Launch day for Kim Dotcom's Internet Party

04:54, Mar 27 2014
Kim Dotcom's Kiwi adventures
It all started in the nineties, when a young Kim Schmitz made a name for himself as a somewhat harmless hacker.
Kim Dotcom's Kiwi adventures
In 2010 Dotcom was granted residency in New Zealand under an "investor-plus" category, which allows "good behaviour" requirements to be waived if a person invests $10 million or more in New Zealand. Immigration attempted to keep this under wraps, worried that it might attract media speculation and criticism. He had visited the country several times, and was leasing one of the most expensive houses in New Zealand - the $30 million Coatesville mansion shown, with an agreement to buy the property when the lease expired.
Kim Dotcom's Kiwi adventures
Also in 2010, Dotcom donated $50,000 to then Auckland mayor John Banks' re-election campaign. He claimed Banks asked him to split the payment into two payments of $25,000, in order to keep the payments anonymous.
Kim Dotcom's Kiwi adventures
On January 20, 2012, Dotcom and business partners Finn Batato, Mathias Ortmann and Bram van der Kolk were arrested in an armed raid of his mansion. The arrests stemmed from US indictments on copyright piracy and money laundering charges.
Kim Dotcom's Kiwi adventures
The raid involved 76 officers and two helicopters.
Kim Dotcom's Kiwi adventures
On January 20, 2012, Dotcom and business partners Finn Batato, Mathias Ortmann and Bram van der Kolk were arrested in an armed raid of his mansion. The arrests stemmed from US indictments on copyright piracy and money laundering charges.
Kim Dotcom's Kiwi adventures
Dotcom was remanded in Mount Eden prison. At first he was denied bail, given fears he would flee the country, but was granted bail on February 22.
Kim Dotcom's Kiwi adventures
Dotcom fought the charges. In June 2012 High Court Justice Helen Winkelmann found that the warrants used to raid the Dotcom mansion were invalid. It was revealed that New Zealand police had copied Dotcom's computer hard drives and sent the contents to the US, which Justice Winkelmann found to be in breach of extradition legislation.
Kim Dotcom's Kiwi adventures
In September of 2012 Prime Minister John Key revealed the Government Communications Security Bureau (GCSB) had illegally spied on Dotcom prior to his arrest. The GCSB is not allowed to spy on NZ citizens or permanent residents.
Kim Dotcom's Kiwi adventures
In January of 2013 Dotcom launched the successor to MegaUpload - MEGA.
Kim Dotcom's Kiwi adventures
The launch was held at his mansion.
Kim Dotcom's Kiwi adventures
Dotcom attended a variety of events during 2013, including a Call of Duty competition, a game he was once No 1 in the world at.
Kim Dotcom's Kiwi adventures
In January of this year, Dotcom released an EDM album, "Good Times". He also pushed ahead with his plans to enter New Zealand politics with an "Internet Party".
Kim Dotcom's Kiwi adventures
In March, on the eve of the Internet Party's launch, Campbell Live reveals that Dotcom owns a variety of controversial historical items, including a signed copy of Hitler's Mein Kampf and one of Josef Stalin's pens.
Kim Dotcom's Kiwi adventures
Today, Dotcom officially launched the Internet Party.

The Internet Party will be represented in Parliament whether it brings home 5 per cent of the vote or not, Kim Dotcom says.

Internet entrepreneur Dotcom said this afternoon that a sitting electorate MP would join the party but he would not say who the person was, what party they currently belonged to or what electorate they represented.

Party chief executive Vikram Kumar said there were a further three sitting MPs that had expressed interest in joining the party.

Kim Dotcom
KIM DOTCOM: The Internet Party will go on a membership drive after its launch.

Other candidates would be chosen in a process that was "almost like an audition", he said.

When members signed up to the party they could say if they were interested in becoming a party candidate, Dotcom added.

The party wanted to introduce "young, new talent" to the country's leadership, he said.

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Dotcom said the Internet Party was open to working with any other party other than National.

The German-born millionaire said he would not work with, or support, the National Party in this term after a recent "disgusting smear campaign".

Dotcom also denied recent allegations that he was a Nazi sympathiser or bought into Nazi ideology.

The allegations that came about when it was revealed he owned a signed copy of Hitler's manifesto Mein Kampf (My Struggle) were part of a "disgusting smear campaign", he said.

Dotcom said he would not go into any further detail on the subject as he wanted to focus on the party's launch and call for members.

He said a deal with the Mana Party was still a possibility.

"Mana's biggest problem was that we said we could work with anybody," Dotcom said.

Dotcom said one of the party's key policies focussed on stopping the online "spy culture".

The party needed to send a clear message that the "mass surveillance" of the world's population was "not acceptable".

However, the party would ensure "sensefull investigations" by law enforcement agencies were carried out to uncover and prevent cyber-crime, he said.

The Internet Party was well on its way to getting the 500 members it needed to become a registered party.

This afternoon there were about 25,000 visitors to the site every hour and 14 new website visitors every second.

The first person to sign up as a member was party secretary Anna Sutherland, who used the virtual currency Bitcoin to pay for her membership.

As part of the Internet Party's launch it released its key policies, which included pledging to cut internet connectivity costs by 50 per cent, creating a government-sponsored digital currency and stopping "mass surveillance" of New Zealanders by the Government.

The party also planned to get better internet connectivity and digital tools in schools.

Labour's leaked ICT policy also included a plan to give free computers to low-decile schools.

The difference between the Internet Party's policies and the policies of other political parties was the Internet Party had "the competence to make it happen", he said.

Promises were meaningless if parties did not have the experience and Dotcom said the Internet Party had a "team of experts" on board.

It was important for New Zealanders to understand what the party stood for and what it was trying to achieve before they voted, Dotcom said.

Kumar said it was still early days for the party and it would take about six weeks before the Electoral Commission had officially registered the party.

There was not a firm timetable in terms of when candidates and policies would be announced, but he acknowledged there was not much time to get everything sorted with the September election looming.

From today people would be able to sign up to the party using Apple devices, through the Android app or via the party's website.

Membership would cost each person $1.29 for three years.

Stuff