Kim Dotcom

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Kim Dotcom (2014)
Kim Schmitz (1996)

Kim Dotcom (* 21st January 1974 in Kiel as Kim Schmitz ) is in New Zealand -based Internet entrepreneur with German and Finnish citizenship. He is the founder of the sharehosters Megaupload and Mega . Dotcom first appeared in public as a black hat hacker , later as an entrepreneur, activities that earned him several final convictions. The FBI has been investigating alleged violations of US copyright law in connection with Megaupload since 2012 . Dotcom defends itself against the allegations.



Kim Schmitz attended the Heinrich Harms School (secondary school) in Plön , Am Schiffsthal, and, according to his own account, grew up in a problematic family shaped by his father's alcoholism .

Schmitz first appeared in public as a computer hacker under the pseudonym Kimble in the mid-1990s . A stir his demonstration caused the blue-box method in the WDR - TV Program Monitor . He was a member of the then flourishing mailbox scene with his mailboxes Beverly Hills BBS and House of Coolness BBS , in which warez were traded, among other things . He is said to have recorded the messages from the users of his box and thus learned inside information from hackers about weak points in the telephone system and in the software. He was paid, among other things, with stolen calling card data, which he resold. Later he ran a party line , which developed into a forum for phrakers and in which he in turn collected current information by listening.

Based on this information, Schmitz began producing magnetic cards with falsified payment information . During a house search on suspicion of black copies in the mailboxes, "hundreds of counterfeit credit and telephone cards" were found. Schmitz changed sides under the pressure of the criminal investigation and passed on information about the pirated copies and credit card scene to investigators. He then worked for the lawyer Günter Freiherr von Gravenreuth and, as a “test customer”, provided him with information about pirated copies. This activity was recognized in his favor in the process, so that in 1994 he was sentenced to a two-year suspended prison sentence for fraud, computer fraud, professional stealing from a gang and misuse of titles .

According to Schmitz, he received information from a friend from the scene about a weak point in the GSM system of Deutsche Telekom Mobil D-1 (now Telekom Deutschland GmbH ). In return for silence, he received a consulting contract with DeTeMobil. With the proceeds from the consulting contract, Schmitz founded Data Protect Consulting GmbH in Munich, 80 percent of which he sold to TÜV Rheinland . Schmitz kept 20 percent of the shares. The GmbH filed for bankruptcy in 2001.

In a 2001 interview, he claimed to have hacked Citibank systems and transferred US $ 20 million to Greenpeace , which Greenpeace denied with reference to its accounting reports.

Insider dealing

In 2001 Schmitz announced that he would help the ailing company get back on its feet with 50 million euros. This payment should be made through the newly established venture capital company Kimvestor AG . The company caused scandals due to a presumed lack of legal capacity, incomplete information prospectuses for shareholders , shares without voting rights, supervisory board members who accepted and rejected once, and dubious liquidity. The announced investment was never made. Since the price had already skyrocketed one day before the announcement of the bridge financing, the public prosecutor's office started investigations into insider trading.

During this time, he also attracted attention through various publicity campaigns. For example, he put a bounty on Osama bin Laden and claimed to be working with the FBI . The organization he founded, Young Intelligent Hackers Against Terrorism (Yihat), which was supposed to penetrate networks and computers used by terrorists, could not report any success. Instead, the group's website itself was manipulated multiple times by other hackers .

In January 2002 he fled to the Thai capital Bangkok and set up a new website that could be understood as a suicide announcement. Instead, he presented himself on the specified date as King Kimble the First, Ruler of the Kimpire ("King Kimble the First, Ruler of the Kimperium"). On January 18, 2002, he was arrested in Thailand and extradited to Germany with his consent. He was sentenced on May 27, 2002 by the Munich District Court for insider trading to one year and eight months ' imprisonment with probation and a fine of 100,000 euros. The court found Schmitz guilty on insider transactions with shares of the company N.V. to have achieved about one million euro profit.

After his conviction, Schmitz moved to Hong Kong and announced various new businesses, including Trendax Inc. , which was supposed to generate guaranteed stock market profits with the help of artificial intelligence. His lifestyle continued to attract media attention. At the end of 2004 Schmitz planned a seven-day road rally called Ultimate Rally for 2006, but it never took place.

