U.S. Government Wins Appeal in Kim Dotcom Extradition Battle … Kim Dotcom and his associates have lost a key battle in their extradition fight against the United States. On two earlier occasions, including once in the High Court, Dotcom's legal team successfully argued they were entitled to examine mountains of evidence held by U.S. authorities. But those rulings were overturned this morning when the Court of Appeal said that the U.S. would be allowed to present a summary case after all. Dotcom says he'll take an appeal to the Supreme Court. – Torrent Freak
Dominant Social Theme: Justice will be served as it always has been. The US system is far superior in this regard.
Free-Market Analysis: We have long predicted that the US justice meme would be one of the last to come under attack as a result of the Internet Reformation but the battle has obviously been joined in two high profile cases.
In New Zealand, data-content entrepreneur Kim Dotcom is under attack for copyright violations. In the US, Pfc. Bradley Manning faces 20 years in prison for confessing that he sent archives of military and diplomatic files to WikiLeaks, which subsequently released the information to the world.
Now it seems Dotcom is losing his battle and may end up being extradited to the US and Manning may end up with close to a lifetime in prison. But on a deeper level, the suffering of these two individuals (warranted or not) will not diminish the changes being ushered in by the Internet.
This is a battle being waged between Money Power itself – which wants to maintain the status quo – and what we call the Internet Reformation, which is exposing the irrationality and authoritarianism of current jurisprudence. In the short and intermediate term, we would argue it is not a battle the power elite can win. In many of these high profile cases, public sympathy is immediately engaged with the defendant.
Manning, for instance, explained in court that he intended to enlighten people about US war policy, including "what happens and why it happens" and to "spark a debate about foreign policy." Kim Dotcom's Megaupload cloud-storage facility at one point generated over four percent of all Internet traffic. He was put in jail in New Zealand but has since fought back, claiming he was providing a legitimate service and is unfairly accused.
On the surface, it would seem that the US justice system is grinding away with due efficiency but when one reads the defense of these two men on various 'Net blogs and websites it becomes clear that there is considerable public support for both of them.
Couple this with the support and even anger around the recently suspended case involving data leaker Adam Swartz and you begin to see a pattern in which the public itself has little or no sympathy for government positions on a variety of important matters – and is even in some cases actively hostile.
In the case of Aaaron Swartz, his suicide (presumably it was a suicide) sparked the US government to change its policy on publicly funded data dissemination – exactly the outcome Swartz was fighting for. See our article here: Swartz is Dead, White House Adjusts Rules
Of course, the currency that Swartz used to pay for a change in the system was his very life – and it seems to many this was too high a price for what essentially proved to be a bureaucratic adjustment easily implemented.
When it comes to Manning, many people express similar sentiments on the 'Net. Manning is seen as having exposed US war criminality. Kim Dotcom built a business and apparently played by the rules, and thus the confiscation of his assets and the seizure of his business by US military police seems both excessive and even unjust.
Such cases are generating sympathy because they expose the illegitimacy of the current US judicial system. The problem with the US system – and justice in the West generally – is that it has strayed from natural law and thus there is no longer a cogent argument to make for many of its statutes. The law is not "sensible" anymore but is simply what a group of politicians has decided it is.
In fact, elements of modern jurisprudence make little sense and are arbitrarily imposed to benefit deep-pocketed corporate and political interests. The disconnect between what is just and what is judicial manipulation has been growing for decades but it is the Internet that is now continually exposing the conflicts-of-interest that have been expanding without much organized resistance.
Manning stands accused of "treason" – and yet people are more aware than ever that nation-states are Money Power constructs and war is mostly pursued to advance global governance. On a moral level, what Manning did may be seen as just; natural law seems to support his action, though arbitrary military jurisprudence insists on a different outcome.
Copyright is seen by many thinking people not as a matter of property rights but as an attack on the free-flow of information that the 'Net itself has enhanced. Kim Dotcom receives support as a result, even despite the threat of extradition to the US.
In this Internet era, those who are attempting to defend many pre-technology judicial-based privileges run the risk of harming their cause by generating significant public sympathy for the accused. For this reason much of accepted law today may change over time and those doing business throughout the West should be aware of the possibility of such changes.
The Internet is not merely an information conduit. It is a facility of considerable ferment and change.