Cyberlocker executive alleges in new book that his support for Wikileaks was why his New Zealand mansion was raided nearly two years ago.
Kim Dotcom is back in the limelight with new allegations about the reason why his site MegaUpload was taken offline by authorities.
It’s been nearly two years since a SWAT team swooped into Dotcom’s New Zealand compound one January morning, arresting the Megaupload CEO and company executives on charges of money laundering and racketeering. Since then Dotcom has methodically picked apart parts of the prosecution’s case, proving last year search warrants used in the raid were invalid and paperwork used to seize assets was rife with errors. Earlier this year Dotcom launched the successor to MegaUpload: Mega. This new cyberlocker service has more features than its predecessor, including automatic encryption of files.
Now, in a new book, Dotcom says he’s figured out the real reason MegaUpload was taken down in such an aggressive fashion: his support for Wikileaks.
TorrentFreak posted an excerpt from The Secret Life of Kim Dotcom – Spies, Lies and the War for the Internet, where Dotcom explains that his company donated money to Wikileaks after the release of the “Collateral Murder” video in 2010.
Dotcom believes one of the reasons he was targeted was his support for Wikileaks founder Julian Assange. He says he was compelled to reach out to the site after US soldier Bradley Manning leaked documents to it. The infamous video recording of the Apache gunship gunning down a group of Iraqis (some of whom, despite widespread belief to the contrary, were later revealed to have been armed), including two Reuters journalists, was the trigger.
“Wow, this is really crazy,” Dotcom recalls thinking, watching the black-and-white footage and hearing the operators of the helicopter chat about firing on the group. He made a €20,000 donation to Wikileaks through Megaupload’s UK account. “That was one of the largest donations they got,” he says. According to Dotcom, the US, at the time, was monitoring Wikileaks and trying better to understand its support base. “My name must have popped right up.”
Neil MacBride was appointed to the Wikileaks case, meaning Dotcom shares prosecutors with Assange. “I think the Wikileaks connection got me on the radar.”
Dotcom believes the US was most scared of the threat of inspiration Wikileaks posed. He also believes it shows just how many secrets the US has hidden from the public and the rest of the world.
“That’s why they are going after that so hard. Only a full transparent government will have no corruption and no back door deals or secret organisations or secret agreements. The US is the complete opposite of that. It is really difficult to get any information in the US, so whistleblowing is the one way you can get to information and provide information to the public.”
The argument Dotcom puts forward is anemic at best, and the book doesn’t offer much in the way of evidence to back his allegations. While the case against Dotcom was characterized by an overzealous prosecutor bowing to the wishes of U.S. authorities, with the stream of sympathetic press from publications like TorrentFreak it’s easy to forget that Dotcom made his fortune on the unauthorized distribution of copyrighted works.