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Dotcom Wins Right To Sue NZ Government

samzenpus posted about a year ago | from the time-to-sue dept.

The Courts 127

An anonymous reader writes "A Court of Appeal judgement released today has ruled in favor of Kim Dotcom and will let him sue the Government Communications Security Bureau (GCSB) alongside New Zealand Police. During the High Court case, it emerged that the GCSB had been illegally spying on Dotcom prior to the raid on his Coatesville mansion, on behalf of the FBI, who now wants the Megaupload millionaire extradited to face trial in the US over copyright infringements."

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127 comments

His mansion (5, Interesting)

one eyed kangaroo (215202) | about a year ago | (#43102761)

Apropos of nothing at all, I was fortunate to have a client drive me past Kim Dotcoms mansion in a fashionably distant and hilly area North of Auckland a little while ago. It was, he said with evident disdain, a "rented mansion". I've no idea how true that is.

The main gate over which heavily armed special forces apparently had to pass, is barely a metre high, and surrounded by... no fence at all.

When did we start to allow police forces in Western countries start to behave like militias?

Re:His mansion (5, Insightful)

Marful (861873) | about a year ago | (#43102803)

When did we start to allow police forces in Western countries start to behave like militias?

It's been that way for over almost a decade now.

DHS just dropped ~$100 million on a bunch of APCs, school Districts are buying assault weapons for their on-campus police forces and the LAPD has been known to send out swat team members to deal with parking tickets.

The bottom line is: the police have realized that they can practically guarantee they get to go home at the end of the day if they treat every interaction like a military engagement and utilize overwhelming force to suppress their enemy. The fact that innocent people will get murdered in their zeal of officer-safety-at-all-costs doesn't even enter their thought process.

http://www.cato.org/raidmap

Re:His mansion (3, Insightful)

TFAFalcon (1839122) | about a year ago | (#43102835)

I can't wait for a jury to find someone was justified in shooting a cop without warning, since the other guy was wearing a uniform and so the accused can obviously claim it was self defense.

He is no hero, no Aaron Schwartz, no EFF. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43103223)

Let's remember who this guy is. The police and government actions may have been severly overboard but he is no hero, no Aaron Schwartz, no EFF. And he is certainly no Gandhi, Rosa Parks, or MLK Jr.

Someone posting below put it best:

I'd like to say that unlike most of you (most of you who post, anyway), I am, in a broad brush "against" mega. The test of copyright infringement in all countries in not a simple yes/no, but rather depends on things like intent, amount of material involved, for profitness, etc. And, when put against such tests, it is clear that megaupload's entire business model was as a facilitator of copyright infringing materials. I don't think there's any legitimate claim for him to be a "common carrier" as an impartial ISP. I agree with the takedown of his site and the seizure of his ill-gotten gains.

(Of course then he went on to rant and troll about Youtube, but this part of his quote is accurate).

We can be horrified by the government here, but I'd like to see some people put Kim DotDumbass in his place too.

Re:He is no hero, no Aaron Schwartz, no EFF. (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43103333)

The government has basically ruined their ability and right to prosecute him by illegal and ridiculous behaviour. Is he a bad guy? probably. Does he deserve to have his basic freedoms respected? Ya, just like anyone else.

Like other cases where a person's legal rights are infringed by investigators (and prosecutors), dotcom deserves to go free and the evidence used against him stricken. That's the only way to ensure that the same tactics won't be used again and again against people.

Kim Dotcom is no hero, but the government is definitely the villain of the piece, and their actions have led to Kim Dotcom's credibility (ha!) in this case.

Re:He is no hero, no Aaron Schwartz, no EFF. (4, Interesting)

sFurbo (1361249) | about a year ago | (#43103607)

I would prefer if illegal evidence garthering was punished like any other crime, but the evidence garthered could still used. Jail time would be a more powerful deterrent than havibg your evidence thrown out. However, I have no confidence that the guilty cops would receive justice, so perhaps your suggestion works better in practice.

Re:He is no hero, no Aaron Schwartz, no EFF. (2)

MartinSchou (1360093) | about a year ago | (#43105453)

The problem is - who should be punished for gathering the illegally obtained evidence?

The policemen who physically gathered the evidence?
The lawyers who signed off on the gathering?
The officers who signed off on the gathering?
The politicians who pushed for a case to be made?
All the policemen who were involved with the case?

It's a tricky situation, because what is to prevent A from getting B to take the possible fall, by telling B to go pick that thing up?

What I'd like to see is somewhat similar, but with clear lines of responsibility.

The prosecutor in charge of the case is held in contempt of court for 10% of the maximum penalty possible for the crimes, but no less than 7 days (no pay etc), plus a fine equalling twice the salary that would have been earned in the time. Same for the lead officer/detective on the case.

The prosecutor's boss (DA/AG etc) gets 5%, but no less than 7 days (no pay etc), similar fine. Same for the similar position in the police's ranks.

Any public officials who have provably pushed for the case, gets 3%, but no less than 7 days (no pay etc), similar fine.

Not sure what kind of punishment would be fitting for the policemen, CSI techs etc. who gathered the illegal evidence though. If they planted evidence or gathered it in knowingly illegal ways, they should obviously go to jail, but the problem comes when they gather evidence in good faith, that later turns out to be illegal. I don't want to punish them for simply doing their job in good faith.

Re:He is no hero, no Aaron Schwartz, no EFF. (1)

Mashiki (184564) | about a year ago | (#43108433)

The problem is - who should be punished for gathering the illegally obtained evidence?

