News & Analysis
Sending a Message? Megaupload's Kim Dotcom Was Beaten Up When Arrested
Megaupload Home Raid Queried As 'Over The Top' By Police ... A New Zealand police officer overseeing plans for a raid on the home of Kim Dotcom, the Megaupload.com website founder, questioned whether the use of helicopters was "over the top," according to court testimony. German-born Dotcom, who legally changed his name from Kim Schmitz, was arrested at his residence and spent four weeks in jail before being released to await the extradition hearing ... Dotcom testified today he was beaten by police, although he didn't resist arrest and waited with his hands raised. The Dotcom mansion is valued at NZ$30 million ($25 million), according to an article on the stuff.co.nz website. The property is also known as the "Chrisco mansion," because it was built by the founders of a Christmas hamper company of the same name. Winkelmann had ruled June 28 that police had relied on illegal warrants that were overly broad. An extradition hearing is scheduled for March. – Bloomberg
Dominant Social Theme: Get this guy! He's too big to arrest in the normal way.
Free-Market Analysis: The more we hear about the arrest of Kim Dotcom, the more disturbing the story becomes. Now it turns out he may have been beaten up by the police, even though he didn't resist arrest. And that was before he spent a month in jail.
Let's try to summarize what happened to Kim Dotcom. He built from scratch one of the first and largest file-sharing facilities in the world, accounting for perhaps four percent of the world's Internet traffic at any one time.
As part of Dotcom's ascension within the industry, he apparently helped invent or at least popularize cloud computing. And before he was arrested he was working on an imaginative way for artists to present their music directly over Megaupload's facilities without the need for a record company's sponsorship.
There's no doubt that the flamboyant Kim Dotcom was an "easy" target for those in the US looking to make a point about what they considered to be copyright fraud. Dotcom flaunted his wealth and success, living in a hugely expensive mansion, hiring out yachts, racing fast cars and sitting in jacuzzis (fully clothed because of his bulk) with beautiful girls.
He is obviously a competitive person who recently took over first place as the top shooter in Modern Warfare 3. The feat was accomplished in a big game room in his mansion. He made a video of himself winning the top title and being peppered by confetti near a big cake.
Dotcom donated a fireworks display as a thank you to New Zealand. He and his wife watched from a rented helicopter. He is said to be worth between US$ 100 and $200 million, mostly from the success of Megaupload.
This then is the man who was beaten up in his home while being arrested by a kind of SWAT team complete with black helicopters ... one including a squad of FBI agents dispatched halfway around the world. Here's more on the arrest from the article excerpted above:
Dotcom, accused of orchestrating the biggest copyright infringement conspiracy in U.S. history, is attempting to prove the Jan. 20 search and seizure of his property were unreasonable. He is seeking recovery of computers and hard drives that were taken by police.
The officer's comments are in notes for a review of the plan to use two helicopters, two SWAT-like special tactical group squads and five other teams of body-armored police with assault rifles to execute the warrant on a fraud charge, according to Paul Davison, one of Dotcom's lawyers arguing the case in Auckland High Court.
The New Zealand officer wrote: "over the top -- Fraud?" according to Davison. The officer approved the raid and his bosses signed off on the decision, as did the commissioner of police, according to court testimony ...
The police officer, who led the raid and was responsible for finding Dotcom in the house, testified it was the first time to his knowledge that the tactical team was deployed to exercise a search warrant on a fraud charge.
Davison said police reports justifying the use of the tactical team to carry out the raid had a "raft of misleading information" including that Dotcom had threatened to kill or injure people and that using regular police would put officers in harm's way.
"Do you know of anything that would justify an affirmative answer" to those questions, Davison asked the officer in charge of the raid.
"No sir," the officer replied.
There are many aspects to this case. We've tried to point out some of them in previous articles; you can one here:
In fact, it is not Hollywood that has pursued Kim Dotcom but a shadowy and much mightier power elite that wants to run the world and considers people like Kim Dotcom to be enemies of that process.
Dotcom did something unforgiveable to the power elite. He created a gigantic informational enterprise that functioned outside the controlled mainstream media. This is basically intolerable. Dotcom is a victim of his own success.
What is so disturbing about the Dotcom case is the over-the-top use of force and the brutality that apparently accompanied it. Dotcom is a person of creativity who built an enormously successful company. But as part of the pursuit of justice, that company has been shuttered, its servers impounded and its treasury confiscated.
All this before Dotcom has been even found guilty in a court of law. The sentence has been served before the trial has begun.
And just for emphasis – to send a message – they beat him up.
We noticed this same focus on violence during the Libya invasion. The power elite plastered violent scenes of Gaddafi's death all over the Internet. It was evidently and obviously meant to be a warning to those who would resist elite takeovers, or stand in the way of its agenda.
Lately, due to what we call the Internet Reformation, the elites seem to us to be growing far more brutal as the Internet exposes their toolkit and degrades their results.
Kim Dotcom is a wealthy and innovative man who built a successful company serving millions. True, he was and is no angel, but who is at that level of success? The powers-that-be deal in metaphors as stock-in-trade and the message they are sending is that success, innovation, cleverness and downright brilliance don't matter much in the scheme of things.
If certain powerful Western players are inconvenienced or annoyed, retribution will be brutal, all-encompassing and extra-legal.
Conclusion: The elite's regulatory democracy is putatively developed and expanded as a caring force designed to "protect" everybody. But when it comes to protecting their OWN interests, the elites can be ruthless indeed. And they are using Kim Dotcom and Megauploads as an example of just how far they are willing to go and how brutally lawless they are prepared to be.