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Last post Author Topic: DOTCOM saga - updates  (Read 48142 times)

tomos

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Re: DOTCOM saga - updates
« Reply #50 on: September 24, 2012, 07:26:32 AM »
"You seem to think rationality will preval".    >:(
Eh? What? Was that directed at me?

lol, I was wondering the same :)
Tom

IainB

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Re: DOTCOM saga - updates
« Reply #51 on: September 26, 2012, 03:18:05 AM »
Actually, I do think it would be hard to make up such a comedy, so maybe we should all gratefully sit back and watch it unfold as a gift of original and creative theatrical farce - similar in type to the Whitehall farces by Brian Rix in the UK, years ago.
The NZ Listener article below covers the "cockup" (as it seems to be). I have copied the post sans embedded links/images, but have inserted the YouTube video of Dotcom's generous fireworks display for Auckland, as I happened to have watched it with my family, having a superb view of the event over the city, from the vantage point of our balcony.

The related video of Prime Minister's Question Time in the NZ Parliament (Wednesday Sep 26, 2012) makes for interesting viewing, [url=http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/video.cfm?c_id=1&gal_objectid=10836635&gallery_id=128143]here.

Quote
Kim Dotcom: a NZ resident - GCSB didn't know, but US did?
Link: http://www.listener....know-but-the-us-did/
By Toby ManhireToby Manhire | Published on September 26, 2012 | Online Only
Tags: kim dotcom

The NZ residency of Dotcom and Bram Van Der Volk is noted in the January 5 US indictment.
A quick note on the latest explosion of Kim Dotcom snafu-itis on the part of the New Zealand authorities.

Picture: Kim Dotcom's modest residency celebration [of a $500,000 2011 Auckland New Year Fireworks display over Auckland, as a gift from Dotcom.]



The GCSB seemingly were comfortable with the assurance of NZ police that Kim Dotcom and co-accused Bram Van Der Kolker were not New Zealand permanent residents (or were “foreign nationals”, of which more later) and hence exempt from prohibitions on domestic surveillance, and so, it’s been reported, they happily continued to intercept the communications of the men up until January 20, the day of the big fist-pumping raid in Coatesville.

And yet their friends in the US seemed not to be troubled by such confusion.

In the big indictment filed in a US court against MegaUpload and a number of its executives, among them Dotcom and Van Der Kolker, and dated January 5 – that’s more than a fortnight before the raid, and the apparent cessation of what now appears to have been illegal surveillance – the two men are clearly labelled as NZ residents.

Quote
KIM DOTCOM, who has also been known as KIM SCHMITZ and KIM TIM JIM VESTOR, is a resident of both Hong Kong and New Zealand, and a dual citizen of Finland and Germany …

BRAM VAN DER KOLK, who has also been known as BRAMOS, is a resident of both the Netherlands and New Zealand.

Kim Dotcom is widely reported to have formal Hong Kong residency. I’m assuming BvdK has formal Dutch residency. But all the same, you might argue that “resident” in this sense could be read as referring simply to where the individuals happen to be resting their heads – rather than any formal status. I doubt that, but either way, should it not have set alarm bells ringing among NZ’s spooks and police?

A final thought: the citizen-status description of Dotcom and Van Der Kolker above would tend to support their categorisation as “foreign nationals”. According to reports “the GCSB asked for assurances the men were all foreign nationals”.

But the “foreign national” status – which according to legal expert Graeme Edgeler is not a term widely used in New Zealand law – and is in this sense arguably not mutually exclusive from a permanent resident.

Is it possible the cockup, if we take the optimistic view that it was a cockup, stemmed from this?

IainB

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Re: DOTCOM saga - updates
« Reply #52 on: September 26, 2012, 03:21:10 AM »
Amusing cartoons from the NZ Herald:

Cartoon - Dotcom fiasco Obama.gif

Cartoon - Dotcom fiasco John Key.gif

IainB

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Re: DOTCOM saga - updates
« Reply #53 on: September 26, 2012, 09:44:46 AM »
Update copied below: (sans embedded hyperlinks/images)
Quote
Top secret review ordered for Dotcom documents
By Edward Gay
7:09 PM Wednesday Sep 26, 2012

An independent lawyer will be called in to look at top secret spy documents and decide whether they should be released to Kim Dotcom's legal team.

The internet mogul was back at the High Court at Auckland today where his lawyers asked for the "independent eyes'' of a senior lawyer to inspect evidence gathered by Government Communications Security Bureau (GCSB).

Crown lawyer John Pike agreed a senior lawyer needed to be cleared and said that although the information would be divulged, the spy agency's sources and channels would be protected.

