The Most Revolutionary Act

Diverse Ramblings of an American Refugee

Dr Stuart Jeanne Bramhall

Dr Stuart Jeanne Bramhall
Location
New Plymouth, New Zealand
Birthday
December 02
Bio
Retired psychiatrist, activist and author of 2 young adult novels - Battle for Tomorrow and A Rebel Comes of Age - and a free ebook 21st Century Revolution. My 2010 memoir The Most Revolutionary Act: Memoir of an American Refugee describes the circumstances that led me to leave the US in 2002. More information about my books (and me) at www.stuartjeannebramhall.com

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JANUARY 23, 2013 4:04PM

Dotcom Strikes Another Blow for Internet Freedom

Rate: 9 Flag
Kim Dotcom

Kim Dotcom

New Zealand Folk hero Kim Dotcom has struck another blow for Internet freedom by launching a new cloud file storage service, called MEGA, one year to the minute after the FBI shut down Megaupload, froze his funds and induced New Zealand security services to launch a SWAT team raid on his Auckland home and seize all his computer equipment. The Obama administration’s demand that New Zealand extradite him to the US to stand trial for Internet piracy is still in the New Zealand courts. They are questioning the legality of the raid on his home. Dotcom has claimed all along that, as a third party intermediary, Megaupload was no more guilty of piracy than YouTube. At this point, it seems the only intellectual properties lawyers who don’t share this view work for the US Department of Justice.

The Role of Chris Dodd and MPAA

Dotcom believes the Motion Picture Association of America’s million dollar lobbyist, former Senator Chris Dodd, used his long time friendship with Vice president Joe Biden to persuade him to go after Dotcom. According to the Megaupload founder, Hollywood played a key role in getting Obama elected in 2008 but had nothing to show for it. He claims the President needed a success after Congress failed to pass the Stop Internet Piracy Act (SOPA) the MPAA wanted, so taking down Dotcom was “Plan B.”

According to an article in Gather, he sees similarities in the vicious and unlawful way the Obama administration has attacked other Internet freedom advocates, especially the late Aaron Swartz (the Reddit co-founder who recently killed himself in response to over the top bullying by federal prosecutors) and Julian Assange. He’s gratified by the new bill, dubbed “Aaron’s Law,” Rep. Zoe Lofgren (D-CA) has introduced. It amends the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (CFAA), used to charge Swartz, to exclude terms of service violations.

Dotcom’s New Financial Backers

Because Dotcom’s funds are still frozen, he has relied on international investors to launch his new venture. It goes without saying that their lawyers have gone over his website with a fine tooth comb. They have declared it squeaky clean in terms of intellectual property law.

Privacy From Government Spying

Dotcom claims MEGA is an improvement on Megaupload in important ways, including improved privacy. As Forbes describes, MEGA employs User Controlled “symmetrical encryption”, where the user holds both the encryption and the decryption key. This makes it impossible for the site to hand over stored files to government authorities under subpoena, unlike Dropbox and other major file storage services.

The MEGA website invokes the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Article 12 (an injunction against “arbitrary interference with his privacy, family, home or correspondence.”), in explaining how User Controlled Encryption (UCE) works. I bet the FBI, CIA, Department of Homeland Security and US Department of Justice all really love this feature. However given the support Dotcom is receiving from the New Zealand courts, there’s not a whole lot they can do about it.

The MEGA site got a million hits during its first twenty-four hours of operation.

For more background on New Zealand’s most famous German immigrant, read more here

 

photo credit: sam_churchill via photopin cc

 

Crossposted at Daily Censored and The Most Revolutionary Act

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Comments

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Call me paranoid and crazy Dr. but Kim Dotcom is nobody I would trust
He should team with Gangnam and do the horse dance! Wait... did he steal Gangnam's stuff?
Jack, I never said I trusted him. But I think it's about time someone told the Obama administration and the FBI to stick it.

Zuma, Dotcom hasn't stolen anything - that's why the FBI has no Internet piracy case. He simply offers a file sharing service, a lot like YouTube, only his rules regarding copyright protection have always been a lot more strict than theirs. The FBI could have gone after YouTube, but they worried Google (which owns YouTube) was too big a corporation to take on. So instead they pick on this minnow in the South Pacific, thinking he couldn't defend himself. Didn't they get a nasty surprise?
as i understand current cipher technology, there is no such thing as unbreakable ciphers, if nsa wants to get in. always assume they are reading your mail.
Go Dotcom!!! Ick hearing about Dodd's involvement! The Powers That Be play hardball and if the law doesn't fit ... well, they just twist it. And nobody seems to be stopping them. Mafia rules. I am glad there is spirit and rebellion and risking and testing, especially away from US tentacles. But cronyism and collusion internationally is sure getting ugly. Corruption and cronyism. Thanks for this update! best, libby
Another symptom of an empire in decline. And what makes it personal is that I know the math professor who formulated the algorithm that made Dotcom's business possible.
a real shadowy yet colorful character who flirts with the border of the law, and is reaping the karma for playing a dangerous game of chicken.... nevertheless, I wish him luck. theres an excellent profile of him in wired. he does have some )( visionary qualities. the wired article compares his mansion (with very high tech security systems) to a bond villain lair, and him as the villain.... what he did may have been illegal but it shows an incredible reach of US govt & law enforcement that imagines itself still to be something like the "policeman of the world"... but who appointed/elected this policeman, and who handles the investigations of police overreach and/or misconduct?
oh, and theres a new rumor that the australian govt secret surveilance agency was working in tandem with the NSA to surveil him.... surprise, surprise. big brother knows no bounds/limits....
as dotcom points out, his case does have a lot of similarities to the intl assange persecution/witchhunt....
vzn, the New Zealand equivalent of the CIA was caught spying on him - which is illegal if someone is a lawful NZ resident. There also happens to be a major (conservative) government minister who got a campaign donation from Dotcom that he didn't disclose.
He's the Baron Harkonen of everything that's illegal on the internet.
For a very important clear analysis of why and how Obama is destroying the democracy of the USA and the long history of its occurrence see http://www.counterpunch.org/2013/02/01/how-to-sell-hard-choices/