It’s been relatively quiet on the Megaupload front for the past few weeks. The last major event saw Kim Dotcom winning $4.83 million in his bid to have funds released to him. For now, he’s still fighting to have the charges against him and his company dropped. That fight may have become a little easier as New Zealand’s Prime Minister, John Key, revealed that the Government Communications Security Bureau acted without his consent in the weeks leading up to Dotcom’s arrest.
For a little background information, the GCSB is essentially the CIA in New Zealand. They are a task force dedicated to the interception of information from terrorists, criminals and the like. They are required to have a warrant when intercepting foreign information, but New Zealand law says that the organization is not allowed to spy on domestic citizens or residents.
Prime Minister Key revealed that he had not been made aware of any ongoing investigation into the Dotcom case. It’s required by New Zealand law that any GCSB operation be signed off by the Prime Minister. Key said that he had not been informed of the GCSB’s involvement in the Dotcom case until today.
Warrants have been an ongoing issue in the Dotcom case since the beginning. The legality of the warrant used by police during the raid on Dotcom’s mansion had been called into question numerous times since his arrest, but a judge finally declared the warrant illegal in late June.
In response to the allegations that the GCSB acted illegally, Prime Minister Key has opened up an investigation into the matter. He doesn’t believe that the organization intentionally violated the law with their actions, but he wants to know the extent of their actions.
Dotcom’s U.S. lawyer, Ira Rothken, is also requesting the investigation look into U.S. involvement. He told Bloomberg that Dotcom’s legal team wants to know if the “U.S. was aiding or abetting domestic spying in New Zealand.”
For his part, Dotcom has been tweeting about the revelation that he had been subject to illegal surveillance:
BREAKING NEWS: @JohnKeyPM issues statement: The NZ equivalent of the CIA has spied on me UNLAWFULLY.
I’m now a real life James Bond villain in a real life political copyright thriller scripted by Hollywood & the White House.
I welcome the inquiry by @JohnKeyPM into unlawful acts by the GCSB. Please extend the inquiry to cover the entire Crown Law Mega case.
Copyright is now officially a matter of National Security in New Zealand.
Illegal restraining order. Illegal search warrant. Illegal removal of evidence to the US. Unlawful surveillance by the GCSB. To be continued
[h/t: NZ Herald]