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NZ Broke the Law Spying On Kim Dotcom, PM Apologizes

timothy posted about 2 years ago | from the no-hard-feelings-right? dept.

Crime 235

Mad Hamster writes "In the latest installment of the megaupload saga, an official study has determined that New Zealand's Government Communications and Security Bureau broke NZ law by spying on Megaupload founder Kim Dotcom. NZ Prime Minister John Key has apologised to Dotcom and all New Zealanders for this, saying they were entitled to be protected by the law but it had failed them. Link is to writeup in The Guardian." Lots of outlets are reporting this, based on TorrentFreak's report.

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very simple lesson from this (5, Insightful)

mapkinase (958129) | about 2 years ago | (#41476839)

Don't do wrong, especially to bad people, since in the latter case you have to apologize to bad people, and it sucks.

Re:very simple lesson from this (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41477021)

Who are these "bad people" you write about?

Re:very simple lesson from this (2, Funny)

partyguerrilla (1597357) | about 2 years ago | (#41477067)

Pirate enablers.

Re:very simple lesson from this (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41477205)

Well, the corporations are enablers just so much as Dotcom himself was due to their policies, practices, laws they bought and generally how they treat their customers.

A Dotcom was bound to come eventually with how they were doing it, it just turned out to be that guy. The companies and corporation promoted them just as much, if not more, than he did just by making sure the pirated versions were almost always superior quality and less hassle than what they put out.

Re:very simple lesson from this (4, Funny)

Nitage (1010087) | about 2 years ago | (#41477209)

What, like people who sell eye-patches, parrots, and wooden legs without asking for ID?

Re:very simple lesson from this (2)

Reverand Dave (1959652) | about 2 years ago | (#41477517)

*shakes fist* those accursed parrot peddlers! ID or not!

Re:very simple lesson from this (5, Funny)

geekanarchy (769840) | about 2 years ago | (#41477881)

General Motors = Dry-by shooting enabler.
ExxonMobil = Arson enabler.
Louisville Slugger = Mugging enabler.
Pacific Lumber Company = Mugging enabler enabler.
Slashdot = Trolling enabler.

Re:very simple lesson from this (2)

Mordok-DestroyerOfWo (1000167) | about 2 years ago | (#41477975)

Godwin = Nazi enabler?

Re:very simple lesson from this (5, Insightful)

MightyMartian (840721) | about 2 years ago | (#41478167)

So what about pirates like UMG, who sell music for direct profit without the permission of the rights holders, and without adequate accounting controls to even give a proper statement of sales and royalties? If Kim Dotcom can have commandos break down his front door, why aren't you demanding the immediate arrest of the CEO, CFO, CIO and the board of directors of UMg?

And why aren't you demanding an immediate deep forensic audit by the IRS of every Hollywood film made over the last thirty years?

Double standards much?

Bad people == adversary (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41477495)

Opponents, adversaries, etc. Anyone you're in conflict with. If you're trying to beat someone, and if it's going to end up in public (i.e. you can't just have a quick stab in a dark alley) then don't go out of your way to put yourself in a situation where you are the one who must crawl on your belly before them.

Take the high road and then when they make the first mistake, you can righteously sit there on your horse, looking down with disgust at them and their shocking behavior. You are clearly the good guy, and your shit doesn't stink. And if you're the good guy, the other guy must be the bad one.

In this case, the government(s) didn't even try to do things right, which is funny because it would have been so easy. Making Dotcom end up being the bad guy, would have been trivial. Instead, overwhelming incompetence and a complete disregard for both law and appearance took over, and government tripped over itself to make sure that if there's ever a question of "who is the criminal?" nearly every single member of the public, and likely any judges and juries, would know the answer is "the government, of course."

They made Dotcom the victim of vigilante force, and if there's a court case it's going to be about how much we owe him in compensation.

Re:very simple lesson from this (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41477499)

Who are these "bad people" you write about?

He was speaking in general terms, I'll put it simply so your mind can handle it.

Don't be an asshat and you won't have to eat crow.

Re:very simple lesson from this (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41477679)

You feeling yourself superior now? I'm glad, I could help.

Re:very simple lesson from this (5, Insightful)

dmbasso (1052166) | about 2 years ago | (#41477039)

Don't do wrong, especially to bad people, since in the latter case you have to apologize to bad people, and it sucks.

