Tag: Megaupload (page 3)
It's a big day for Kim DotCom of MegaUpload. At 4:30 pm New Zealand time (1 hour from now) High Court Justice Tim Brewster will issue his decision on the Crown's appeal of Kim DotCom's release on bail. Hopefully, Kim DotCom won't be returning to jail.
A hearing has been going on all day in another division of the High Court on Kim DotCom and his wife Mona's request to unfreeze assets for living expenses. They say their living expenses are $220,000. a month. The Crown Prosecutor, Ann Toohey, who is representing the U.S., objected to the expenditures as excessive.
DotCom is requesting 28,000 a month for legal and living expenses. The amount of $200,000 is for rent at the mansion. Kim DotCom put $6.5 million into renovations at the property, which he will lose if he can't pay the rent.
Toohey also said she was informed yesterday by the FBI that U.S. prosecutors are investigating Mona DotCom and have made some sort of application: [More...]
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After hearing arguments in New Zealand's High Court today on whether to grant the Crown's appeal of the decision granting bail to MegaUpload co-founder Kim DotCom, the Court reserved ruling until 4:30 p.m. tomorrow.
It doesn't sound like the Prosecution had anything more to offer than last week:
The Crown, on behalf of the US Government, argued today that there is a very real risk that Dotcom still has access to offshore funds he is linked with.
But Dotcom's lawyer Paul Davison QC says there is no evidence of this, so his client's flight risk remains low. He said it would make no sense for Dotcom to leave his family or assets behind.
I hope the Judge doesn't reverse the granting of bail. With the extradition hearing not until August, the Crown should have to show more than unsupported speculation he has sources of funds and would likely flee. So far it hasn't.
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It's back to the High Court for MegaUpload founder Kim DotCom. The Crown has appealed the order granting him bond, and a hearing has been set for Tuesday.
The Crown Prosecution is not representing the people of New Zealand in this case, it is representing the United States. In other words, the Crown probably couldn't care less that Kim DotCom is on bail, it's just doing what the FBI has requested.
The U.S. has until March 5 to file its extradition request.
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Many thanks to the New Zealand Ministry of Justice. I sent an email this morning to their media department asking for a copy of the Kim DotCom bail decision, and they cheerfully obliged. Now that's how to run a government agency!
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Judge Nevin Dawson said at the North Shore District Court that officials had investigated Dotcom's potential access to funds and "none of significance" had been found. Judge Dawson said it was "highly unlikely" that he had other financial resources available to him that had not already been seized.
The prosecution's argument: He's rich, he must have money somewhere. The Judge disagreed: [More...]
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Mathias Ortmann, the only MegaUpload defendant besides Kim DotCom who remained in jail, was granted bail today, over objections by the Crown. Ortmann is a German citizen. Germany does not extradite its citizens to the U.S. He was released on home monitoring, and will live with co-defendants Bran van der Kolk and Finn Batato.
The holdup in the decision was that the FBI alleged a $2.5 million discrepancy in his income. Prosecutors said Ortmann earned $14.5 million from MegaUpload between 2005 and 2010, and $2.5 million in 2011. But his accounts show $20.5 million income instead of $17.5 million. The Judge wanted an accounting of the $2.5 million. His lawyer said it came from trading profits.
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In its February newsletter, the New Zealand Police again attempt to justify the raid on the Kim DotCom mansion and takedown of MegaUpload for the FBI. They say the raid was the culmination of several months of planning.
An OFCANZ (Organised & Financial Crime Agency New Zealand)team of five picked up the case last September and worked intently to meet their goal of a mid-January termination... Termination phases were simultaneously carried out in nine countries: New Zealand, Australia, Philippines, Hong Kong, Germany, Canada, Netherlands, United Kingdom and the United States.
...Detective Superintendent Mike Pannett, New Zealand Police Liaison Officer in Washington, monitored termination activities around the world from the FBI’s Multi Agency Command Centre.
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A New Zealand law professor asks which is worse, internet piracy or the privacy breaches of social networks and Google. He compares the MegaUpload alleged copyright violations to the practices of Google and Facebook and concludes the social network privacy intrusions are worse:
The law in both instances determined who gets to profit from the use of information and who does not and in both cases corporate power was able to trump the rights of individuals.
...Google is subject to an array of privacy and other laws. However, with the exception of fair trading laws in the United States, privacy laws globally are considerably weaker that the regimes that protect the rights of intellectual property owners.
