New Zealand: surveillance agency under pressure
A request by the attorney general to exclude the Government Communications Security Bureau (GCSB) from Kim Dotcom's lawsuit was rejected by the New Zealand Court of Appeal, paving the way for German-born Mr Dotcom to begin legal action.
The news comes just a week after a New Zealand court ruled that the US did not need to disclose full evidence in its attempts to extradite Mr Dotcom for alleged copyright violations on a massive scale.
According to CNet, the GCSB collected intelligence on Mr Dotcom ahead of the 2012 raid on his house to determine whether he posed any danger to the police who would later swoop in by helicopter to arrest him.
However, laws in the country prohibit the GCSB from conducting surveillance on the country's citizens, but the agency was under the false impression that Mr Dotcom was not yet a citizen.
New Zealand Prime Minister John Key apologised to Mr Dotcom, adding that he is ‘entitled to be protected from the law when it comes to the GCSB, and we failed to provide that appropriate protection for him.’
US authorities claim MegaUpload cost copyright owners some $500 million. Mr Dotcom faces 20 years in prison if convicted of all the charges.