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The Courts

Kim Dotcom Raid - What Really Happened 285

Posted by samzenpus
from the super-serious dept.
chill writes "People have been discussing the raid on the Dotcom mansion for months, but now more details and video footage of that morning have begun to emerge from the trial. From the article: 'At 6.46am on January 20, the raid was underway. The helicopter carrying members of the elite special tactics group flew into the Coatesville home of Dotcom. "Ground units, Gates are open," someone says into the radio. Dotcom's pregnant wife their three children, some guests and about a dozen staff were also there. All is quiet below. Within seconds four armed members of the special tactics group ran towards the main door. The helicopter immediately took off. The main justification for using it at all was that Dotcom's security staff could have stopped police vehicles at the gates. But as the chopper flew out, ground forces were already arriving just seconds behind.'"
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Kim Dotcom Raid - What Really Happened

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  • by Jeremiah Cornelius (137) on Wednesday August 08, 2012 @08:02PM (#40925057) Homepage Journal

    On Bernie Madoff.

    But who really robbed people for tens of millions?

    • by crafty.munchkin (1220528) on Wednesday August 08, 2012 @08:05PM (#40925089)
      Of course not. The MAFIAA weren't calling for his blood!
      • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

        by turkeydance (1266624)
        kinda/sorta like Waco without the wackos.
      • by cpu6502 (1960974) on Wednesday August 08, 2012 @09:59PM (#40926099)

        Not RIAA. Universal Records.
        They were the ones who demanded youtube remove Megaupload's ad/music video (and also Tech News Daily which included a 15-second clip of the ad). They were the ones who became upset when a judge ruled, "You can't claim ownership of somebody else's ad, or the artists that participated." They were probably the ones who called the Obama White House and demanded action, so the White House ordered the raids in foreign countries.

        Welcome to facism (aka "corporatism" according to Benito Mussolini). The government ignores the law, ignores the court orders, and just does whatever it takes to keep its corporate friends happy.

        • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

          by Sarius64 (880298)
          ...and yet people will still vote for Obama. Oh, I forgot. Romney doesn't care for the little guy.
          • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday August 08, 2012 @11:21PM (#40926829)

            Heh. Yeah, if there's one group that stands their ground against entities with deep pockets, it's the Republicans.

            • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday August 09, 2012 @08:13AM (#40929763)

              What could be more annoying and less productive than drawing minor distinctions as boundaries, separating two parties that are obviously a single party with the same goal in mind. Notice we face the same problems and only accumulate more, election by election? Taxes don't go down, they go up, liberty doesn't flourish, it wanes. They point fingers at each other and point out small differences in values over minor problems, but they have both ruled the U.S. as a single party for more than a century. They've replaced the SCOTUS with their drones who even now reinterpret the constitution for their own immoral purposes. http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/search/pagedetails.action?granuleId=&packageId=GPO-CONAN-2002 [gpo.gov]
              Now we have a nation of drones, bolstering each others belief that they have been electing represenatives of their interests instead of being suckered into keeping a ruling class of criminals in office to utilize the people as livestock.
              Who's a dittohead now buddy?

          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by Anonymous Coward

            Remember when democracy was supposed to give us options?

            • by Alex Belits (437) * on Thursday August 09, 2012 @12:39AM (#40927405) Homepage

              Remember when democracy was supposed to give us options?

              No.

            • by Jedi Alec (258881) on Thursday August 09, 2012 @06:17AM (#40929203)

              It still does. The electorate just willfully and purposefully chooses to ignore them in favor of the guys with the flagpins, white teeth, perfect hair and the massive budgets.