The policemen who physically gathered the evidence?
The lawyers who signed off on the gathering?
The officers who signed off on the gathering?
The politicians who pushed for a case to be made?
All the policemen who were involved with the case?

Yes. That would be all of them, there are rules, regs, procedures, case law, constitution(in NZ's case), and so on that were all violated. It was such a massive breech of public trust that every person should be charged criminally.

Re:He is no hero, no Aaron Schwartz, no EFF. (4, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43103821)

Like other cases where a person's legal rights are infringed by investigators (and prosecutors), dotcom deserves to go free and the evidence used against him stricken. That's the only way to ensure that the same tactics won't be used again and again against people.

If the U.S. Constitution were still in effect, this egregious misconduct would get the perp freed at arraignment, if not cancelling the embarrassment of extradition. L'esprit deLoi of our Constitution is as guidelines for just and effective government, with primacy given toward protecting the citizen from the state.

Re: He is no hero, no Aaron Schwartz, no EFF. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43107989)

When exactly was the US constitution "in effect" in New Zealand?

Re:He is no hero, no Aaron Schwartz, no EFF. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43105855)

Like other cases where a person's legal rights are infringed by investigators (and prosecutors), dotcom deserves to go free and the evidence used against him stricken. That's the only way to ensure that the same tactics won't be used again and again against people.

I argue that is not true. Although I believe in the need of due process, the procedure of striking poisoned evidence hasn't amounted to a deterrance of abuse by law enforcement. Something in the process must be revised, preferrably with the aim of building abuse deterrance.

Something like, being it a crime. Evidence striken? No... evidence is evidence. Proof of fact is proof of fact. But the police men that acted illegally ought to go to jail just as well. Illegal is illegal.

Re:His mansion (5, Informative)

isorox (205688) | about a year ago | (#43103097)

DHS just dropped ~$100 million on a bunch of APCs,

Department of Health and Safety bought some UPSes?

school Districts are buying assault weapons for their on-campus police forces

You've got a fucked up country if you have an on-campus police force

The bottom line is: the police have realized that they can practically guarantee they get to go home at the end of the day if they treat every interaction like a military engagement and utilize overwhelming force to suppress their enemy. The fact that innocent people will get murdered in their zeal of officer-safety-at-all-costs doesn't even enter their thought process.

Does it really?

There have been 22 police officers killed in the line of duty in the UK since 2000 Half of those were traffic collisions (accidents or delibete), so I'm not sure how a SWAT team would solve that. That's a 1 in 90,000 chance of dying in the line of duty each year.

New Zealand has 7 deaths (half accidental) since 2000 (1 in 19000)

Canada had 5 deaths in 2012, 4 of which were vehicle related (1 in 13000)

The U.S has had 19 deaths SO FAR THIS YEAR. Last year was about 130, out of 794,000 officers (1 in 6000)

The U.S. is an anomaly, don't lump the western world into your dysfunctional society.

Re:His mansion (1)

Cwix (1671282) | about a year ago | (#43103303)

I think by APC he means Armored Personnel Carrier. Basically a tank without a main gun.

Also yes, many of the universities have their own police forces. In fact in my city they can even pull you over outside their jurisdiction. You do not need to even be on the campus, just near it.

Re:His mansion (1)

cdrudge (68377) | about a year ago | (#43104579)

Both the universities I went to had police forces that were just extensions of the local law enforcement. One was for the county sheriff, the other for the city police. I'm not sure whose budget their paycheck came from, but they had the same authority off campus that they had on. They were just rarely found off campus.

Re:His mansion (1)

serialband (447336) | about a year ago | (#43105997)

Some universities have State Police running the show, which basically means that they have jurisdiction all over the state. They generally call in the local city police and assist if it is more city related, but they have full jurisdiction.

Re:His mansion (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43103309)

It's not the country, but the "overlords" who are FU. Check your country, see if the overlords are the same, or if they are acting the same. Then guess why you are headed in the same direction as we are. If a politician will lie to get the job, what makes you so sure he's going to work for you?

Re:His mansion (5, Interesting)

Charliemopps (1157495) | about a year ago | (#43103391)

As someone that was involved with a legal case with campus police, I can assure you that United States Universities do in fact have their own police forces. Not only that but they are afforded special treatment in the court system. They not only enforce the ordinances on campus... they write them. Campuses are often HUGE and take up hundreds or thousands of acres, even if the buildings themselves don't. People like to donate land to universities in their wills. Because the campus police can write their own ordinances, they do so at will. This was what my court case was about. The changed a rule the same day I was charged, just so they could charge me... or at least "someone" and I was the unlucky sap. They were trying to prove a point. But I fought it so vigorously (because I was furious) the case wasn't resolved for almost a year and nearly everyone forgot about it. I lost in the end and the Judge thought the whole thing was ridiculous so my fine was almost nothing.

The one thing I learned in college? Fuck the police.

Re:His mansion (1)

Demonantis (1340557) | about a year ago | (#43105001)

At least some university campuses in Canada have a police detachment, but its more about not having the police come in for the small stuff that university students seem to like to get in trouble for(underage drinking). I doubt they would respond to major incidents.

Re:His mansion (2)

weilawei (897823) | about a year ago | (#43105295)

UMass Amherst has the largest State Police department in Mass. They have all the gear, assault weapons, and helicopters. For the purpose of riot control. UMass Amherst is a city, written into the law as such. They are the single largest armed military force in this state. Source: Me. Because that's where I'm from.