Only if you have honor. That doesn't apply to 99% of politicians.

Re:very simple lesson from this (5, Insightful)

Mitreya (579078) | about 2 years ago | (#41477101)

Don't do wrong, especially to bad people, since in the latter case you have to apologize to bad people

Cool - and next US can apologize for seizing his assets and we can forget about this little ugly incident?

How about trying to compensate him for the damage? Who is lining up to do that?

From the TFA:

American authorities are appealing against a New Zealand court decision that Dotcom should be allowed to see the evidence on which the extradition hearing will be based.

Ah, another proud day for America :(

Re:very simple lesson from this (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41477119)

They didn't do wrong, they did illegal. And had to apologize. You or me do illegal, its jail-time and fines.

Re:very simple lesson from this (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41477139)

No the lesson here is if you break the law you go to jail, if government breaks the law you get a half-hearted apology.

Re:very simple lesson from this (1)

schlachter (862210) | about 2 years ago | (#41477199)

The US could learn a lesson or two from NZ. Impressive. Now NZ should compensate Kim for his business/personal losses.

Re:very simple lesson from this (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41477727)

The US could learn a lesson or two from NZ.

Why? Are they giving a class on sheep shagging?

Re:very simple lesson from this (4, Insightful)

mcgrew (92797) | about 2 years ago | (#41477281)

If you have to apologize, you ARE the "bad people."

Re:very simple lesson from this (1, Insightful)

Diss Champ (934796) | about 2 years ago | (#41477583)

Everyone screws up sometimes. I'd say that if you feel you DON'T ever have to apologize for anything that's a lot worse. That sort of view is part of why we so often get only psychotics who never admit to doing anything wrong in positions of power. The decent folks admit it when they screw up, try to fix it, are attacked for having displayed a weakness, and so tend not to prosper.

Of course, to apologize is only part of making things right when you screw up. But it is an important first step.

Re:very simple lesson from this (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41477815)

If you have to apologize, you ARE the "bad people."

Or maybe you're just a bunch of spineless pussies.

Re:very simple lesson from this (4, Funny)

Joce640k (829181) | about 2 years ago | (#41477589)

I'm sure the apology makes him feel much better. He's probably celebrating right now.

Weirdly enough the article seems to have skipped the bit about where the lawbreakers are being processed by the law along with the return of his property and some restitution for his losses. I'm sure it's happening though. I mean, why wouldn't it?

Re:very simple lesson from this (1)

kelemvor4 (1980226) | about 2 years ago | (#41477961)

Don't do wrong, especially to bad people, since in the latter case you have to apologize to bad people, and it sucks.

I don't think it should matter. Even if he is a "bad person" he has rights until he is convicted of a crime and they are revoked. At least that's how it works in civilized countries. I'm all for busting him up if he did commit a crime, but if a country throws it's own laws out the window when it's convenient then the laws are really pretty worthless. Might as well just take an "every man for himself" attitude at that point.

Whats this?! (5, Insightful)

PPalmgren (1009823) | about 2 years ago | (#41476873)

A politician and government owning their mistake? Color me impressed.

Re:Whats this?! (5, Funny)

aeortiz (1498977) | about 2 years ago | (#41476901)

Happy to oblige! What's the RGB code for impressed?

Re:Whats this?! (2)

i kan reed (749298) | about 2 years ago | (#41476965)

It appears to be a light blue. .impressed
{
    color: #impressed
}

<span class="impressed">I'm light blue</span>

Re:Whats this?! (1)

Type44Q (1233630) | about 2 years ago | (#41477251)

What's the RGB code for impressed?

I don't know about RGB per se but for the colors of emotions, I'd definitely consult one of Iain M. Banks' [wikipedia.org] non-biological characters. :)

Re:Whats this?! (1)

haydensdaddy (1719524) | about 2 years ago | (#41476933)

Yes, being from the U.S., this was the part of the story that piqued my interest. An apology from the government? We've never heard of such a thing. In fact if you listen to certain parties in the presidential race, government should never apologize!

Re:Whats this?! (1)

nettdata (88196) | about 2 years ago | (#41477113)

I'm also impressed that the investigation was done so fast and the apology given as quickly as it was.

