FBI Ordered To Start Copying Kim Dotcom’s Data For Potential ReturnBy: Zach Walton - June 15, 2012
Things are yet again looking up for ol’ Kim Dotcom. It was only a few weeks ago that the New Zealand High Court ordered the FBI to hand over all the evidence they have against him. Dotcom’s other request to have his personal data returned may be awarded to him as well.
The NZHerald is reporting that New Zealand High Court Justice Helen Winkelman has ordered that the FBI begin copying the 150TB worth of data they took from Dotcom’s home back in January. The data comes from over 130 computers and hard drives that Dotcom personally owned to run Megaupload. The information contained on those hard drives are essential to mounting a defense against the ever weakened attacks from the U.S. government against Megaupload.
While it’s another potential win for Dotcom, it may still not pan out for him. The court order was just for the FBI to start copying the data which means they get to keep copies as well for their own investigation and prosecution. A separate trial will be required to determine whether or not Dotcom actually gets access to the data.
As usual, the U.S. complained about the order saying that Dotcom shouldn’t be allowed access to this information until he’s in U.S. court. That essentially means that U.S. doesn’t want Dotcom to have anything in his defense during his extradition trial.
We’ve heard that argument before, however, so the government came up with a new one. They also said that they don’t have the resources or the time to copy the 150TB of data in the 21-day period provided by the judge. They went on to claim that it took them 10 days to just copy 29TB of data.
The New Zealand court wasn’t having any of it though. According to NZHerald, Justice Winkelmann told the U.S. government, “The expense involved in copying must be dwarfed by the other costs of an investigative and prosecutorial operation of this site.” Essentially, Justice Winkelmann told the U.S. to stop bitching and just copy the data.
Once again, we don’t know if Dotcom will actually get his data back, but the news is encouraging. If he can keep up his recent string of wins, Megaupload and Dotcom may both have charges dropped against them.