Kim Dotcom has vowed to appeal this week’s High Court judgement denying him access to his personal communications that the Government has admitted were illegally intercepted by the Government Communications Security Bureau in the run up to his arrest in 2012, at the behest of the US Government, for alleged copyright offences.
Dotcom said the entire hearings had been shrouded in such secrecy that even is lawyers were excluded.
“[The GCSB] filed secret evidence and secret submissions. The GCSB’s lawyers were heard in a ‘closed’ court with the judge, where they made secret submissions and secret witnesses gave secret evidence,” he said.
“My lawyers and the public were not allowed to be present at that hearing. When my lawyers were heard, after that hearing, they had to make submissions as to why information they were not allowed to see, for reasons they were not allowed to know, should be disclosed. They were effectively shooting at a moving target, in the dark, with one hand tied behind their backs.”
Judge Gilbert dismissed arguments by Dotcom’s lawyers that the information should be disclosed to “facilitate debate as to whether the defendants or other agencies could engage in mass surveillance of members of the New Zealand public or whether they have done so on other occasions,” saying the sole issue was what relief, if any, Dotcom was due with respect to the illegal intercepts.
Dotcom pointed out that the illegal intercepts had not been undertaken because of any concerns about national security but solely “to assist the United States of America to extradite me.”
Dotcom has vowed to appeal the judgment saying, “This is not just about me. This is about how safe we all are from unlawful surveillance and, when it happens, how we can ensure those responsible are held accountable. Right now, we can't.”
Dotcom doco to air in NZ this month
A documentary about the Kim Dotcom saga Kim Dotcom: Caught in the Web, by film maker and University of Auckland academic Annie Goldson will screen at the New Zealand International Film Festival later this month, following its screening at the South by SouthWest Festival in Austin, Texas earlier this year.
According to the University it traces Dotcom’s history from being a young hacker in Germany, through his move to Hong Kong, where he founded his file-sharing site MegaUpload, to his arrival in New Zealand in 2010, and his ongoing legal battles with the US government and the entertainment industry.
Goldson Annie interviewed over Dotcom and 70 subjects in the US, Germany, Hong Kong, the UK, Australia and New Zealand. She also gained access to his personal archive.
Following the SXSW screening Rolling Stone writer David Fear wrote: “Whether you think he [Kim Dotcom] is a hero or a heel, you’re bound to leave the film with your preconceptions shattered.”