Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: Dotcom: Further news of the unlikely

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  • Pete George,

    Dotcom has confirmed today that he will have a town hall event on Monday 15th September and drop a bomb that he claims will discredit John Key.

    That's a high stakes risk, it could backfire in part.There are some who want Key and National out of Government and don't care how, the end justifies any means. But Dotcom is not trusted by others. And there are some who detest his extravagant manipulation of our politics and detest his keenness to destroy the political careers of anyone who he thinks deserves his wrath.

    Dunedin • Since Dec 2011 • 139 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia, in reply to Pete George,

    Dotcom has confirmed today that he will have a town hall event on Monday 15th September and drop a bomb that he claims will discredit John Key

    Mkay... I bet Winston is seriously pissed Dotcom is stealing his shtick, and Dotcom better have one up on Peters and actually have something more than a wet sparkler.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12370 posts Report Reply

  • Rosemary McDonald,

    FWIW....Our Leader cares not one jot for New Zealand or our people.
    We are all pawns in this rich, privileged, grinning fool's game.

    The Jolly German Giant cares not one jot for his 'adopted' country. We are all pawns in this rich, privileged, grinning fool's game.

    Any hope that we, as a nation, had of being free of the tyranny of the current government was lost when previously principled people fell victim to the charms of the latter.

    And just when I was giving serious consideration to participating in the democratic process.......

    Oh, well.

    Waikato, or on the road • Since Apr 2014 • 1344 posts Report Reply

  • Rich of Observationz,

    If you don't like Kim Dotcom or the Internet Party, you aren't obliged to vote for them. It isn't any more manipulation than when someone who was born here decides to spend the fortune they earned in currency speculation on adding "PM of New Zealand" to their bucket list.

    Back in Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 5550 posts Report Reply

  • Pete George,

    Dunedin • Since Dec 2011 • 139 posts Report Reply

  • Rich of Observationz, in reply to Alastair Thompson,

    gaining traction in the Socialverse

    A lot of money is spent putting sand under the wheels of the right ideas:
    http://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2014/jul/14/gchq-tools-manipulate-online-information-leak

    Back in Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 5550 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Rich of Observationz,

    To be fair, Key didn't really spend his own fortune on becoming Prime Minister.

    A better comparison might be with Alan Gibbs, Michael Fay et al pumping millions (often secretly) over the years into the Act Party, or, more recently, with Colin Craig's vanity party.

    Dotcom actually seems less weird.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22763 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Russell Brown,

    To be fair, Key didn't really spend his own fortune on becoming Prime Minister

    I thought he made a $1,500,000 donation. Not much of his money, sure.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19697 posts Report Reply

  • Rich of Observationz, in reply to Craig Ranapia,

    Something I thought about Winston Peters:

    If the "nothing to see here, move long now" brigade is correct, then all the "political pressure" admitted to today amounts to is a desire to attract more well qualified (however you define that) immigrants into NZ.

    Before 2003, we had a system that was relatively transparent and usable. You could for instance, as a person with skills and qualifications, get residence provisionally approved and come to NZ for six months to find a job. (Employers mostly being reluctant to hire people from overseas sight unseen).

    As a result of Peters' racist dog-whistling, the Clark government decided to engage in one of it's periodic, misconceived "get-tough schemes" and removed all this. (Introducing a "by-invitation" policy, as if it was some sort of golf club ball).

    Having obfuscated the system, immigration not surprisingly fell below targets and hence a range of schemes were introduced with an increasing air of "bung us a few million and we'll overlook the fact that your sole qualification is that basic English certificate you did in in prison."

    So Winston's dog-whistling might have landed us up in a place where the NZIS and their were just kinda desperate to meet quota by signing up any "investors" they could drag onshore.

    (http://www.immigration.govt.nz/NR/rdonlyres/837B1552-C260-4DD0-ABB2-9276FC4456E0/0/AppendixFImmigrationPolicyChangesBetween20012008.pdf)

    Back in Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 5550 posts Report Reply

  • Rosemary McDonald, in reply to Russell Brown,

    Dotcom actually seems less weird.

