Security Experts:

Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?

SecurityWeekSecurityWeek

Privacy

New Zealand Agents Spied ‘Unlawfully’ in Kim Dotcom Case: PM

WELLINGTON – New Zealand Prime Minister John Key has ordered an inquiry into government agents spying “unlawfully” while assisting police in the lead up to the arrest of Megaupload boss Kim Dotcom.

Key said Monday he has told the Intelligence and Security department to investigate “the circumstances of unlawful interception of communications of certain individuals by the Government Communications Security Bureau”.

WELLINGTON – New Zealand Prime Minister John Key has ordered an inquiry into government agents spying “unlawfully” while assisting police in the lead up to the arrest of Megaupload boss Kim Dotcom.

Key said Monday he has told the Intelligence and Security department to investigate “the circumstances of unlawful interception of communications of certain individuals by the Government Communications Security Bureau”.

He said a memorandum had also been filed in the High Court dealing with the Megaupload case advising that the bureau “had acted unlawfully while assisting the police” to locate people subject to arrest warrants issued in the case.

Key did not name Dotcom specifically, but said the bureau “had acquired communications in some instances without statutory authority”.

Dotcom is fighting extradition to the United States after being arrested in January by New Zealand police cooperating with a major US investigation.

The US Justice Department and FBI claim Megaupload and related sites netted more than $175 million in criminal proceeds and cost copyright owners over $500 million by offering pirated copies of movies, TV shows and other content.

The 38-year-old German national, who legally changed his name from Kim Schmitz, had moved to New Zealand in early 2010 and enjoyed a lavish lifestyle until his arrest.

Key said he was “quite shocked” to learn the government secret agents had acted unlawfully.

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

Key said he had not been asked to sign an intercept warrant in relation to the case “nor was I briefed on the operation in question” but he added he believed the incident was an isolated error.

“Because this is also a matter for the High Court in its consideration of the Megaupload litigation, I am unable to comment further.”

Written By

AFP 2023

Click to comment

Daily Briefing Newsletter

Subscribe to the SecurityWeek Email Briefing to stay informed on the latest threats, trends, and technology, along with insightful columns from industry experts.

Expert Insights

Related Content

Cybercrime

The FBI dismantled the network of the prolific Hive ransomware gang and seized infrastructure in Los Angeles that was used for the operation.

Ransomware

US government reminds the public that a reward of up to $10 million is offered for information on cybercriminals, including members of the Hive...

Ransomware

The Hive ransomware website has been seized as part of an operation that involved law enforcement in 10 countries.

Cybercrime

No one combatting cybercrime knows everything, but everyone in the battle has some intelligence to contribute to the larger knowledge base.

Cyberwarfare

U.S. fighter jets successfully shot down the high altitude spy balloon launched by and belonging to China.

Cybersecurity Funding

Los Gatos, Calif-based data protection and privacy firm Titaniam has raised $6 million seed funding from Refinery Ventures, with participation from Fusion Fund, Shasta...

Privacy

Meta was fined an additional $5.9 million for violating EU data protection regulations with WhatsApp messaging app.

Privacy

The EU's digital policy chief warned TikTok’s boss that the social media app must fall in line with tough new rules for online platforms...