Re:Whats this?! (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41477175)

Unless there is accountability then an apology is simply words. You need both to right this type of wrong.

Re:Whats this?! (5, Insightful)

Trailer Trash (60756) | about 2 years ago | (#41477285)

Owning their "mistake"? No. It's like Janet Reno "taking responsibility" for the deaths at Waco.

Let me explain this. I'll do it slowly so everybody can follow along.

If someone "broke the law" that makes them a _______? The correct answer is "criminal". By definition.

What do we do to criminals? Well, if only we had a system that would try them for their crime and determine an appropriate punishment.

Oh, wait, we do. It's called a "court" and the punishment is a "prison".

Unless someone in the government is charged with the crimes and subsequently convicted, the "apology" is meaningless. A governmental official breaking the law (even if "under orders") is far more serious than some guy smoking pot in his house. So let's treat it as such.

Re:Whats this?! (3, Insightful)

Reverand Dave (1959652) | about 2 years ago | (#41477555)

This. Why are people so fucking pleased with an apology? If there is a particularly bad pothole in the road, I want an apology and to have it fixed. If a civil authority fails to follow the same laws it imposes on it's populace, heads should roll and jail sentences should be handed out.

Re:Whats this?! (1)

GameboyRMH (1153867) | about 2 years ago | (#41477691)

An apology is just so great compared to the "fuck you, deal with it" that we've all come to expect.

Re:Whats this?! (2)

nedlohs (1335013) | about 2 years ago | (#41477689)

No, we also take mistakes into account.

If you mistakenly pick up the wrong bag you will usually be able to explain the error and not get arrested and charged with theft. Heck you can shoot someone and if the police believe your story that the guy was attacking you won't get arrested or charged with that either (at least until it becomes a major national news story).

And of course you only get hit with whatever the law states is the penalty. Often enough such restrictions on government actions don't bother having penalties.

Re:Whats this?! (4, Insightful)

The Moof (859402) | about 2 years ago | (#41478039)

No, we also take mistakes into account.

Yea, we do to an extent. But this wasn't a case of "oops, we accidentally spied on you," this was a case of "we intentionally spied on you, and it turns out that was illegal."

Ignorance of the law doesn't make you exempt from the punishment for your crime.

Re:Whats this?! (2)

wile_e_wonka (934864) | about 2 years ago | (#41477525)

What mistake? A mistake is accidental. My understanding is that this spying was not mistaken, accidental spying. "Oh, we meant to spy on your neighbor, the druglord, and accidentally came upon this...."

This was not a mistake. Someone made a decision to do something in violation of the law, and then carried out acts in violation of the law. "To catch a thief" is not sufficient justification in my mind for violation of the law by government officials.

Fair is fair (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41476907)

Since government broke their side of the "social contract", I expect that citizens should be able to do so with no recourse.

(If you look close enough, you will find that government routinely breaks their side of the "contract".)

Still not over. (4, Insightful)

Infernal Device (865066) | about 2 years ago | (#41476915)

Awesome. Thanks.

Now, how about handing out some punishments to the people responsible, so they don't try this sort of bullshit again?

Re:Still not over. (5, Insightful)

davegravy (1019182) | about 2 years ago | (#41477137)

Whoa Whoa WHOA!

That's not the kind apology the PM was offering. It was more a "sorry about your luck" kind of apology, not the "this is broken and needs to be fixed" variety.

Re:Still not over. (1)

Hotawa Hawk-eye (976755) | about 2 years ago | (#41478089)

Right. This sounded more like "I'm sorry you're upset about what we did to you." not "I'm sorry about what we did to you."

Re:Still not over. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41477151)

Exactly. I doubt I could break the law and get away withit by apologizing, so why should they?

Re:Still not over. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41477245)

Now, how about handing out some punishments to the people responsible, so they don't try this sort of bullshit again?

Also I don't hear any talk about reimbursing him for the damage done.
Unless the apology actually means "Sorry, but if we don't like you, we are going to have to fuck you over - illegally if we have to. But we will probably apologize later!"

Re:Still not over. (1)

fustakrakich (1673220) | about 2 years ago | (#41477307)

Can't do that. The whole government and its supporters would be in jail. Until we vote them out we are all responsible. Keeping the government honest is our responsibility.