The court had selected David Jones QC, but he indicated he would not be available and a replacement will need to be selected.

The move is similar to that adopted in the case of Algerian refugee Ahmed Zaoui where lawyer Stuart Grieve QC was appointed special advocate to review information from the Security Intelligence Service.

The case dragged on for five years and resulted in the security risk certificate against Mr Zaoui being dropped.

Outside court, Dotcom said he understood the FBI had been able to view information gathered by the GCSB.

He said intercepted phone calls and information on his internet use could have been added to the US indictment which will be the subject of an extradition hearing in March.

"If they got it and if it was illegal that might indicate that parts of the indictment are also tainted by this.''

Earlier, his lawyer Paul Davison QC told the court that information from the Crown suggests there could have been more spying by the GCSB.

"Material from the FBI may well have been sourced by the GCSB and having been sent to the FBI may have come back,'' Mr Davison said.

The GCSB was spying on Dotcom unlawfully after being told by police that he and his associates were foreign nationals

Police gave the assurance all four were foreign nationals despite Dotcom and his Dutch co-accused Bram Van Der Kolk being permanent residents of New Zealand.

The GCSB is forbidden by law to spy on New Zealand citizens or permanent residents.

Chief High Court judge Justice Helen Winkelmann said she was "concerned'' the GCSB did not know Dotcom's residency status.

Mr Pike replied that there was an investigation underway.

The wrangle over the GCSB's involvement is the latest in a series of legal missteps by police and other agencies involved in the January 20 raid on Dotcom's Coatesville mansion.

The courts have also heard legal arguments over the use of search warrants later found to be invalid and the seizure of Dotcom's cash, cars and property using a court order which should never have been granted.

Information about the GCSB's involvement was kept secret last month as Acting Prime Minister Bill English had signed a "ministerial certificate'' which effectively suppressed it.

That certificate was released to APNZ today and shows Mr English directing the police not to disclose any information concerning the GCSB's involvement.

Mr English said doing so would "likely prejudice New Zealand in relation to the detection or prevention of serious crime by inhibiting the free and candid flow of information to and from the Bureau...''

Dotcom, van der Kolk, Finn Batato and Mathias Ortmann are accused of being behind the world's biggest criminal copyright violation through the file-sharing website Megaupload, which carried about 4 per cent of the world's internet traffic. The men deny the charges.

tomos

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Re: DOTCOM saga - updates
« Reply #54 on: September 26, 2012, 01:48:03 PM »
I's a right mess, innit !?! :)
Tom

IainB

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Re: DOTCOM saga - updates
« Reply #55 on: September 27, 2012, 12:06:33 AM »
I's a right mess, innit !?! :)
Hahaha, yes.   
I guess that's why the NZ Herald referred to it as "a cockup" - it's an aptly descriptive term - but it has become rather farcical and could have potentially serious political outcomes for the NZ government and especially the current NZ Prime Minister.

Cynically, I have started to wonder whether the thing hadn't been deliberately engineered to bring him down. It's inexplicable. Serial execution errors. A clusterfark. I find it difficult to believe that this has all been screwed up entirely by accident.
Still, stranger things have happened at sea, I suppose.

tomos

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Re: DOTCOM saga - updates
« Reply #56 on: September 27, 2012, 02:01:29 AM »
I find it difficult to believe that this has all been screwed up entirely by accident.

not saying your theory couldn't be true, but all it would take is bad management--pretty common--and poor communication between the different departments. (Maybe an arrogant secret service and a resentful police force?) Add lack of experience at 'this kind of thing'. And you're got, eh, porridge anyone?
Tom

IainB

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Re: DOTCOM saga - updates
« Reply #57 on: September 30, 2012, 09:39:35 AM »
Computerworld NZ have a post:
Police knew of Kim Dotcom's residency status before raid
(Copied in the spoiler sans embedded hyperlinks/images. Emphasis is mine.)
Spoiler
Quote
Police document and immigration officials confirm that authorities were aware Dotcom was a New Zealand resident, see photo
By Andrea Vance and Sim Ahmed | Auckland | Thursday, 27 September, 2012 | 11 Comments

Immigration officials passed a file which confirmed Kim Dotcom's residency status to police in December, a statement shows.

Dotcom's residency status also appears in a police planning document (the "Blue Folder") requesting help from the Special Tactics Group (STG), dated January 9 , according to papers that Computerworld obtained from the Auckland High Court yesterday.

The planning document was signed on January 19 by detective inspector Grant Wormald, although the document was originally dated January 10. The interception of Dotcom and co-accused began on 16 December 2011 and continued until the day of the raid on January 20.

