Wednesday, 08 August 2012 16:35

Video Of The Raid On Kim Dotcom Mansion And Testimony Raises Serious Questions About The Whole Case

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Although not specifically related to technology we have some interesting information on the Kim Dotcom case. One of our Forum members Euonia posted a very interesting video that includes some new footage of the raid on Kim Dotcom’s home. When watching it we were more than a little shocked by the number of police vans, helicopters and other assets that were used to arrest Dotcom. Considering I can remember looking back on the raids I was on when working for DirecTV and I am shocked that they would use this level of force for a “low-level threat”

Before we get to the video let’s take a minute to think about what went into this raid and how even the actual event should never have happened. As you might remember The US DoJ, working under the pressure of Hollywood planned and executed the takedown and seizure of Megaupload and the arrest of Kim Dotcom. At the time Hollywood needed a victory and something to show how bad the piracy situation was since SOPA and PIPA (Stop Online Piracy, Protect IP Act) had been mothballed. A quick takedown of a major “criminal ring” would be just the PR they needed.

Unfortunately for the FBI, DoJ and to a large extent both the MPAA and RIAA the seizure and arrests did not go as planned. The New Zealand judicial system found that the warrants used for the raid were illegal and that the FBI’s removal of the data without review was also illegal. This could mean that any evidence found would be inadmissible in court although we are not certain how much would be used in the first place since in New Zealand the only proceedings were supposed to be an extradition hearing.  Now with everything that has happened things are much more muddled and the involvement of the New Zealand courts is much larger now.

One question that people want answered is why the raid in the first place? As I said I have been on a few and although we had a break warrant (these warrant were legal and very complete) it was only if the person was not home or refused the request for entry. Despite the fear of evidence destruction in a case that was worth more than 7 figures at the time we only had two US Marshals in plain clothes and two uniformed officers. There was no SWAT team or special tactics groups used at all.

Yet in the Dotcom raid they had multiple helicopters two teams of special tactics officers with Colt Commando M4 rifles to take down Dotcom, his pregnant wife, kids and a few guests. It looked like some of the drug raids I have seen on TV to be perfectly honest with you. In the video you will hear them say that all of this was necessary to prevent Dotcom from destroying evidence. We have serious doubts about that and feel that it was much more a show of force meant to portray Dotcom as a criminal and a dangerous one. It was also intended to put the fear of the US and Hollywood into Dotcom by showing the levels they are willing to go to stop competition.

As more information comes out about this trial the more Hollywood (the MPAA and RIAA) look like the bad guys and the more the US Justice Department look like their stooges. I would think that the DoJ, the courts and the FBI would be rather annoyed with Hollywood and the position they have put them in. We doubt very much that there is any real evidence that Megaupload, Kim Dotcom or any of the other managers accused are involved in a global conspiracy to encourage copyright infringement or Piracy. Just like I doubt there is any proof that they were laundering money. No those items were thrown in to allow the seizure of assets as the MPAA and RIAA attempt to starve out Kim Dotcom and Megaupload, we truly hope the tactic backfires on them as it is just plain wrong to be doing what they are.

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