This data is not the same as the huge troves of user data that was stored on Megaupload servers; that’s the subject of a different dispute. This ruling concerns only the stuff that Kim Dotcom happened to have lying around his place. Wired reports that it contains some 10 million emails and epic financial records. All of this information would be central to Kim Dotcom’s pending extradition case. In theory, the data will be handed over for to Dotcom for his defence, though, that’ll be determined at yet another round of legal bickering.
And the FBI got what it deserved because the agency absconded with the data before it had the right to:
Though the New Zealand court ordered that the items not leave the country until non-relevant portions were returned, the FBI made a copy of the data and FedExed it out of the country, arguing afterward that the copying was permitted.
No matter what you think of Kim Dotcom, he’s got the right to a fair trial just like anyone else. What’s crazy is that just because the FBI has to copy the data, it won’t even necessarily be handed over. What’s the big deal? If the data will be used against Kim Dotcom, he’s got a right to know what’s in it. [Wired via Geekosystem]