View and comment on:
- STG request for assistance "Blue Folder" [Redacted & Revised]
- Ministerial Certificate signed by Bill English
- Memorandum for directions on hearing

See also: PM releases Dotcom spying report

The revelation deals a further blow to the case against the Megaupload multimillionaire, who is fighting extradition to the United States.

This week it emerged that spies from the Government Communications Security Bureau illegally spied on Dotcom and his co-accused Bram van der Kolk because they were given the wrong information on Dotcom's residency status by police.

Yesterday, Dotcom's legal team raised concerns about inconsistencies in evidence given by the police officer who led a raid on Dotcom's north Auckland home in January.

Wormald told the High Court last month that no other agencies were surveilling the tech mogul. It has since emerged that police asked the GCSB in December to find out where he was.

Justice Helen Winkelmann in the High Court at Auckland yesterday also questioned how GCSB could have been mistaken about Dotcom's residency.

Outside the court Dotcom, who is accused of copyright infringement and racketeering, said: "The courts in New Zealand are dealing with lies, cover-ups and fake stories on a daily basis and they will see straight through this."

A statement from Immigration New Zealand confirms it passed its file on Dotcom to police in December. "The information in the file included Mr Dotcom's New Zealand residence status," a spokeswoman said.


Dotcom was granted residence on November 23, 2010. Van der Kolk holds a permanent resident's visa, understood to have been granted in early 2011.

Snooping on the pair began on December 16, and lasted until January 20, when police swooped on his Coatesville mansion.

Yesterday Prime Minister John Key was again under pressure in Parliament over the debacle. He was forced to admit he did not know if intelligence agencies the Security Intelligence Service or the National Assessment Bureau were involved in the case.

Mr Key learned of GCSB's involvement a month after his deputy, Bill English, who signed an order blocking public disclosure of their activities. "He was of the view that the Government Communications Security Bureau would probably inform me of that matter," Mr Key said.

Labour leader David Shearer says the botches demonstrate "a complete lack of co-ordination" at senior levels in the spy agencies. "It staggers me."
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Police declined to comment yesterday. But the government is urging caution, noting that police have not yet been able to respond publicly.

It is understood confusion over the definition of the term permanent resident may have contributed to mistakes.

Inspector-General Paul Neazor is expected to complete his investigation into the illegal spying tomorrow. Government sources have indicated they want to see its findings made public.


There would seem to be at least two really strange points here:
  • 1. Police TRUTH: Detective inspector Grant Wormald told the High Court last month that no other agencies were surveilling the tech mogul. It has since emerged that police asked the GCSB in December to find out where he was. A well-trained police officer looking at this would be able to say that elementary logic suggests to us the three possibilities that:
    • (a) Wormald had forgotten this pertinent point,or
    • (b) Wormald was unaware of it, or
    • (c) Wormald lied in his evidence to the High Court.

    Given his role in the investigation, if (a), then how could he have forgotten such a salient fact, or, if (b), then how could he have been unaware of it?
    As for (c), the idea of a senior police officer offering false evidence in the High Court is pretty much unthinkable and - IMHO - highly unlikely. The implications would generally be pretty serious.
    There will probably now have to be a hurried investigation around this, and also regarding the other inconsistency, where Justice Helen Winkelmann in the High Court at Auckland questioned how GCSB could have been mistaken about Dotcom's residency.

  • 2. Politician TRUTH:How on earth did the Deputy PM (Bill English) fail to inform the PM (John Key), of the Dotcom case or the GCSB involvement? The PM has stated that he only learned of GCSB's involvement a month after his deputy signed an order blocking public disclosure of their activities in the case.

ArsTechnica have a good take on it also: Inside NZ Police Megaupload files: US investigation began in 2010
Spoiler
Quote
Police knew raid on Dotcom compound would be perceived as overbearing.
by Juha Saarinen, wired.com - Sep 28, 2012 8:17 pm UTC

US and New Zealand law enforcement action against filesharing kingpin Kim Dotcom and associates was set in motion over a year ahead of the raid on the Megaupload founder’s mansion in January, and police knew their tactical assault by helicopter would be perceived as overbearing, redacted police documents show.

Known as the “Blue Folder,” the planning documents obtained by Computerworld  from the Auckland High Court reveal that that N.Z. Police enlisted the assistance of the SWAT-style Special Tactics Group (STG) and Armed Offenders Squad (AOS) for an armed, helicopter-borne assault on the Dotcom mansion at 0700 hours on January 20 this year, New Zealand time.

