Posts Tagged ‘Dotcom’
Kim Dotcom has done it again. Two years after he rented a bunch of musicians (including Will.i.am) to promote his doomed Megaupload service, he’s turned to a group of presumably more affordable artists to support his next project, Baboom. The music …
The US Department of Justice unsealed a summary of the evidence it has collected against Kim Dotcom, Megaupload, and other alleged conspirators on Friday. The 191-page document lays out details on how Megaupload and its associated sites, employees, and operations — termed the “Mega Conspiracy” — operated and, according to the DOJ, committed racketeering conspiracy, copyright infringement, money laundering. The investigation concludes that Megaupload made over $ 150 million in revenues from premium memberships over the years, plus over $ 25 million in advertising revenues. Those revenues are said to be a direct result of Megaupload’s willful promotion of copyrighted materials.
Perhaps the most interesting revelation from the document…
As part of a (brief) rant on Twitter today about the dangers of using web services that are based in the United States, Mega founder Kim Dotcom said the service will expand “in the coming years” beyond cloud storage to offer secure email, web chat, voice, video, and “mobile” (emphasis his) products. Naturally, no details have been offered beyond the single tweet teasing the new features, but from a series of messages on Twitter it’s clear that the focus is on privacy. The tease came after Dotcom advised his followers not to use US-based web services, like Gmail, Skype, and iCloud, claiming that they have to “provide (by law) secret & untraceable NSA backdoors to all your data.” The expanded web services would most certainly be based in…
In a ruling released the other day, Justice Helen Winkelmann of the High Court of New Zealand has actually bought the FBI to begin copying over 150TB of information from the pcs took possession of from Kim Dotcom earlier this year as proof for the DOJ’s circumstances against Megaupload. The ruling comes as a preemptive measure, allowing Dotcom’s defense immediate access to the evidence in the event that he is extradited to the US, though whether or not the prosecution will definitely be obligated to share details of the information has yet to be determined.
Last month judge David Harvey ruled that Dotcom’s attorneys might access the info held by US prosecution as part of their protection. In spite of this, the DOJ’s attorneys are arguing that– under US extradition law– Dotcom’s …
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When Megaupload founder Kim Dotcom and several others in the organization were arrested in raids a month ago, it was noted by prosecutors that Dotcom’s rather wild lifestyle and propensity for spontaneous international travel, combined with his vast wealth, constituted a serious flight risk. He was denied bail at the time, at least until Feb. 22, when the US was to turn in its extradition paperwork.
And today in New Zealand, or rather tomorrow (it’s the 22nd in NZ), Dotcom was released under a number of conditions: he will have no Internet access, will not travel 80km from his home except in emergencies, and no helicopters would be permitted to fly to his property.
[image: Elliot Kember]
The reason for his being granted bail appears to be that investigators found he did not in fact have the resources to flee New Zealand. They say he is “highly disorganized” in money matters, and his main resources had been seized. It seems hard to believe that a person running a site the size of Megaupload, living in a $ 30 million house and with contacts all over the world, wouldn’t have any kind of backup plan in case of exactly this event (he is not entirely without foresight: there was a shotgun in the room where he was arrested). But the burden of proof is on the police to show that he does have those resources, and they could not do so.
Dotcom was released to a swarm of reporters, who asked him all manner of questions; he responded only that he was happy to be returning to his wife and kids, that he planned to fight his extradition, and that the way the cops treated him “felt a little bit like an audition to American Idol.”
On the legal front, the U.S. now has until March 2 to get its extradition paperwork in, but the extradition hearing for the four arrested will not be until August. Last week U.S. prosecutors added wire fraud to the heap of charges, and noted that not only were Megaupload’s user counts inflated, but less than one out of ten of those users had actually uploaded a file. Dotcom’s lawyers, on the other hand, insist this is at best a civil case and that the U.S. was overplaying its hand. The charges, they say, don’t merit extradition.
The fate of the site, meanwhile, is still hanging in the balance. It’s a simple matter of fact that whatever illegal activities in which the site may have been engaged, there were also perfectly legal files on there, access to which was abruptly cut. One hopes that a solution will be presented that allows, perhaps, one day’s access of users to their own files, but the U.S. Government doesn’t appear to be very concerned with this particular kind of collateral damage.