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NZ spooks acted unlawfully in Megaupload wiretap

Court informed of wrongdoing as PM orders inquiry

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New Zealand authorities have informed the nation's High Court that individuals at the Government Communications Security Bureau (GCSB) “acted unlawfully while assisting the Police to locate certain individuals subject to arrest warrants” in the case of Kim Dotcom's Megaupload service.

New Zealand Prime Minister John Key issued a statement saying, in part, that “The Bureau had acquired communications in some instances without statutory authority.” That information is said to have led to the arrests of some involved in the case.

Key has also announced an inquiry into the GCSB's role. The statement says the inquiry will be conducted by New Zealand's Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security, Paul Neazor, whose role is spelled out here.

Key says that as the Megaupload case is before the High Court there is not much he can say, other than the canned quotes from the statement to the effect that:

“I expect our intelligence agencies to operate always within the law. Their operations depend on public trust.”

“I look forward to the Inspector-General’s inquiry getting to the heart of what took place and what can be done about it.”

Kim Dotcom responded quickly to the news, tweeting “The NZ equivalent of the CIA has spied on me UNLAWFULLY," and then adding that “I welcome the inquiry by @JohnKeyPM into unlawful acts by the GCSB. Please extend the inquiry to cover the entire Crown Law Mega case.”

He's also likened his life to a movie, saying :

I'm now a real life James Bond villain in a real life political copyright thriller scripted by Hollywood & the White House.

He's also tweeted that a new version of his service is imminent.

“Quick update on the new Mega,” he emitted over the weekend. “Code 90% done. Servers on the way. Lawyers, Partners & Investors ready. Be patient. It's coming.” ®

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