The documents shed more light on the United States' determined prosecution of Dotcom and fellow executives, which involves felony charges of racketeering, a complete shutdown of one of the 'Net’s most popular file-sharing sites and legal theories that could just as easily been wielded against YouTube. Dotcom remains free in New Zealand, pending an extradition hearing scheduled in the spring of 2013.

Further evidence of overeager and illegal police work emerged Thursday in New Zealand as Inspector General of Security and Intelligence Paul Neazor released a report on the illegal bugging of Kim Dotcom and Megaupload programmer Bram van der Kolk. Two GCSB officers were present at a police station nearby Dotcom’s mansion as the raid took place.

Neazor’s report says the signals intelligence service GCSB did not check police information about Dotcom and van der Kolk’s immigration status, and thought the pair weren’t permanent residents but foreign nationals. Under law, the GCSB cannot intercept NZ citizens’ and residents’ communications.

The request for assistance from the STG, dated January 9, also shows that police knew Dotcom and his then-heavily pregnant wife Mona were New Zealand residents before the raid. Under New Zealand law, the GCSB is not permitted to intercept the communications of the country’s citizens and residents.

But the police and the GCSB say they misunderstood the NZ Immigration Act and interpreted Dotcom’s residence class visa as not being enough to make him a protected permanent resident.

The director of the GCSB, Ian Fletcher has apologized to the New Zealand Prime Minister for the errors. It’s not clear what effect, if any, the admission of illegal interception will have on the extradition case against Dotcom and his four co-accused, or if the GCSB shared information with the FBI. The GCSB is in charge of New Zealand’s contribution to the global Echelon SIGINT network under which the US, the UK, Australia and Canada share information with each other.

Police weighed several options for the raid named “Operation Debut,” undertaken at the behest of US authorities, and sought to take Dotcom and associates with the “greatest element of surprise” and to minimise any delays the in executing the search and seizure operation should the German file sharing tycoon’s staff be uncooperative or even resist officers on arrival.

According to the documents, the preferred option for the police was to drop a “primary arrest team proximate to the dwelling” with STG and AOS officers in “lower standard of dress” following in vehicles on ground.

However, police were concerned that their actions could be seen as “heavy handed” and the use of helicopter as “possibly seen as over the top use of resources."

Furthermore, police also questioned the scale of the operation, as Dotcom and associates faced only fraud offences and asked “why a tactical intervention?” in the planning documents.

Due to “the international interest this warrant execution may bring” police officers were to dress and interact “in as lower [sic] key manner as possible” the planning documents dictated.

Police classified the entire operation as “Low Risk” even though the documents said there would be firearms on the premises.

The police planners also noted that “Dotcom will use violence against person’s [sic] and that he has several staff members who are willing to use violence at Dotcom’s bidding” after a U.S. cameraman, Jess Bushyhead, reported the Megaupload founder for assaulting him with his stomach after a dispute.

Based on Dotcom’s license plates such as MAFIA, POLICE, STONED, GUILTY, and HACKER, police said this indicates the German “likes to think of himself as a gangster” and is “described as arrogant, flamboyant and having disregard for law enforcement.” However, the documents show that Dotcom had only been caught violating the speed limit in New Zealand.

The request for assistance from the STG notes that the US investigation against Mega Media Group and Dotcom was started in March 2010 by prosecutors and the FBI.

According to the documents, US prosecutors and FBI “discovered that the Mega Media Group had engaged in and facilitated criminal copyright infringement and money laundering on a massive scale around the world.”

FBI in turn contacted NZ Police in “early 2011," requesting assistance with the Mega Media Group investigation as Dotcom had moved to New Zealand at the time.

NZ Police agreed and set up Taskforce Debut “to action requests made by the FBI through the Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty (MLAT) which includes the execution of search warrants, seizure of assets, arrests of targets under warrant and the extradition of targets.”

Even though the search and arrest warrants were later found to be invalid and unlawful, NZ Police categorically state in the documents that they have been “thoroughly evaluated” and their legal authority is current.

STG Request for Assistance -Blue Folder- [Redacted] [Revised]


The three blind monkeys come to mind.
__________________________________________
Update: article in NZ Herald on Sunday Sep 30, 2012 - NZ Herald: Paul Little: There's a dark side to Dotcom farce
The article mentions:
Quote
... But although it meets the definition of farce, the Kim Dotcom case is turning into something much darker. Initially it was about a failure to recognise that the world of information is changing and the digital future, represented by Dotcom, is here.

Then it became an example of how eager some provincial local entities were to compromise themselves to impress big-talking foreign friends.

This week it showed up excessive incompetence in areas - national security, sticking to the principles of the justice system - where we need to have confidence in those acting on our behalf.

So, while in most respects the Dotcom affair still resembles a farce, for the country it is starting to look more and more like a humiliating and tawdry melodrama.

