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Piracy The Courts The Internet United States

Interviews: Kim Dotcom Answers Your Questions 90

Kim Dotcom was the founder of Megaupload, its successor Mega, and New Zealand's Internet Party. A while ago you had a chance to ask him about those things as well as the U.S. government charging him with criminal copyright violation and racketeering. Below you'll find his answers to your questions.
Politics - Internet Party and the TPP
by vinn

So you've recently taken a foray into politics with the formation of the Internet Party. What are your thoughts about what's needed to actually improve New Zealand politics? One of the stated goals of the Internet Party is to review the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade agreement, which has recently become a hot topic in the US as well. What are your thoughts on the TPP?

Dotcom: The TPP is for the benefit of corporations and their wealthy shareholders. It does not benefit citizens. Prices will go up, human rights will be reduced and if you'll ever have a health issue you'll end up paying more. It's a corrupt treaty, paid for by the lobbyists of the rich, bribing politicians to do their bidding in expanding monopolies to the detriment of the people. That is why they have to keep the text of the TPP secret. That is why their PR machine (the mainstream media) is drumming a pro TPP narrative.

Do your homework and within an hour of online research you will realize that the TPP isn't helping you. It's toxic.The Internet Party will continue to fight against increasing inequality and the reduction of our rights and freedoms. If you want to launch the Internet Party in your country to make a difference please contact us. We are happy to make our branding, policies and advise available to you. We can't do it alone. We need your help.



Mana party
by Anonymous Coward

You created the "internet party" as a fight against privacy laws being tramped in your adopted country, helped shape policy and pushed for "digital rights" not just for yourself but others.

Yet your "party" formed an alliance with the "mana party" who once claimed that broadband was stealing the soul of the country and sought compensation from the Govt, a party who has never gotten more the 1.30% of the popular vote, Nationalisation of monopolies and duopolies (which means they will never get any business votes, and which constricts their only policy of "for the people" (aren't people allowed to make profit?)

I was absolutely with the "internet party" and digital rights, until they made a coalition with the "mana" party. Was this a choice that you had a part in for the betterment of the political party you bankrolled, or was this out of control?


Dotcom: We joined forces with Mana for 2 simple reasons:

1. Mana is the party of the poor and disadvantaged. They fight against inequality. They want a government that is helping those that are struggling. I think that's honorable. And if you ever get into a situation where you need your government to help you out I think you would be glad that there is a party that cares about your urgent needs. Society has grown cold and selfish. We need to be more considerate for those who really need help. That's why I support Mana. I do admit that they had some radical &unrealistic ideas. It was our job to explain that to them and work with them on better ideas. They were good listeners and had the wisdom to change.

2. We started the Internet Party only 6 months before the election. Mana was our most likely ticket into parliament. It was a strategic decision because we would not have reached the threshold of 5% on the first run. It is extremely difficult for a brand new political movement to achieve the minimum 5% required to get into parliament. It was a gamble. We all knew that it was risky but we had to try. It didn't work out and I took full responsibility for that. In 2017 the Internet Party will run again, solo. We will have more time to prepare for the election and work hard to convince the electorate that we are worthy of making it into parliament.



Modern Warfare 3
by Spy Handler

Did you achieve your rank all by yourself, or were there other people you shared your account with?

What is your favorite
-Game type? (Team Deathmatch, Search and Destroy, etc)
-Loadout
-Perks

Any other comments or stories you'd like to share about your COD experience?


Dotcom: I played on my account the vast majority of the time. I have always achieved the #1 spot in any Call of Duty without help. But to maintain the #1 spot I would sometimes ask someone to help me out when I had long business meetings or other time consuming engagements. I played free-for-all and I had so many players chasing my #1 spot that it would have been impossible to maintain it without help because of my time constraints.

A story I like to share is this: I would rarely verse players in free-for-all who could impress me. Especially in 1on1 matches. But every now and then there was a standout talent. One kid impressed me with his skills and I decided to sponsor him to become a top competitive player. If given the opportunity he could win COD champs one day. We became good friends and he is currently living at the mansion and we play video games together.

I'm in love with Destiny at the moment. AW was a disappointment but I can't wait for Black Ops 3 to come out.



Perspective on jurisdictionally conflicting laws
by Capt.Gingi

What are your thoughts on the conflict of laws between jurisdictions with specific regard to how countries like the U.S. can claim jurisdiction over the actions of people and business in other countries if U.S. citizens seek to use the internet to purchase or use services not available in their own country?

