Global policing, surveillance and intelligence: New Zealand, The United States and Kim Dotcom

D. Palmer1*, I. Warren2

1 Deakin University
2 Deakin University

In December 2015 a New Zealand District Court ruled that internet entrepreneur Kim Dotcom and three of his colleagues should be extradited from New Zealand to the United States to face 13 charges of copyright infringement, racketeering, wire fraud and money laundering (United States of America v Dotcom et al [2015] NZ District Court at para 1). This hearing is the most recent of multiple cases that followed a raid on Kim Dotcom’s New Zealand residence in 2012 and the simultaneous closure of multiple servers in several countries running Dotcom’s Megaupload streaming and storage sites. This article utilises the legal proceedings to explore the contemporary nature of ‘global policing’ (Bowling and Sheptycki 2012, 2015), and surveillance and the intersections between the ‘intelligence communities’ and state police. It is argued that the case of Kim Dotcom highlights an emergent assemblage of policing, surveillance and intelligence services operating through and beyond sovereign borders as evidence of the extensive growth of ‘extraterritorial’ law enforcement methods (Nadelmann 1993) and raises concerns about the transparency and accountability of such activities. Though this case concerns breach of copyright and associated offences arising from that alleged breach it points to much larger transformations on policing, surveillance and intelligence at the global level.


Darren Palmer and Ian Warren’s most recent book is Global Criminology (LawBook Co, 2015 Warren and Palmer). They have also recently co-edited a comparative study of Canadian and Australian approaches to national security (Lippert, Walby, Warren & Palmer) National Security, Surveillance and Terror: Canada and Australia in Comparative Perspectives (Palgrave)