40hz

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Re: DOTCOM saga - updates
« Reply #58 on: September 30, 2012, 10:03:55 AM »
@IainB: police and political truth? Such a wonderful pair of euphemisms for "wishful thinking" and "falsehood."  ;D :Thmbsup:

IainB

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Re: DOTCOM saga - updates
« Reply #59 on: September 30, 2012, 06:58:08 PM »
@IainB: police and political truth? Such a wonderful pair of euphemisms for "wishful thinking" and "falsehood."  ;D :Thmbsup:
Hahaha! Well, I didn't intend them as euphemisms, but in using those terms I did rather have to bend over backwards to refrain from casting aspersions or making personal judgements and at least try and retain some semblance of objectivity.
Some people (not me, you understand) might say that the terms I used were oxymorons, but I couldn't possibly comment.

IainB

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Re: DOTCOM saga - updates
« Reply #60 on: October 01, 2012, 12:13:53 AM »
This is not so much an update about the Dotcom case per se, but about some of the repercussions of the fiasco: GCSB review ordered
Spoiler
Quote
By Kate Shuttleworth
Updated 3:25 PM Monday Oct 1, 2012
The Government Communications Security Bureau is being reviewed after it was found to be spying on Kim Dotcom illegally.

The Secretary of Cabinet has been appointed to carry out a capability, governance and performance review of the Government Communications Security Bureau after it was found to be spying on Kim Dotcom illegally.

Chief executive of the department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet Andrew Kibblewhite Director of the GCSB Ian Fletcher announced today that Secretary of Cabinet Rebecca Kitteridge will be seconded immediately to the GCSB for an initial period of up to three months in the new role of Associate director of the Bureau.

Ms Kitteridge will be responsible to the director of the GCSB for the immediate review.

Ms Kitteridge's responsibilities will include:
  • # Review the systems, processes and capabilities underpinning the GCSB's collection and reporting,
  • # Build capability and provide assurance to the GCSB director that the compliance framework has been reviewed, improved and is fit for purpose.
  • # She will establish new, specific approval processes for activity in support of police and other law enforcement agencies.

Ms Kitteridge was appointed as secretary of the Cabinet and clerk of the executive council in April 2008.

She is a senior public servant who is responsible for the security and integrity of the Cabinet decision-making system and the New Zealand Royal Honours systems.

She provides advice on ethics and conduct in relation to Ministers of the Crown, and is a key constitutional advisor to the Governor-General and the Prime Minister of the day.

Ms Kitteridge is a lawyer and a focus in private practice was on legal compliance for corporate entities.

Since joining the public service she has specialised in constitutional matters at both the Cabinet Office and in the legal division of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade. While in Cabinet Office she has advised four Prime Ministers and four Governors-General.


I presume from this that since the Dotcom case is already under scrutiny in the High Court, then there will be no interference in the current and proper rigorous judicial review of the circumstance around what was - according to the judge - an apparently unwarranted and thus illegal/wrongful break-in, arrest, with subsequent sequestration of Dotcom's private and business assets, all by NZ police authorities.
There is a defined crime called Home Invasion - Refer: Crimes (Home Invasion) Amendment Act 1999 - in New Zealand, applied in cases where people illegally break into your home and variously imprison/beat up/kidnap/rape/kill the occupants and damage/steal property.
I am unsure how the legislation is to be enforced in cases where it seems that it is the police that have carried out the Home Invasion - the police presumably existing to protect people and their property, rather than the opposite of that.

I am none too sanguine about this so-called "review". GCSB's operation needs to have the hard light of scrutiny shone on it, by an independent review panel. The review needs to be carried out in an auditable, open and transparent review process. It should ideally result in a published report of what the findings are, and what has been done to stop the rot that is clearly there (QED).
The report should be open to public scrutiny and not in the form of a whitewash. However, whitewash is what you can typically expect to see when government departments review each other. Effectively seconding a public servant into a subordinate role to the Director of GCSB - rather than having an independent review panel - would therefore seem most unlikely to be able to cut the mustard.
People will be unlikely to believe that it isn't going to be a whitewash. How could they believe otherwise, when the government is deliberately not putting in an independent review panel?

Regardless of the outcome, the voters will at least be able to make a decision, come the next election.
Quote

"The rule of thumb is that, if a business process can not stand the hard light of scrutiny, then there is probably something unethical about it". - Sir Adrian Cadbury (Chairman of the then Quaker family-owned Cadbury's) in his prize-winning article on Business Ethics for Harvard Business Review circa 1984.