At the beginning of 2007, the websites of Schmitz 'previous projects, such as B. Kimpire and Trendax and its website removed from the web. At the end of 2007 reports appeared that brought him in connection with the sharehoster Megaupload . Schmitz offered the scene portal money in the form of a line item, so the connection will not be published.

Kim Dotcom in New Zealand

In February 2010 Schmitz signed a lease for the Chrisco Mansion in Coatesville with the option to later acquire New Zealand's most expensive private property worth 15 million euros. Since then, Kim Schmitz has appeared as Kim Dotcom . According to an April 2010 article in Investigate magazine , Dotcom is listed in the Hong Kong corporate archives as Kim Tim Jim Vestor . Allegedly he is the managing director of Megaupload Ltd. and Megarotic Ltd.

As a co-founder of Megaupload, Dotcom was sued for $ 5 million in damages in 2011 for alleged copyright infringement by Perfect 10 , a company specializing in copyrighted erotic works and media . The proceedings ended with a settlement of an unknown amount.

In June 2010, Kim Dotcom applied for a permit to stay in New Zealand. In an online interview with the New Zealand Herald , he said the New Zealand Immigration Service had decided to issue a residence permit after considering his various offenses and planned business investments. However, the New Zealand Overseas Investment Office denied him the acquisition of several properties.

One month after the residency permit, Dotcom's attorneys announced that he was charged with trading violations in Hong Kong. Since this was not stated in the application, the New Zealand immigration authorities examined a deportation of Dotcoms, but finally decided against it. In October 2014 it became known that Dotcom had concealed a conviction in New Zealand from 2009 for dangerous driving (exceeding the speed limit by 99 km / h) when applying for a residence permit. The authorities are re-examining a possible expulsion.

FBI pursuit

On January 19, 2012, Dotcom was arrested along with three other people in New Zealand in connection with a raid on his property. The raid was later declared illegal (see below). An arrest warrant from the United States and an extradition request from the FBI have been opened against Dotcom for alleged copyright violations in connection with Megaupload. Megaupload is said to have inflicted more than $ 500 million damage on the copyright holders. If convicted in the USA, Dotcom faces prison terms of up to 20 years. Two attempts to leave the pre-trial detention on bail were refused, stating that there was an excessive risk of escape. All mega services were switched off.

On February 22, 2012, a New Zealand judge granted Kim Dotcom bail, as the entire Dotcom assets (approx. 175 million US dollars) had been confiscated and his family was not in danger of fleeing. In March, a New Zealand judge increased the monthly maintenance that Dotcom receives from his assets to 60,000 New Zealand dollars (approx. 37,000 euros at the time). In addition, Dotcom got his Mercedes back.

In early March 2012, the United States applied for Dotcom's extradition, on which the hearing was postponed several times to clarify outstanding legal issues.

In the US, Dotcom is fighting against law enforcement, claiming that US corporate criminal law does not allow prosecution of foreign companies that do not have offices in the United States.

In an interview with 3News journalist John Campbell, which aired on March 1, 2012, Dotcom denied all allegations. He relied on the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA), which protects Internet services when they take action against copyright infringement at the request of rights holders. Megaupload also offered more than a hundred companies the opportunity to access the databases and delete files themselves. However, the Electronic Communications Privacy Act prohibited Megaupload from actively searching for violations. Megaupload was not responsible for the files uploaded by users, which every uploader had to confirm.

On June 28, 2012, the New Zealand High Court ruled that searches and seizures were unlawful and that the data thus obtained should not have been released to American investigators because the search warrant was unlawful and the seized data carriers were handed over to the FBI and forwarded to the USA violated an express instruction. In late August 2012, Dotcom obtained six million New Zealand dollars from its frozen fortune in the High Court and the right to sell several confiscated cars. Dotcom intends to use the money to finance his living and legal fees.

The New Zealand Prime Minister John Key apologized in late September 2012 for the fact that Dotcom had not received the protection he was entitled to in New Zealand against unlawful prosecution. Dotcom and others had been bugged by the New Zealand intelligence service prior to the raid. However, New Zealand law does not allow him to monitor any citizens or permanent residents of the country - dotcom is considered such. Data from Dotcom's computers were illegally copied by the FBI and brought to the USA. In a parliamentary hearing on a bill to curtail these rights for New Zealanders, Dotcom testified in July 2013 that Key knew him well before the raid, accusing him of lying.