Dotcom: The US Justice system is a tool of a US empire that wants to control the world. Isn't it arrogant for a US judge, who is limited to US laws, to destroy businesses and jobs half way around the world, without any due process? This is the world we live in today. You are all governed by US laws. They can take ownership of your assets and do it without you ever getting heard, without any due process. It happened to me, in a COPYRIGHT case. I have never traveled to or lived in the United States and my business wasn't located there either. Based on my experience the US Justice system deserves no respect. Alleged criminals are tortured into submission with the threat of decades in jail and forced to make plea deals even when they are completely innocent like our software programmer Andrus Nomm.Hecould not take the pressure anymore and decided to make a deal. That isn't Justice. It's a rigged game, with a completely unfair power balance, designed to give the Government more wins.

I'm strong enough and I will fight for the future of my children and for Internet Freedom. The DOJ knows that this case is toxic.They know I'm not a criminal copyright infringer. In fact the New Zealand Govt has tried to negotiate a deal with my lawyers, on behalf of the US, to settle this case. The solicitor general of New Zealand had proposed that this case could go away If I was willing to accept some copyright liability under New Zealand law. No extradition required. I told my lawyers that I'm innocent and that I'm not interested. And the next thing you know is the Attorney General of New Zealand offering my main NZ counsel a job as a judge. I'm dealing with an unethical system that is willing to rig the game just to win. That's when I decided to start the Internet Party.



Location, location, location
by nut

If, hypothetically, you had emigrated to San Francisco USA rather than NZ and Megaupload had been a US-based company do you think it would have been more or less vulnerable to the kind of action it was shut down by? Bonus points for an insightful discussion of the value of political contributions, etc.

Dotcom: The US government would not have taken such overreaching and drastic action if 220 Americans would have lost their jobs. There has never been a case like this before and never since the almost 4 years since the raid. The DOJ called this a test case. The New Zealand government is so corrupt and so eager to please the US that they did not even question any of the bogus legal theories the DOJ is using in this case. The only hope they have is that I don't have the funds to afford a good legal defense, which is why they are pursuing an aggressive starve-out strategy.



End game
by Sigvatr

Do you foresee an eventual end game to copyright infringement legislation in the future, or a moment when copyright holders throw their hands in the air and give up for good?

Dotcom: As long as there is a giant lobbying industry in America and politicians who allow themselves to be bribed by lobbyists it will just get worse. The vast majority of politicians today are not working for the people. They work for those who keep them in power. The banks and corporations. The US government is so openly corrupt it is hard to understand how the American people let them get away with it. I hope at the next election America will vote for someone who makes it his or her priority to get rid of the money influence in politics.



If you could rewrite copyright
by NotInHere

What would be your proposed copyright rule set, so that content producers still can live off their creations?

Dotcom: Copyright & technology need to co-exist. Copyright creators need to adapt to new technologies and not the other way around. The Internet is threatening the old copyright models but it is also offering an enormous opportunity to monetize copyright with innovative concepts that are better than those of the past. Today we are living in a world of copyright extremism. It is completely misguided and it's hurting technology companies and the Internet as a whole. I believe that the companies and people creating content should be compensated for their work and investments. But just like any other industry the copyright industry has to evolve, constantly. It isn't right to censor the Internet and stifle innovation just because the creative industry is struggling to find newer, better business models.



End to End Crypto
by psyclone

Is there a market in the world for strong cryptographic file sharing? Meaning only the end users control their private keys and the "network" just connects users -- it never knows the keys.

Or does that only work on the small scale such as one user sharing some files with a few friends. If that same user shared those files with ten thousand friends, then would the sharing would be public as the keys would be "leaked" by nature of lots of people having them? (And thus those files could be examined for copyright infringement.)


Dotcom: Yes. The booming encryption market has been created by the actions of the US government. Businesses that offer verifiably safe encryption will outperform those that don't. Now that the people are aware of what's going on they will demand more privacy options from the services and products they purchase. Governments will struggle to stop or control encryption and technology will prevail. That is good for all of us. But it's sad that technology has to safeguard our human rights because our governments failed to do so.



Mega Technique
by Anonymous Coward

I've seen some criticism from open source advocates and hackers that Mega can't be trusted because the source isn't available.What assurance could you give someone to the point that their files may not be kept secret while hosted on your platform?

