As dawn broke over New Zealand’s North Island in January 2012, a police helicopter landed for a few seconds in the front courtyard of a lavish mansion, just long enough to drop off an elite squad of anti-terrorist officers.
They sprinted for the front door and busted through, trying to prevent Kim Dotcom, allegedly the world’s top Internet pirate, from destroying evidence in the massive American racketeering case against him. The fear was that the Finnish/German hacker-turned-file-sharing-mogul had a “doomsday button,” which would erase his servers around the world and leave prosecutors empty-handed.
As it happened, he did not. Dotcom, who changed his name from Kim Schmitz, fled from his bedroom into a secret staircase concealed in a closet, leading up to a safe room. It took 13 minutes for police to find him, as dozens of officers took control of the estate.
A few hours earlier, in close co-ordination, a smaller raid had taken place with less drama, in downtown Toronto. RCMP officers had raided 151 Front Street, a leading telecommunications hub where a data storage company was renting servers to the jewel in Dotcom’s empire, the file-sharing website megaupload.com. (more...)
Kim Dotcom’s Canadian connection: Servers in Ontario could be key in case against alleged Internet pirate