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Kim Dotcom getting copies of data seized in Megaupload raid

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Kim Dotcom, former owner of file-sharing and storage site Megaupload, is being reunited with the data from servers that were seized by police in 2012. According to The New Zealand Herald, New Zealand's Court of Appeal has ruled that police must provide copies of the data on all electronic devices that were confiscated in the raid on Dotcom's mansion "as soon as reasonably practicable." It's the latest decision in a protracted battle between Dotcom, New Zealand courts, and the US government, which is attempting to extradite him to face criminal copyright infringement charges.

Dotcom is accused of running the now defunct Megaupload as a massive piracy ring, intentionally encouraging people to post copyrighted material. Dotcom, by contrast, has described Megaupload as a Dropbox-like cloud storage service that was not responsible for what individual users uploaded. Extradition hearings were supposed to be held this year, but they've since been delayed until February of 2015. The main questions at play have instead been whether the police raid on his property was carried out legally, and whether he can reclaim seized cars, money, and data. Dotcom hasn't been successful on the first two fronts, as the Court of Appeal decided in August that the US government didn't have to end a freeze on his assets. Dotcom's legal team has argued that hard drive data is necessary to build a defense, but they're also attempting to keep US law enforcement from getting direct access to encrypted information.

A court has previously said that Dotcom shouldn't have to give passwords to the FBI, even if he grants access to local New Zealand legal teams. Now, there are actual provisions in place for getting the information decrypted. The Herald is oblique on this point, but per TorrentFreak's explanation, Dotcom will immediately get access to anything unencrypted, and more will follow when he gives his passwords to two police officers who are sworn to secrecy against the US government and others.

Since his original arrest, Dotcom has attempted to build new careers in cloud storage, politics, and music (as seen above). In 2013 he launched "Mega," touted as a more secure alternative to Dropbox or Google Drive. He has also founded the Internet Party, a New Zealand political group running candidates on a platform of privacy, expansion of internet access, and copyright reform among other positions. The general election is being held on September 20th.