IainB

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Re: DOTCOM saga - updates
« Reply #61 on: October 07, 2012, 11:58:34 PM »
But wait - there's more!
(NZ Herald news item copied below, sans embedded hyperlinks/pix.)
Quote
Suspicion over Dotcom net glitch
By David Fisher
5:30 AM Friday Oct 5, 2012

Telecom engineers investigating internet irregularities weeks before GCSB has said it started spying on him.
Kim Dotcom's internet connection was being diverted inside New Zealand weeks before the Government Communications Security Bureau says it started spying on him.

The Herald has obtained details showing Telecom engineers and staff at its technology services company Gen-I were investigating irregularities with his internet connection in November.

The revelation has raised suspicion that Mr Dotcom was victim to earlier spying than the GCSB has admitted. It has brought fresh calls for an inquiry amid claims of the spy agency's role in the international "Five Eyes" Echelon Network.

The focus of the early investigation is the dedicated internet connection from Mr Dotcom's mansion in Coatesville to the Sky Tower in Auckland. It was intended to give him the fastest possible internet connection - a factor which would have been critical in his quest to be the best in the online Modern Warfare 3 game.

Mr Dotcom became the "number one" ranked player of the game before his arrest.

During the record-setting effort, Gen-I staff began an investigation into the amount of time it took for an internet signal from Mr Dotcom's home to reach an offshore Xbox computer server.

Information held by the Herald shows Gen-I studied data showing the amount of time it took information on the internet connection to reach the Xbox server. It went from 30 milliseconds to 180 milliseconds - a huge increase for online gamers.

The reason for the extra time emerged in a deeper inquiry, which saw a "Trace Route" search which tracks internet signals from their origin to their destinations. When the results were compared it showed the internet signal was being diverted inside New Zealand.

The data showed the internet signal had previously taken two steps before going offshore - but was now taking five.

The GCSB is under police investigation after admitting it illegally spied on Mr Dotcom between December 16 and January 20, the day of the raid. It is also studying three other cases of possible illegal action carried out after requests from the police.

The other cases emerged after Prime Minister John Key - who is responsible for the agency - ordered an inquiry. Asked about the possibility of earlier spying, a spokeswoman said the Prime Minister had sought and received "a fresh assurance" the GCSB and Security Intelligence Service had not carried out any surveillance before December 16.

Green co-leader Russel Norman said it could not be ruled out.

He said a commission of inquiry was needed to examine the behaviour of the GCSB.

He said it could be conducted in secrecy with sensitive material excised from a final public report.

Mr Norman highlighted the Echelon of Five Eyes agreement where the GCSB worked with intelligence agencies from the US, Australia, Canada and the UK.

Labour leader David Shearer said he also wanted an independent inquiry which could be run by a senior and trusted New Zealander. "The critical issue is who knew what and how all the checks and balances work."

A Telecom spokeswoman said the company would not give information to the police of "any other government agency" unless legally forced to do so.

This stinks.
« Last Edit: October 08, 2012, 03:53:13 AM by IainB, Reason: Added reference to NZ Herald. »

Renegade

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Re: DOTCOM saga - updates
« Reply #62 on: October 08, 2012, 01:59:08 AM »
This stinks.

That it does.

The concept of "principles" is lost. Governments act unilaterally with no respect for law or rule of law.

If these people were actually charged for their crimes, the economy would instantly recover as countless new prisons would need to be built to house them all. Think of all the employment opportunities!

Then again, if all the people convicted of offenses like gathering in public or smoking flowers were released, there'd be lots of room for real criminals, like Prime Ministers and the like. That wouldn't be so great for the economy, but pretty much replacing them with almost anyone would be. :)
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IainB

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Re: DOTCOM saga - updates
« Reply #63 on: October 11, 2012, 09:51:05 AM »
Confuzzling. The US judiciary apparently want Dotcom extradited because they cannot put him on trial until he is in the US.
However, it seemed to me that they had already established his guilt in something, having effectively somehow already charged and tried him in his absence - otherwise why sequester all his personal and business assets as they would do for a confirmed criminal?
The illegality (QED) of the arrest/seizure behaviours so far would seem to support this.

Per ArsTechnica post:
Megaupload to remain under indictment pending Dotcom extradition
(Copied below sans embedded hyperlinks/images.)
Quote
Megaupload to remain under indictment pending Dotcom extradition
by Timothy B. Lee

A United States judge has rejected Megaupload's effort to escape the reach of US criminal law. Lawyers for Megaupload have argued that its lack of a US mailing address makes it impossible for the government to properly indict the file-sharing company. But in a Friday ruling, Judge Liam O'Grady ruled that the government may be able to satisfy the law by serving notice on Megaupload founder Kim Dotcom once he has been extradited to the United States.

