Kim Dotcom, a NZ resident: GCSB didn't know, but US did?by Toby Manhire
The NZ residency of Dotcom and Bram Van Der Volk is noted in the January 5 US indictment.
A quick note on the latest explosion of Kim Dotcom snafu-itis on the part of the New Zealand authorities.
The GCSB seemingly were comfortable with the assurance of NZ police that Kim Dotcom and co-accused Bram Van Der Kolker were not New Zealand permanent residents (or were "foreign nationals", of which more later) and hence exempt from prohibitions on domestic surveillance, and so, it's been reported, they happily continued to intercept the communications of the men up until January 20, the day of the big fist-pumping raid in Coatesville.
And yet their friends in the US seemed not to be troubled by such confusion.
In the big indictment filed in a US court against MegaUpload and a number of its executives, among them Dotcom and Van Der Kolker, and dated January 5 - that's more than a fortnight before the raid, and the apparent cessation of what now appears to have been illegal surveillance - the two men are clearly labelled as NZ residents.
KIM DOTCOM, who has also been known as KIM SCHMITZ and KIM TIM JIM VESTOR, is a resident of both Hong Kong and New Zealand, and a dual citizen of Finland and Germany ...
BRAM VAN DER KOLK, who has also been known as BRAMOS, is a resident of both the Netherlands and New Zealand.
Kim Dotcom is widely reported to have formal Hong Kong residency. I'm assuming BvdK has formal Dutch residency. But all the same, you might argue that "resident" in this sense could be read as referring simply to where the individuals happen to be resting their heads - rather than any formal status. I doubt that, but either way, should it not have set alarm bells ringing among NZ's spooks and police?
A final thought: the citizen-status description of Dotcom and Van Der Kolker above would tend to support their categorisation as "foreign nationals". According to reports "the GCSB asked for assurances the men were all foreign nationals".
But the "foreign national" status - which according to legal expert Graeme Edgeler is not a term widely used in New Zealand law - and is in this sense arguably not mutually exclusive from a permanent resident.
Is it possible the cockup, if we take the optimistic view that it was a cockup, stemmed from this?
The Automobile Association wants a faster rollout of 10,000 new park and ride spaces planned for Auckland.Read more
With Peter Dunne stepping down, National has lost a key ally in Parliament.Read more
With many asking whether either protagonist in the US-North Korea nuclear stand-off is in his right mind, the world is on the brink.Read more
The coffee roaster has joined forces with an Auckland obstetrician on a special initiative to help fund crucial childbirth care for women in Uganda.Read more
The Listener journalist and judge who resigned from the EY Business Journalism Awards reflects on the future of corporate-sponsored media awards.Read more
There really is a second brain in your gut – and you can make it work smarter, says Dr Michael Mosley.Read more
Pablos Art Studios and Room 5 are tapping in to the connection between creativity and well-being.Read more
Peter Dunne is standing down after 33 years as Ōhāriu's MP, saying voter sentiment in the electorate has shifted and there is a mood for change.Read more