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Piracy The Courts

Megaupload Co-Founder Allowed Bail 132

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

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  • Internet Ban (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Aladrin (926209) on Wednesday February 15, 2012 @10:41AM (#39044221)

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

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

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

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

  • Re:Internet Ban (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday February 15, 2012 @10:47AM (#39044275)

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

  • by DJ Jones (997846) on Wednesday February 15, 2012 @10:47AM (#39044277) Homepage
    Since when has the FBI's charter allowed them to operate on foreign soil?
  • Re:Internet Ban (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Xest (935314) on Wednesday February 15, 2012 @10:47AM (#39044287)

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

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

  • Re:Internet Ban (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Rich0 (548339) on Wednesday February 15, 2012 @10:53AM (#39044373) Homepage

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

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

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

  • Real crime (Score:5, Insightful)

    by roman_mir (125474) on Wednesday February 15, 2012 @10:56AM (#39044403) Homepage Journal

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

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

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

  • by Robert Zenz (1680268) on Wednesday February 15, 2012 @11:06AM (#39044535) Homepage
    Who said the FBI operated on foreign soil?
  • by X.25 (255792) on Wednesday February 15, 2012 @12:08PM (#39045317)

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

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

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

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

  • by jesseck (942036) on Wednesday February 15, 2012 @12:35PM (#39045651)

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

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

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

  • by Jeremiah Cornelius (137) on Wednesday February 15, 2012 @01:48PM (#39046717) Homepage Journal

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

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

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

    Then they came for me --

    And there was no one left to speak for me.

  • Re:Internet Ban (Score:5, Insightful)

    by X.25 (255792) on Wednesday February 15, 2012 @02:43PM (#39047641)

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

    To put things into perspective...

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

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

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

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

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

  • by WrongSizeGlass (838941) on Wednesday February 15, 2012 @03:07PM (#39048047)

    And I did not speak out --

    ...

    Then they came for me --

    And there was no one left to speak for me.

    By the time they came for you there was no one left to listen either.

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