American law requires that when the government criminally indicts a corporation, it must send notice of the indictment to the corporation's last known address in the United States. But Megaupload is a Hong Kong-based corporation, and its founder Kim Dotcom lives in New Zealand. Megaupload's lawyers argued that since Megaupload has no US address to send notice to, the government cannot satisfy the requirements of the law and therefore cannot indict Megaupload at all.

While that might seem like a perverse result, Megaupload attorneys made the case in July oral arguments that this was exactly what Congress intended. They contended that the misdeeds of Hong Kong corporations should be dealt with under Hong Kong law, and that it was unreasonable to expect a corporation with no US presence to defend itself in a courtroom halfway around the world.

wraith808

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Re: DOTCOM saga - updates
« Reply #64 on: October 11, 2012, 10:37:44 AM »
Confuzzling. The US judiciary apparently want Dotcom extradited because they cannot put him on trial until he is in the US.
However, it seemed to me that they had already established his guilt in something, having effectively somehow already charged and tried him in his absence - otherwise why sequester all his personal and business assets as they would do for a confirmed criminal?

There are two types of seizure - criminal and civil.  Criminal is what you refer to, but this was most likely a civil seizure (most likely because most these days are, and the requirements place the onus on the claimant, not the authorities).

A good explanation of asset forfeiture lawsw

HR 1658

Overview of Current US Forfeiture Processes (.pdf courtesy of UNAFEI)

IainB

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Re: DOTCOM saga - updates
« Reply #65 on: October 11, 2012, 12:58:29 PM »
@wraith808: Thanks for the explanation and links.
US law is a bit of a mystery to me as I have only studied UK and NZ criminal, contract and commercial law.

You suggest that "...but this was most likely a civil seizure..." but if that is the case, then I do not understand why the police/FBI/SS etc . were so heavily involved with the police and SS (GCSB) in NZ.
As far as I was aware, in any civil actions in NZ, the police would not normally get involved - only if a crime had been committed.
For example:
Quote
I was reminded of this a while back when trying to retrieve some property of mine that a previously trusted friend had inexplicably deliberately taken and disposed of - sold and/or given away - knowing that it was wrong to do so. I wanted to recover the property which had some real financial value but which - more importantly - was irreplaceable and had a high intrinsic value for me. I phoned up my local police HQ, gave them the details, and asked for advice,, and they promptly asked me for full details of the person, their home address, etc. When I asked "Why?", the officer I was speaking to said that what I had described was an instance of "common theft", which is a crime, and which they deal with a lot, and that they would pursue the offender and charge them on that basis. I asked "Would you also recover the stolen goods?" and they said probably not, because it was usually difficult to retrieve stolen goods except when someone was "fencing" them to known contacts for a living (which I don't think was the case here).
When I said that I didn't actually want to lay a charge against the thief (it would have given them a police record and made life very difficult for them in future employment), but that I did want to recover the stolen goods, they advised me to take out a civil action in the Civil Court to recover the goods or the financial equivalent/replacement costs, and they (the police) would not need to be involved.

wraith808

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Re: DOTCOM saga - updates
« Reply #66 on: October 11, 2012, 02:39:20 PM »
You suggest that "...but this was most likely a civil seizure..." but if that is the case, then I do not understand why the police/FBI/SS etc . were so heavily involved with the police and SS (GCSB) in NZ.
As far as I was aware, in any civil actions in NZ, the police would not normally get involved - only if a crime had been committed.

The civil seizure is not predicated by a criminal procedure.  However, the two are related, i.e. they seized him based upon criminal proceedings.  During the criminal seizure of his person, they also seized his assets based on civil forfeiture rules, so that this part would not be based on the criminal proceedings.  This is usually used in the case of drug lords and such, as they deal in cash and other assets with ready liquidity and as such if immediate seizure and forfeiture is not enacted, there might be nothing to enact it against.

IainB

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Re: DOTCOM saga - updates
« Reply #67 on: October 23, 2012, 05:50:19 AM »
In the US, the EFF having become involved, there are moves afoot to have access to the currently sealed US seizure warrant for the Dotcom servers.
However, one suspects that the authorities and judiciary are likely to be in lockstep and, as in all cases where there may be something the State wishes to hide (and this certainly appears to be one of those mysterious cases), the hard light of scrutiny might be the very last thing the State wishes to have shine on the sealed seizure warrant.
EFF Files Motion To Have Court Release Seizure Warrant In Megaupload Case

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Re: DOTCOM saga - updates
« Reply #68 on: October 23, 2012, 06:29:22 AM »
In the US, the EFF having become involved, there are moves afoot to have access to the currently sealed US seizure warrant for the Dotcom servers.
However, one suspects that the authorities and judiciary are likely to be in lockstep and, as in all cases where there may be something the State wishes to hide (and this certainly appears to be one of those mysterious cases), the hard light of scrutiny might be the very last thing the State wishes to have shine on the sealed seizure warrant.
EFF Files Motion To Have Court Release Seizure Warrant In Megaupload Case

Oh, c'mon now... Let's just stop being completely silly and pretending that people have a right to know things like, oh, what criminal charges are being filed against them and all that. Pure silliness! :P
Slow Down Music - Where I commit thought crimes...