Re:His mansion (2)

weilawei (897823) | about a year ago | (#43105387)

That should've been, "For the purposes of riot control, ..." And here's the text of the law. "Section 1. If five or more persons, being armed with clubs or other dangerous weapons, or if ten or more persons, whether armed or not, are unlawfully, riotously or tumultuously assembled in a city or town, the mayor and each of the aldermen of such city, each of the selectmen of such town, every justice of the peace living in any such city or town, any member of the city, town, or state police and the sheriff of the county and his deputies shall go among the persons so assembled, or as near to them as may be with safety, and in the name of the commonwealth command all persons so assembled immediately and peaceably to disperse; and if they do not thereupon immediately and peaceably disperse, each of said magistrates and officers shall command the assistance of all persons there present in suppressing such riot or unlawful assembly and arresting such persons. For the purposes of this section, the University of Massachusetts at Amherst shall be considered to be a town."

Re:His mansion (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43106213)

You've got a fucked up country if you have an on-campus police force

Oxford University had its own police [wikipedia.org] when I attended. Cambridge still does. They pre-date modern police forces and, I suspect, were viewed as a symbol of the university's autonomy from the state. I got the impression that in recent years they were more concerned with protecting foolish students from the full rigour of the criminal justice system than persecuting them. Quite different to America's paramilitaries.

Re:His mansion (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43108977)

To put the militarization of the US into perspective, here is the list of all *29* police officers killed by a criminal act - in the entire history of New Zealand: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_New_Zealand_police_officers_killed_in_the_line_of_duty. BTW, Police in New Zealand still do not -in general- carry firearms while on duty.

Re:His mansion (1)

steelfood (895457) | about a year ago | (#43106067)

The fact that innocent people will get murdered in their zeal of officer-safety-at-all-costs doesn't even enter their thought process.

That's because the consequence of killing a harmless innocent is nil. It is non-existent. Even when the action is targeted, the police get off scott free. It's part of the job, they say, a job hazard. They can't do their jobs if they're busy figuring out who's shooting at them and who's running away. Best thing to do is shoot first and ask questions later.

Re:His mansion (5, Informative)

macraig (621737) | about a year ago | (#43102843)

When did we start to allow police forces in Western countries start to behave like militias?

How Cops Became Soldiers: An Interview with Police Militarization Expert Radley Balko [vice.com]. There ya go.

Re:His mansion (1)

ed_j_webb (2859469) | about a year ago | (#43103001)

What a great example of Begging the Question: "When did the shift towards militarized police forces begin in America?" which begs the question: "Has there been a shift towards militarized police?"

Re:His mansion (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43103213)

Use a bit of empiricism to figure it out, you fucking prick. Many departments in the US now allow (and even mandate) that officers have either an AR-15 or full blown M-16 in the trunk of their car. As the anti-gun lobby has been so eager to point out to 2nd Amendment supporters: those are weapons of war meant for killing large volumes of people quickly and efficiently.

Re:His mansion (2)

tehcyder (746570) | about a year ago | (#43105497)

Use a bit of empiricism to figure it out, you fucking prick. Many departments in the US now allow (and even mandate) that officers have either an AR-15 or full blown M-16 in the trunk of their car. As the anti-gun lobby has been so eager to point out to 2nd Amendment supporters: those are weapons of war meant for killing large volumes of people quickly and efficiently.

And of course that has nothing to do with the fact that so many US civilians also have AR-15s and that criminals therefore have access to these and more powerful weapons?

I know here on slashdot the gun-fans think that the police/military shouldn't have weapons that the ordinary citizen can't, but presumably you'd all still accept that they should have at least equivalent firepower?

Re:His mansion (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43103325)

The answer to your question is yes. They are purchasing more weapons, armored vehicles, drones, etc.
Pay more attention please. This would be obvious to you if you actually paid attention to whats going on in the world.

Re:His mansion (1)

Joce640k (829181) | about a year ago | (#43103341)

which begs the question: "Has there been a shift towards militarized police?"

When they have their own tanks? I think the answer might be "yes".

Re:His mansion (1)

Talderas (1212466) | about a year ago | (#43105269)

Hey. When a dude steals a tank and drives around LA, how are the police supposed to stop that? /sarcasm

Re:His mansion (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43103353)

No, that's not begging the question at all. You could say that it raises the question: "Has there been a shift towards militarized police?"; but only if you were unaware of the shift in the first place.

Re:His mansion (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43103509)

Has there been a shift towards militarized police?
Yes. If you didn't know this, please stop looking at porn long enough to catch some news.

Re:His mansion (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43102873)

It is rented cause the NZ government didn't allow him to buy it.

Now that he's been living there for long enough, they can no longer keep him from buying the mansion... Except by making sure he's got no access to his money.

Re:His mansion (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43103371)

It is rented cause the NZ government didn't allow him to buy it.

Now that he's been living there for long enough, they can no longer keep him from buying the mansion... Except by making sure he's got no access to his money.

Speaking of his money, I'm glad the copyright lobbies (through their bought-and-paid-for government proxies) are finally picking on someone with enough money to defend himself. The expenses of a lawsuit aren't likely to ruin Mr. Dotcom's life the way they would the average filesharer's. Whether he's liked or not, I am hoping he wins because the precedent of a victory will help reverse some of the obsessive copyright-related madness we keep seeing from an industry that refuses to cope with the Information Age.