Re:Still not over. (3, Insightful)

lister king of smeg (2481612) | about 2 years ago | (#41477481)

Or at least is was until we started calling whistles blowers enemy of the state (like one Julian Assange) now people that try to keep the government honest are to be executed with extreme prejudiced.

Re:Still not over. (1)

fustakrakich (1673220) | about 2 years ago | (#41477561)

No, it still is. If you want to change the rules, you have to change the people who make them.

Re:Still not over. (3, Insightful)

Infernal Device (865066) | about 2 years ago | (#41477547)

It's also your job to punish failure and merely "not re-electing" them is a pretty weak gesture, honestly.

These people ignored the law, destroyed the man's business, and handed the assets over to a foreign government who will never return them. How about I kick in your door in the middle of the night, steal all your assets and hand them over to the Chinese government and say it's punishment for all the slave labor that goes into producing half the goods you and your family use to survive?

Sorry, but I think it's time some people were very publicly named, shamed and imprisoned for not only their failure to follow the law, but the misinterpretation of it in the first place.

Public service is a privilege and the failure to properly exercise that privilege should, by definition, come with a higher punishment than standard crimes.

Hollow sentiment (5, Insightful)

L4t3r4lu5 (1216702) | about 2 years ago | (#41476937)

Come back when you've prosecuted those guilty of breaking the law during this process, all the way up to your own staff. I'd also say that he should be compensated for losses, but it would be paid with tax payer money, and ultimately it's not the tax payers who threw him to the wolves.

FWIW, Kim Dotcom is a scheister with a history of extremely shady business dealings, but even criminals deserve justice.

Re:Hollow sentiment (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41477047)

Kim Dotcom is a scheister with a history of extremely shady business dealings

Citation needed.

Re:Hollow sentiment (4, Informative)

L4t3r4lu5 (1216702) | about 2 years ago | (#41477109)

Kim Dotcom is a scheister with a history of extremely shady business dealings

Citation needed.

Kim Schmitz' criminal history [wikipedia.org] with all of the citations you need.

Re:Hollow sentiment (5, Insightful)

X.25 (255792) | about 2 years ago | (#41477355)

Kim Schmitz' criminal history with all of the citations you need.

And?

He did stupid things when he was younger. Real shocker.

He has been living a decent life for a long time, he has settled down and became a real family man, and you are still going to justify shit done to him now because of things he has done 10+ years ago (and was held responsible for it and was punished)?

He is turning up to be the most honest of the whole bunch involved in this circus.

Re:Hollow sentiment (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41477573)

And?

And thus the parent's request for proof that he has a bad history has been answered. There is no "and".

He has been living a decent life for a long time, he has settled down and became a real family man, and you are still going to justify shit done to him now because of things he has done 10+ years ago (and was held responsible for it and was punished)?

Maybe he has. Maybe he just managed to not get caught. The law has a statute of limitations, I do not. Nowhere did the poster attempt to justify what was done, in fact if you actually bothered to READ the posts instead of posting a knee-jerk response you wouldn't be looking like a grade A idiot right now.

Re:Hollow sentiment (1)

nedlohs (1335013) | about 2 years ago | (#41477729)

He didn't "justify shit done to him now", in fact he explicitly stating "even criminals deserve justice" in the same sentence.

Re:Hollow sentiment (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41477785)

Meh, most of that seems to be naivety of youth and that's even with the fact the Wikipedia article seems to be written with a hint of bias against him:

"With insider trading charges pending, Schmitz decided it was time to lay low (by his standards)"

By his standards? what's that supposed to mean? that sounds like a pretty subjective jab being made, rather than a simple factual commentary.

It doesn't look like he's done anything wrong in about 10 years now beyond the Megaupload case so he was still in his 20s when all this happened. If the prosecution had to provide criminal intent in the insider trading case and he genuinely did it with naivety then where is the criminality? It's certainly less criminal than much of the goings on in banks that's been uncovered since the advent of the financial crisis where no one has been punished.

Honestly, as far as criminal backgrounds go I have more problem with someone who has a driving conviction for driving whilst on their mobile phone - at least that sort of conviction means they were a real actual danger to someone. This isn't to completely defend his actions, but honestly, there are far worse people in the world out there far less deserving of justice than this guy. He's not done anything so ethically or morally wrong that anyone can reasonably suggest it's justification for him to deserve having his rights run roughshod over.