Freedom is the right to be wrong, not the right to do wrong. - John Diefenbaker

40hz

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Re: DOTCOM saga - updates
« Reply #69 on: October 23, 2012, 09:27:06 AM »
I think the best way to make sense out of this is to view the whole Dotcom debacle as nothing more than the United States teaching a lesson in realpolitik and raw governmental power to those who either still believe in constitutional limitations, or feel they can use legal strategies to advance their own ends against the wishes of those in power.

There's nothing mysterious about this case. Any more than there's a mystery behind Camp X-Ray in Guantanamo Bay, or places like Manzanar, or the new and unlimited (in fact) powers granted by the US government to itself under the rubric of "homeland security."

Some years before  the mixed blessings of post-apartheid government came to South Africa, then president Pik Botha was famously quoted as saying "Do not push us too far" in response to the World's condemnation of his government. There were UN resolutions, boycotts, and widespread condemnation in all quarters against South Africa's government. And all to no avail. Nor did any nation seriously suggest the world take military action and remove SA's government from power. Because deep down inside, every government depends on a high level of unquestioned obedience and indifference from its citizens. A fully engaged general public is the last thing a career politico or apparatchik ever wants to see. What comes around goes around. So to question any one government's actions is to call into question virtually every other government's behaviors. And the sad truth is, there's very little difference between them these days.

The Dotcom saga isn't really a saga. It's a waiting game with a healthy dose of 'puppet theater' thrown in for "good press."

The US will continue to be defiant and stonewall. The NZ judiciary will make their statements to mollify their citizens. And issue their rulings. All with the full knowledge it will have no real effect.

Eventually the brouhaha will die down. And it will be back to business as usual.

But that's because the real goal and message wasn't about file sharing to begin with. It was about an outspoken individual publicly and repeatedly thumbing his nose at a powerful government - and then openly defying it to do anything about it.

It's a dangerous game that all too frequently provokes a similar response. Because no government can afford to allow such a challenge to go unanswered. And, as was noted in the movie V for Vendetta, when pushed to the brink, governments invariably respond in the only way they know how: with men and guns.

« Last Edit: October 23, 2012, 09:43:45 AM by 40hz »

superboyac

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Re: DOTCOM saga - updates
« Reply #70 on: October 23, 2012, 09:45:15 AM »
 :greenclp:
damn 40...that was beautiful.

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Re: DOTCOM saga - updates
« Reply #71 on: October 23, 2012, 10:29:58 AM »
It's a dangerous game that all too frequently provokes a similar response. Because no government can afford to allow such a challenge to go unanswered. And, as was noted in the movie V for Vendetta, when pushed to the brink, governments invariably respond in the only way they know how: with men and guns.

Interesting that you should choose those words. A few hours ago I posted a bit of fun for people (had a brain fart and needed to smell up the rest of the world with it):

My comment about the pic that is "illegal"
Looks like John Adams is advocating shooting the President of the US today. :P


Clinton-Adams-Rights.jpgDOTCOM saga - updates

Hope that was entertaining for some here. :D
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TaoPhoenix

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Re: DOTCOM saga - updates
« Reply #72 on: October 23, 2012, 10:43:14 AM »

I'm cleaning out my bookshelves. So should I throw out the tome on "American Law"? :P


Renegade

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Re: DOTCOM saga - updates
« Reply #73 on: October 23, 2012, 10:48:12 AM »
I'm cleaning out my bookshelves. So should I throw out the tome on "American Law"? :P

NO! Absolutely not!

That tells you what you are bound to, and what the government isn't bound to. :P
Slow Down Music - Where I commit thought crimes...

Freedom is the right to be wrong, not the right to do wrong. - John Diefenbaker

wraith808

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Re: DOTCOM saga - updates
« Reply #74 on: October 23, 2012, 03:05:45 PM »
Just curious Renegade... why do you refer to him by his birth name when he legitimately took his stepfather's name?  I'm sure there must be subtext (knowing you), but I don't get it...