On May 31, 2013, New Zealand's highest court ordered the release of Dotcom's IT equipment.

In early February 2014, the Supreme Court's decision of June 28, 2012 was successfully challenged. According to this, the raid on Kim Dotcom's mansion near Auckland was in accordance with the law, with the court noting that the transfer of cloned hard drives was dotcoms to US authorities lacked any basis.

The New Zealand authorities' preservation of evidence in the extradition proceedings was completed at the end of November 2015. On December 23, 2015, a judge's verdict was published allowing Dotcom's extradition to the United States. His lawyers have announced an appeal against the court's decision.

On August 29, 2016, Dotcom's lawyers tried again to prevent his extradition to the United States through legal proceedings. On February 20, 2017, a second court in New Zealand confirmed that the German internet entrepreneur could be extradited, not because of copyright infringement, but because of fraud . At the beginning of July 2018, Dotcom's appeal against this judgment failed. Dotcom intends to sue the New Zealand Supreme Court against his extradition to the United States.

Illegal surveillance by the NSA

The National Security Agency (NSA) monitored Kim Schmitz from December 16, 2011 to March 22, 2012. However, the former New Zealand Prime Minister John Key had previously only admitted monitoring time for around one month. The NSA illegally monitored Kim Schmitz for around two months. The action was documented in files of the New Zealand Secret Service Bureau for State Communications Security, which were submitted to the New Zealand Herald .

Private life

Dotcom is third married and has five children, one of which is from his first marriage. On May 17, 2014, Kim Dotcom announced the separation from his second wife. On January 20, 2018, he announced his marriage to 23-year-old Elizabeth Donnelly via Twitter.

Other activities

Kim Dotcom has an extensive web presence and operates the YouTube channel MrKimDotcom , on which he u. a. published humorous web videos with a socially critical background and music videos. Dotcom showed his dissolute lifestyle by participating in the Gumball 3000 rally several times with vehicles such as a Mercedes-Brabus E V12 , chartered yachts and publishing online videos showing him in exotic locations or at the Monaco Grand Prix .

Kim Dotcom is also sporadically active as a musician. In 2012 he released the album Party Amplifier , on which u. a. a protest song against Barack Obama titled Mr. President is included. At the production was Printz Board involved, who had previously written the "Yes We Can" for Obama's election campaign of 2008. Since 2011, Dotcom has released five singles that are available for free download on its website . He also produced a music video for each song . In the night from December 31, 2013 to January 1, 2014 Dotcom performed at the New Zealand “Rhythm & Vines” festival, where he presented his music to over 25,000 visitors. His second album Good Times was released in January 2014 .

As a passionate video gamer , Dotcom reached number 1 on the international leaderboards for the Xbox 360 game Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 on December 31, 2011 . A self-published web video shows in fast motion how Dotcom sits at the console for several hours until he makes it to the first place on the leaderboards for kills and free-for-all with his pseudonym Megaracer . On September 10, 2013, Dotcom announced that it would play the same game against 100 volunteer visitors at New Zealand's first video game fair, Digital Nationz. He defeated 99 of the challengers.

In the spring of 2014, Kim Dotcom founded the New Zealand party Internet Party . His goals were cheaper and faster internet connections and more security and freedom on the internet. In addition, New Zealand should become a more attractive place for startups and internet companies. Dotcom is not allowed to hold or run for office in the party because he does not have the citizenship of New Zealand. But he finances the work of the party. The party formed an alliance with the Mana Party of the Maori indigenous people, represented in parliament, and won Laila Harré, a former member of the New Zealand Greens, as party leader and top candidate. A forecast of the forecast market iPredict for the elections on September 20, 2014 indicated that a move into parliament with around five seats could be expected. In the election, however, the Internet Party only won 1.26% of the vote and thus did not get a seat in parliament.


Megabox and Megakey

In December 2011 - three weeks before his arrest - Dotcom had started the music marketing service Megabox , through which artists were supposed to flow 90% of their income directly, which was supposed to attack the business model of the music industry. As a result, the Universal Music Group arranged the deletion of the music video Megaupload Song from YouTube , in which Dotcom and well-known artists such as Alicia Keys or Kanye West participate and advertise Megaupload. The video is now available there again. In a press release, Dotcom spoke of a "campaign to sabotage Megabox and block innovation". In addition, Dotcom planned to make all mega services available free of charge to users who had installed Megakey , software that would have replaced the advertisements placed by the webmaster with advertisements from Dotcom on all websites on the Internet.


