Dotcom's Internet Party takes shape

TOM PULLAR-STRECKER
Last updated 09:27 16/01/2014

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A political adviser whose clients include recently-freed Russian oligarch Mikhail Khodorkovsky, is shooting a campaign commercial for Kim Dotcom's new Internet Party, the Guardian has reported.

Dotcom told the newspaper he was confident the Internet Party would secure more than 5 per cent of the party vote in the November general election and saw it spawning a world-wide movement against "the surveillance state and attempts to control the internet".

The newspaper reported the campaign ad was being filmed by James Kimmer.

Journalist Alastair Thompson has meanwhile confirmed on Twitter that he would become "interim party secretary" later today.

Earlier this week, internet entrepreneur Dotcom indicated he would reveal more about the party at an event he is hosting at the Auckland's Vector arena on Monday, but Tweeted yesterday the gathering would be "all about his new album" and the Internet Party would be launched "at a separate event at a separate time".

Dotcom told the Guardian that the Internet Party would "create tech jobs by creating the right environment for companies to come here and establish a presence in New Zealand".

That would involve not allowing government agencies to install "back doors" into computer software.

Dotcom's confidence the Internet Party will poll above 5 per cent appears to distance him from a leaked strategy paper written by political consultant Martyn Bradbury last year, which suggested the party instead concentrate on the new Upper Harbour electorate in Auckland and on Central Auckland. Bradbury suggested the party could provide free wi-fi to Upper Harbour, but electoral commission spokesman Richard Thornton indicated any such offer could fall foul of the Electoral Act.

"If it is proved that any person has made an offer to provide a service with the purpose of influencing voters in relation to an election, then the Electoral Commission would be concerned that it would give rise to a breach of [the act]," he said.

"The commission would suggest that anyone seeking to provide such a service to voters should seek legal advice before proceeding."

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