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US Ordered To Hand Over Megaupload Documents 242

Posted by Soulskill
from the hope-you-didn't-break-anything dept.
An anonymous reader writes "A judge in New Zealand has ordered the U.S. government to hand over evidence seized in the Megaupload raid so Kim Dotcom and his co-defendants can use it to prepare a defense for an extradition hearing. The judge wrote, 'Actions by and on behalf of the requesting State have deprived Mr. Dotcom and his associates of access to records and information. ... United States is attempting to utilize concepts from the civil copyright context as a basis for the application of criminal copyright liability [which] necessitates a consideration of principles such as the dual use of technology and what they be described as significant non-infringing uses.' Once the defense attorneys have gathered and presented their evidence, the judge must decide whether the U.S. can make a reasonable case against Dotcom."
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US Ordered To Hand Over Megaupload Documents

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  • Dear USA (Score:5, Insightful)

    by overbaud (964858) on Wednesday May 30, 2012 @02:25AM (#40152693)
    Please leave the rest of the world alone. Thankyou.
    • Re:Dear USA (Score:5, Insightful)

      by mechtech256 (2617089) on Wednesday May 30, 2012 @03:09AM (#40152875)
      New Zealand is responsible for what they do in their own backyard with their own police forces. If they want to surrender their sovereignty to a bunch of RIAA/MPAA hacks who have paid off the right people, that's their prerogative. It's obvious that they've realized the mistake and are trying to make things right, but in the end it's NZ that screwed up here.
      • Re:Dear USA (Score:5, Interesting)

        by boundary (1226600) on Wednesday May 30, 2012 @04:22AM (#40153153)
        It is absolutely not our (the New Zealand people's) prerogative. This whole situation occurred because the NZ Police (none of whom are elected) thought they could get some international glory from a big case. They failed to do their research. They failed to follow proper procedure. They failed to use appropriate force. They failed on every account. And now they look like the try-hard asswipes that they are. If this was a one-off I'd be mildly surprised, but it has happened before, and it's making me feel quite nauseous. For example the NZ Defence Force has been caught on numerous times sucking up to the yanks just to improve their chances of being involved in military exercises, which was in strict contravention of the orders they received from the NZ Government at the time. They are out of control. So are the cops. Small men in large uniforms, thinking their dicks will grow bigger if they chum up to the big boys. Everyone, without exception, that I have talked to about this in NZ is absolutely disgusted with the way things have turned out. Blaming NZ is a total cop-out. The cops are at fault, for sure, but how about the US taking the requisite amount of blame for creating the conditions where their entertainment/copyright assholes are running riot across the globe, and the US government is materially supporting them?
        • Re:Dear USA (Score:5, Insightful)

          by AmiMoJo (196126) <mojo@NOspAm.world3.net> on Wednesday May 30, 2012 @05:56AM (#40153555) Homepage

          The cops work for the government, which is your elected representation. It is up to you to control them. I'm afraid you must take responsibility.

          • Where do you live?

            No matter what your answer is, I'm pretty sure I'll be able to lay the blame on you for not holding authorities accountable.

            The only way to avoid this argument is for you to claim you agree with everything the authorities do. In that case, I'd realize the conversation is pointless.

        • by jonwil (467024)

          What is needed is for the people of New Zealand to grow some balls and elect a government that is going to stop kissing the ass of the United States on these kinds of issues.

          Then again, the way the NZ people keep electing government after government that sucks up to the US government and to big US corporations, I wonder who is smarter over there, the people or the sheep...

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Psychotria (953670)

      Please leave the rest of the world alone. Thankyou.

      You're far too polite.

  • by gl4ss (559668) on Wednesday May 30, 2012 @02:37AM (#40152753) Homepage Journal

    docs need to prove conspiracy for extradition.

    however, the defense would like it's hand on the evidence so they can show the police fucked up(afaik the computers are supposed to have security cam footage from the raid).

    this is also a test if the fbi/etc can even hand over the evidence(I suppose they should have also had something prior to the bust to prove the conspiracy)...

    • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday May 30, 2012 @03:02AM (#40152851)

      INAL but from what I've been reading it's more complex then that, the conspiracy/ racketeering and money laundering charges only stick if they can show criminal copyright infringement. Problem is copyright infringement is civil issue in NZ AND they need to show probable success of conviction for crimes with at least a 5 year jail term in NZ before extradition can even go ahead.

      Conspiracy to commit a crime carries a maximum penalty of 5 years so qualifies, but they need to show both likely hood of conspiracy and the original crime.

      A laymans example would be: I think you and your friend conspired to cheat on a test. I may have emails showing you conspired but I can't just have you extradited by showing conspiracy, I have to convince a judge that cheating on a test is a criminal offence first. A much taller order.

      Also remember that the judge has already stated his displeasure with the failure to follow due process in the initial arrest and has required the crown to guarantee to cover costs and lost income if kim dotcom is not found guilty.

      -Kactus

  • Wait, NOW!?!? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by MrDoh! (71235) on Wednesday May 30, 2012 @02:41AM (#40152761) Homepage Journal

    The NZ authorities didn't have this information before? They've destroyed a company, cost the 'innocent until proven guilty' person great harm, and NZ hasn't even seen the evidence yet to allow the raid? Good grief.

    • Re:Wait, NOW!?!? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Captain Hook (923766) on Wednesday May 30, 2012 @03:03AM (#40152853)

      The NZ authorities didn't have this information before?

      They aren't saying they haven't seen enough evidence to say Dotcom is guilty of a crime, they are saying that he has a right to defend himself against extradition and that defense needs to be able to review evidence for and against that charge.

      Having said that, I think NZ sleep walked into a political quagmire which they would be very happy to get out of with the least amount of embarrassment. It would be very useful for them to find a reason not to extradite Dotcom because then they could say they followed the International Treaties with the US that they had to but their own courts also protected someone from illegal extradition.

      • Re:Wait, NOW!?!? (Score:5, Interesting)

        by X.25 (255792) on Wednesday May 30, 2012 @04:56AM (#40153323)

        They aren't saying they haven't seen enough evidence to say Dotcom is guilty of a crime, they are saying that he has a right to defend himself against extradition and that defense needs to be able to review evidence for and against that charge.

        Various news outlets in NZ tried to talk to just about everyone (PM, Crown, etc) and find out whether FBI presented evidence (and what evidence was that) before raid was ordered, who exactly authorized the raid, negotiated with FBI, etc.

        Everyone refused to talk to media about these issue. As if they're not public servants paid by taxpayers' money, but working in a private company and can decline to comment.

        In short - noone (except police, I guess) knows what evidence NZ police has seen before the raid. They might have not seen any evidence, for all we know.

        • by mwvdlee (775178)

          Wouldn't be the first time if the US lied in order to get the international community to support them.

        • Nonsense. There is plenty of evidence...in the sense that there was plenty of evidence of WMDs in Iraq before the US invaded. It's just...slightly manufactured.

    • by BlueStrat (756137) on Wednesday May 30, 2012 @03:14AM (#40152899)

      The NZ authorities didn't have this information before? They've destroyed a company, cost the 'innocent until proven guilty' person great harm, and NZ hasn't even seen the evidence yet to allow the raid? Good grief.

      See, you weren't there for "the call".

      US DoJ: OK, this Dotcom guy has to be raided.

      NZ official: But you haven't even presented us any evidence against him whatsoever!

      US DoJ: Speaking of evidence, did you know that US SIGINT is the best on the planet? Did you know we have recordings/copies of all the emails, phone calls, and other electronic data, including photos and videos, sent and received by all the top NZ politicians and government officials? In fact I remember seeing something with your name on it concerning a string of calls to a "transvestite escort service", I think it was?

      NZ official: What time do you want us to hit the bastard?