Re:Hollow sentiment (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41477145)

Err, look at his Wikipedia entry. Plenty of references there. Let's not try to paint him to be a saint or champion of copyright reform. He's like 99% of the population and quite self-serving. Good for him.

Re:Hollow sentiment (4, Insightful)

Nyder (754090) | about 2 years ago | (#41477057)

...

FWIW, Kim Dotcom is a scheister with a history of extremely shady business dealings, but even criminals deserve justice.

Yep, well, it seems to me if he was such a bad character, then they wouldn't need to break laws and trample his rights bring him to justice.

Re:Hollow sentiment (1)

L4t3r4lu5 (1216702) | about 2 years ago | (#41477153)

You do realise that history is the past, right? It's in his past. He has a past history of crime, including breaking in to protected computer systems and selling access for profit, and pump-and-dumping stock fraud.

Re:Hollow sentiment (1)

NatasRevol (731260) | about 2 years ago | (#41477425)

Isn't 'past history' redundant?

Re:Hollow sentiment (1)

L4t3r4lu5 (1216702) | about 2 years ago | (#41477743)

Yes. I felt I needed to be explicit, though, as some people don't seem to understand that "history" is longer than a couple of months ago.

Re:Hollow sentiment (1)

nedlohs (1335013) | about 2 years ago | (#41477773)

Obviously, but apparently Nyder didn't know what the word history meant, and so it was explained to him.

Making redundant statements to more clearly repeat a claim that has been misunderstood due to an apparent lack of knowledge of a particular word's meaning isn't that unusual.

Re:Hollow sentiment (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41477189)

An asshat who takes advantage of people still deserves the protection of law UNLESS he can be proved to have broken it.

I don't think any government can legitimately claim that he has, even if he might be a scheister. Obviously, I'm discounting US claims as illegitimate. Even if he was aware the site was hosting copyrighted content, his only legal obligation was to react to legitimate requests for removal, which I believe they did. Beyond that, it blows my mind that this could be a criminal case...

Re:Hollow sentiment (4, Interesting)

aaaaaaargh! (1150173) | about 2 years ago | (#41477981)

An asshat who takes advantage of people still deserves the protection of law [snip].

FTFY. I know this is hard to get into some people's brains but everybody is under the protection of law, including people who break it.

Re:Hollow sentiment (3, Interesting)

aaaaaaargh! (1150173) | about 2 years ago | (#41477933)

Please notice also the apparent fact that "...police clearly knew of Dotcom’s residency status when they compiled a planning document known as the 'Blue Folder' in which help from the anti-terrorist Special Tactics Group was requested." (emphasis mine)

If that's true, they apparently didn't just break the law intentionally, but also got the "Anti-terrorist Special Tactics Group" involved. Because we all know that running a business which might enable people to commit copyright infringement is terrorism.

Re:Hollow sentiment (2)

schwit1 (797399) | about 2 years ago | (#41477221)

No doubt.

Somebody at the top needs to go to jail for a long time, and anybody who knew about it and didn't try to stop it should be fired and heavily fined.

For John Key to do otherwise is to tacitly approve it and only be upset that they got caught.

NB
In the USA these criminal actions would warrant promotions.

Re:Hollow sentiment (1)

fustakrakich (1673220) | about 2 years ago | (#41477353)

...it's not the tax payers who threw him to the wolves.

Yes it is. They vote for the people who did this, and will do little to remove them.

Re:Hollow sentiment (1)

TFAFalcon (1839122) | about 2 years ago | (#41477449)

Well the solution is simple, pay him with tax money, then recover it from those responsible.

Kudos! (2)

zixxt (1547061) | about 2 years ago | (#41476961)

Kudos and well done John Key you have earned my respect, New Zealand sounds like a awesome place.

Here in America we are still waiting for Obama to apologize for murdering American citizens, and putting us in concentration camps.

Re:Kudos! (1)

OverkillTASF (670675) | about 2 years ago | (#41477135)

I knew I didn't like Obama, I just didn't realize I had been killed and have been living in a concentration camp?

Re:Kudos! (1)

dkleinsc (563838) | about 2 years ago | (#41477913)

That's because you aren't Anwar Al-Awlaki, or his son (neither of which were ever proven to have anything to do with terrorism in any kind of judicial process).

