New Zealand judge orders the police to return any irrelevant data to Kim Dotcom and destroy any cloned hard drives containing personal information.
Since January 2012, Kim Dotcom has been no stranger to courts. He has been embroiled in legal battles even before his notorious one-click hosting site, Megaupload, was forced to shut down. Since that time, Kim Dotcom has successfully started up another file-storage service Mega and won several lawsuits against him for copyright infringement. This latest victory is actually a follow up to the same judgement that High Court justice Helen Winkelmann passed last year that the FBI refused to follow.
According to the judgement, the warrant that the FBI used to seize Kim Dotcom’s digital materials and hard drives was invalid and unlawful. Winkelmann states, “The warrants could not authorise the permanent seizure of hard drives and digital materials against the possibility that they might contain relevant material, with no obligation to check them for relevance. They could not authorise the shipping offshore of those hard drives with no check to see if they contained relevant material. Nor could they authorise keeping the plaintiffs out of their own information, including information irrelevant to the offences.”
Winkelmann has ordered the New Zealand police to sift through all of the seized digital material and return anything irrelevant back to Kim Dotcom, at their own cost. The FBI has also been ordered to return clones of hard-drives containing personal information while other copies that do not have information relevant to the case must be destroyed. Dotcom and his legal team will also receive clones of devices in order to prepare for his extradition hearing in August. The hearing may be delayed due to questions over whether the evidence being given by the US as justification for extradition was acquired illegally.
Dotcom’s has already counted this judgement as a victory, though it’s possible that the FBI will overturn the decision to disclose evidence against Megaupload in the Court of Appeal or Supreme Court. Despite this, Kim Dotcom is jubilant as evidenced by his tweets:
#Megaupload case to-do list:âœ” Get bail & Internet accessâœ” Expose the perpetratorsâœ” Get my data backâ’Get user data backâ’Victory!
— Kim Dotcom (@KimDotcom) May 31, 2013
[email protected] | @nardionet