      Strat

      • I highly doubt NZ acted with 0 evidence, there are obviously 2 different categories of evidence. The evidence that lead to the raid, and the evidence from the raid. No different than say a drug bust, prior to a drug bust the police would have video, etc... showing things being trafficed into and out of the place in question. After the bust they would have say, a warehouse full of drugs, documents detailing the suppliers/customers etc... Both would be used in the case against the person, the first is enough
        • Re:Wait, NOW!?!? (Score:5, Interesting)

          by gl4ss (559668) on Wednesday May 30, 2012 @04:44AM (#40153265) Homepage Journal

          well, if you count going purely on fbi agents word then they didn't act with zero evidence. if they had gone with something more substantial the raid wouldn't have needed to be in such a hurry and could have gone through the proper procedure - but as it is the warrant could probably have been fought against legally - had they been given the chance.

          obviously the nz authorities assumed that fbi wouldn't be bullshitting so badly but they were, full knowing that the actual suspected crime wasn't enough for extradition even.

          and the fbi agents thought they could get kim to settle "for less jailtime" regardless of the actual crime since that's the standard in usa - and now they're in trouble because they would need to come up with some real evidence to show that it's actually a criminal case that should be tried in usa.

        • by Swampash (1131503)

          I highly doubt NZ acted with 0 evidence

          You're obviously not familiar with the NZ Police.

      • by jrumney (197329)

        In fact I remember seeing something with your name on it concerning a string of calls to a "transvestite escort service", I think it was?

        Give the guy a break. After all those parliamentary sessions sitting across the house from Geogina Beyer [wikipedia.org], a man does get a little curious.

    • Re:Wait, NOW!?!? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Zocalo (252965) on Wednesday May 30, 2012 @03:38AM (#40152993) Homepage
      This would be information seized during the raid, so no, the NZ authorities obviously didn't get to see it before approving the raid. As far as I am aware, a fair trial in the US, and presumably NZ, requires that the defence team have access to all of the data gathered by the prosecution so there's a potential for this to backfire on the US big time. By all accounts Kim seems to be something of a scumbag, but so far, in this matter at least, he is still innocent until proven guilty; since there are growing grounds for a mistrial due to withholding evidence it's entirely possible that the NZ judge could react to further shenanigans by simply throwing the case out and denying extradition. That would leave Kim unable to travel to the US or certain other countries with favourable extradition treaties, but given some of the alternatives I doubt he'd be complaining too much.
      • by gl4ss (559668)

        apparently nz authorities didn't get to see any evidence before the raid either and fucked up handing over the warrant to megaupload too so they(mu) could have asked for it. it seems from the reports that usa authorities before the raid made up kim look like a financial conspirator, something much severe in legal terms than copyright infringement. the nz authorities went with just fbi agents word on the case and are now starting to hopefully pay the price(and so fbi/nz relations too).

        (too bad usa is wasting

      • by Hatta (162192)

        By all accounts Kim seems to be something of a scumbag

        But far less so than those scumbags involved in his arrest.

  • by rgbe (310525) <(simonwerner) (at) (gmail.com)> on Wednesday May 30, 2012 @02:57AM (#40152829)

    Regardless if the US produce evidence or not. The Megaupload saga can be considered a success by the US authorities, MPAA, etc. Because they have destroyed Megaupload and all alternate providers like Megaupload are shaking in their pants. They have one this battle. But the war rages.

    • by xenobyte (446878) on Wednesday May 30, 2012 @03:18AM (#40152921)

      Actually - as this thing is going it is more than likely that the US will loose and fail to get any extradition or other conviction.

      Remember, everything hinges on thumped-up charge of conspiracy to commit copyright infringement which is ludicrous because MegaUpload did not sell access to the illegal stuff, nor did they ask or otherwise entice the pirates to use their services. They were just one of many cloud storage and sharing service providers that both pirates and everybody else used. You paid for longer storage time, more storage space and more bandwidth to access/download. Access was free otherwise, which means that downloaders didn't pay for access but paid for ease of access.

