One hardly knows what to make of the Megaupload fiasco. On the one hand, Kim Dotcom hardly seems the picture of innocence. On the other hand, the worst that could be said of him is that there is some evidence he was involved with copyright infringement. Why, then, was it necessary to send an elite counterterrorism unit—complete with a helicopter injection and serious combat weapons—to raid his New Zealand home and arrest him? Now, thanks to a judicial review of the raid, we have the answer.
It seems the FBI was convinced that Dotcom, Blofeld like, had a doomsday device that would erase all evidence of his piracy off all servers all over the world. I’d love to believe that story but, of course, it’s complete nonsense. Leave aside the fact that the FBI had already seized those servers and shut them down, how exactly would this work? In the event it took the task force several minutes to locate Dotcom in his home’s panic room, giving him adequate time to unleash his doomsday machine. Needless to say, neither the NZ government nor the FBI could produce any evidence of the putative device.
It seems clear that the New Zealand government and the FBI got caught flatfooted with their overreaching and made up a story that only a teenage Bond fan could believe. One needn’t be sympathetic to piracy and those who engage in it to recognize that this whole raid was way over the top. Assault weapons and helicopters for copyright infringement? Really?