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Dotcom Drags NZ Spook Agency Into Court 165

New submitter d18c7db writes "Internet tycoon Kim Dotcom has won another court victory, today given the right to drag the secretive GCSB into the spotlight of a courtroom. Forcing the GCSB to be tied to the court action opens it up to court ordered discovery — meaning Dotcom's lawyers can go fishing for documents as they continue to fight extradition to the U.S. to face copyright charges. But the GCSB claimed any disclosure of what [was] intercepted would prejudice New Zealand's national security interests 'as it will tend to reveal intelligence gathering and sharing methods.' Dotcom and his fellow Mega Upload accused asked Chief High Court Judge Helen Winkelmann for the right to have the GCSB become part of the proceedings, amend their statement of claim, and for additional discovery. In a judgment issued today she gave that permission."
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Dotcom Drags NZ Spook Agency Into Court

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  • This Is The Point (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday December 06, 2012 @09:55AM (#42202983)

    This is the point where the charges get dropped.

    It's unfortunate that an utter slimeball like Dotcom is the one to drag these agencies and policies out into the sunshine.

  • by captainpanic ( 1173915 ) on Thursday December 06, 2012 @09:58AM (#42203005)

    If the GCSB have nothing to hide, they have nothing to fear, right?

    If they were using standard and allowed intelligence methods against this civilian, they have nothing to hide, and nothing to fear.
    If however, they were breaking laws, then there may be other consequences too.

    The defense only claims that it cannot be touched. Somehow, I think this is not a strong defense.

  • by girlinatrainingbra ( 2738457 ) on Thursday December 06, 2012 @10:24AM (#42203205)
    So finally a judge states the obvious for countries that have constitutional systems that provide for laws restricting the powers of the government: that no one is above the law and that no one is above being reviewed/judged by the judicial system. Note in this country (USA) how often the executive branch pleads/claims executive privilege in attempting (and succeeding in) avoiding judicial review of the president's actions and powers.
    The latest ruling is another milestone in Dotcom's bid to challenge extradition to the US on copyright infringement charges.
    His lawyers have already proved that GCSB's surveillance of the mogul was illegal, and search warrants for the January raid were invalid.

    Are we supposed to cheer for the judge for making a reasonable ruling, or are we supposed to cheer that the judge allowed for the review of possible criminal / illegal activities by the law enforcement officers of New Zealand? Any way you look at it, it's sad that it came to this: law enforcement in NZ breaking laws (possibly under the external request / direction of others) and using force to execute searches for evidence of copyright infringement.

  • Re:I have an idea (Score:5, Interesting)

    by shoemilk ( 1008173 ) on Thursday December 06, 2012 @10:41AM (#42203425) Journal
    I never used Mega Video for anything, legit or infringing. I have no opinion of Kim Dotcom. But really, is Dotcom or Ochocinco really worse than "Miller" or "Johnson"? So someone in your history was a miller at some point, now all of his descendants are? Some guy's dad on your history was named John, yay! At least Dotcom and Ochocinco have real personal relevance to those gentlemen. <sarcasm>Anyone with a stupid last name like "smith" should think about changing it to something modern. How many smithies are there in ten people, 0.2? 0.1? Retarded last name.</sarcasm>

    Is Kim Dotcom a "douche"? I don't know, I've never met him. Even if he was, though, he still doesn't deserve two government colluding and breaking laws to arrest him. I don't need a third-person written wikipedia article to determine that you, however, are a judgemental prick.
  • by rtfa-troll ( 1340807 ) on Thursday December 06, 2012 @11:10AM (#42203735)

    You mean like:

    • Megaupload sent a copy of Men in Black 3 to an IP address in the US after being ordered to by the MPAA
    • 200 people employed by the Universal Music Group in an entrapment operation shared born this way on Megaupload
    • Two employees of Megaupload knew about music sharing but agreed to make sure Kim Dotcom never finds out because he keeps insisting on deleting everything for legal reasons.

    Sounds just about as fair as convicting people based on secret evidence discovered during torture at Guantanamo.

  • Simple Solution (Score:5, Interesting)

    by maz2331 ( 1104901 ) on Thursday December 06, 2012 @11:16AM (#42203825)

    I get the argument that some state secrets need to be kept to prevent aiding enemies from circumventing intelligence gathering activities. However, if that privilege is invoked, then the coutrs should simply give a default judgement as if the opposing side's claims are proven by the evidence provided. In other words, keep the secrets and be quiet and lose the case, or defend against it with the requested information - possibly provided under seal and only seen by the judge and a security-cleared lawyer for both sides.

  • Re:Case Dismissed (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday December 06, 2012 @12:04PM (#42204323)

    Maybe the GCSB will say their methods are secret and can't be disclosed in open court, and the court will dismiss the charges against Dotcom, giving the government a way out. It's happened in the US a few times.

    This is not a case that can be dismissed. He is fighting extradition to the US. Either he wins and stays in NZ, or he loses and gets on a plane to America.

    It should be noted that Mr. Dotcom was more or less done for until he hired an American law firm [twitter.com] to represent him; his new legal team is lead by one of President Obama's law school classmates. That firm, of course, also represents Google and almost every Android phone manufacturer against Apple and Microsoft.

  • Re:Simple Solution (Score:5, Interesting)

    by crontabminusell ( 995652 ) on Thursday December 06, 2012 @05:12PM (#42208507)
    You have to wonder if the US ever gets around to actually trying Kim Dotcom, and if he's convicted of any crimes based on the actions of MegaUpload, that there will finally be a precedent in the legal books to go after CEOs and other high-ranking officials of other companies based on the actions of the company and not the individual. I'm not going to hold my breath for that kind of accountability, but it seems like there's a greater-than-zero chance that it could happen.

What is algebra, exactly? Is it one of those three-cornered things? -- J.M. Barrie