Mega is a website launched by Kim Dotcom on January 19, 2013 for uploading files to a cloud . A special feature is the encryption with an RSA cryptosystem , which takes place before the upload , in which only the respective user has the key. This makes it very difficult for the company or third parties to access the data. Accordingly, externally linked data can only be read with a suitable password. On July 30, 2015, Kim Dotcom publicly distanced himself from Mega in a Q&A on Slashdot : “The company has suffered from a hostile takeover by a Chinese investor who is being searched for fraud in China. (...) I don't think that your data is still safe with Mega. "


Chart positions
Explanation of the data
Good Times
  NZ 8th 01/27/2014 (5 weeks)


  • 2012: Party Amplifier
  • 2014: Good Times



  • Annie Goldson: Kim Dotcom: Caught in the Web. 2017, 107 min.
  • ZDFinfo: Criminal Careers Kim Dotcom - King of the Pirates , 2016, 45 min.

Web links

Commons : Kim Dotcom  - Collection of pictures, videos and audio files
 Wikinews: Kim Dotcom  - on the news

Individual evidence

  1. ^ "Dotcom was born Kim Schmitz but legally changed his name" From: Kim Dotcom court order 'null and void'. In: The Telegraph of March 19, 2012.
  2. Conviction for computer fraud, Ref .: 6 KLs 315 Js 18225/94
  3. ^ "Kimble" again sentenced to probation In: Stern online from November 11, 2003
  4. USA take action against file storage service Megaupload. In: NZZ Online from January 20, 2012.
  5. ^ Judges agree with Kim Schmitz. In: FAZ of May 31, 2013.
  6. ^ Dpa report on his biography, quoted at , among others
  7. a b Denis Moschitto / Evrim Sen: Hackertales , Social Media Verlag 2010 ISBN 3-941835-01-7 (chapter Kimble also online )
  8. a b Moschitto / Sen: Hackertales chapter Kimble 2nd part online
  9. Evrim Sen: An arrogant, overweight and rich German in front of a conservative jury from Virginia? . Heise telepolis from February 11, 2012
  10. ^ LG Munich I , Az. 6 KLs 315 Js 18225/94
  11. Amtsgericht München, HRB 126690 - deletion October 19, 2009
  12. ^ Munich Local Court, Az. 1501 IN 1804 01
  13. a b c d Sean Gallagher: The Fast, Fabulous, Allegedly Fraudulent Life of Megaupload's Kim Dotcom . In: Wired , January 26, 2012.
  14. Imprisonment for Schmitz?
  15. Amtsgericht München, HRB 136355 - Deletion on 14 January 2003
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  17. Heise Online: "Bounty on Osama Bin Laden", message from September 15, 2001
  18. ^ Air University: Cyber ​​Protests Related to the War on Terrorism: The Current Threat. (PDF) November 2001, accessed on December 17, 2011 (English).
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  21. Az. 1124 Ls 302 Js 50240/01
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  28. NZ Herald : Multi-millionaire hacker buys Chrisco mansion , February 14, 2010
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  30. "Mr Big Does Chrisco" , article from "Investigate" magazine, April 2010
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  35. ^ A b c David Fisher: Immigration NZ: Kim Dotcom deportation an option . The New Zealand Herald, October 30, 2014
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  37. Land Information New Zealand (LINZ)
  38. ^ New Zealand Herald : Ministers slam door on web tycoon
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  43. Kritsanarat Khunkham: Internet heavyweight: Kim Dotcom alias Kimble alias Dotcom alias Dr. Evil. In: Welt Online. Axel Springer AG, January 20, 2012, accessed on March 18, 2012 .
  44. .:
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  46. Megaupload founder Kim Dotcom receives more money , March 22, 2012, accessed on April 6, 2012
  47. SpiegelOnline: USA apply for extradition from Kim Dotcom , March 5, 2012
  48. Heise Online: Delivery hearing against Kim Dotcom postponed until next year , July 10, 2012
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  50. Bloomberg BNA: Megaupload's bid for dismssal a goldmine for procedure enthusiasts ( Memento from August 5, 2012 in the Internet Archive ) , blog post from August 2, 2012 with a detailed description of the legal background
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  52. Interview on the YouTube channel of 3News or Kim Dotcom . Accessed on July 24, 2012. (English)
  53. ^ FAZ report: Judges agree that Kim Dotcom is right
  54. ^ Report n-tv: The raid on Dotcom was illegal
  55. David Fisher: Dotcom secures $ 6m for lawyers, living costs , NZ Herald News, August 29, 2012, accessed September 7, 2012
  56. PM apologises to Dotcom over basic errors , accessed on September 28, 2012.
  57. Zeit Online report: New Zealand's secret service spied on Kim Dotcom
  58. The relevant section in New Zealand law ( Memento of December 28, 2013 in the Internet Archive )
  59. Golem Report: FBI secretly got data from Kim Dotcom into the USA
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  62. ( Memento from February 19, 2014 in the web archive )
  63. , accessed on December 23, 2015
  64. Kristina Beer: Court decides: Kim Dotcom can be extradited to the USA. heise online, November 23, 2015, accessed on December 24, 2015 .
  65. Appeal against the extradition judgment on; accessed on December 23, 2015
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  67. Friedhelm Greis, dpa: Court negotiates Dotcom's extradition to the USA. In: August 28, 2016. Retrieved August 28, 2016 .
  68. Kim Dotcom may be shipped to the USA. In: February 20, 2017. Retrieved February 20, 2017 .
  69. Kim Dotcom may be delivered to the USA ,, July 5, 2018
  70. Dotcom can once again be delivered to the USA ,, July 5, 2018
  71. heise online: NSA illegally monitored Kim Dotcom. Retrieved August 6, 2017 .
  72. David Fisher Senior writer: GCSB 'had no idea' spy gear was still targeting Kim Dotcom. August 1, 2017. Retrieved August 6, 2017 .
  73. Marcel Rosenbach : The mega provocation. In: Der Spiegel 4/2013 from January 21, 2013 online
  74. Kim Dotcom: I have issued a statement on my separation. May 17, 2014, accessed August 21, 2014 .
  75. Judith Horchert: Trial: The end of the career of Kim Dotcom. In: Spiegel Online . November 29, 2014, accessed June 9, 2018 .
  76. Dotcom Wedding Day , Twitter, January 20, 2018
  77. MrKimDotcom
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  80. ^ Scoop: Kim Dotcom. - Good Times Out Worldwide , January 20, 2014.
  81. Call of Duty: Kim Schmitz as Modern Warfare 3 king . , January 23, 2012. By Peter Steinlechner.
  82. Kim Dotcom vs 100 at DIGITAL NATIONZ - Gameplanet New Zealand . September 20, 2013. Retrieved December 5, 2013.
  83. David Ferrier: Kim Dotcom defeats 99 of 100 at Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 ( Memento from December 27, 2013 in the Internet Archive ),, September 29, 2013.
  84. Internet Party: Mission ( Memento from March 27, 2014 in the Internet Archive )
  85. Panagiotis Kolokythas: Kim Dotcom founds Internet party. March 27, 2014, accessed on February 29, 2020 (German).
  86. Jürgen Ulbrich: Kim Dotcom founds his own party - from criminal to politician. In: April 3, 2014, accessed April 3, 2014 .
  87. ^ "Internet Party": Kim Dotcom's party enters into an electoral alliance. Retrieved February 29, 2020 .
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  89. Archived copy ( Memento from December 5, 2014 in the Internet Archive )
  90. Parliamentary elections in New Zealand: Kim Dotcom fails by himself , Spiegel Online, September 22, 2014.
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  93. Konrad Lischka and Marcel Rosenbach: Music giant admits secret contract with YouTube., December 17, 2011, accessed December 17, 2011 .
  94. Matthias Kremp: Mega: This is Kim Dotcom's new online data storage , Spiegel Online, January 19, 2013.
  95. Interviews: Kim Dotcom Answers Your Questions - Slashdot. Retrieved March 23, 2020 (English).
  96. Kim Dotcom: "Data on Mega are no longer secure" - Retrieved on March 23, 2020 (German).
  97. Charts NZ