New Zealand to probe spying into MegaUpload

The prime minister calls for an investigation into claims that a government bureau intercepted communications in the MegaUpload case unlawfully.

Josh Taylor
Kim DotCom (at right) was one those arrested in January in relation to the MegaUpload case. Screenshot by CNET staff

New Zealand's prime minister has officially requested an inquiry into whether the Government Communications Security Bureau unlawfully intercepted communications as part of the case against file-sharing site MegaUpload.

Prime Minister John Key said today that the bureau acted unlawfully in assisting police to locate individuals by intercepting communications without authorization. Key said he was informed about the matter by the director of the bureau on September 17 and has referred the matter to Intelligence and Security Inspector-General Paul Neazor.

Key said he is disappointed by the bureau's actions. "I expect our intelligence agencies to operate always within the law. Their operations depend on public trust," he said in a statement. "I look forward to the inspector-general's inquiry getting to the heart of what took place and what can be done about it."

MegauUpload was shut down in January, and founder Kim Dotcom's mansion was raided. DotCom was arrested and charged with criminal copyright violation, conspiracy, money laundering, and wire fraud.

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