No man was more foolish when he had not a pen in his hand, or more wise when he had - Samuel Johnson
DIGITAL LOCKER MAGNATE Kim Dotcom has been buoyed by news that the US Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and Department of Homeland Security mishandled the case against Megaupload.
The New Zealand Herald newspaper discovered evidence Megaupload and Dotcom might have been raided for reasons outside of their control that won't stand up in court.
The newspaper uncovered evidence of a search warrant filed against Megaupload in 2010 that Dotcom says forced it to preserve some allegedly "pirated material".
Fast forward two years and that same so-called 'pirated' material was cited by US authorities to justify raiding Megaupload and shutting it down. The Herald says that when the FBI made its application to seize the website it used the fact that it stored this same content as support for its claims.
"We were informed by (the US Government) we were not to interfere with the investigation. We completely co-operated," said Dotcom.
"Then the FBI used the fact the files were still in the account of the... user to get the warrant to seize our own domains. This is outrageous."
The 39 files were uncovered as part of the investigation of a website called Ninjavideo, according to the report. This was in 2010, however, 36 of the same titles appear in the FBI's later seizure request against Megaupload.
Dotcom says it's all very bad form on the part of the US government, and thinks it might be the wedge that derails its charges against him and his website. "Immediately we hit the jackpot - the first little piece of paper is this super-jackpot," he said.
"What we have uncovered, in our view, is misleading conduct," added Dotcom's lawyer Ira Rothken. "It looks like the Government wants the confidentiality because they would be concerned their conduct would be scrutinised."
The Herald got access to the information about the possible misconduct by petitioning the US District Court in Virginia and was given partial access to the FBI application. µ
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