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Unseal Warrant

Unseal Warrant

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Published by TorrentFreak_

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Published by: TorrentFreak_ on Oct 23, 2012
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et al 
.Defendants.)))))))))The Honorable Liam O’GradyCase No. 1:12-cr-00003-LO
MovantKyle Goodwinlost access to his property—largely videos of high school sportsevents that he creates ashis business—when the government executed search warrants for servers that housed his propertyand completed relatedseizures ofthe Megaupload service. That property and Mr. Goodwin’s motion to have it returned are the subject of a recent order by thisCourt requesting briefing on the “suggested format and breadth” of a hearing under Fed. R.Crim. P. 41(g).Pursuant to Mr. Goodwin’soriginal motion, and in light of the upcoming briefinganddecision on thatmotion, Mr. Goodwinnow moves this Court to unseal the search and seizurewarrants, applications,and all related judicially-filed material relating to the loss of his data(“warrant materials”),or, in the alternative, to unseal the warrant materials with only minimalredactions.Those materials, and the actions the government took under them, will not only berelevant to any Rule 41(g) inquiry, but will likely includeevidence Mr. Goodwin will presentas part of his ongoing efforts to havehis property returned.Thematerialswill also likely assist
Case 1:12-cr-00003-LO Document 131 Filed 10/22/12 Page 1 of 14 PageID# 1616
2other individuals who have lost access to their property due to the searches and seizureof Megaupload. Theywill alsoinform the general public about how the government has used itsseizure power in this high-profile case, which has important implications for all users (and providers) of cloud computing services. Finally, because this case was initiatednine months agoand has already been the subject of extensive public litigation here andin New Zealand,thegovernment cannot overcome the presumption in favor of access to judicial records.
Much of theprocedural background, as it applies to Mr. Goodwin, is laid out in his brief in support of Carpathia Hosting’s emergency motion and his own motion for return of his property. Dkt. No. 51 at 3-6, Dkt. No. 91.at 2-6. Of particular relevance, on January 19, 2012,this Court unsealed an indictment dated January 5. Indictment, Dkt. No.1. Presumably pursuantto warrants and orders still under seal, the government seized 18 domain names and executedsearch warrants, effectively seizing the more than 1,000 servers owned by Carpathia Hosting,which Megaupload had leased and on which it most likely stored its customers’ data. Dkt. No.39 at 5; January 27 Letter from Jay V. Prabhu (“Prabhu Letter”), Dkt. No. 32. Moreover, thegovernment, along with foreign law enforcementin New Zealandand elsewhere, also raided thehomes of defendants, none of whom residesin the United States, and seized bank accounts, jewelry, cars, and other valuable goods. Dkt. No. 1 at 66-71
The government sought, andreceived, significant press attention for both the raids and the public indictment.On January 27, the government filed the Prabhu Letter with this Court, stating that it hadcompleted its execution of the warrants, that it no longer had any right to access Carpathia’sservers, and that it no longer exercised control over the data. Dkt. No.32. Fearing that thegovernment’s position meant that his property was to be destroyed, Mr. Goodwin filed a brief in
Case 1:12-cr-00003-LO Document 131 Filed 10/22/12 Page 2 of 14 PageID# 1617
3support of an emergency motion by Carpathia for a protective order surrounding the more than1,000 servers and, when discussions between the parties fell apart, filed his own motion for return of property. Dkt. No. 51; Dkt. No. 91. The Court has not yet ruled on eithermotion, butimportantly, during the hearing held on Mr. Goodwin’s motion for return of property on June 28,2012, the government conceded that during its discussions with Carpathia, it indicated that thecompanymight incur potential liability if it reengaged the serversleased to Megaupload,eventhough the government also said it had relinquished controlof those servers.According toCarpathia’scounsel, after those discussions Carpathiadid not reconnectthe servers, since “wewere not free to turn the servers back on.”Carpathia also emphasized that data on theMegaupload servers
currently being restrained, since Carpathia cannotdo anything with thedata.Hearing on Motions at 17:22-18:18, U.S. v. Dotcom, (June 29, 2012) (No. 1:12-cr-3).The day beforethe June 29, 2012, hearing before this Court,the High Court in NewZealandissued an order finding thatrelated search warrants executed inNew Zealandwereinvalid, and the resulting searches and seizures illegal.
Judgment of Winkelmann J (June 28,2012) (“New Zealand Ruling”), attached as Exhibit A. Specifically, the New Zealand Court heldthat, among other things:The warrants were expressed to authorise the search for and seizure of very broad categories of items. These categories of times were defined in such away that they would inevitably capture within them both relevant andirrelevant material. The Police acted on this authorisation. The warrantscould not authorise seizure of irrelevant material, and are therefore invalid. New Zealand Ruling at ¶144(b).The New Zealand Court also found:If the warrants had been adequately specific as to offence and scope of search, it may still have been appropriate for the issuing Judge to imposeconditions. Conditions could have addressed the offsite sorting process,which was inevitable for the itemstaken away from the search sites. Theconditions could have provided for the cloning of hard drives, the
Case 1:12-cr-00003-LO Document 131 Filed 10/22/12 Page 3 of 14 PageID# 1618

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