA.

Jurisdiction (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40239175)

FEDGOV claims US citizens are subject to US law worldwide. So investigators going to NZ to ship "evidence" to USA in violation of any law, but particularly interstate traffic (from another country has been ruled interstate), means they violated DOMESTIC laws (US flagged vessels). File in USA for criminal violations against officials including prosecutors and agents who "conspired" to violate the law. Many layers of claims. Violation of profession, violation of pledge, violation of policy, violation of law, civil violations galore.

Finally. A case where the lawyers SHOULD become annoying.

JJ

This. (1)

catmistake (814204) | more than 2 years ago | (#40239177)

Do not underestimate the bandwidth of a parcel filled harddrives overnighted to a foreign country half-way around the world.

serious felonies (1)

harvey the nerd (582806) | more than 2 years ago | (#40239199)

Surely there is a few thousand felonies in there somewhere with peoples' medical and financial information.

Re:serious felonies (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40239231)

... or child porn

Re:serious felonies (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40239245)

this

Ok I Missing something (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40239207)

Why the hell does the MPAA have any say in a criminal matter? Do they actually own NZ or something?

Copying isn't stealing (0)

k(wi)r(kipedia) (2648849) | more than 2 years ago | (#40239237)

Despite the fact that removal of evidence in this manner without official approval (and a chance for the defendant to challenge it) appears to be illegal, the New Zealand government is now left arguing on a technicality â" that the law only covers 'physical' items.

A "ingenious" argument that file-sharers can cite as "proof" that copying isn't stealing. Not that it would help any would-be defendant in a copyright infringement case. Still, it's good counter-propaganda against those who like to make an emotional case for "pirates" being the digital equivalent of shoplifters, e.g. that you don't just walk into a record store and walk away with a CD without paying. Unlicensed downloads aren't a form of theft because you don't walk away with anything but the song in your head.

Hey U$A (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40239503)

$UCK DICK ..!..

NOT "copyrighted files" (4, Insightful)

ffflala (793437) | more than 2 years ago | (#40239533)

...because all copyrightable material is under copyright from the moment of its creation. That would include all original works, all writings, etc... they're copyrighted, and the creator owns the copyright.

What MPAA wants to disallow is in bold...

"If the Court is willing to consider allowing access for users such as Mr. Goodwin to allow retrieval of files, it is essential that the mechanism include a procedure that ensures that any materials the users access and copy or download are not files that have been illegally uploaded to their accounts."

To that, I'll add "allegedly illegally uploaded." The court as a finder of law can't determine that the files were illegally uploaded; a finder of fact (jury) needs to do that.

Nonsense. (2)

John Hasler (414242) | more than 2 years ago | (#40239563)

If the evidence had been paper documents and the NZ police had let the FBI take xerox copies back to the USA would you say that they took evidence out of the country? The actual evidence --the actual, original drives-- is still in NZ. No evidence was made unavailable to the defense. I oppose criminal prosecution for copyright infringement, but let's try not to invent bogus outrages. The real ones are quite sufficient.

Data theft/copying (1)

nurb432 (527695) | more than 2 years ago | (#40239583)

Soooo does this mean the US Federal government agrees that copying data without permission isn't a crime?

Sure sounds like it.

spies, they're all spies (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40239643)

What I'm wondering...

If the FBI exfiltrated millions of dollars in stolen software....

isn't that economic espionage by definition? I mean -- when they shipped out of country, did they declare on the customs forms:

"Hard drives", "evidence" or...

$50,000,000,000,000 of pirated software...

Did they pay the tariffs and taxes?

I'm sure they can import it to the US just fine however they declared it... but if I was them, I'd be watching to see if NZ arrests their family, relatives, or them on any subsequent visits...

Even if it's with cooperation of local law enforcement, getting caught in espionage while acting under the control of a foreign power is... serious fucking business...

And have no doubts about it -- smuggling police evidence out of its jurisdiction, even if using law enforcement agents... is exactly a form of espionage.

They'd be lucky to spend a decade in jail if caught again.

judgement (2)

Fuck_this_place (2652095) | more than 2 years ago | (#40239659)

You people are all insane.

Busted (1)

Nihn (1863500) | more than 2 years ago | (#40239669)

"that the law only covers 'physical' items." If the is true then the case against Dotcom is negated. If there is no physical material missing it is not theft. And digital copies preserve the original version, there is nothing taken, just copied. And the option to copy was given by the same people who file law suits I feel the plaintiff should be tried with fraud with the intent to deprive people of money and/or property.

They didnt do anything wrong. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40239723)

This is a stupid posting that is worded to make the government sound they did something wrong for the sake of getting hits when they didnt. They didnt take any evidence, they didnt steal anything, they didnt sneak out anything. All they did was copy information for their own use in the case. Its no different than if they took a picture or photocopied something. They didnt break any laws.

Besides even if they did who the hell is going to hold them accountable? No one thats who because its the US government.

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