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: Solar Impulse 2 pilot becomes aviation legend

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

FBI chief urges 'robust debate' on encryption

3 hours ago

FBI Director James Comey called Monday for public debate on the use of encrypted communications, saying Americans may not realize how radical groups and criminals are using the technology.

LG Display moves advanced touch tech up to notebooks

8 hours ago

LG Display has news for people who are into working with notebook PCs. They have announced lighter and slimmer LCD panels. Unleashing "Advanced In-cell Touch" (AIT) technology, LG Display said on Monday that ...

Italian surveillance company hacked, documents stolen

10 hours ago

An Italian surveillance firm known for selling malicious software used by police bodies and spy agencies has succumbed to a cyberattack, the firm's spokesman said Monday, confirming an embarrassing breach ...

Amazon pushes Prime service with day of deals

10 hours ago

Amazon is trying to lure more subscribers to its $99 Prime loyalty program by pushing a day of discounts it calls "Prime Day" during the sleepier summer shopping season.

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.