Kim Dotcom

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Kim Dotcom
Birthname Kim Schmitz
Date of Birth January 21, 1974
Birth Place Kiel, Germany
Nationality German
Occupation Founder of Megaupload
Biography Hacker

Kim Dotcom, an internet entrepreneur, is the founder of the file hosting service Megaupload, along with other 'Mega' services like MegaVideo and MegaPix.

Personal Life

Dotcom, born Kim Schmitz, in Kiel, Germany on January 21, 1974, also known as Kimble and Kim Tim Jim Vestor,[1] experienced great success as an internet entrepreneur during his teenage years. Kim has since lived an openly extravagant lifestyle, spending his wealth on luxury cars, yachts, women, houses and parties. Dotcom, standing at 6'6" tall and over 290lbs, is a very large man.[2] He legally changed his last name from Schmitz to Dotcom in 2005.[3] He and his wife, Mona, have 2 sons and 3 daughters. [4]

Criminal History (before Megaupload)

Dotcom was a skilled and successful hacker starting as a teenager. Under the name "Kimble" he was able to bypass the security in NASA, the Pentagon, Citibank, and PBX Systems. In 1994, Dotcom was arrested in Germany for trafficking stolen calling card numbers. Following his arrest, Dotcom received a two-year suspended sentence for being under-age at the time the crimes were committed.[5]

In 2001, Dotcom purchased €375,000 worth of shares of the nearly bankrupt company Shortly after, he purchased €50 million in shares of After a major rise in share value, Kim cashed out with €1.5 million. To avoid further investigation, Dotcom moved to Thailand, where he was arrested by German authorities.[6] In November 2003, he pleaded guilty to embezzlement, he received a suspended sentence of 20 months.[7] Later in 2003, Dotcom left Germany and moved to Hong Kong.[8]

New Zealand Residency

Dotcom visited New Zealand a number of times in 2008 and 2009, during this time spending over GST$3.2 million on 12 cars and a leased helicopter. By November 2010, the New Zealand Immigration Department granted Dotcom residency despite his criminal record under the investor plus category, as he had invested over GST$10 million in New Zealand. New Zealand's Immigration Department, after granting residency to Dotcom, sought to keep his paperwork as confidential in order to prevent criticism from other nations. [9]

Megaupload and Arrest

Megaupload Logo

See main article Megaupload

Megaupload is a Hong Kong-based file hosing and sharing company started by Dotcom in February 2003. Originally, the company was known as Data Project Limited, but the name was changed to Megaupload in 2005.[10] Megaupload was very successful, growing to USD$175 million in revenues, 50 million daily visitors,[11] over 150 employees, and responsible for 4% of all internet traffic.[12]

Indictments were filed against Dotcom and other Megaupload executives in Virginia, USA, on January 5, 2012 for crimes related to "engaging in a racketeering conspiracy, conspiring to commit copyright infringement, conspiring to commit money laundering and two substantive counts of criminal copyright infringement."[13] Two weeks later, on January 20, Kim Dotcom, along with Finn Batato, Mathias Ortmann and Bram van der Kolk were arrested in Coatesville, Auckland, New Zealand, by New Zealand Police. Dotcom's 64 bank accounts from across the world were frozen, denying him access to USD$175 million in cash. During the raid, USD$17 million in assets including TVs, art and luxury cars were seized.[14] Dotcom was remanded to Mt Eden Prison, where he claimed he was mistreated and subjected to sleep deprivation.[15] On February 22, Dotcom was released on bail.

Suing GCSB

In early December of 2012, Kim Dotcom recieved the right from New Zealand's High Court, Judge Helen Winkelmann, to sue The Government Communications Security Bureau (GCSB) due to the unlawful and illegal surveillance and involvement in the raid on Megaupload earlier this year. Before the raid on Megaupload, the New Zealand government spy agency had been illegally surveying the Megaupload compound. It was illegal for the government to spy on Dotcom because even though he is a German national, he had residency at the point in New Zealand. This made his mansion off-limits for the government to spy on. Because of these facts, many restrictions on Dotcom have been lifted. These include the unfreezing of some of his assets to accommodate for living and legal costs, less restrictions on travel and association, and extensive evidence disclosure which U.S. authorities are trying to appeal. [16] [17]


In regards to his indictment for Megaupload, Dotcom said, "For every email they have in the indictment, I have 100 others that disprove it." He said that Megaupload had a team of 20 members whose job it was to take down videos said to contain copyright-infringing material. [18] In addition, the site's policy stated that users were not permitted to upload videos containing copyrighted materials and if they did, it would be removed, leading to over 15 million links being deleted from the site. The US Electronic Communication Privacy Act prevents systems administrators from looking at users' account information, preventing further action to be taken to fight copyright violators. [19]

Dotcom said that he was shocked by his indictment because he believed he was protected under the DMCA law in the United States, saying, "As long as we follow a regime of taking things down that are reported to us, which we have done over all these years, we are protected, according to the law and, you know, I find it very surprising that this is happening because like I said we had legal advice all these years telling us that we are an online service provider and we are not liable for the actions of third parties." [20]

He believed that the government and press's accusations against him were unfair and biased against him because of past events. "The media went as far as finding my father, drunk and living in some garden shed, who I haven’t seen since I was 8 years old. He is an alcoholic who used to beat my mother and myself into hospital many times. And the press got him to complain in interviews that he only sees me on TV with my big Mercedes and that I never visit him." [21]

See Also


  1. US Internet piracy case brings New Zealand arrests
  2. Megaupload boss says innocent, rival stops file-sharing
  3. The Fast, Fabulous, Allegedly Fraudulent Life of Megaupload’s Kim Dotcom
  5. Chronic: Megalife of Kim Dotcom
  6. Merry Chrischmitz or Merry Hell? International criminal sets up home in Chrisco mansion
  7. Luring German Investors Back Into The Pool
  8. Merry Chrischmitz or Merry Hell? International criminal sets up home in Chrisco mansion
  9. Secrecy Over Dotcom's Residency Application
  10. The Fast, Fabulous, Allegedly Fraudulent Life of Megaupload’s Kim Dotcom
  11. Google cut off Megaupload's ad money voluntarily back in 2007
  12. The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 4 December 2012.
  13. Justice Department Charges Leaders of Megaupload with Widespread Online Copyright Infringement
  14. Megaupload attempting to get back online
  15. Dotcom: I will beat charges

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