Megaupload: US Department of Justice makes up their own rules
The Department of Justice’s witch-hunt against file-storage site Megaupload and its founder, New Zealand’s Kim Dotcom, has been repeatedly scarred by snafus since they went public with their investigation this past January. In only the last few weeks, a New Zealand judge ruled the January 20 raid of Dotcom’s mansion illegal and the website’s mastermind publically dared the DoJ to offer him a full trial, telling the NZ Herald, "They will never agree to this and that is because they can't win this case and they know that already.”Now Dotcom’s attorneys are once more attacking the DoJ, alleging that American authorities are making their own rules to try and save what is left of a quickly crumbling case that may have made Dotcom the posterboy for piracy — but also an icon of Internet freedoms.Attorneys for Megaupload filed a rebuttal against the Justice Department this week, writing that the US government should dismiss the indictment against Dotcom and his site because American authorities clearly lacked personal jurisdiction in attempting to charge a site with arguably zero ties with the United States. Dotcom — a German national — resides in New Zealand, while the website itself is run out of Hong Kong. To say that this arises a problem, in the defense’s opinion — might be an understatement.“The Government bears the burden of proving that it has validly served Megaupload within the letter of the Rule… and effectively concedes it cannot carry it,” Megaupload’s attorneys write in this week’s rebuttal. “So the Government instead urges this Court to rewrite the Rule. It specifically puts forth three alternative arguments that no federal court has ever accepted, as far as we are aware, and for which it cites not a single relevant precedent.”“First, the Government argues that, because Megaupload is aware of these proceedings and purportedly had ‘minimum contacts’ with the United States, the Rule has no application. By this argument, the entire Rule can be disregarded wherever the Government deems it unnecessary or perhaps unduly burdensome. Second, the Government contends that, even if it must otherwise conform to the Rule, it may disregard the latter portion of the corporate-service requirement and decline to mail the summons to Megaupload,” they continue.Elsewhere in the rebuttal, the defense argues that “the Government goes so far as to claim it can deliver the summons to Megaupload’s address in Hong Kong,” even though that would directly disregard the rules that require a legal summons to be sent to the operation’s “last known address within the district or to its principal place of business elsewhere in the United States.”Both Kim Dotcom and his attorneys have time and time again attacked the USA government, going on the record to call their investigation politically motivated and without merit. Only now, however, does the website allege that the government is going above and beyond what they can do to disrupt Dotcom’s way of life.“They destroyed my business. Took all my assets. Time does the rest,” he tweeted recently.