One can dream of a change to US law where statutory damages are eliminated and monied plaintiffs can only sue infringers for actual demonstrated damages. You know, like the way almost every other tort is supposed to work. If you do $3000 of property damage to my car, I don't get to sue you for millions. Some of us still have a quaint notion of justice that involves reason and proportion. There was never a good reason why imaginary property with a monetary value should be treated so differently from tangible property with a monetary value.

Re:His mansion (0, Offtopic)

isorox (205688) | about a year ago | (#43102877)

When did we start to allow police forces in Western countries start to behave like militias?

New Zealand is about as Eastern as you can get.

Re:His mansion (2)

Mashiki (184564) | about a year ago | (#43102935)

New Zealand is about as Eastern as you can get.

East and west isn't a definition of location, it's a definition on government, society, and ways of social planning and thinking. There are distinct social and economic differences between the way policing works for example in Japan compared to Canada. And even regionally, just like here in the west from Canada to the US. But within the 'west' things are traditionally done all in the same way. If you leave a job in government, military, politics, or policing in say the US or Canada, and head to Europe you're not going to land in culture shock. You will if you did in Japan, S.Korea or China for example.

Re:His mansion (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43103017)

More specifically, the line between East and West was drawn down the middle of Germany.

Re:His mansion (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43103363)

Why not distinct between 1st, 2nd and 3rd world ?
Sure the cold war has been over for a while but in this case it seems less confusing to refer to 1st world nations instead of western ones when you include New Zealand.

But even thats not quite fitting, since "western countries" seems to be too general. Why not refer to (first world) anglophone countries here ?

Re:His mansion (1)

isorox (205688) | about a year ago | (#43103775)

Why not distinct between 1st, 2nd and 3rd world ?
Sure the cold war has been over for a while but in this case it seems less confusing to refer to 1st world nations instead of western ones when you include New Zealand.

But even thats not quite fitting, since "western countries" seems to be too general. Why not refer to (first world) anglophone countries here ?

When I see "Anglophone", I think U.S, Australia, New Zealand, and a few tiny British colonies (Pitcairn, Falklands, St Helena, etc)
When I see "Western", I tend to think of the above, plus EU and Israel
When I see "Eastern", I tend to think of China, Japan, Malaysia, Indonesia, Philippines, etc.

When it comes to First World, I'd include those "Western", but also places like Japan, (South) Korea, Singapore, etc. Third world includes Rwanda, Afghanistan, Texas, Pakistan, Columbia.

The majority of countries don't fit in either. Can you really claim that Shanghai is in a third world country? But then rural china is hardly first world. Tricky.

Re:His mansion (1)

serialband (447336) | about a year ago | (#43106185)

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/First_World [wikipedia.org]

The terms were originally assigned to geopolitical alignment, not wealth.
1st World = US & Western Europe & its allies.
2nd World = USSR & its allies
3rd World = other Countries.

Most of the 3rd world countries happened to be impoverished, and people have come to identify 3rd world as impoverished. China is technically a 2nd World nation along with Russia.

Re:His mansion (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43102989)

From where? The world's a sphere you fool.

Re:His mansion (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43105409)

Ironically, New Zealand also has territory on the farest edges of Western Hemisphere.

Hemispheres... (1)

DMiax (915735) | about a year ago | (#43102903)

I know what you are saying, but you may want to reconsider calling New Zealand "western", at least out of respect for the old sailors and explorers that helped map the globe through long travels and considerable danger.

From the USA, it's West. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43102981)

So, really, you're promoting European Universality by claiming NZ is east, and thereby pouring disdain on the people in China, America, Russia, Australasia, etc.

Re:From the USA, it's West. (1)

DMiax (915735) | about a year ago | (#43103321)

No, I'm rejecting the notion that "western" can be used as a synonym of "democratic", "civilized" or just "not a police state" because those things have nothing to do with geographical or cultural proximity with the USA (or Europe).

Re:From the USA, it's West. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43103355)

So, really, you're promoting European Universality by claiming NZ is east, and thereby pouring disdain on the people in China, America, Russia, Australasia, etc.

What an amazing line of thought... yes, let's call everyone Western world now! After all, I have nothing against China!

Reading comprehension: U FAIL. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43103663)

"yes, let's call everyone Western world now!"

Yes, let's pretend that's what I said!

Re:Hemispheres... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43103069)

Shut. The. Fuck. Up.

It is getting really tiresome reading essentially the same comment on every article about world events/politics. As you well know 'Western' or 'West' has long been a catch-all term for countries that have a similar set of cultural, political, social and legal values. Usually those who can trace their origins back to Western Europe. This language is in common English usage and feigning indignation over it is tedious. If you don't like it because you take umbrage at people from the 'West' having a 'Western' point of view then you are being hypersensitive. If you are being pedantic over compass points then you are just pillock. How using is at all is in anyway is disrespectful to sailors and explorers I have no idea. Even if it was I'd hazard a guess they were all hardy folk would find the affront taken by yourself on their behalf mildly offensive.

Re:Hemispheres... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43103219)

Greographically speaking, East and West are all relative to where you stand. From where I stand (France), New Zealand is quite as much eastern as it is western.

Re:Hemispheres... (1)

DMiax (915735) | about a year ago | (#43103365)

We adopted a convention of two hemispheres, Eastern and Western divided by the Prime Meridian. But that is not why the OP was calling NZ western. He/she did it because it has a similar culture to the US, as if that makes it a better country in terms of human rights. And that is quite definitely annoying.

