A new wrinkle has been unveiled in the legal saga of Megaupload founder Kim Dotcom and his battle against extradition to the United States. Dotcom and other members of the Megaupload team stand accused of copyright infringement among other things and face huge fines and prison time. A court in the Zealand ruled this week that Dotcom can file suit against the New Zealand spy agency.
The New Zealand spy agency is known as Government Communications Security Bureau or GCSB. The court ruled that Dotcom could sue the spy agency for illegal surveillance. Any suit against the spy agency would open the New Zealand government up to additional scrutiny in its role in the unlawful police raid on Dotcom’s home in 2012.
This week the New Zealand Appeals Court rejected an application from the attorney general acting on behalf of the GCSB in an attempt to exclude the agency from the lawsuit. The New Zealand High Court ruled last year that the spy agency could be held liable for illegally spying on Dotcom. Dotcom is currently seeking damages from the New Zealand government for its role in the raid conducted at his home in January of 2012.
The raid was conducted on the man’s mansion at the request of US authorities. The United States FBI has accused Dotcom and other principles of Megaupload of making more than $175 million since 2005 by allegedly copying and distributing copyrighted content without authorization to do so. Dotcom is a New Zealand resident, but was born in Germany. The fact that he had New Zealand residency made it illegal for the spy agency to spy on him leading up to the 2012 raid.