            • by TheRaven64 (641858) on Thursday August 09, 2012 @07:25AM (#40929483) Journal
              Nope. Democracy is supposed to give you a way of overthrowing the government without having to kill lots of people (which tends to be bad for a society, leave it weak in the face of outside aggression, harm production, and, uh, kill lots of people). It doesn't give you options, it just provides a mechanism by which you can create options. Whether you choose to do so is up to you.
              • by thej1nx (763573) on Thursday August 09, 2012 @08:22AM (#40929837)
                No it doesn't. What democracy actually is supposed to do is fool people into thinking they have any options or alternatives, and guaranteeing the physical safety and lives of ruling elites. Think of it this way. The french revolution was pretty much two power-hungry factions vying for control. One faction used the common people for this. However this involved the other faction having their necks chopped. And people will occasionally grow too angry and discontent, and will want to replace the rulers. Democracy is really a way to avoid the bloodshed of over-thrown elites in such case. Both sides get to loot the people, and grow rich in turns without any actual risk of life and limb. There are not really any options here, if you think honestly about it. Take USA as example. Having no anti-lobbying laws in USA, no proper limits on campaign donations pretty much ensures that USA can never be a democracy in any sense of the word, except as a mere meaningless label.
          • by SmallFurryCreature (593017) on Thursday August 09, 2012 @03:35AM (#40928379) Journal

            Voting for Obama means voting to be raped up the ass.

            Voting for Romney means voting to be raped up the ass with a sandpaper covered telephone pole while having to pay your raper.

            Welcome to American democracy. Your choice between bad and really goddamn awful fucking bad.

            Obama bows to his friends in business.

            Romney IS business.

            Obama at least has to pretend to listen to the voter, Romney openly states that business is not just his first priority but his ONLY priority.

            When you are a lamb let to be slaughtered, pick the butcher who least enjoys torturing small furry creatures. That is what I do.

            • by indeterminator (1829904) on Thursday August 09, 2012 @06:05AM (#40929147)

              Welcome to American democracy. Your choice between bad and really goddamn awful fucking bad.

              Why not vote on the third guy then? I mean, your country has to have more than two guys who want the job, right? Or is it somehow forbidden to have a political party that's neither republican nor democrat?

              • by 1s44c (552956) on Thursday August 09, 2012 @06:36AM (#40929295)

                Why not vote on the third guy then? I mean, your country has to have more than two guys who want the job, right? Or is it somehow forbidden to have a political party that's neither republican nor democrat?

                The system is rigged in such a way that there is no effective third party. Neither of the parties with true power will change this as it means giving away a share of their power. The voters are confused with constant republican v democrat non-issues and believe that any vote for any other party is just a wasted vote.

                In essence US democracy has reduced to a republican/democrat alliance that is garenteed power forever, it's a dictatorship with the illusion of free choice.

                • by dropadrop (1057046) on Thursday August 09, 2012 @07:43AM (#40929575)

                  Why not vote on the third guy then? I mean, your country has to have more than two guys who want the job, right? Or is it somehow forbidden to have a political party that's neither republican nor democrat?

                  The system is rigged in such a way that there is no effective third party. Neither of the parties with true power will change this as it means giving away a share of their power. The voters are confused with constant republican v democrat non-issues and believe that any vote for any other party is just a wasted vote.

                  In essence US democracy has reduced to a republican/democrat alliance that is garenteed power forever, it's a dictatorship with the illusion of free choice.

                  And until people start voting for the third parties it will stay that way, ironic isn't it? I'm not American, but I see this explanation every time. It's true, if you are liberal and vote for a third party you do risk giving the Republicans a win, and of course the same applies the other way around.

                  However it's sure the parties who are in power would analyze why they lost, and if they found it was due to an increase in voters supporting third parties it would be sure to make a change in their tactics, and the more people would move to third parties, the more the current parties will be forced to make a change.

                  While the problem is certainly more exaggerated in the US, it's not unique to you. For example here in Finland the strong parties have been trying to find ways to make it difficult for anyone to start a new party, and to find ways how a party with wide acceptance in some area will benefit from that in another area. Still, occasionally somebody finds a way to break their lock and it definitely makes a difference.