      Oh, and when the US loses this case, I can't wait for the counter-suit for damages. I would laugh my pants off when the US government is ordered to cover the damages incurred during this farce of a trial. I hope Kim Dotcom takes them to the cleaners and take everything to the max. Get them to pay so obscene amounts that heads will have to roll and the collaboration with the copyright MAFIAA is dropped like a hot potato.

      • by dbIII (701233)

        I would laugh my pants off when the US government is ordered to cover the damages incurred

        No payment would ever be made if that were ever to happen.

    • alternate providers ... are shaking in their pants

      I think that proves that enough porn has already been downloaded for their further services to be unnecessary.

    • by mwvdlee (775178)

      If Megaupload wins and starts again, US will have the problem of having to accuse somebody of the same crime twice.
      Megaupload has seen their opponents hand, and knows how to play their cards the second time round.
      The US government will have to find new (and increasingly far fetched) legal strategies.

  • by bogaboga (793279) on Wednesday May 30, 2012 @03:12AM (#40152891)

    "A judge in New Zealand has ordered the U.S. government to hand over evidence seized in the Megaupload raid so Kim Dotcom and his co-defendants can use it to prepare a defense for an extradition hearing..."(bold/italics mine)

    Usually, it is the US that orders other jurisdictions to hand over stuff...not the other way round! This leads me to one conclusion:

    It will not work! This request is DoA! Moot...name it!

  • by Psychotria (953670) on Wednesday May 30, 2012 @03:13AM (#40152893)

    Actually I would like to correct that: America, fuck you.

  • Missing the point (Score:5, Interesting)

    by cbope (130292) on Wednesday May 30, 2012 @04:02AM (#40153073)

    I believe the most significant quote from the statement is this:

    "United States is attempting to utilize concepts from the civil copyright context as a basis for the application of criminal copyright liability [which] necessitates a consideration of principles such as the dual use of technology and what they be described as significant non-infringing uses."

    In other words, the NZ government realizes this is a misuse of the justice system to allow the US government to prosecute a civil case as a criminal one without giving the defendant access to evidence. The significant problem here is that the rights of the right-holder is being held to a higher standard than the rights of the defendant in this case.

    I'm not attempting to say Mr. Dotcom is completely innocent in this case, but the US legal system has destroyed his business, confiscated his assets and likely taken away his future without due process and without a conviction of any crime at this point. Innocent until proven guilty, anyone?

    • I'm not attempting to say Mr. Dotcom is completely innocent in this case, but [...]

      Why aren't you? Isn't he innocent until proven guilty? Right now, he's 100% innocent.

      • Re:Missing the point (Score:5, Informative)

        by Corbets (169101) on Wednesday May 30, 2012 @06:34AM (#40153697) Homepage

        I'm not attempting to say Mr. Dotcom is completely innocent in this case, but [...]

        Why aren't you? Isn't he innocent until proven guilty? Right now, he's 100% innocent.

        Innocent until proven guilty is correctly used with the verb "presumed", not "is". Whether he is innocent or guilty will not change in the coming months - either a crime has already been committed or it hasn't. However, he is presumed innocent until proven otherwise.

  • They Forgot (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward

    This was just an oversight, the US has forgotten that you are supposed to have evidence for criminal trials. With the Bush and Obama doctrines, NSLs, GItmo, and the national security exception this idea of evidence is a rather quaint and archaic notion. I'm sure they are sending the evidence now to their less enlightened allies.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by 91degrees (207121)
      I think they were expecting to find a smoking gun. Some evidence that makes it incontrovertible that Megaupload set up the service to facilitate copyright infringement. They presumably felt that it was an open and shut case, and all they needed to do was raid the servers, and collect the evidence.

      Unfortunately they probably haven't. Megaupload appears to have been operating within the law. I suspect a fairly substantial chunk of what's stored there is legitimate, or at least not provably copyright inf
  • As long as the U.S. government considers the MPAA/RIAA its patrons and continues acting as its paid thugs. As long as governments such as New Zealand's are star-struck by the possibility of movies being made in its territory. As long as the MAFIAA thinks it can corrupt governments and walk all over its customers' rights with impunity, this kind of crap will continue.

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