Re:Hemispheres... (5, Insightful)

causality (777677) | about a year ago | (#43103719)

But that is not why the OP was calling NZ western. He/she did it because it has a similar culture to the US, as if that makes it a better country in terms of human rights.

There was a time when it did mean that. Ask your grandparents or your oldest living relative about that, maybe they will be old enough to remember. It was definitely a long time ago. Now we in the "Western nations" do the very same things we used to look down on "Communist" countries for doing. That includes things like imprisonment without trial, secret FISA courts, summary executions of citizens, etc.

Re: Hemispheres... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43108179)

If we use "similar culture to the US" as the benchmark, many of us in Europe, Australia, Canada and New Zealand will no longer want to use the term.

Re:Hemispheres... (1)

Cwix (1671282) | about a year ago | (#43103359)

I see your point, and find it ridiculous and pointless. Why would I pay respects to long dead explorers?

I find much more value in being understood by others then by fighting to redefine a word.
But if thats what you want to do, then carry on tilting at windmills.

Re:His mansion (1)

PolygamousRanchKid (1290638) | about a year ago | (#43102963)

When did we start to allow police forces in Western countries start to behave like militias?

. . . since Hollywood lobbyists have convinced the government that Pirates like Dotcom are terrorists, and IP theft is an attack on the economy . . .

Re:His mansion (1)

djmurdoch (306849) | about a year ago | (#43103109)

IP theft is an attack on the economy ...

What else would it be? It's a violation of a government granted monopoly. If that's not an attack on the economy, what is it?

Re:His mansion (1)

Phrogman (80473) | about a year ago | (#43104911)

It should only *really* matter if it represents a significant loss of actual income. Something that has yet to be shown to be true, but I believe has shown false in a number of studies.
"IP" is such a nebulous concept to begin with, but thanks to Hollywood and the Big Media lobby, the penalties for violating their rules are far far in excess of what is justified.

Re:His mansion (1)

Hentes (2461350) | about a year ago | (#43102965)

What's the point of having a gate without a fence?

Re:His mansion (3, Informative)

Sique (173459) | about a year ago | (#43102987)

Pointing out, where the private property begins.

Re:His mansion (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43103203)

Do, you like commas?

Re:His mansion (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43103299)

>When did we start to allow police forces in Western countries start to behave like militias?

Since before you were born.
What rock have you been living under?

Police forces all over the place have been notoriously corrupt since forever.
Not to mention banks, people think this banking nonsense is a recent thing. It has been happening since before any of us were even born, our parents, our grandparents and theirs.
Large groups with no oversight always tend towards corruption. It is how things go.
This is why Open Government and Open Banking has been crushed every time it has been brought up.
None of them want that, not just because there is a lot of dodgy back-alley deals that go on between countries to keep the peace / banks literally all the damn time regardless of who is in power at the time, but because they have dodgy internal deals as well. Things that keep rich people richer than those in the middle and lesser classes.
We people are peasants to them, hell, ants, you can forget the peas entirely. We just work and work to get them more money so they can snort cocaine through their EYES every night while fornicating with lobsters.

It won't change any time soon. Not until people actually get a grip and realize that the idea of Government has failed and needs to be scrapped and redone from scratch so there is oversight of everything. Peer oversight, nobody is the top. You can't have a top without the top getting corrupt.
Those with power always abuse it. Always. Even if their intentions are Good. It is still abuse even if it is good in the end, such as abusing peoples fear of death and utter pointlessness of life to keep them calm, AKA most religions. It does keep them calm for the most part, outside of those stupid extremists. Still as much lies as "santi claus" or the tooth fairy in the end, just these stories are for children trapped in adults bodies, they need to be protected from how ugly and horrible life is, just like those who need to be hidden from the horrors of international relations.
People like to think the world is all nice and happy, is it FUCK. It is a stones-throw away from Cold War 2. If resources get too strained again, I'm going to the mountains. You can all have your nucular wars and year long winters for a few years. Mount St.Helens was bad enough.

Re:His mansion (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43107953)

He rented the mansion because the NZ government wouldn't let him buy it.

What a farce (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43102773)

Everyone involved in this case on both sides of the ocean should be strung up from a very tall tree.

It's the only way they won't do it again to someone else.

Re:What a farce (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43102831)

I don't know which is more pathetic. The corrupt officials or their utter incompetence that got them caught. Sorry, found, not caught.

Re:What a farce (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43102915)

Or the people that can't be bothered to get up their lazy asses and participate in the political system to fight over issues they think are important ?

With more "ordinary" people willing to participate in municipial and regional politics you will see new parties grow and eventually get a greater variety of politicians to vote for. Of course that requires some more work for the voter to figure out what those people stand for, when they get to choose but its necessary.

If the people are unhappy with the results of their democratic system its their own fault for collectively not putting enough effort into it.

Re:What a farce (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43102999)

What a load of bullshit.

The National government have long known the way to power is to polarise certain issues, and dismiss or bury others. They've got one hell of a spin team, and the be absolutely blunt, most of the population aren't educated or critical enough to be able to realise what's happening. There are those who do, but for the most part people are too easily deceived by smarmy one-liners and put-downs.

Take, for example, one particular gentleman who was looking for work. He'd been unemployed for 12 years at that point. Over here, there's an idea that if you've been unemployed for a couple of years, it's because you're unemployable.

As he tried to explain the situation that he was in, and in fact every time he started to talk, the MC started shouting at him to "Get a job!" Obviously it just wasn't that simple, but the fool wouldn't let the man talk. The audience went nuts, supporting him and ignoring the man who needed to be heard.