                  • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

                    by andydouble07 (2344014)
                    First past the post guarantees that third parties can never succeed on a national scale. It's not a matter of "not believing hard enough", it's Duverger's Law [wikipedia.org]. Voting for a third party in a national election is just giving a pass to the (slightly) worse of the two candidates that actually have a chance of winning.
                  • by RyoShin (610051)

                    I'm American, and I plan on voting for Gary Johnson [garyjohnson2012.com], the Libertarian candidate. I'm not a big fan of the party, nor am I a big fan of his (though according to various political "match ups" I agree with him more than any other candidate), but I'm casting my vote to a third person (who I know will not get elected) to make the other two squirm. I believe that just as even competition leads to a better market, it can lead to better politics. If people keep voting for one or the other because of party lines

              • by mcgrew (92797) *

                Actually, in the last Presidential election, there were five parties on the ballot in enough states to have a chance of winning, if only the other three parties got any recognition. Even in the so-called debates the other three viable parties are always locked out.

                I always either vote Libertarian or Green, the other three want to put me in prison.

    • by thelexx (237096) on Wednesday August 08, 2012 @08:56PM (#40925597)

      Corzine. Hundreds of millions in 'segregated' funds. Currently enjoying new multi-million dollar offices on Wall St.

      • by drnb (2434720) on Wednesday August 08, 2012 @11:35PM (#40926941)

        Corzine. Hundreds of millions in 'segregated' funds. Currently enjoying new multi-million dollar offices on Wall St.

        It helps to be a friend of the President of the United States and a leading member of the Democratic party.

        “Jon Corzine one of the best colleagues I had in the Senate and one of the best partners I have in the White House.”
        President Barack Obama, Oct 21, 2009.

        • by Catbeller (118204)

          No one on Wall Street goes to prison, drnb. Obama didn't make that happen. Wall Street did. They run the country. Don't like it? So vote Republican. Oh, wait...

          We had a chance to stop this takeover back in the eighties and nineties. We needed to provide taxpayer money to fund elections, remove all contributions WHATSOEVER, and restrict candidates to single points of communications. Running for office should require three staffers and a camera, not a billion dollars for media buys.

          But now, candidates must, t

    • by Black Parrot (19622) on Wednesday August 08, 2012 @09:04PM (#40925667)

      On Bernie Madoff.

      Madoff is part of the ruling class.

      • by amiga3D (567632)

        Was. You can steal all you want from the little people but I think he got a little greedy and stepped on someone else turf.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Patent Lover (779809)
      It appears that the New Zealand SWAT team is like the SWAT teams in so many backwater U.S. jurisdictions. They might get some kind of real hostage situation once a year. Therefore they have to justify their expensive existence by smashing down the doors of non violent minor offenders.
    • by wvmarle (1070040) on Wednesday August 08, 2012 @09:59PM (#40926095)

      That is just the cultural difference between the nasty gun slinging New Zealanders versus the polite, peace loving Americans.

    • Bernie Madoff wasn't ranked #1 in the world at Modern Warfare 3. I am not kidding. Look at Kim Dotcom's wikipedia page (which may be kidding but it does say that). So yeah, you gotta send in the helicopters lol.
  • by Anonymous Coward

    I mean, such a violent guy.... he's like a terrorist. His children could have been at the windows with their ak-47s.

    • by amiga3D (567632)

      It could have been worse. They might have burned the place down with his kids in it.....but then that's the ATF's modus operandi.

  • by sabri (584428) * on Wednesday August 08, 2012 @08:06PM (#40925103)
    If it would not have been to capture an armed and dangerous mafia boss..

    Oh, wait...
  • by TWX (665546) on Wednesday August 08, 2012 @08:06PM (#40925105)
    ...to stage a raid on a high-profile target like this...

    First, shock-and-awe factor, in the real terms of cowing the target of the raid and ancillary subjects so that they don't do something dangerous to the authorities, like grab weapons. This can be especially important for security staff that might not be wired quite the same as everyone else.

