Footage of Raid on Kim Dotcoms Mansion Surfaces

Footage of the raid on MegaUpload founder Kim Dotcom has now surfaced online. The footage showed a police dog, police helicopters and several armed officers, armed offenders squad, special tactics group armed with glock pistols and rifle’s.

Note: This is an article I wrote that was published elsewhere first. It has been republished here for archival purposes

The footage comes courtesy of 3News NZ and the footage and commentary pretty much said it all with what happened that day when Kim Dotcoms mansion was raided by authorities and directed by the FBI from the United States. The raid itself looked like police were going after gun cartels or a terrorist cell that were armed with bombs and weapons. The raid was actually targeting someone who operated one-click hoster MegaUpload. Many admit now that the raid itself was way over the top, but that might be little comfort to Kim Dotcom, his staff and his guests who were there at the time. One controversial moment was the fact that the authorities were moving in swiftly allegedly to prevent the destruction of evidence, but the authorities actually knew that all the evidence had already been seized prior to their arrival at the mansion. Here’s the video in question:

The raid of MegaUpload and Kim Dotcoms mansion occurred back in January. In June, the warrant for the raids were ruled invalid. Subsequently, the FBI’s removal of evidence was considered illegal in New Zealand.

Eerily enough, it was only just last month a website was set up to raise awareness of such activities by the US in other countries. The video shows the kind of activities that were conducted by authorities during the MegaUpload raid and it’s more of a challenge to spot the differences then it is to spot the similarities:

The website, political-prostitution wrote:

The U.S. government has given itself unchallenged power to shut down or block access to websites, and search engines with virtually no oversight. The failed SOPA bill attempted to limit the online freedoms of individuals and small business ventures while protecting the interests of the Motion Picture Association of America, U.S. politicians and major advertisers. Even without SOPA, the U.S. Government is making a major push to enforce its laws abroad with complete disregard for sovereignty of other nations in order to extradite so-called “criminals” to the US where they will be tried for their “crimes” in American court.

The site features other non-American’s that are being targeted by authorities from the United States like Richard O’ Dwyer of TVShack and another British citizen, Anton Vickerman, founder of who are both being targeted by US authorities.

I think there are many different ways you can look at this. One way is that it’s extremely sad that file-sharing has taken such a priority for law enforcement when we have illegal gun rings and mass shooters to name two examples. I’d say there are larger threats to society than the movement of packets of information via one Internet service or another. Who in the right mind honestly believe that file-sharing justifies calling in, say, the riot police or SWAT teams anyway? Another way you can look at it is that it’s outrageous that the US has such control over law enforcement in other countries. When it comes to copyright related issues, is there such thing as sovereignty any more? An additional way of looking at this is that it’s a little scary when you look at the ad and easily see it being an extreme exaggeration of the state of file-sharing, then juxtapose that to the raid of Dotcom and realize that the ad isn’t that far removed from what happened to Dotcom.

A more sober perspective on this is the fact that a raid like this on someone is, in fact, rare and requires a fair amount of resources to accomplish. Yes, it makes a big splash in the media, but these sorts of takedowns are typically directed at the biggest players in file-sharing. Unless anti-piracy efforts become completely flush with cash and resources, big takedowns like this will remain rare and for the top of the file-sharing food chain. Having said that, I’d say the kind of raid on Dotcom was completely unjustified and excessive.

Drew Wilson on Twitter: @icecube85 and Google+.

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