Kim Dotcom Win: Court Orders FBI To Return Property

Kim Dotcom has won the right to his personal belongings and data. A New Zealand court has ordered the FBI and New Zealand police to return his property. The items to be returned include cloned hard-drives and anything containing personal information.

Kim Schmitz, otherwise known as Kim Dotcom, is the founder of the former MegaUpload.com and the successor Mega.com. He has been referred to as “Germany’s Most Notorious Hacker.”

As reported by USA Today, Dotcom’s previous convictions include hacking into banks and utility companies, embezzlement, insider trading, and various other related charges.

In 2005, Dotcom founded MegaUpload. The Hong Kong based file-sharing site was eventually shut down by the FBI, amid accusations of copyright infringement. As a result of the accusations and indictment, Kim Dotcom’s home was raided by the New Zealand police Special Tactics Group in 2012. Dotcom’s property was seized and is being held by the FBI.

As reported by Stuff.Co.NZ, New Zealand High Court Justice, Helen Winkelman, has ordered the FBI to return Dotcom’s belongings. Dotcom has won the right to all of his property. The court ordered the FBI to provide Dotcom with copies of all material relevant to the case. An belongings or data irrelevant to the case must be returned.

The FBI was further ordered to return Dotcom’s cloned hard-drives, destroying any other copies in their possession.

The decision was based on search warrants that were deemed insufficient. Specifically, Justice Winkelman pointed out that the warrants lacked detail:

“The warrants could not authorise [sic] the permanent seizure of hard drives and digital materials … with no obligation to check them for relevance … They could not authorise the shipping offshore of those hard drives … Nor could they authorise keeping the plaintiffs out of their own information.”

The ruling is a win for Kim Dotcom, as he has argued for access to his material and data for over a year.

As reported by TorrentFreak.com, the FBI is in possession of an estimated 150 terabytes of data that was seized in their investigation. The FBI and New Zealand police are now tasked with sorting and returning the property to Kim Dotcom.

[Image via Flickr]