For the first time in a decade, TDB missed out on getting reviewer status for the NZIFF (TDB has been around for 4 years, but I was reviewing NZIFF for 6 years before that on Tumeke), so we weren’t able to review the festival this year, however I helped Documentary Film maker Annie Goldson gain access to some of the footage used in her new documentary, Kim Dotcom: Caught in the Web, and she graciously offered me a free ticket to see the finished doco.
As someone who organised the anti-GCSB Town Hall protests and helped advise the MANA-Internet Party and Moment of Truth, I’m always fascinated by how people outside of it viewed it and understood it. When NZers took what was shown to be 100% proof that Key had lied about mass surveillance, all they screamed back in fury was that Kim hadn’t proved Key had known about him before Key had said he did.
The shock that NZers would focus on something as petty as Key’s memory lapse rather than the Assange and Snowden evidence of mass surveillance sent me as a political activist and citizen into a deep despair for our country and our society.
How did we become this?
So the opportunity to view what happened to Kim from a more objective perspective via a documentary made by someone with the reputation of Annie Goldson is my final hope that NZers will wake up and understand the enormity of what is happening to Dotcom is actually a war against the mass surveillance state that we are all now threatened by.
What Goldson has created with this documentary is one of the most important things any documentary maker can achieve, a meaningful reflection on a current political issue that at the time was eclipsed with anger and ignorance.
I believe there should be many NZers who after watching this documentary will reflect on 2014 and their reactions to Kim with a large amount of shame.
The entire mainstream NZ media should be forced to watch this.
Goldson goes behind the over the top facade Kim projects and finds a shy intelligent overweight boy who grew up in a home blighted by domestic violence, whose computer skills gave him a means to escape that violent upbringing and the fear its stain left on him. This humanisation of him makes his wealth loom like a protective bubble built by someone who knows the bite of vulnerability and has vowed to never allow it to bite again. The photos of him sitting alone at his own wealthy party’s says everything you need to know about the lonely wounded world Kim lived in.
Goldson then explains the background of Corporate Hollywood and how its need to stamp its jurisdiction into cyber space via intellectual property rights were set on a collusion course with Kim.
I honestly think this is the most important part of this entire fiasco that most people still don’t seem to understand, that this has always been a flexing of American cultural power combining with 5 eye mass surveillance interests.
The long, long, long list of corruption by the GCSB and the Government to arrest Dotcom for the NSA because Corporate Hollywood threatened Obama with a boycott on election donations demands a move by the Judiciary to show the secret intelligence apparatus that it can not over ride the law.
Corporate Hollywood profits have been risen to National Security status, that is something that needs to be understood as an explanation to this all. Wars with their violent and bloody outcomes are too expensive and counterproductive, cultural imperialism however only has strength if intellectual property rights are protected to keep the profit margin rolling in. The Motion Picture Association of America have been trying to get their copywriter infringement fetish to National Security levels since 2010 and Chris Dodd, the MPAAs Hollywood lobbyist threatened political funding for not elevating their piracy to National Security levels.
Days after Dodd’s threat, Obama launches a press conference confirming that Kim Dotcom will be targeted.
…America doesn’t care that we watch media on TVs or laptops or phones built in China, they care that we are watching American culture.
This war needed a bad guy who could become the fall guy for America’s attempt to claim jurisdiction in cyber space.
Kim Dotcom was that fall guy.
Goldson is able to explain the background manoeuvring by Corporate Hollywood and brings it into sharp focus in a way that was impossible during the election. This context starts changing your impression of Kim immediately.
“You get in between America and its money, and you are going to have big problems”, says one of the Tech commentators when looking at Corporate Hollywood’s machinations to force the US into arresting Kim Dotcom.
The over the top NZ paramilitary police raid footage on Kim’s home looks far more egregious and sinister once the context of what was really going on has been explained. People often asked why would Kim want to side with Hone and MANA, I’d always point out that if you had your house raided by 70 armed cops, beaten up and your family terrified at gun point, you’d feel angry towards the state and side with any political party like MANA who were as radicalised as he was by injustice.
Goldson then manages to list all the legal fuck ups our Police and intelligence agencies committed in the case against Kim, when you see it all on screen at once, it just stuns you that this has been allowed to happen.
The enormity of what has happened to Kim starts to sink in half way through the documentary, but the chilling part begins when Goldson goes beyond the interests of Corporate Hollywood and American soft power, and looks at the role of the 5 Eyes Spying apparatus and its involvement against Kim.
Here is the timetable of the behind the scenes machinations that led up to the involvement of the mass surveillance state…
March 8th 2011 – Jerry Mateparae is stepped down as head of the GCSB.
March 15th 2011 – Top NSA spook, James Clapper, flies to NZ to meet with Key to discuss ