Friday, January 20, 2012

F.B.I. Charging New Zealanders?

My attention was just brought to this article.

It's an interesting read. 4 of the 7 people in the article were arrested in New Zealand.

What I found more interesting though, was reading up on Kim Schmitz (a.k.a. Kim Dotcom and Kimble), the founder of Megaupload, on wikipedia. He's German born but got granted permanent residency in 2010.

But, the 2nd paragraph in the wikipedia has this to say about him:
Prior to becoming an entrepreneur, Schmitz gained notoriety as a computer criminal who was convicted of credit card fraud, hacking, insider trading, and embezzlement.
He became a permanent resident in New Zealand in 2010.... and he's got a portfolio that reads like the background of a really bad character. A tiny bit more digging shows up this article, to which the reason for this oddity is that his convictions were wiped clean under a German "Clean Slate" law. There's also the money bit.

Supposedly he brought $10,000,000 worth of government bonds and donated generously to the Christchurch earthquake fund.

The question is, do our immigration laws not attempt to filter out this sort of thing? And while I don't have a problem personally with MegaUpload (Actually... I do have this thing about profiting from piracy but that's a whole other kettle of fish), it seems to me that immigration laws are supposed to prevent this sort of person residing here.... aren't they?

Just a little side note - this sets a really bad precedent. The idea that a mechanism can be targeted is shocking. The site itself, and the service it provides, isn't in itself illegal. Hard drive manufacturers aren't being sued because their products are used to store pirated material. That would be ridiculous... Perhaps a more tempered approach is in order?


  1. My sympathy for someone who decided to legally change his name to "Dotcom" is exactly zero.

    1. So I shouldn't include a surname change when I go to change my name?