Kim Dotcom Search Warrant Ruled Legal By Appeals Court

Kim Dotcom Search Warrant Ruled Legal By Appeals Court

kim dotcom

The New Zealand Court of Appeal has ruled that despite errors, the warrant that allowed authorities to raid Kim Dotcom's mansion was legal and valid.

Kim Dotcom suffered a bit of a setback in his fight against the United States earlier this week when a three-judge panel on the New Zealand Court of Appeal overturned a lower court ruling declaring the warrant authorizing the 2012 raid on his mansion illegal. The judge in that case ruled the warrant was overly broad, but the appeal court judges decided that while it did contain errors, they were not sufficient to invalidate it.

"[We] are satisfied that the defects in the search warrants have not caused any significant prejudice to the respondents beyond the prejudice caused inevitably by the execution of a search warrant," the ruling states. "In this case the practical consequences for the respondents must be assessed in light of the nature of the electronic items that were seized when the warrants were executed. Assessed in this way it is clear that... no more items were seized than would have been without the defects in the search warrants."

Dotcom didn't go away empty-handed, however. The appeal panel affirmed the lower court's ruling that the FBI's removal of cloned hard drives to the U.S. was not authorized by the proper authorities and was thus unlawful. The panel ordered police to examine all original hard drives to determine which material is relevant to the case, and then issue a formal request to U.S. authorities to destroy any and all clones and the material they contain which are determined to be irrelevant. The police must also provide Dotcom a complete inventory of all material shipped to the U.S.

Following the ruling, Dotcom's lawyer, Ira Rothken, wrote on Twitter that his legal team "will likely seek leave to appeal to the Supreme Court."

Sources: TorrentFreak, Stuff

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So all he got was permission to officially see how screwed over here was?

"Here, Kim, when we destroyed your livelihood we did so in A, B, and C ways. We also destroyed X, Y, and Z pieces of your property. Oh, and just in case you forgot about these other things, we trashed them too. Have a nice day."

Even if the FBI are ordered to destroy the cloned hard drives they have probably already gone through the information on them and gotten what they wanted, wrote some reports and then reports of those reports. It seems like a pointless move really although I guess it does mean they can't use them as evidence in favour of their corporate overlords.

The US Goverment:
Acting like the own the world, killing civilians, breaking their own treaties/laws, and using 1984 as a guide book.

O, how I fear for my children.

TiberiusEsuriens:
So all he got was permission to officially see how screwed over here was?

"Here, Kim, when we destroyed your livelihood we did so in A, B, and C ways. We also destroyed X, Y, and Z pieces of your property. Oh, and just in case you forgot about these other things, we trashed them too. Have a nice day."

Except Mega is now bigger than ever, and he's released a decently-well-selling EDM album. Because why not. That's hardly a "destroyed livelihood".

OT: Eck. We'll see how things go in the Supreme Court.

lacktheknack:

TiberiusEsuriens:
So all he got was permission to officially see how screwed over here was?

"Here, Kim, when we destroyed your livelihood we did so in A, B, and C ways. We also destroyed X, Y, and Z pieces of your property. Oh, and just in case you forgot about these other things, we trashed them too. Have a nice day."

Except Mega is now bigger than ever, and he's released a decently-well-selling EDM album. Because why not. That's hardly a "destroyed livelihood".

OT: Eck. We'll see how things go in the Supreme Court.

inb4 bad failed joke. Sorry for not being completely serious on the internet. He's a millionaire, it doesn't matter how much of his stuff did or didn't get trashed, he could just buy it all again. What was still perfect well pointed out in the post was how the courts essentially decided to just shove it in his face even more.

Good. The man's a criminal (various white collar crimes in Germany, Hong Kong, and Thailand) who is capitalizing on the legally gray areas of copyright law. I'm no fan of the way copyright and IP ownership is currently handled worldwide, but that doesn't put Dotcom in the right. He's as bad as those who would sue a ten year old for downloading a song or painting Mickey Mouse on their wall.

Here's hoping this case plugs in the cracks of what's legal and illegal in regards to copyrighted material and file sharing.

I think the second part of the ruling helps his case by allowing his legal team to argue the relevance of various pieces of content now in the hands of the U.S. Declaring the warrant invalid would be a knockout blow but if he is forced to fight the case in court, every little bit helps - and my understanding is that so far the US has refused to even allow his lawyers to know what it has in its custody. It's hard to defend against criminal charges when you don't even know what evidence there is against you, and if this allows Dotcom to demonstrate that the contents of the cloned drives are not entirely infringing and that a significant portion of it is in fact legal, it will be a bit step toward coming out of this on top.

Andy Chalk:
I think the second part of the ruling helps his case by allowing his legal team to argue the relevance of various pieces of content now in the hands of the U.S. Declaring the warrant invalid would be a knockout blow but if he is forced to fight the case in court, every little bit helps - and my understanding is that so far the US has refused to even allow his lawyers to know what it has in its custody. It's hard to defend against criminal charges when you don't even know what evidence there is against you, and if this allows Dotcom to demonstrate that the contents of the cloned drives are not entirely infringing and that a significant portion of it is in fact legal, it will be a bit step toward coming out of this on top.