Dotcom: I'm not involved in Mega anymore. Neither in a managing nor in a shareholder capacity. The company has suffered from a hostile takeover by a Chinese investor who is wanted in China for fraud. He used a number of straw-men and businesses to accumulate more and more Mega shares. Recently his shares have been seized by the NZ government. Which means the NZ government is in control. In addition Hollywood has seized all the Megashares in the family trust that was setup for my children. As a result of this and a number of other confidential issues I don't trust Mega anymore. I don't think your data is safe on Mega anymore. But my non-compete clause is running out at the end of the year and I will create a Mega competitor that is completely open source and non-profit, similar to the Wikipedia model. I want to give everyone free, unlimited and encrypted cloud storage with the help of donations from the community to keep things going.



What drives you to keep going?
by Joe Gillian

I've seen many a file-sharing site shutter its doors or become overly restrictive after even the merest hint of action by law enforcement officials, doing things like requiring logins to upload or download, sometimes even requiring people to sign in via social media (4Shared). The end result is that a lot of these places become borderline unusable.

Unlike a lot of those website operators, you have personally been dragged out of your home by law enforcement and had actions taken against MegaUpload by the United States government. It could be argued that you have more to fear as a "face" of file-sharing that the Department of Justice would want to make an example out of than pretty much any other file-sharing or torrent tracker operator out there (apart from maybe the Pirate Bay founders).

So my question is this: What drives you to keep going with Mega after having such things happen to you? What kind of mindset does it take to (metaphorically) keep spitting in the face of the United States government after having them raid your house by proxy?


Dotcom: It ain't easy. I had to carry a lot of pain and fear fora lot of people in the last few years. They destroyed my business. They took everything I worked for and seized all my assets.They destroyed my family and drove my wife back into depression and alcoholism which destroyed the happy family we once had. So many people suffered as a result of the unjust actions by both the US and New Zealand governments. I thought about giving up. Who wouldn't in such a situation. But I have to fight because I have such a huge responsibility. First and foremost I have to fight for my five children. They need me. Unfortunately they can't rely on anybody else. And of course I'm fighting for all of you. If I give up all of you will lose. They will use this case to turn our Internet to shit. I love the Internet. It gave me everything. I believe in Internet freedom, in your right to share, in your right to privacy. With your help and your support I can do it. I want to win this fight for all of us. To anyone who is interested in this case I recommend that you read this document to understand the corruption behind the mercenary law enforcement action that led to the destruction of Megaupload.



Just one:
by Opportunist

Was it worth it?

Dotcom: Yes!
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Interviews: Kim Dotcom Answers Your Questions

Comments Filter:
  • Mega and KDc (Score:5, Interesting)

    by squiggleslash ( 241428 ) on Thursday July 30, 2015 @12:11PM (#50215621) Homepage Journal

    That appears to be a Slashdot exclusive, I can't see anything online about the Kim Dotcom and Mega parting ways.

    • by AmiMoJo ( 196126 )

      I'm closing my account now. It's a damn shame, it's actually quite a good service.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Here's what would seem to be the verification (that things changed very recently with the Mega corporation):

      https://opencorporates.com/companies/nz/4136598

      Notice two new directors as of July 19, one of which (apparently) is facing accusations of misusing his power when it comes to Mega:

      http://www.stuff.co.nz/business/67561387/Company-director-John-Sorensen-accused-of-misusing-power

      The #1 shareholder after Zhi Min Li (who apparently owned it last year) is the other brand new director, Jesse Seang Ty Nguy.

      Dra

    • by trawg ( 308495 )

      I mentioned this on Twitter and got the following response from MEGA's support:

      "@trawg Please disregard the statement. We will be reacting with true facts later today."

    • It was certainly an exclusive. In fact, Mega has defended itself just some minutes ago, by tweeting a reference to this article: https://torrentfreak.com/kim-d... [torrentfreak.com]
  • What does he mean when he says 'verse'?
    • play against. Verse as in "Versus". He's saying that the people he played against rarely impressed him.
  • Decent interview. (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Starvingboy ( 964130 ) on Thursday July 30, 2015 @12:56PM (#50216147)
    Wow, I actually enjoyed that interview. Lately there have been a lot of political puff-pieces, at least this one answered some questions.
    • Re:Decent interview. (Score:4, Informative)

      by ciaran2014 ( 3815793 ) on Thursday July 30, 2015 @02:08PM (#50216883) Homepage

      Yep. A good read, and he comes across as a lot more reasonable than I expected.