    Second, disruption of other elements of critical thinking. If there are things to be destroyed, from the perspective of the target of the raid, this might disrupt that plan.

    Third, and in my opinion, most likely, to make a show of force for others. My guess is that this raid didn't require air support, a number of practiced officers could have detained or arrested people on the ground, even security, quickly enough, if enough people were involved in the raid in the first place. It is possible that this was more cost effective in not requiring as many officers to breach and secure, but helicopters aren't cheap either.
    • by gmuslera (3436) on Wednesday August 08, 2012 @08:13PM (#40925197) Homepage Journal
      The elements of critical thinking were already disrupted in the people that authorized that kind of things, no need to look elsewhere.
    • by stms (1132653) on Wednesday August 08, 2012 @08:16PM (#40925229)

      Watch the video the servers were seized before the raid occurred. There was little evidence Kim had access to to destroy at the time of the raid.

    • by MrBigInThePants (624986) on Wednesday August 08, 2012 @08:17PM (#40925239)

      All very valid and totally justified reasons...if you live in a police state.

      NZers are generally shocked and totally disgusted with their police force over this. Especially the co-towing to the US authorities part.

      Given the current right-wing government's stance on doing whatever the US or its corporate owners say it is not surprising...

      Ref:
      - Changing employment law for the hobbit movie
      - Signing up to ACTA despite it being bad for NZ
      - 3 strikes law
      - General foreign policy
      - Our special forces in Afganistan

      • by styrotech (136124)

        Given the current right-wing government's stance on doing whatever the US or its corporate owners say it is not surprising...

        Ref:
        - Changing employment law for the hobbit movie
        - Signing up to ACTA despite it being bad for NZ
        - 3 strikes law
        - General foreign policy
        - Our special forces in Afganistan

        Out of those 5 examples, I can only think of one (the hobbit employment law thing) that might have played out differently under the previous Labour government. Some of them were already happening or at least in play

        • Actually, not sticking up for old Johnny boy, but wasn't it his governement that put on hold the original 3 strikes law (after much kerfuffle) to get what we have today and not what was originally proposed? (although both are bad, I am sure the original bill was even more evil)

      • by sdguero (1112795) on Wednesday August 08, 2012 @09:08PM (#40925697)
        When they pushed the three strikes law through without oversight because of the earthquake... Man that pissed me off. And I live in California.
      • by jonwil (467024)

        What will it take to get the kiwis to vote for someone who is going to put New Zealand first and stop bowing down to the US and big American corporations.

        • by Genda (560240)

          Correct posture, wrong direction... the position I believe you are groping for is "Bending Over" though it includes the same subservience, there is a culminating act which distinguishes it from the more culturally acceptable bow. How'z it feel to be the 51st state?

      • by Kalriath (849904)

        You forgot
        - selling off of all the government's strategic assets
        - signing up to TPPA despite it being bad for everyone

    • Yes, all over a website. What a dangerous individual. Truly a threat to national security!

      Wait... I think I see a little girl running a lemonade stand down the street... without a permit! The army needs to get involved in this serious matter!

      • by TWX (665546)
        I find your comment juxtaposed against your signature line amusing...

        I'm not in favor of heavy-handed things that don't really affect a lot of people. Even if he's the biggest software/movie/music pirate or piracy facilitator in the world, one can argue that the number of people harmed by his actions is small, and the amount of harm caused to them is also small, relatively speaking on the latter. I would argue that a banker that profited off of the loss of someone's life savings has caused more real ha
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Nothing you said distinguishes this raid from any other instance of searching anything or arresting somebody. It's always possible that they will pull out a fully automatic rifle and lay waste to everything, but that possibility doesn't mean anything unless you've got a specific reason to suspect that that is what will happen. You either just accept that or you live in a police state with no rights. Unless you have good concrete evidence that searching an area is going to put the cop's welfare in danger, th

    • by HiThere (15173)

      I think your third option is the only plausible one. There's a name for that kind of action. It's called terrorism.

