Megaupload boss wins right to sue New Zealand spy agency

Dec 06, 2012
Megaupload boss Kim Dotcom leaves court in Auckland in February 2012. Kim won the right to sue New Zealand's foreign intelligence agency for illegally spying on him ahead of his arrest as part of a US probe into alleged online piracy.

Megaupload boss Kim Dotcom won the right Thursday to sue New Zealand's foreign intelligence agency for illegally spying on him ahead of his arrest as part of a US probe into alleged online piracy.

The High Court also ordered the Government Communications Security Bureau (GCSB) to disclose details of any information-sharing arrangements it had with foreign agencies, including US authorities, before Dotcom's arrest in January.

Dotcom's US-based Ira Rothken hailed the decision as a major victory for the Internet tycoon, who is fighting a US attempt to extradite him from New Zealand in what has been described as the world's largest copyright case.

"Today's @KimDotcom shows the NZ democracy works as the judiciary orders & acts as a check & balance on illegal gov(ernment) spying," he tweeted.

It emerged in September that the GCSB spied on Dotcom before police raided his Auckland mansion, even though he is a New Zealand resident and should have been off-limits to the agency.

Following the revelation, which prompted an apology from Prime Minister John Key, Dotcom applied to include the GCSB in a lawsuit he is planning against New Zealand police alleging wrongful arrest.

High Court chief judge Helen Winkelmann granted the request Thursday, rejecting the GCSB's argument that it should be denied because such legal action could potentially damage national security.

"I have no doubt that the most convenient and expeditious way of enabling the court to determine all matters in dispute is to join the GCSB in the proceedings," she said in a written judgement.

Armed police raided Dotcom's mansion in January but a court later ruled the search warrants used were illegal, opening the way for him to seek damages from New Zealand authorities.

Dotcom's lawyers have not detailed how much compensation they want but opposition political parties said the amount could be substantial.

"This will end up costing taxpayers millions of dollars in legal fees to fight the case and in compensation to Dotcom," First leader Winston Peters said.

US authorities allege Dotcom's Megaupload and related file-sharing sites netted more than US$175 million and cost copyright owners more than US$500 million by offering pirated copies of movies, TV shows and other content.

, who changed his name from Kim Schmitz, faces an extradition hearing in March.

Explore further: Remote healthcare for an aging population

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

NZ PM apologises to Dotcom for spy bungle

Sep 27, 2012

New Zealand Prime Minister John Key apologised Thursday to Internet tycoon Kim Dotcom over an "unacceptable" bungle by government spies leading up to the arrest of the Megaupload boss.

Megaupload boss wins right to see US evidence

Aug 16, 2012

The boss of file-sharing site Megaupload has the right to see US evidence against him so he can defend a bid to extradite him from New Zealand on online piracy charges, an Auckland court ruled Thursday.

Megaupload N. Zealand extradition case delayed

Jul 10, 2012

Megaupload boss Kim Dotcom's extradition case against US authorities has been delayed until next year amid legal wrangling in New Zealand over evidence disclosure, his lawyers said Tuesday.

Megaupload boss allowed $49,000 monthly expenses

Mar 22, 2012

A New Zealand court granted Megaupload boss Kim Dotcom NZ$60,000 ($49,000) a month in living expenses Thursday as he awaits a US bid to extradite him on online piracy charges, reports said.

Recommended for you

California bans paparazzi drones

7 hours ago

California on Tuesday approved a law which will prevent paparazzi from using drones to take photos of celebrities, among a series of measures aimed at tightening protection of privacy.

Remote healthcare for an aging population

Sep 30, 2014

An aging population and an increased incidence of debilitating illnesses such as Parkinson's and Alzheimer's disease means there is pressure on technology to offer assistance with healthcare - monitoring and treatment. Research ...

User comments : 0