In the latest intrigue in the Megaupload case, a New Zealand internal intelligence agency has apparently bungled its investigation by spying on people it shouldn’t have.
According to areport in ComputerWorld
, the Government Communications Security Bureau collected information on two suspects in the case, Kim Doctom and Bram der Kolk, who are permanent residents of the country. The agency is not permitted to put citizens or permanent residents under surveillance.
Megaupload is the subject of legal proceedings in the United States, which has alleged that the file-sharing community committed criminal acts by allowing piracy, charging its owners with criminal conspiracy and copyright infringement. The U.S. has initiated proceedings to have Dotcom and several others extradited to face trial.
Back in April, I spoke to a couple of lawyers about the fate of P2P sites in Canada
and whether they were at risk of sharing Megaupload’s fate. Technically, I was told, they could be charged under the Copyright Act if they knowingly allowed people to steal intellectual property.
But in Canada, the laws are weak enough that it’s sometimes the P2P sites initiating in the litigation. For example, isohunt.com famously sued the Canadian Recording Industry Association in 2008 over its alleged “threats.”