I don't have any illusions that this idiocy is restricted to New Zealand, but so many of us think that we are this great and mighty nation, without equal.

I should point out that this unemployed guy was looking for work under the previous National government, during the 1990s. Unemployment has recently become as bad as it was then, but in the intervening years it was significantly lower. National spend a lot of time working on the public perception that the unemployed are the enemy, and that work is there - they're just too lazy to find it - even after being forced to admit that work isn't there.

Re:What a farce (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43103061)

If you have been out of work for 12 years your doing something wrong. I'll admit that it might not be with person and that it could be they can't find work because of things that shouldn't prevent them from finding work. For example they left work to raise a kid for a few years and then nobody would hire them thereafter despite have 10+ years experience. However that seems to me to be an exscuse to 1. go back to school 2. start a business of your own 3. find a job in an area where there high demand.

Re:What a farce (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43103489)

most of the population aren't educated or critical enough to be able to realise what's happening

idiocy

So its a bunch of pathetic citizens that as a group don't put enough effort in, are unable to do it any differently and also fail to see why thats a bad thing ?

Exactly where was the bullshit in the GP ?
If those people can't be bothered to understand and think critically about political topics or are unable to do so and as a group can't improve thing...

Well its their fault for not putting enough effort into the system. One way of changing that would be getting people to spend more time trying to understand those
topics and some of them to even actively participate.
Once politicial discussions are part of your dinner table culture you'll get better informed voters and more participation.

Re:What a farce (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43104615)

Personally, I would rather spend my limited free time improving upon myself and my relationships than investing enormous amounts of time researching the never-ending bullshit that is our political system, with the seemingly misguided sense that voters actually make a difference in the system that has been established. Those that are, and have been looking 'down' at us from their mountains of 'power' and 'wealth' will never allow real change to take place in our political/economic system unless first receiving their blessings. Giant douche vs terd sandwich, anyone? The only change that can be had is from within.

Furthermore, Left, Right, Conservative, Libertarian... blah blah blah. These are mere labels that attempt to categorize humans into an "us vs them" mentality. How could two (or more) people ever consent to completely agree on all points necessary to categorize themselves into one of these labels, and more importantly be OK with that distinction? Wouldn't it be better to look at things with an unbiased set of eyes at all times, and instead of narrowly categorizing people, see them as EVERYTHING at once? We are infinite, however we often lose sight of this~

For me, at least, I am not looking to change the world. I am more concerned with changing myself -- for this life is mine and my own. I could NEVER speak on behalf of someone else. We are divine creatures with unlimited potential. Why utilize my precious energies trying to manipulate and mold my surroundings to my liking? Instead, I choose to observe my, and your divinity through loving eyes. There is SO much more to this life than what we see around us with our limited set of senses, from which we dictate our reality -- a reality which we create for ourselves for a purpose. Find your purpose, and lovingly disregard the distractions ;)

Round and round we go (1)

mrbester (200927) | about a year ago | (#43102977)

Doesn't this make the appeal against the extradition stronger? Even given the minimal amount of evidence required to pass an extradition hearing doesn't the fact that this evidence is declared to have been obtained illegally render that evidence unusable?

Or is that just the perfect world view?

MPAA/RIAA (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43102985)

drone strike in 3... 2... 1...

Mega and YouTube (4, Insightful)

mumblestheclown (569987) | about a year ago | (#43102991)

I'd like to say that unlike most of you (most of you who post, anyway), I am, in a broad brush "against" mega. The test of copyright infringement in all countries in not a simple yes/no, but rather depends on things like intent, amount of material involved, for profitness, etc. And, when put against such tests, it is clear that megaupload's entire business model was as a facilitator of copyright infringing materials. I don't think there's any legitimate claim for him to be a "common carrier" as an impartial ISP. I agree with the takedown of his site and the seizure of his ill-gotten gains.

HOWEVER

If you read the wiki page on mega, specifically the "basis of indictment" bullet points, what strikes me is this: the exact same list can easily be levied against youtube, which I content is also a business, like megaupload, fundamentally built upon copyright infringement. YouTube is slightly more clever in that they attract non-infringing users to better mask their infringing activities, but still fundamentally the vast bulk of youtube advertising dollars come from showing copyright infringing content. Like megaupload, it has as kiddy-pron filter that works and yet while the same filter could be trivially tweaked or built upon to block at least a good portion of blatantly infringing content, it is not. Furthermore, both youtube and mega technically claim to be DMCA-takedown compliant, but both make legitimate rightsholders go through the maximal numbers of hoops to submit claims AND have trivial mechanisms for replacement of taken-down content (in mega's case, the 'link' system, in youtube's case, users just create another logon and re-upload).

So, if there's one thing REALLY wrong with this case, it's not relatively small prosecutorial oversteps in going after mega. rather, it's the unequalness where mega was procecuted but youtube allows to steam on. do a youtube search for 'full movie' to see how bad it is. we all know that we can find more or less whatever we want on youtube, plus or minus a few recent items from popular/current shows where the rightsholders actively police youtube (like the latest family guy episodes).

in all cases, it is the creators of content, the very people that we should protect the most, that get screwed.

Re:Mega and YouTube (3, Interesting)

RaceProUK (1137575) | about a year ago | (#43103107)

it's the unequalness where mega was procecuted but youtube allows to steam on

YouTube is owned by Google, and their pockets are deeper than the Mariana Trench. Dotcom's pockets are more like the Grand Canyon: big, but not that big.