As far as living in a concentration camp, I assume he's referring to Gitmo, which last I checked had released the US citizens imprisoned there (e.g. Yaser Esam Hamdi, in 2004).

Re:Kudos! (1)

digitalchinky (650880) | about 2 years ago | (#41477181)

The apology is worthless. If you set up the same intercept kit the government is using - which is not actually illegal, all on NZ soil, then used it to intercept the PM's phone and data channels via a box in the telco exchange, a satellite link, or the cell tower microwave trunks in his area, you would be fined or more likely end up in jail.

The law is quite clear on this, if one end point is overseas and one domestic, the domestic party can never be identified. Ever. Regardless of citizenship.

Re:Kudos! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41477317)

The term they used is "foreign agent". The fact Dotcom is a permanent resident makes him outside the jurisdiction of the GBDGSBSGSGS (sic). You can have foreign agents on NZ soil (on a visit, waiting for their status to clear, etc) and they could be monitored in the manner that they did this mess in.

This is not unique to NZ. The CSIS in Canada can do pretty much the same as proved since 9/11.

Re:Kudos! (1)

digitalchinky (650880) | about 2 years ago | (#41477793)

I'm an ex-3-letter agency drone of more than a decade, your qualification on the subject good sir is what exactly? Best guess?

Apology means nothing, words are cheap. (4, Insightful)

SmallFurryCreature (593017) | about 2 years ago | (#41477013)

This report shows that officials broke the law. People that break the law should be investigated, if they did it willfully or worse, for profit, then they should go to jail.

Fairly sure that won't happen.

Hope Kim DotCom has the balls to sue the hell out of the New Zealand government, basically they are now responsible for disrupting his business and the service to millions of users with no cause. No point in sueing the US, Americans have no honor but if the New Zealand government has to cough up several hundred millions, other governments might grow a backbone. Human rights matter little but no politician like to be held accountable for such a visible waste of tax payers money. HAHA, yeah, I know.

Re:Apology means nothing, words are cheap. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41477535)

Hope Kim DotCom has the balls to sue the hell out of the New Zealand government

New Zealanders don't really do lawsuits. It's more of a "oh well, it was a learning experience" sort of thing. New Zealand has "government inquiries" and "investigations", which can occasionally result in victims being given money for bad practises (and maybe levies going up), but those tend to be trying to push the perpetrators to spend money (or fix problems) instead of the victims pulling money from others.

Re:Apology means nothing, words are cheap. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41478153)

"Hope Kim DotCom has the balls to sue the hell out of the New Zealand government, basically they are now responsible for disrupting his business and the service to millions of users with no cause. No point in sueing the US, the **American Government** has no honor but if the New Zealand government has to cough up several hundred millions, other governments might grow a backbone. Human rights matter little but no politician like to be held accountable for such a visible waste of tax payers money. HAHA, yeah, I know."

There. Fixed that for you. Do not assume the general American population agrees with our governmental policies. However, it seems that no matter who is elected to replace the last idiot in charge, we simply end up with another one. This will remain until our two party system is abolished, the media is no longer controlled by a few companies and folks put down their phones and Starbucks long enough to give a sh*t.

Oh! "We're Very Sorry"?! (4, Insightful)

Greyfox (87712) | about 2 years ago | (#41477017)

Whoopsie, we illegally destroyed your multi-million dollar company and damaged the brand to the point that even if we gave you all your servers back your user base will never recover to what it was! Our bad!

Talk is cheap. Sending the people who actually broke the law to jail and paying Kim for lost revenue would be a step in the right direction. Even then, his company has been irreparably damaged by these actions.

Re:Oh! "We're Very Sorry"?! (5, Insightful)

cpghost (719344) | about 2 years ago | (#41477075)

Even then, his company has been irreparably damaged by these actions.

Which was precisely the point of the drill, wasn't it? Legalities matter little to those in power: results do.

Re:Oh! "We're Very Sorry"?! (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41477233)

That's why we have punitive fines. e.g. those in power should be stripped of such power. forever. You destroy a company illegally, the remainder of your life will suck.

Re:Oh! "We're Very Sorry"?! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41477103)

Agreed. I'm certain Kim will chase after the NZ government for damages in a civil court.