    That kind of says it all...in a nutshell...so to speak.

    Waikato, or on the road • Since Apr 2014 • 1344 posts Report Reply

  • Pete George,

    Another side to the story:

    The head of Immigration has rejected suggestions Kim Dotcom's residency was approved as part of a United States move to make it easier to extradite him to face charges there.

    Dotcom believes US authorities wanted to keep him here to make it easier to extradite him on internet piracy and copyright infringement charges. He has long claimed the Government was acting at the behest of the American film industry but has never offered proof.

    But in an exclusive interview, Immigration chief executive Nigel Bickle said that from Immigration’s point of view he had seen no evidence of that and it was Dotcom’s advisers who had called for a fast decision in his case.

    ‘‘Mr Dotcom was represented by a very good immigration adviser, who was rightly asking questions ... ‘why is it taking so long making a decision? Mr Dotcom’s like a lot of these individuals – many countries are courting them. Could you hurry up and make a decision’.’’

    Bickle said if that was what Dotcom’s advisers were saying ‘‘that seems to be the complete opposite to a conspiracy theory that says the NZ Government was somehow orchestrating bringing him into New Zealand so he could be extradited to the US’’.

    Bickle said then-immigration minister Jonathan Coleman had not been involved in the decision to grant Dotcom permanent residency, and the call was made by an official.

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/10267420/Immigration-boss-rejects-Dotcom-residency-claims

    This morning's story seems less weird now too.

    Dunedin • Since Dec 2011 • 139 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Pete George,

    seems to be the complete opposite

    Logic fail. Not mutually exclusive at all.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19697 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia, in reply to Russell Brown,

    Actually no. This June 2011 story by David Fisher refers to his intention to settle in New Zealand. He’d been back and forth on visits from Hong Kong, once for two months, but he may well not have settled had his residency not been granted.

    This is something else that’s been bugging me about this story. There’s probably someone out there who knows the relevant law better than I do, but as far as I’m aware the bilateral extradition treaty between the United States and Hong Kong is still in effect. Why would anyone give the proverbial rat’s arse whether they were lawyering up in Hong Kong or New Zealand?

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12370 posts Report Reply

  • Kumara Republic, in reply to Pete George,

    3 News has Dotcom's bomb threat online now:

    That is, if Edward Snowden doesn't spill another bean about NZ.

    The southernmost capital … • Since Nov 2006 • 5428 posts Report Reply

  • Kumara Republic,

    And there's also the possible wildcard of the lawsuit-happy Graham McCready getting two Johns in a row.

    The southernmost capital … • Since Nov 2006 • 5428 posts Report Reply

  • Rob Stowell, in reply to Craig Ranapia,

    Puzzles me too. But as the Snowden affair seemed to illustrate, Hong Kong has a lot of scope for denying extradition if they chose. Why they might chose not to extradite in KDC's case. Hard to see anything in it for HK. But China has some sensitivity around copyright infringement claims.

    Whakaraupo • Since Nov 2006 • 2098 posts Report Reply

  • Chris Waugh, in reply to Rob Stowell,

    as the Snowden affair seemed to illustrate

    Totally, totally different. Also, Hong Kong and Mainland China both have sizeable film and music industries who don't appreciate their IPR being stolen. Dotcom would've made a nice, big, fat, juicy rooster to kill to frighten other pirate monkeys. Him being German, and therefore not Chinese, makes him an even juicier target for Beijing. Next time Hollywood starts whingeing about Chinese pirates they could turn around and point at Dotcom and say, "Look! We're doing what we can to help!" I can't think of any reason why Hong Kong would've quietly suggested he make himself scarce before papers were filed, or why Beijing would've encouraged Hong Kong to let him slip out of the territory like Snowden did. Snowden, on the other hand, well, I can think of plenty of reasons why the paper work took just that little bit longer to file than it did for Snowden to board a flight to Moscow.

