Content industry public enemy number one Kim Dotcom got a piece of good news today. Actually, two pieces.
First, New Zealand’s prime minister John Key admitted that Kiwi spooks (yes, the tiny island nation has an intelligence agency) bugged Dotcom and his Megaupload associates. It’s the equivalent of the CIA investigating Twitter’s Jack Dorsey: the intelligence agency is barred by law from spying on the country’s own citizens. And, the revelation bolsters Dotcom’s long-time argument that his current legal troubles are a well-organized witchhunt conducted by the highest levels of multiple governments.
The second bit of good news is that Key is announcing an inquiry into the illegal wiretapping, which is sure to shed unwelcome light onto how New Zealand law enforcement and spies got so buddy-buddy with U.S. agencies in the pursuit of Megaupload.
Predictably, Dotcom was more than happy at the news:
It’s just the latest in a ridiculously botched police investigation and take-down of Megaupload that started with a massive commando-style raid on Dotcom’s house, as if he was a drug lord or terrorist, continued with illegal searches, and has seen the judge overseeing Dotcom’s extradition recuse himself and step down.
That extradition is now scheduled for March 23 — next year — and meanwhile, Megaupload is rising from the ashes: just three days ago Dotcom announced that Megaupload will be reborn with an entirely new codebase, which is already 90 percent complete:
The entire case has been a disaster for New Zealand law enforcement, which has been seen both siding with powerful American commercial interests against a local hero and ferociously incompetent, bungling to the point of committing multiple illegal acts.
That has been music to Dotcom’s ears, as he paints himself as a persecuted revolutionary and patron of the people.
And, if I had to render a guess, I’d say this news makes any chance of extraditing Dotcom and trying him in the U.S. very, very slim.