I was always under the impression that defendants (or their lawyers, at least) have to be made aware of what evidence the prosecution has accrued against them? Surely "They wouldn't even tell me what they had against me" would be evidence enough to make any trial be seen as a mistrial.

Is there a lawyer in the house who can clear it up for us?

Secondly: Is it just me, or is every picture of Dotcom somehow him being insufferably smug...? And... Is that a onesie? Oh good Lord it is.

The issue here is the FBI could just
1) Not give him the information. What is New Zealand going to do? No offense to America, but they've never once seemed to give a single fuck about upholding any laws internationally other than their own.
2) Give him only the information they want to and there's no way anyone would know if this is or isn't what they took.
3) Give him completely fake information and there's no way anyone would know if this is or isn't what they took.

Niccolo:
I was always under the impression that defendants (or their lawyers, at least) have to be made aware of what evidence the prosecution has accrued against them? Surely "They wouldn't even tell me what they had against me" would be evidence enough to make any trial be seen as a mistrial.

Is there a lawyer in the house who can clear it up for us?

A lawyer would be lovely, yes. If you happen to be one, feel free to chime in.

In the meantime, as someone who's watched a LOT of Law and Order, I think the issue here is at least partly due to the international nature of the case. The US doesn't feel obligated to disclose its evidence as long as Dotcom remains free in NZ, and of course Dotcom doesn't want to roll the dice with the US until he knows what he's walking into. So it is that the lawyers must do their work - and while I don't agree with the way his arrest was initially handled, I have to give props to the NZ authorities for not rolling over for the US in the aftermath.

(BTW, all of the above may or may not be totally or partially incorrect, I'm doing this completely without notes, so feel free to correct me if I'm off-base.)

Scribblesense:
Good. The man's a criminal (various white collar crimes in Germany, Hong Kong, and Thailand) who is capitalizing on the legally gray areas of copyright law. I'm no fan of the way copyright and IP ownership is currently handled worldwide, but that doesn't put Dotcom in the right. He's as bad as those who would sue a ten year old for downloading a song or painting Mickey Mouse on their wall.

Here's hoping this case plugs in the cracks of what's legal and illegal in regards to copyrighted material and file sharing.

May I ask how he's a criminal? As far as I under stand it all he's done is provide a hosting service. If those that use his service abuse it then their in the wrong, not the person providing the service. It'd be like arresting people who make PC's or burnable DVD's for copyright infringement even though they weren't made for that purpose.

RicoADF:

Scribblesense:
Good. The man's a criminal (various white collar crimes in Germany, Hong Kong, and Thailand) who is capitalizing on the legally gray areas of copyright law. I'm no fan of the way copyright and IP ownership is currently handled worldwide, but that doesn't put Dotcom in the right. He's as bad as those who would sue a ten year old for downloading a song or painting Mickey Mouse on their wall.

Here's hoping this case plugs in the cracks of what's legal and illegal in regards to copyrighted material and file sharing.

May I ask how he's a criminal? As far as I under stand it all he's done is provide a hosting service. If those that use his service abuse it then their in the wrong, not the person providing the service. It'd be like arresting people who make PC's or burnable DVD's for copyright infringement even though they weren't made for that purpose.

He did a million dollars or so of insider trading back in Germany. Alongside actual hacking back in the 90s. If I recall, he was also involved in some shady political "funding" in New Zealand too. Mega itself is probably one of the cleaner business ventures he's been in.

That may well be, but that's not why they are after him is it? Sadly the US government is acting as the enforcement arm of the MPAA and RIAA.

CriticalMiss:
Even if the FBI are ordered to destroy the cloned hard drives they have probably already gone through the information on them and gotten what they wanted, wrote some reports and then reports of those reports. It seems like a pointless move really although I guess it does mean they can't use them as evidence in favour of their corporate overlords.

What do you think the NSA built those giant data centers for?

Now, I actually want to see that warrant. I have a feeling it's handwritten on packaging paper, and was scribbled together by the FBI team en route.

RicoADF:

May I ask how he's a criminal? As far as I under stand it all he's done is provide a hosting service. If those that use his service abuse it then their in the wrong, not the person providing the service. It'd be like arresting people who make PC's or burnable DVD's for copyright infringement even though they weren't made for that purpose.

That was only one of the charges. he was also charged with variuos cases of money laundering and other similar crimes.
Here is the original article from the escapist
He was charged for "racketeering conspiracy, conspiring to commit copyright infringement, conspiring to commit money laundering and two substantive counts of criminal copyright infringement."
Whether these charges are real or bogus i do not know, but copyright infringement was only part of his arrest.

I will never not find it fucked up that the US shoved a team into a non-middle eastern country and got away with raiding it before getting all the details worked out.