    So I, too, am struggling to see any sense in a supposed conspiracy to lure him Dotcom off to somewhere the FBI would be able to extradite him more easily from.

    Wellington • Since Jan 2007 • 2401 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia, in reply to Kumara Republic,

    And there’s also the possible wildcard of the lawsuit-happy Graham McCready getting two Johns in a row.

    M'kay, probably a question for another time and thread but how seriously should anyone be taking this?

    The case, brought by serial litigant Graham McCready, will use a DVD of Hollywood movie The Wolf of Wall Street as part of the evidence against Mr Key.

    [...]

    The activities depicted in The Wolf of Wall Street were "very relevant" to the case, as they reflected Mr Key's actions, he said, branding the Prime Minister a "rogue currency trader" who had applied his "practices to his daily dealings in Government".

    Mr Key had aided and abetted Mr Banks' declaration of a false electoral return by "wilful blindness", he said.

    He was confident Mr Key would appear in court to defend the charges.

    I'm even more confident Key -- and every other politician with two brain cells to rub together -- will be staying as far away from that movie night as possible.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12370 posts Report Reply

  • Alex Coleman, in reply to Pete George,

    are some who want Key and National out of Government and don't care how, the end justifies any means. But Dotcom is not trusted by others. And there are some

    Hi Pete. How about you drop the cute routine and just speak for yourself?

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 247 posts Report Reply

  • Pete George, in reply to Alex Coleman,

    Alex, how about I speak however I like and not care about your routine, whatever it is.

    If you're on a crusade to get everyone to "just speak for themselves" on political blogs you have a wee challenge. But if you disagree with what I say why don't you just say so? Or just say what you think. Or whatever.

    Dunedin • Since Dec 2011 • 139 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    Some prefer people not claiming they're speaking on behalf of some, I'm told

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19697 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Craig Ranapia,

    There’s probably someone out there who knows the relevant law better than I do, but as far as I’m aware the bilateral extradition treaty between the United States and Hong Kong is still in effect. Why would anyone give the proverbial rat’s arse whether they were lawyering up in Hong Kong or New Zealand?

    Possibly because this wasn’t a simple extradition case, it was an investigation employing the full apparatus of state. Would the Chinese conduct electronic surveillance on behalf of the US and share the results the way we did? Would the US allow the Chinese access to NSA tools, the way it did the GCSB? Remember as Keith Ng put it after reading the Dotcom affidavits:

    What does this mean? It means that GCSB assistance is NSA assistance. It means that government agencies can tap into these powers as part of bread-and-butter law enforcement.

    In how many countries is that true? Five.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22763 posts Report Reply

  • Matthew Poole, in reply to Russell Brown,

    because he was just really rich.

    Moderately rich, Russell. He's not even a billionaire, never mind a multi-billionaire, and IIRC his peak worth was only measured in the low hundreds-of-millions. That's real money, certainly, but he's not entering the list of NZ's wealthiest 50 any time soon.

    Auckland • Since Mar 2007 • 4097 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Matthew Poole,

    Moderately rich, Russell. He’s not even a billionaire, never mind a multi-billionaire, and IIRC his peak worth was only measured in the low hundreds-of-millions. That’s real money, certainly, but he’s not entering the list of NZ’s wealthiest 50 any time soon.

    Let's say $250m. That would have brought him in around the 40s in the 2011 NBR Rich List. I would imagine there haven't been many budding business migrants in that category.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22763 posts Report Reply

  • Tom Semmens,

    There is another possibility worth considering. Everytime - without fail - the viel of secrecy is pulled aside and the workings of our security agencies are exposed they are revealed to be operating with an insouciant carte blanche in relation to what the public might think or what the law might say. It seems to me at least a possibility that we have things around the wrong way. Maybe our security agencies operate as a "deep state" that does as it pleases in a supra-alliance with the other five eyes spying agencies behind a cloak of near total secrecy, and the pollies frantically try to conceal this fact by pretending they are in charge?

    Sevilla, Espana • Since Nov 2006 • 2213 posts Report Reply

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