A New Zealand Judge has handed a partial victory to Megaupload Founder Kim Dotcom today, ruling that part of the search and seizure that resulted in the shutdown and destruction of MegaUpload’s business and the arrest of Dotcom was illegal. The judge said that police went too far when they secured and then copied the contents of hard drives from some 135 computers under a "general warrant."
"These categories of items were defined in such a way that they would inevitably capture within them both relevant and irrelevant material," the Judge said in her ruling. "The police acted on this authorisation. The warrants could not authorise seizure of irrelevant material, and are therefore invalid."
New Zealand authorities (working with U.S. law enforcement) arrested Dotcom, seized his house and some property therein. The U.S. government then initiated an extradition request, and shut down MegaUpload.com. Law enforcement from both countries claim that the site was used to facilitate the download of more than $500 million of illegal content.
While this probably won't kill the case against Dotcom it does provide a challenge for those who would like to see him extradited to the U.S to face a litany of charges.