      • by Xest ( 935314 )

        Most people do when you listen to them directly rather than focussing only on hearsay and mainstream press mis-quoting.

        I can think of any number of people who have been criticised for being tools here and by the media, but who make a lot more sense when you listen to their actual words, rather than choice misquotes by their detractors.

    • I agree. The questions covered a good deal of ground, and Kim answered each of them earnestly. It's hard to ask for more.
  • http://news.slashdot.org/comme... [slashdot.org]
    Where an Anonymous Coward says that he is a "creative professional" and that whoever arrives at stuff that "creative professionals" arrive at should own it forever and it's hard work.

    I suggest he find easier work and let people who find that sort of thing easy do their thing.
    http://yro.slashdot.org/commen... [slashdot.org]
    Claim by fyngyrz that people infringe copyright because the abstraction that someone actually put some valuable time into the work is too abstract for them to gra
    • Copyright is needed to motivate people to create, cause it turns out that unless people think their hard work will be rewarded, they're unlikely to perform. Should be common sense, so enough said there.
      Obviously there needs to be limits to this, which is where all the arguing comes in. The world has turned the 'reward for work' into it's own product, that can be bought and sold, and as such, there's lots of room for abuse.
      If policy makers revised copyright law based on the people putting the effort in get
  • This is a very telling quote--

    As a result of this and a number of other confidential issues I don't trust Mega anymore. I don't think your data is safe on Mega anymore.

    If his implementation of Mega was dependent on the 'trustworthiness' of the operators, then it was never truly encrypted. Nor should we expect his next iteration of cloud filesharing to be fully encrypted.

    • He kind of side-stepped the end to end crypto question, with respect to the scale at which it could operate. But he did say the next iteration would be completely open, so we'll see...

    • > Nor should we expect his next iteration of cloud filesharing to be fully encrypted.

      I don't know the history of Mega's downfall. Have you a link to suggest that Kim didn't do his best?

      In this interview he comes across well enough for me to take a wait-and-see attitude to his future businesses. (Although, IIRC, Mega required running non-free javascript in your browser. Sticking a GPL or another free licence on the code you have to run to use the service would be a big improvement.)

      If Mega was serving j

      • by ACE209 ( 1067276 )
        OP was probably referencing Kim Dotcoms first "enterprises"

        His early years seem to be missing from the english wikipedia page

        Here a translation of the relevant bits from the german version:

        He was a member of the then flourishing mailbox scene with its mailboxes "Beverly Hills BBS" and "House of Coolness BBS", where among other things, Warez were traded.
        It is said that he recorded the message of the users of this BBBs to gain inside information about weaknesses in the telephone system and software.
        He
        • It doesn't sound like that's what the OP was referring to. If that was what he was referring to, then I don't agree that someone's bad deeds when they were 20 imply that they can't be trusted when they're 41.

          I'm not trying to defend the guy, I don't know much about him, but the jabs being levelled at him here just don't seem very well founded.

          • I'm not saying Kim is the one who shouldn't be trusted. I'm saying the implementation cannot be considered to be 'encrypted'. If the operator has the ability to decrypt the contents of the cloud-shared files, then the content is subject to national security letters [wikipedia.org], snooping, hacking, etc. If the operator of Mega has to be trustworthy, then the implementation can't be trusted because the operator is the easiest part of the architecture to compromise.
            • I haven't looked into how Mega worked, but with my limited knowledge I'm assuming end-to-end encryption via a website must require the website sending javascript to the user which the browser will run to encrypt the files before upload. If that's how Mega worked when Kim was there, then the operator would have no way to decrypt the files and national security letters wouldn't work. A few web searches suggest that this is indeed how it worked. (Example: articles say "don't lose your password, it's the only

              • by Lenbok ( 22992 )

                MEGA have a ton of code on github, including their whole client-side SDK, so (just as with tools like gnupg) as long as you can ensure you are running the same code as is on github, you can have the same level of trust as you would have in other open-source, audited encryption tools. As you note, the website version of MEGA could potentially be updated without you knowing, but with the browser plug-in versions and the mobile apps it's possible to turn off auto-updating.

