There’s a lot going on in the news lately with insane people murdering strangers and babies. I’m letting all that stuff sink in before I write anything. In the meantime there is a news story where I know exactly how I feel. Over two years ago at the behest of the big money in the United States the police in New Zealand set up an illegal surveillance operation on a man named Kim Dotcom. They eventually raided his house and stole, I mean seized, all his stuff.
Well, the courts have finally ruled that the police can’t keep his stuff forever. Hooray. It only took two+ years!
I’ve written about this case on several occasions but I’ll recap quickly for those not fully aware of the circumstances of the legal trouble in which Dotcom finds himself embroiled.
Dotcom was the main owner of a file sharing site called Megaupload. The site was used by many legitimate people and businesses to store various files in a secure, cloud environment. It was also used by many others to share files illegally. One person purchased a song or an eBook or a movie and then shared it with other people who had not made such a purchase.
This sort of file sharing has long been regarded by the movie and music industry as a drain on their profits. The argument over whether sharing reduces actual purchases is quite interesting in its own right but most of what I’ve read indicates it has little or no effect on overall sales. While some people download a file they would have otherwise purchased the evidence suggests this is generally not the case. The person who downloads either ends up making the purchase later or would never have made the purchase at all. This can be argued but it’s not really the point of my blog.
The point here is that people with a lot of money, the recording and movie industry, decided to put pressure on U.S. politicians and politicians in New Zealand to put an end to Megaupload. This money and influence purchased police action. Dotcom was raided and still faces extradition orders from the United States. His business was destroyed. Servers with information were taken and the files eventually destroyed.
This in itself is frightening. That people with money can influence a government into arresting people and destroying their livelihood. The corruption of the enforcement and judicial branch of any government is not something to be taken lightly. If a wealthy person can buy the arrest of another person, are any of us safe?
Even worse, in my opinion, is that the authorities held onto Dotcom’s possessions for well over two years and he still hasn’t been brought to trial. They illegally watched his home, raided it in an extremely overzealous and publicity minded fashion, took his stuff, and still haven’t brought him to trial.
Whether you support file sharing or not it seems to be me that anyone who believes in freedom cannot support a government acting in this manner, particularly at the behest of moneyed interests.
When politicians have too much influence over the judicial and enforcement agencies of our government there is the real possibility of freedom being taken from us. Where justice is just a word, not a beloved and cherished idea, there is danger to everyone.
Sword and Sorcery fantasy with a Libertarian Ideology
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