Feeds

Video shows armed assault on Kim Dotcom family home

Two helicopters, armed police and dogs used in arrest

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

A New Zealand court has been shown footage of the 20 January dawn assault by police and the FBI on the home of Kim Dotcom, owner of the Megaupload file storage site.

Dotcom and his co-accused – Mathias Ortmann, Fin Batato and Bram Van der Kolk – face charges of international copyright infringement related to content hosted on various servers across the world. The FBI's indictment also accused the men of using Megaupload and its affiliated sites to make cash from pirated movies and games. Dotcom has denied any wrongdoing.

The hearing was part of an attempt by to overturn a finding by a New Zealand High Court judge that invalid search warrants were used during the property seizures in the January raid.

The court heard yesterday that the portly German (and sometime singer), his wife, three children and a few house guests were woken up at 6:47am by a helicopter landing in the front drive, which disgorged four members of New Zealand's special tactics group armed with assault rifles and handguns who broke down the front door.

Meanwhile four vanloads of similarly armed police and FBI agents, along with a dog squad, arrived at the house by road and overwhelmed the security guard at the gate. Dotcom told the court he was in bed at the time and pressed a panic button, which alerted the other security guard and guests there was a problem, and retreated to a "red room," accessed via a secret door in his closet.

In testimony Dotcom said that he didn't want to go and meet the police in case they accidentally shot him, so he retreated but didn't lock the door. Despite the police having full schematics for the house, it took 13 minutes for them to find him. Dotcom says that he greeted the police with his hands up (they claimed he was armed with a shotgun at the time) and was kicked to the ground and held down.

Dotcom was told that the justification for the heavy-handed raid was to ensure that he, or other members of his company who were staying with him, didn’t try to alter server logs or destroy evidence. He said this was impossible, since the FBI had already seized his servers and disabled them.

When questioned in court the police witness admitted the raid might have been a little "over the top," and said force had been used against Dotcom. None of the officers bothered to wear full body armor, since they were told they would not need it, but still carried out the assault using Colt Commando M4 rifles - loaded and capable of firing 700 rounds per minute - and attack dogs. It's a bit much for what is essentially a copyright dispute.

The arrest and trial of Kim Dotcom and his fellow Megaupload members was, at the time, touted by the FBI and police as a major blow to online piracy and an all-round good thing. However, the subsequent extradition hearings have been described as a farce and are causing red faces among law enforcement.

The case has seen doubts cast of the validity of the paperwork in the case against Dotcom meaning the arrest warrants are invalid, the news that the FBI illegally took evidence out of the country after the raid, and the resignation of the presiding judge after he commented that "we have met the enemy, and he is the US." ®

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

More from The Register

next story
The 'fun-nification' of computer education – good idea?
Compulsory code schools, luvvies love it, but what about Maths and Physics?
Facebook, Apple: LADIES! Why not FREEZE your EGGS? It's on the company!
No biological clockwatching when you work in Silicon Valley
Happiness economics is bollocks. Oh, UK.gov just adopted it? Er ...
Opportunity doesn't knock; it costs us instead
Lords take revenge on REVENGE PORN publishers
Jilted Johns and Jennies with busy fingers face two years inside
Ex-US Navy fighter pilot MIT prof: Drones beat humans - I should know
'Missy' Cummings on UAVs, smartcars and dying from boredom
Yes, yes, Steve Jobs. Look what I'VE done for you lately – Tim Cook
New iPhone biz baron points to Apple's (his) greatest successes
Sysadmin with EBOLA? Gartner's issued advice to debug your biz
Start hoarding cleaning supplies, analyst firm says, and assume your team will scatter
Edward who? GCHQ boss dodges Snowden topic during last speech
UK spies would rather 'walk' than do 'mass surveillance'
Doctor Who's Flatline: Cool monsters, yes, but utterly limp subplots
We know what the Doctor does, stop going on about it already
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.
Three 1TB solid state scorchers up for grabs
Big SSDs can be expensive but think big and think free because you could be the lucky winner of one of three 1TB Samsung SSD 840 EVO drives that we’re giving away worth over £300 apiece.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.