Re:Mega and YouTube (3, Informative)

squiggleslash (241428) | about a year ago | (#43104313)

YouTube's also spent a lot of time making itself legal and started out with a legitimate premise (not a "We're legal nudge-nudge wink-wink" premise, but an entirely legitimate concept from the get-go - a place to share home movies. Things like the ten minute maximum length of each video, considerably shorter than 90% of TV shows and 100% of movies helped demonstrate that.)

YouTube went to the content industry and worked with them on everything from implementing filters to block identifiable unauthorized content to providing them with royalties should they prefer that over DMCA takedowns.

I just don't see any of that in the MU case. MU was no different from the other major "Upload up to a gigabyte and then distribute a link that anyone can use to access the same content" services. Even their DMCA compliance system was a joke, focussing on links to content (where an infinite number of links pointed to the same file) rather than on content.

Was MU intended to be a facilitator of unauthorized material? I can't answer that, but I know YouTube never intended itself to be, didn't want to be, and took pro-active steps to deal with that situation. That's a major difference in and of itself.

Re:Mega and YouTube (1)

Shagg (99693) | about a year ago | (#43107511)

Even their DMCA compliance system was a joke, focussing on links to content (where an infinite number of links pointed to the same file) rather than on content.

Focusing on the links is exactly how a DMCA compliance system is supposed to work.

Imagine two people upload the same content. One for legitimate reasons and keeps their link private, the other for illegitimate reasons and makes their link public. A DMCA complaint is filed against the public link. Which do you do...
1) Disable the public link.
2) Remove the content from both the legitimate and illegitimate user.

Re:Mega and YouTube (1)

squiggleslash (241428) | about a year ago | (#43107911)

Imagine instead that the same content can be reached by an infinite (or almost infinite) number of links, such that someone who uploads Die_Hard_7.mov can have it downloaded at:

1. http://1.aharmatey.com/777/Die_Hard_7.mov [aharmatey.com]
2. http://bob.aharmatey.com/777/Die_Hard_7.mov [aharmatey.com]
3. http://www.aharmatey.com/777/Die_Hard_7.mov?src=100 [aharmatey.com]
4. http://1.aharmatey.com/777/ [aharmatey.com]

to name but four. Can you tell me how "focussing on links" is supposed to be "how a DMCA compliance system is supposed to work".

You can't. Because it was never envisaged to work like that. If John uploaded Die_Hard_7.mov, then both for copyright and public sanitary reasons, the copyright holder was supposed to be able to file a take-down notice about the file John put up for download, and the website owner was supposed to take it down.

That's what we're talking about here. As for your example? It's worth noting that nothing in copyright law says that you can upload a file whose copyright belongs to a third party to another third party's webserver, regardless of whether you intend to distribute it to millions of anonymous strangers, or keep it as a back-up. Now, you and I and possibly even the CEO of Sony (though not likely the latter) can make strong arguments about how backups are fair use and none of a copyright owner's business, but from a strictly legal point of view, from the point of view of the actual likely intent of those framing copyright laws, no, they're unlikely - in the extreme - to have thought "We need to focus on links, because otherwise someone who's also violating copyright law but not to the same extent might get caught in the cross fire."

Re:Mega and YouTube (1)

Shagg (99693) | about a year ago | (#43108069)

Imagine instead that the same content can be reached by an infinite (or almost infinite) number of links

That number of them doesn't change anything.

the copyright holder was supposed to be able to file a take-down notice about the file John put up for download

The take-down notice is about the unauthorized distribution (aka the public links), not the file itself.

can make strong arguments about how backups are fair use and none of a copyright owner's business

Of course you can make strong arguments about it. Are you saying that a backup for your own personal use violates copyright? Even the RIAA doesn't dispute that anymore.

Re:Mega and YouTube (1)

Chris Burke (6130) | about a year ago | (#43108485)

I can't answer that, but I know YouTube never intended itself to be, didn't want to be, and took pro-active steps to deal with that situation.

Well, minus the one Youtube founder who was deliberately posting copyrighted material without permission to drive traffic early on.

Though the others did take pro-active steps by making him stop so on the whole, your statement is true.

Re:Mega and YouTube (1)

steelfood (895457) | about a year ago | (#43106109)

Don't forget that governments, especially the U.S. government, are actively trying to bring down Google. They can't control Google, because Google doesn't really do too many things wrong, so they're trying to make the little infractions they occasionally do sound very, very bad.

I don't like Google very much, but they are a wildcard in the entrenched interests' game of governance, and hence they are counted as a threat.

Re:Mega and YouTube (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43103179)

Except Youtube does have a automatic filter to takedown of copyright material. ./ loves to complain about home movies that have the music removed for this reason.

Re:Mega and YouTube (1)

mumblestheclown (569987) | about a year ago | (#43103419)

Except their automatic filter is ridiculously bad for filtering out basically anything except for recent content by top label bands and recent TV shows, in both cases based on audio samples. You can watch pretty much every copyrighted documentary ever made, get tens of thousands of full length movies, and much more with trivial searches, most of which have been up for a long time and are never taken down. It is only the most obvious of obvious stuff that gets taken down, and even that gets back up in another form trivially fast The only things that really get taken down are the ones where rightsholders have been forced to pay people to sit there full time to write DMCA notices and/or the likely candidates who will sue them. So, youtube has a "don't sue us" filter, but that's about it.

