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Kim Dotcom resists password grab

Megaupload founder demands ‘judicial process’

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And so it winds on further: in the latest installment to the Aotearoan legal battle, Kim Dotcom’s lawyer that he will only hand over his passwords as part of a “proper judicial process”.

Dotcom, head of Megaupload and accused by the FBI of racketeering and copyright infringement, is resisting extradition to the USA and seeking the return of computers and other property seized when his rented mansion in New Zealand was raided by the Feds and New Zealand police.

While agreeing that some of the seized property – such as his personal computer – hold data that’s relevant to the case, Dotcom is arguing that most of the property is irrelevant. His lawyer told New Zealand’s High Court in Auckland that the data on Dotcom’s machine is encrypted, and that he would only hand over passwords if he can also access the data.

This, Paul Davidson QC told the court, is necessary for Dotcom’s legal defence.

Davidson said Dotcom is requesting that access to the information on his computer be handled by the court, and that private information and legally-privileged information be protected.

For readers that want the obligatory daily newspaper recap: Kim Dotcom was arrested with three other Megaupload executives (Mathias Ortmann, Bram van der Kolk and Finn Batao) in January on charges that Megaupload (rather than merely its users) was violating privacy on a massive scale. Since then, parallel legal stoushes have been taking place, with Dotcom securing his release from prison, resisting extradition, gaining permission to visit a recording studio – and in the US, users continue trying to recover legitimate data from seized servers. ®

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