The case against Megaupload is temporarily in legal limbo, following a New Zealand High Court ruling that the relevant search warrants were invalid. Additionally, the court determined that the FBI acted unlawfully when its agents copied data from Megaupload’s computers and took it to the United States.
High Court judge Justice Helen Winkelmann said that the warrants to search Megaupload founder Kim Dotcom’s house and elsewhere were too vague, since they lacked specificity about the offence and did not describe the scope of the search. She also said the warrants were unclear whether Megaupload was accused of violating New Zealand or United States laws.
The ruling means the police did not have authorization to enter any of the premises.
Justice Winkelmann instructed the New Zealand attorney general to return clones of the hard drives that were being held by the country’s police force and ordered, in no uncertain terms, that nothing else related to the case be removed from New Zealand.
She also suggested that the police conduct in the case could amount to unreasonable search and seizure.
Read Justice Winkelmann’s entire ruling below.
Stuff.co.nz – Dotcom search warrants ruled illegal
Sydney Morning Herald – Dotcom search warrants ruled illegal
TorrentFreak – Megaupload Search Warrants Ruled Illegal by High Court