Niccolo:

Andy Chalk:
I think the second part of the ruling helps his case by allowing his legal team to argue the relevance of various pieces of content now in the hands of the U.S. Declaring the warrant invalid would be a knockout blow but if he is forced to fight the case in court, every little bit helps - and my understanding is that so far the US has refused to even allow his lawyers to know what it has in its custody. It's hard to defend against criminal charges when you don't even know what evidence there is against you, and if this allows Dotcom to demonstrate that the contents of the cloned drives are not entirely infringing and that a significant portion of it is in fact legal, it will be a bit step toward coming out of this on top.

I was always under the impression that defendants (or their lawyers, at least) have to be made aware of what evidence the prosecution has accrued against them? Surely "They wouldn't even tell me what they had against me" would be evidence enough to make any trial be seen as a mistrial.

Is there a lawyer in the house who can clear it up for us?

Secondly: Is it just me, or is every picture of Dotcom somehow him being insufferably smug...? And... Is that a onesie? Oh good Lord it is.

Yes and no, it depends on the nature of the case, and given that this one deals with international crimes things get even touchier.

As a general rule in a criminal trial conducted against a US citizen who isn't in the military, and is in the US when there aren't state secrets, classified information, or terrorist threats involved... yes, the prosecution has to inform you of the evidence being introduced into trial to give the defense a chance to prepare a defense. However this is only when they formally bring the case, when they are building a case they do not need to inform you of everything they are looking into, only what they finally decide they are going to use in the trial.

To the best of my knowledge Kim is not a US Citizen though, so he's not operating with all the rights of a US citizen and is being pursued as someone who has victimized the US and broken it's laws from outside the country. The situation is largely complicated because he's requesting Asylum from New Zealand which has had some increasingly anti-American attitudes, and has also allegedly been donating substantial amounts of money to New Zealand over the years. As New Zealand has few if any direct stakes in this matter, and actually benefits from Kim Dotcom, they are of course
reluctant to simply turn him over to the US.

In general it's a case where he's a criminal who has been literally thumbing his nose at the justice system for years, engaged in wide-scale piracy without even bothering to try and conceal his identity or what he was doing. To be honest I really think he needs to be brought down, and made an example of, as for all the criticisms leveled at the US, it's even worse to let him do this kind of thing and let him escape due to legal technicalities and basically buying himself asylum.

There are other broader issues involved here as well, which come down to how the US doesn't really produce much anymore, we're based around ideas, developments, and services more than anything. The IPs, copyrights, and similar things which amount to "the information to make things" are the base of our power nowadays and without our innovations and the ability to protect them and profit off of them we have almost nothing. If your anti-US you want to see us lose this case of course for that and other reasons, if not, well it's pretty straightforward.

To be honest this is one of those cases where I have a feeling it's going to end badly. The way the wind is blowing it seems to me that New Zealand is going to continue to put on a show of "being fair" but ultimately decide to shelter Kim. If they were going to give him up, it probably would have happened already. Given the scale this has happened on and the nature of the crimes, it then all comes down to whether our president is going to simply send special forces in to bring him into the US anyway, which is of course going to be a complete mess, but really at this point your dealing with massive international damage any way it goes, and at the end of the day protecting the IPs that represent the base for so much of the economy is going to probably be see as a bigger deal than pissing off a bunch of countries that already don't like the US to begin with.

At any rate this is well off subject, but the bottom line is I was a criminal justice major, it's been a long time, but while I'm not a lawyer the bottom line is I wanted to say you have the basics right, but need to understand this isn't a straightforward criminal case within the US. It's a major international incident, with some pretty high stakes (which is why it gets so much attention, Kim Dotcom is not a petty criminal, and the precedents set here are very important).

It's sort of like how if you look at the "Amanda Knox" trial(s) they have a lot of people going "WTF" until you consider that the Italian court doesn't provide the same kinds of protections for the accused that the US court system does. A technicality within Italian law allowed them to try her more than once, without invoking the "double jeopardy" protections one would have in the US. Not to mention other details like the Italian court not having to establish a motive for a crime, which is why in the trials they have been thrashing about trying to find reasons she might have done it like a disagreement over housework, or a kinky sex game gone wrong, which all pretty much comes down to the point that the Italian legal system doesn't make actually proving a motive much of a requirement.

Between Knox, Dotcom, and similar cases I've actually lost a lot of the respect I once had for a lot of international justice systems and am almost ready to just pretty much become the ogre the world says the US is anyway and do what we need to do in order to apprehend criminals and protect our citizens without the cooperation of other nations if need be.... which is just me venting of course, but the point still stands.

Therumancer:

-snip-

Huh. Thanks for that. I didn't know some of that stuff.

Eh. My personal feeling is that Kim is a smug bastard who needs several legal punches to each of his chins. And while I may not like the IP system as it stands, in this case I suspect it's in the right.

But I guess you're right, there's absolutely nothing straightforward about this case at all. Cheers!

 

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