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Dotcom won’t reveal passwords in second MegaUpload data dispute

By | Published on Tuesday 22 May 2012

Kim Schmitz

MegaUpload founder Kim ‘Dotcom’ Schmitz is refusing to give New Zealand police the passwords to encrypted data that they seized from his home earlier this year unless they agree to give him access to the digital files too.

While the debate rumbles on in the US about what should happen to all the files stored on the old MegaUpload servers, which are currently off limits and filling up now unusable computers owned by an increasingly tetchy server company, in New Zealand the courts have been considering digital data belonging to Mega chief Dotcom, taken when his home was raided in January as various execs linked to the controversial file-transfer and video-sharing site were arrested.

Dotcom’s lawyers have complained that they are being denied access to that data, which is hindering their efforts to defend the Mega chief against America’s attempts to extradite him to face criminal charges in the US. The legal men add that while it is Auckland authorities who are holding their client’s computer files, they suspect it is America which is insisting he be deprived access.

But a chunk of the data on the seized computers is encrypted, and Dotcom says he won’t reveal the passwords required until he is assured access to the files himself, and that police acknowledge that some of the data is subject to privacy and legal privilege.

As much previously reported, Dotcom and various other Mega execs are accused of copyright infringement, money laundering and racketeering in the US, where authorities seized MegaUpload servers in January taking the service offline.