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What do prosecutors do when they realize they've charged a crime they can't prove? Come up with a new charge.
Wayne Tempero, Chief Security Officer for Kim DotCom, was charged with illegal possession of a firearm after the raid on Kim DotCom's compound. The prosecutors said the gun was unlicensed. Tempero has insisted he had a license for the shotgun, as well as for another firearm found on the premises.
Tempero appeared in court today on the unlawful possession of firearms charge and prosecutors dismissed it. But they proceeded to file two new charges, each charging possession of a firearm for unlawful purposes.
When they want you, if they can't get you one way, they just try another. [More...]
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Sledgehammers, motorized saws, assault weapons and more were used in the raid of MegaUpload founder Kim DotCom's compound. TV 3 in New Zealand has new details of the raid in an interview with a police official who attempts to justify the excessive force.
Seventy-six police officers, many armed with automatic weapons and pistols, including members of the elite Special Tactics Group, arrived at Kim Dotcom’s Coatesville property on January 20, to arrest him on charges relating to copyright offences.
In a related new article, Kim DotCom's security chief, Wayne Tempero, who took TV3 on a tour of the mansion, says:[More..]
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Megaupload's Kim DotCom may be in jail, but he's not giving up. The New Zealand Herald reports he has filed papers in the New Zealand High Court seeking the return of his seized funds and assets.
Papers have been filed with the High Court at Auckland which claim freezing orders used to seize his fortune have gone too far and money should be returned.
There are also more details of the commando-style arrest raid which according to past statements of New Zealand police, involved 76 officers.
Detective Inspector Grant Wormald [Organised & Financial Crime Agency} would not reveal why police carried out the surprise assault. However, he confirmed the Special Tactics Group - the most highly trained armed officers in the force - were involved.
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Bump and Update: Kim DotCom has lost his appeal for bail. The High Court decided last night. Justice Raynor Asher of the High Court found he was a flight risk, lacked ties to New Zealand and it was possible he had other assets besides those seized by the U.S.
His lawyer reacts here.
He has made a home for himself and his family here in New Zealand...He has absolutely no intention of doing other than remaining here and fighting extradition and the suggestion that he is a risk and that he would take some extraordinary steps to leave New Zealand is a flight of fancy and has no evidential basis so far as my client is concerned.
They are considering their next options which could include an appeal to New Zealand's Supreme Court or a new application for bail. [More...]
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Carpathia Hosting has set up a website, MegaRetrieval.com, where those who stored data at MegaUpload can get in touch with EFF (Electronic Frontier Foundation). EFF is offering free legal services in hopes of assisting users who legitimately stored data on MegaUpload.
When the United States Government shut down access to Megaupload, a multitude of innocent users who stored legitimate, non-infringing files on the cloud-storage service were left with no means to access their data.
If you are one of these, are based in the United States, and are looking for legal help to retrieve your data, please email the Electronic Frontier Foundation at megauploadmissing-at-eff.org.
Here is their joint press release. [More...]
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Update: Megaupload's U.S. attorney, Ira Rothken, has tweeted that the two hosting companies, Carpathia and Cogent Communications, have agreed not to destroy the data on the Megaupload servers for at least two weeks while Megaupload works on a solution with the Government.
It sounds like they are working to get funds unfrozen to pay the hosting companies. Which would make Carpathia's statement that it doesn't have the ability to allow users to access the data a little suspect. Either they have the ability to provide access or they don't. Before the takedown, Megaupload users could log on to upload and download, so why can't they now if the Government doesn't object? If some special password is needed, wouldn't Megaupload's lawyers obtain it from their jailed clients and provide it to Carpathia?
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The New Zealand Herald has an editorial today criticizing the U.S. and FBI's co-opting of NZ police to launch the over-the-top raid at Kim DotCom's rented mansion in the MegaUpload takedown.
Some 76 officers, six times as many as took out Osama bin Laden, swooped - a lot more than are deployed against allegedly desperate homegrown criminals, except perhaps for terrorists in Te Urewera.
The paper, which says it has no reason to support DotCom, given that it tangled with him in the past over an unpleasant and expensive defamation claim, concludes with:
In short, a legal resident here, which Dotcom is, is entitled to our protection against unreasonable harassment by foreign jurisdictions. It is rooted in a notion, unknown in our law books but familiar to every one of us: a fair shake. There needs to be a good deal of official disclosure about the background to this case if it is to lose the stench that hangs around it.
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