Do you have proof that the United States government acted in a corrupt or illegal manner during the shutdown of Megaupload? If so, that information could make you a millionaire.
Kim Dotcom (born Kim Schmitz) said on Monday that he was putting up a $5 million “bounty” for any information that will help him fight a daunting online piracy case.
The internet mogul is currently fighting extradition from New Zealand in an effort to avoid being sent to the United States to face online piracy-related charges.
Dotcom said that the reward for information is necessary because without information that the US seized his site in an illegal manner, he has virtually no chance to defend himself.
“My case is unfair,” tweeted the German national. “I was declined discovery, I didn't get my own data back, I need whistleblowers.”
— TOI Tech (@toi_tech) June 9, 2014
Dotcom’s websites, including the popular Megaupload and Megadownload, were shutdown in January 2012. He claims that this was done on behalf of major Hollywood studios, who he feels are using their money and power to get the US government to act in an illegal manner.
He told Torrentfreak.com, a tech news website, that he hopes his “bounty” will prove his theory to be correct.
Said Dotcom, "We are asking for information that proves unlawful or corrupt conduct by the US government, the New Zealand government, spy agencies, law enforcement and Hollywood.”
— RT (@RT_com) June 9, 2014
The 40-year-old fugitive said that his legal team believes that the “disclosure of such information would be lawful.”
In addition to the reward, Dotcom said that he would also be willing to pay the legal costs of any whistleblowers should they get into trouble for revealing sensitive information.
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— Images (@vctv_images) May 29, 2014
The internet mogul’s extradition hearing is set to begin on July 7th in Auckland, New Zealand.
He and three others hope that by avoiding extradition, they can also avoid a long list of criminal charges. As it stands the group is wanted for racketeering, money laundering, and copyright infringement.
If extradited and successfully convicted, Dotcom and his fellow fugitives face decades in prison.
Image via Wikimedia Commons