After a long and complicated battle Kim Dotcom and the other Megaupload employees (Mathias Ortmann, Finn Batato, and Bram van der Kolk) might have lost an important battle. A district judge, Judge Nevin Dawson, has ruled that the US can present an extradition request for the four. Further Judge Dawson feels that none of the legal arguments brought forth by Dotcom and the others is sufficient to deny the request.
Kim Dotcom has faced a series of setbacks in his defense against the US copyright lobby. Incensed that the original suit did not impoverish Dotcom as they had hoped the US copyright industry has continually sought to identify where Dotcom has been getting the money that he appears to throw around. Their thinking is that this money had to be from Mega Upload and therefore they are entitled to seize it as part of their continued siege campaign that has been hidden as a copyright lawsuit.
There is a subtle art to influencing people’s opinions and the way that a particular topic is viewed. We have seen multiple attempts at this, some good, some bad. For the marketing savvy it seems that nothing they (or their charges) say can ever be negative. For those that are… less competent the message come out all wrong and often changes the intended push into something very negative. The MPAA and others in the anti-piracy community seem to be in the latter group.
Ever since the take down of Napster the copyright industry has taken a much more aggressive stance on piracy. This stance had taken the form of new laws, increased lobbying and a push to make ISPs responsible for policing everyone’s activities on the internet. They have even sought for, and are still trying to get, trade agreements that allow the US to push their laws onto other countries in the form ACTA and the TPP. Now all of these measures have their seedier side to them, but so far none are exactly illegal (immoral and potentially unethical? That is another question)… At least not until you start looking at some of the trials and arrests that have happened in the last few years.
In the soap-opera that has been the case against Kim Dotcom and Mega Upload we now has another chapter. It seems that the copyright groups responsible for the original claims against Dotcom want to have a look at this financial state. If you remember when the case and raid first happened we mentioned that the move was most likely done to remove competition from the playing field. The actions and claims that followed certainly seemed to support our hypothesis.
You knew it was going to happen, but I am honestly surprised that it has happened this soon after the special 301 report recommendations came out. Italy has decided to issue a nation-wide block of sites that are suspected of piracy. One of the sites thrown into the mix is Kim Dotcom’s new cloud hosting service Mega. The measure was ordered by Court of Rome Judge Constantino De Robbio and includes 24 sites in its scope.
So, remember back when the FBI removed data that is was not allowed to search for from the home of Kim Dotcom, (that they were not really allowed to search)? Well if not we will sum things up for you here. Back when the US DoJ was really pushing the Mega Upload case the FBI convinced New Zealand law enforcement to execute a raid on the Dotcom house without a properly defined warrant. The reason it was not properly defined is that it did not spell out what they were searching for.
Kim Dotcom has announced that he filed a lawsuit against New Zealand due to the illegal spying and search of his home which happened in 2012.
The US Government is trying very hard to shatter any illusions that we might have about the right to privacy on the internet. They are currently in the process of going after a few of the smaller privacy oriented email services with the intent of getting user information out of them; very specific user information. Right now the current focus is on the company Lavabit who has the unfortunate distinction of having been used by Edward Snowden on multiple occasions to send email to the press and others. This distinction has gotten them into some hot water and now they are actually closing their doors in order to not comply with a government request to hand over the contents of Snowden’s email (and possibly others). This incident has sent a shiver through the small yet strong market for private email and web services.
There is a rumor going around (from “sources wishing to remain anonymous”) that claims that US Law Enforcement and the NSA have been asking internet companies for user passwords. The article originally posted by cNet has made the rounds this morning across a few sites; all of them pointing back at the single cNet source. Now on top of everything else that is going on many people are ready to jump on board with this and further denounce the NSA, the FBI, DHS, IRS, and anyone else in the US government with initials. But outside of the claims from a single blogger at cNet are there any other indications that this is a common practice?