    • by dbIII (701233) on Thursday August 09, 2012 @01:59AM (#40927891)
      IMHO it required one policeman to wait outside until Kim Dotcom went out for milk to say "you're nicked sunshine".
  • What a Joke (Score:5, Insightful)

    by metrix007 (200091) on Wednesday August 08, 2012 @08:07PM (#40925107)

    Firstly, the NZ Police for being such a nice lapdog. Pretty funny when NZ stands up over something as silly as a nuclear free zone, but then does this.

    Secondly, this is the time of when the government needs to smack the government, HARD, and award Kim damages. Nothing else is really acceptable.

  • by L3sT4T (856344) on Wednesday August 08, 2012 @08:07PM (#40925111)
    Is it me or that was the type of raid that could/might have been used to capture Osama Bin Laden ?
  • NZ Perspective (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Seriousity (1441391) <{Seriousity} {at} {live.com}> on Wednesday August 08, 2012 @08:08PM (#40925131)
    As a New Zealander, I'm frankly outraged that the US has this kind of influence down here. It's about to get a LOT worse as the Trans-Pacific Partnership gets finished off and pushed through... Most people won't have even heard of it until the deal is done. Dodgy, dodgy secret deals with US corporations, and my country stands to gain absolutely nothing but the unjust legislative offspring off the MAFIAA.
    • by sdguero (1112795)
      I would be furious if I was a Kiwi... Only advice I can really come up with is pretty straightforward: VOTE THEM OUT! In my experience though, most Kiwis care more about their day to day worries than what is happening to their basic civil rights (like most Americans).

      As a Yankee who has spent a lot of time in NZ, I'm tired of personally getting blamed for the NZ government's actions (it has happened... a lot... At pubs, parties, bus stops, you name it, if a Kiwi hears an American accent there's a decent
      • Re:NZ Perspective (Score:4, Insightful)

        by JustNiz (692889) on Wednesday August 08, 2012 @09:45PM (#40925975)

        >> Also, I think the two party system we have in the USA might makes us a little more resistant to politicians selling out

        Its exactly because the US has (only) a 2 party system that the US is so bad.
          Both parties (who are just as bad as each other) screw the citizens equally, because they know if they go a little to far and lose power at very worst they'll have to wait 5 years before they're back in anyway.

      • We can't vote "them" out when "them" are on both sides of the two major parties. I have no doubt Labour would have done the same thing. Who do you think sold half our assets to Americans in the late 80's.

        Apparently our tax code isn't too bad, most of the tax is paid by the rich. The poor pay very little.
      • Re:NZ Perspective (Score:4, Insightful)

        by Genda (560240) <marietNO@SPAMgot.net> on Thursday August 09, 2012 @12:26AM (#40927315) Journal

        (at least in the USA the massive corporate profits mostly stay in country and get spent on fancy cars, swimming pools, and bar tabs). And it's not my fault!

        Oh, sorry, you apparently didn't get the memo... the only thing "Trickling Down" in America is toxic sewage from D.C. The top 400 people in the U.S. have the same wealth and the lowest 1650,000,000. Exactly how many fancy sports cars and bottle of Clicquot do you think these clowns would have to buy to even make a dent in the vacuum in the American economy created by this level of hoarding? No, the only folks smiling (besides the insanely wealthy) are their Caribbean bankers. Even one else is swimming in something a wee bit browner than your typical pool. Corporations are turning America into a toilet.

    • As a US resident, I can tell you this sort of thing is business as usual here. Money = political influence = law enactment + enforcement = military force. It's pretty much all the same thing, and we have lots of it - lots of all of that. Well, not "we" as in all of us, but the elite here are VERY elite, and they intend to keep it that way. the American people enjoy a generally high standard of living and, as such, are unwilling to initiate change, even though things could be so much better for us, both here
  • Dog & Pony show (Score:5, Insightful)

    by CuriousGeorge113 (47122) on Wednesday August 08, 2012 @08:10PM (#40925155) Homepage

    This whole thing is just a huge dog & pony show by Hollywood and the FBI. Its the exact same tactics they use when they catch someone downloading illegal content.