Re:Mega and YouTube (2)

laffer1 (701823) | about a year ago | (#43103561)

Here's where your argument falls apart. By the logic you're using, if a company makes money on copyright infringement they should be stopped. What about all the PCs and Macs used to pirate movies, rip songs, etc? One can argue early versions of iTunes and Windows Media Player/encoder were used to pirate content. What about the MP3 codecs? How many people used them for legitimate purposes early on? P2P technology is another example. Blizzard distributes patches using P2P, but most of it's use is to pirate movies, music and software. Should all P2P software providers be shut down even though Blizzard and the Linux community have decided to use it for good?

Technology is not bad in itself. Youtube is a platform for distributing content. Some users choose to use it for evil. Mega Upload was the same thing. It was a convenient service. What got him into trouble was how he was storing the content. By keeping one copy, it was easy to argue that when a request came in that he should remove all user's instances of the file. However, he wouldn't know if any of those users had a legitimate claim to have the file. From a technical perspective, it was just dedup at a simple level, but business people don't get that.

Mega is a slimy guy, and he was at the line, but I don't think he crossed it with both feet.

Copyright infringement comes down to one thing, as a society do we want free access to art or do we want to only allow the privileged who can afford it, to have access.

Re:Mega and YouTube (1)

mumblestheclown (569987) | about a year ago | (#43103959)

No, that's NOT the logic i'm using. And, in fact, if you read the first paragraph of what I wrote, it's very very explicitly NOT the logic I am using.

You are attempting to apply law like a computer program. And, sorry, but LAW DOES NOT WORK THAT WAY. Your slippery slope analogy DOES NOT APPLY.

In actual law and policy:

- intent matters
- quantity matters
- judgment matters

these things are the difference between intenetional murder and a regrettable accident.

But thank you for an entirely predictable foil post for me to re-emphasize the key point.

As far as this goes:

>Copyright infringement comes down to one thing, as a society do we want free access to art or do we want to only allow the privileged who can afford it, to have >access.

This is an utter and total oversimplification of a complex problem and you should be ashamed for having written this, though as you missed the key point of my first post, I am not so surprised.

Re:Mega and YouTube (1)

poofmeisterp (650750) | about a year ago | (#43103973)

You make a very good point.

The unfortunate fact is that "the law" goes after those who aren't bringing in money to compensate for their breaking of law, like GoogleTube.

Not to get off-topic, but what I fail to understand is how the "infringer" who downloads stuff to see/listen to/use/experiment with before purchasing it and recommending it to friends is any different. They are buying; you suing them and landing them in jail and/or removing all of the money from their dispensable cash flow is halting your profit.

Just... thinking about this hurts. It's stupid.

Re:Mega and YouTube (5, Insightful)

drinkypoo (153816) | about a year ago | (#43104025)

in all cases, it is the creators of content, the very people that we should protect the most, that get screwed.

Well no. In all cases, it is The People, the people that we should protect equally, that get screwed. If you're the little guy, you can't afford to wage war over "intellectual property". These laws are there to benefit corporations.

The first copyright law of which I'm aware stated "all books passing through this port must be submitted for copying", not "thou shalt not make copies". That kind of copyright was about increasing human knowledge. The kind we have now is about rent-seeking.

Re:Mega and YouTube (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43104955)

Shut up, Meg

Re:Mega and YouTube (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43105861)

By LAW there MUST be a trivial method of contesting and returning material taken down with an ILLEGITIMATE DMCA request.

Fair Use exists. And the vast vast majority of so called "infringing" activity on youtube falls under fair use by the users.

Re:Mega and YouTube (1)

mumblestheclown (569987) | about a year ago | (#43106327)

bollocks. it is not fair use. it is some guy...

a) posting an entire discovery channel documentary and then claiming that it is "fair use" because of fair use's education provision, though anybody with half a brain could see that such a claim does not stand up.
b) posting a whole movie and then claiming "fair use" under god knows what theory.
c) some guy claiming "fair use" because he used a commercial piece of music as the background for his something else.

none of those have been interpreted as fair use. in fact, almost NOTHING on youtube that is claimed as "fair use" actually is.

the idea that there is a real "illegitimate DMCA request" problem is fud. there is none. for every 1 actual illegitimate dmca request, i'm sure there are 10,000 infringing videos on youtube. your issue is FUD, FUD, FUD.

As a New Zealander.... (1)

Mistakill (965922) | about a year ago | (#43106853)

Good... someone has to teach the Govt, and the NZ Police, and the GCSB that we have laws to be followed...

And the FBI as well

Another New Zealander responds (1)

rolytnz (1769750) | about a year ago | (#43108409)

I have been following this since it started with eyebrows rising at every new development. That KDC should be able to sue the government and the police is the right decision. However, the real bad guys here are the USA / FBI / MIAFIAA who bullied the NZ Government into acting in this unjust manner. The whole thing was a shake-down, plain and simple. Shame on the NZ government for allowing themselves to be bullied - all they can see is the Free-Trade-Agreement carrot being dangled, always out of reach... "You want a FTA? Then you must act on this terrorist who *allegedly* infringed on copyright". This started with the Three-Strikes file sharing law. Shame on you USA, you have manipulated/bribed another sovereign state into doing your dirty work and now they cop the consequences. Nothing new there I suppose. As much a "bit of a douche" KDC is - I admire him for giving everyone a shake-up, he is showing businesses that it's a brave new world of business models, not the 1950's heyday of *AA.
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