              • You offer a reasoned and objective interpretation of this encryption scheme. The part you mention about user-friendliness is important for consumer adoption of a cloud service like this, but it's also the easiest part of the architecture to compromise.

                Like you, I haven't thoroughly reviewed the MEGA security architecture, but I've tested the service and can make educated guesses to how it's working. Both keys are stored on the server. The user submits a passphrase that is claimed to be used by javascript
    • If you are not doing your own key management, and the encryption and decryption is not performed locally, you're relying on you cloud provider for privacy. In this case, if you lose your key, you lose your data. Most people don't want to run things like that, so most cloud services aren't secure against subpoenas and the like.

  • Why did you lie under oath in court to try and get John Banks put in jail?
    Why did you lie on your residency application?

    Are you just a liar?

    Can you please get out of my country? The only good thing you have done is destroy the Mana Party and helped the National Party get a record setting 3rd term. Thanks.

    I think you're a little upset all of you millions couldn't buy your way into power. Your political party failed. Your government bashing backfired.

  • TPP = Trans Pacific Partnership
    Was thinking The Pirate Party. Where's the brain?

  • Sadly, he is right. (Score:5, Interesting)

    by NewtonsLaw ( 409638 ) on Thursday July 30, 2015 @04:07PM (#50218103)

    Hi have no real opinions for or against KD -- I can see both sides of the argument.

    However, there is one area where he is absolutely right -- and that's the issue of corruption running rife within the US and NZ governments. In fact, the list of "unlawful" actions that the NZ government or its agencies have been found to conduct is growing almost on a daily basis. I often wondered what the difference was between "unlawful" and "illegal" - and have since worked it out.

    Illegal is when a mere citizen breaks the law. Illegal activities are punished by fines or incarceration.

    Unlawful is when the government or one of its agencies breaks the law. Unlawful activities carry no censure or punishment. The government automatically excuses itself from the provisions of the laws which "mere citizens" must obey without question. Does this really seem fair -- to have those who make and enforce the laws effectively placed "beyond the law"? Surely they should actually be held to a higher standard of accountability -- not effectively given the right to dictate that "mere citizens" must "do as we say, not as we do".

    The irrefutable evidence of corruption and blatant self-interest within government is clear to see for anyone who takes an interest. The sad thing is that the majority of the population has been "dumbed down" to the point where they either can't see or don't care about what's being done to them.

    This is a "frog in a pan" scenario. Over successive generations, many western governments have slowly eroded the rights of their populations and reconfigured the economy and laws in a way that benefits the rich at the cost of the poor. While things may not seem too different to the way they were 10 years ago, I bet that if you took someone from the mid 1940s (who'd risked their life to protect the rights and freedoms of the Western World), they would be outraged that so much of what *they* fought for has been surrendered so readily by people.

    When billions of dollars were effectively stolen by bankers -- who paid the price and who was punished?

    Innocent depositors and the "poor" paid the price but virtually none of those who committed the crimes were held to account.

    Socialize debt, privatize profit -- that's the mantra of today's world and it's something which is a clear indicator that governments are no longer serving to represent citizens. Governments now represent only those who can afford to lobby them and bribe them.

    In the 1950s it was "reds under the bed" -- today it's corporate USA who are the unseen but very real enemy of the people (of all countries).

    I suggest that *everyone* watches a documentary called "SuperPower". It has some *very* interesting facts that deliver irrefutable proof of exactly how the democratic process is just a farce.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      Also, watch The Trap, and The Super Rich and Us.

  • I look a the difference between Kim Dotcom and other media moguls. Am forced to say it's just connections to people in power. You-tube founders didn't go to prison and it was also used for piracy when it started. The difference is that Google bought Youtube and not Mega.
    Also, who is paying the sock puppets on this site. Fix the roads guys. The guy let people share files online and that makes him a terrible criminal, I miss ./ . He's clearly worse than Binladen because he's fat crass and let people pirate fi

  • by DrJimbo ( 594231 ) on Thursday July 30, 2015 @08:43PM (#50219903)

    In his second to last answer Kim Dotcom says:

    I want to win this fight for all of us. To anyone who is interested in this case I recommend that you read this documentto [slashdot.org] [sic] understand the corruption behind the mercenary law enforcement action that led to the destruction of Megaupload.

    That link just brings me back to this Slashdot page. I believe the correct URL for the whitepaper is http://kim.com/whitepaper.pdf [kim.com]

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