    Early on, they made a huge "example" out of the first offenders. Huge fines, drag them into court, media everywhere, blah blah blah. Now, the majority of the cases settle for a few thousand bucks and everyone moves on.

    Well, this is their first hosting provider that they (HollywoodFBI) have gone after, and they want to put on a big show so that everyone else knows they mean business. They'll bring in helicopters & troops & go after your kids and pregnant wife if you don't play by their rules.

    • by wvmarle (1070040)

      Interesting point you make. Anyone have any general input on how it's going with those law suits? It's been a long time since I've seen anything about it on this site.

  • If it would look stupid as a 3D shooter, then you've probably used too much.

    Unless of course 'disarming unarmed citizens' and 'avoiding pregnant wife' suddenly became genre staples.

  • Certainly not anybody posting here. Maybe they wanted to make sure they got somebody in there before he could destroy any evidence. Maybe they thought he might flee in his own chopper. Maybe they just thought it would be more fun that way.
  • by EmperorOfCanada (1332175) on Wednesday August 08, 2012 @09:34PM (#40925891)
    This is like religion in the 1600's and earlier controlling the government to take out those who didn't play by their rules. We are better off with the separation of church and state and will be better off with a massive reduction in the breadth and depth of copyright/patent rules. I agree that it is good that if someone writes a book that the publishing industry can't just rip them off. But I disagree that the writer of Happy Birthday is still able to control who sings his song all these years later. Even the same with the Beatles. By this point people should be at least able to rework them into something modern and potentially more interesting. I suspect that much of the lack of variety in pop music is that they don't dare do something interesting that might be similar to something done

    Copyright rules at this point would be like a guy who you hired 50 years ago to paint one of your apartments is somehow able to demand 30% of the rent from that unit. He may have done a really really nice job but when you look at copyright as where the public good lay it would be better for all if these things came available way faster. Also the restrictions should be more relaxed. A song is the majority of a composition. Any copyright on a few riffs should be done in a year or two.

    The same with a story. The whole composition might have a decade or two of protection but the characters and storyline should lose out in a few years. It is definitely time for new blood in the Star Wars series but even Harry Potter characters should be fair game soon if JK can't be bothered with continuing their journey.
  • by Lieutenant_Dan (583843) on Wednesday August 08, 2012 @09:42PM (#40925941) Homepage Journal

    Can't believe I just spent 10 mins reading this guy's wikipedia entry yet this is the most important piece:
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/technology/2012/jun/28/kim-dotcom-judge-raid-illegal [guardian.co.uk]

    It's clear that the FBI acting on behalf of the MPAA/RIAA had an overzealous NZ police force keen to impress.

    The really interesting item for me was how UMG submitted an invalid takedown notice on a video on Youtube on baseless grounds. I'm surprised that some of the artists didn 't sue the record company.

  • I have seen a lot of upset posts by people that don't like US leadership over this issue. Furthermore others have mentioned that the two top individuals most likely to get elected in November are both unlikely to take this issue in a different direction. What I have not seen are suggested alternate candidate names that upset US citizens can or should vote for. I did see the name Dennis Kucinich mentioned though I don't believe he will be on the ballot in most states, if any. Does anyone else have some sugge
    • by MightyYar (622222)

      No, it's too late for this election. I was hoping that something would come of the Americans Elect effort, but they self-destructed.

      The Greens might get themselves on a majority of state ballots. The candidates pull stunts like getting thrown in jail, but they might be somewhat inclined to listen to IP reform... it's already on their agenda in the form of patented genes. I wouldn't get my hopes up, though. But if you can stomach Krazy Kucinich, the Green Party platform might not sound too kooky to you. Both

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