Kim Dotcom, internet tycoon and Megaupload founder, has won the right
to sue New Zealand's foreign intelligence agency for unlawful spying by
a US led probe on online piracy which led to his arrest earlier this year.
Helen Winkelmann, High Court chief judge, on Thursday ordered New
Zealand's Government Communications Security Bureau (GCSB) to disclose
all details of any information-sharing arrangements it had with foreign
agencies, including the US authorities.
enabling the court to determine all matters in dispute is to join the
GCSB in the proceedings," she stated in a written judgement.
Dotcom, who changed his name from Kim Schultz, is fighting a US
attempt to extradite him from New Zealand in what has been described as
the world's largest copyright case.
His US-based lawyer, Ira Rothken hailed the court decision as a major victory.
Federal Bureau of Investigation,leading to a court ruling that the
search warrants used were illegal, opening the way for him to seek
damages from New Zealand Authorities.
Dotcom was released on bail and New Zealand's Prime Minister, John Key issued an apology after it was revealed in September that the GCSB
had spied on Dotcom before police raided his Auckland mansion.
Dotcom is a German national with residency in New Zealand, making it illegal for the GCSB to spy on him.
US authorities allege Megaupload and its file-sharing sites netted
more that $175 million and cost copyright owners more than $500 million
by offering pirated content.
Dotcom maintains that Megaupload, one of the world's most popular
websites before it was shut down in January, simply provided online
storage services, and should not be held responsible for stored content.
Dotcom and three other defendants face an extradition hearing in March.