The PM's apology is hollow. No mention of any action on the accountable parties and no mention of reviewing processes to ensure that this never happens again. Someone was too keen to ingratiate himself with the Americans and he should pay the price!

Re:Oh! "We're Very Sorry"?! (1)

schlachter (862210) | about 2 years ago | (#41477179)

not multi million dollar company...but BILLION dollar company...according to some valuations bf the incident

Re:Oh! "We're Very Sorry"?! (3, Interesting)

Rogerborg (306625) | about 2 years ago | (#41477297)

What "lost revenue"? Is that like when media companies "lose revenue" to piracy because someone else's actions result in them getting less money than they think they deserve?

That argument cuts both ways. Since "Dotcom" was - let's be honest - growing rich from ripping off the MPAA et al, I find it hard to sympathise with his predicament.

No, that doesn't mean I'm pro MPAA - we're just watching a struggle between an engorged leech and the bloated tick that fastened onto it.

Re:Oh! "We're Very Sorry"?! (2)

Ambiguous Coward (205751) | about 2 years ago | (#41477595)

Is that like when media companies "lose revenue" to piracy because someone else's actions result in them getting less money than they think they deserve?

That's a poor analogy between the two. A better one would be if pirates, instead of copying music/movies, literally kidnapped all the actors/performers.

Re:Oh! "We're Very Sorry"?! (1)

Asic Eng (193332) | about 2 years ago | (#41477461)

But NZ is not responsible for the servers, or are they? They'd point to the US government for that, and I think that would be correct in this case.

Good, now prosecute the people responsible (3, Interesting)

MikeRT (947531) | about 2 years ago | (#41477105)

Now the PM needs to follow up by tasking their equivalent of the US Attorney General to investigate and prosecute. If that equivalent is implicated, the PM needs to appoint a special prosecutor to carry out the investigation and file charges where appropriate. As a conservative American, I gladly include our representatives to New Zealand in that mix if legally possible and they conspired to break the laws (meaning were briefed and involved in the strategy for taking down Dotcom). If the roles were reversed, I'd want to see New Zealand's people taken away in dark SUVs by G-Men on charge of violating civil liberties under color of authority (a felony in the US).

Re:Good, now prosecute the people responsible (1)

dkleinsc (563838) | about 2 years ago | (#41477131)

Now the PM needs to follow up by tasking their equivalent of the US Attorney General to investigate and prosecute

Well, the same position, but different in that the NZ guy needs to actually prosecute government officials when they commit crimes.

AMAZINGLY stupid on the US/NZ government... (5, Insightful)

nweaver (113078) | about 2 years ago | (#41477215)

This business is amazingly stupid on the part of the US and New Zealand governments. MegaUpload really was a criminal enterprise: their entire business model was facilitated on fake takedowns, incentives for copyright violations, and other games. That it is gone is good riddance.

But they didn't need to create a massive violation of the law like this and create a huge circus about it: They had enough evidence to get plenty of legal wiretaps. They didn't need to come in with the SWAT team. If they played it by the book, Mr Dotcom would probably already have been extradited to the US.

But instead it is horribly misplayed, and as a result there is a non-trivial chance that Dotcom will slip free with his millions intact.

This is why law enforcement needs to actually follow the law.

Re:AMAZINGLY stupid on the US/NZ government... (1)

Rogerborg (306625) | about 2 years ago | (#41477419)

Eh, the MPAA busted up his racket pretty effectively. That's how mob turfs wars works. Far more efficient than dull old due process.

Wrong, the MPAA hurt themselves badly (4, Interesting)

SmallFurryCreature (593017) | about 2 years ago | (#41478017)

Kim Dotcom is unlikely to even have to go to court with this many screw ups, let alone do any time.

And he already has backing for a new megaupload, this time better setup to not be so easily taken down. And you got to be really stupid as a foreign prosecutor to go after this guy a second time when the first time was such a disaster.

Kim Dotcom is back, with more resources, more experience and now untouchable.

I doubt this is what the content mafia wanted.

Re:AMAZINGLY stupid on the US/NZ government... (1)

Mitreya (579078) | about 2 years ago | (#41478051)

They had enough evidence to get plenty of legal wiretaps. ... But instead it is horribly misplayed, and as a result there is a non-trivial chance that Dotcom will slip free with his millions intact.

His servers have been seized long ago, though. Even if he gets them back, the business is presumably damaged beyond repair (whether it was legal or not)

That was probably the point -- why bother with unpredictable "legal" routes, when you can just quickly eradicate his business? But yes, law enforcement _should_ follow laws, even if it is easier not to.

Re:AMAZINGLY stupid on the US/NZ government... (1)

ram.loss (151102) | about 2 years ago | (#41478127)

It's only stupid if you think it was about upholding the law to take down an illegal enterprise, which it wasn't. It was to send a message to all other sites: 'you could be next'.
And now the message is complete: we did this, it was illegal and your business is over and even the local government admits it, an yet there will be no consequences for those who did it.
So, it's a nice little service you have here, would be a shame if something happened to it.

subject (1)

Legion303 (97901) | about 2 years ago | (#41477253)

Look, if you're going to be the United States of MPAA's bitch, these things are bound to happen. Just don't let it happen again without modifying your laws to comply with MPAA guidelines, or your units^H^H^H^H^Hcitizens will start to get uppity.

Bullied (1)

neghvar1 (1705616) | about 2 years ago | (#41477255)

That's what happens when you allow yourself to be pressured, harassed and bullied by Hollywood. Hastily comply with their demands before checking to see if it is legal.

I'm fond of Jacobin's article on the topic (5, Informative)

royallthefourth (1564389) | about 2 years ago | (#41477275)

"Megaupload's Kim Dotcom, a willfully tacky fat guy with a baby face and a vanity license plate that says "guilty," has styled himself as a kind of comic villain, a composite of everything people love to hate. He effectively serves as empire's face of piracy: an overweight nouveau-riche wannabe hacker who finally gets his comeuppance through the macho justice of Uncle Sam. It's so easy to hate Kim Dotcom that you almost forget that the US convinced the New Zealand government to send in an assault brigade, bereft of a valid warrant but outfitted with automatic weapons and helicopters, to arrest a Finnish citizen at the demand of Hollywood studios. If Kim Dotcom didn't exist, the FBI, with the help of the MPAA, would have invented him."

http://jacobinmag.com/2012/08/gimme-the-loot/ [jacobinmag.com]

THIS PROVES IT !! KIWIS ARE PUSSIES !! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41477283)

Kowfuckingtowing to a known criminal is THE definition of PUSSY !! Oxford has a new 1. PUSSY, n. See Kiwi.

I'm in shock (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41477289)

A government admitting and apologizing for its illegal/immoral actions!? I'm in shock and awe..... Surely a model for the rest of the "democratic" nations of the world which upon noticing their own errors tend to first attempt to cover them up, and if they do come to light then proceed to claim that they're not failures, but "features" of government enabling them to get "the bad people".

Re:I'm in shock (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41477659)

Surely a model for the rest of the "democratic" nations of the world

Why do you restrict this to the democratic nations? Are you trying to imply that other forms of government do a better job of admitting wrongdoing and owning up to their mistakes?
If so, I laugh in your face, good sir.

There are plenty of abuses to lay at the feet of most any nation which they have not, but should, apologize for. Don't hold your breath waiting for it to ever happen, such things only occur when there is a political benefit, either domestically, internationally, or both.

Yeah, thanks (1)

crazyjj (2598719) | about 2 years ago | (#41477427)

Does this mean you're not about to grab me, throw me handcuffed onto a plane, and send me to the U.S. to rot in a prison for pissing off the RIAA/MPAA?

What, no?

NZ: Crime and Punishment (3, Insightful)

ljaszcza (741803) | about 2 years ago | (#41477683)

Well, The next time I break the law, I will issue a sincere apology. This apparently makes everything all right and obviates the need for punishment, prosecution, or any such things. Or, are politicians simply a different class of people with different rules and consequences than the rest of us? Orwell said: All animals are equal but some animals are more equal than others. Oh yeah.

US govt has apologized before (1)

Killer Instinct (851436) | about 2 years ago | (#41477843)

here [upenn.edu] although it only goes through 2003...but yes it has happened..perhaps 2003 was the last time...

On the other news, Kim Dot Com reveals MegaBox (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41478135)

http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2410257,00.asp

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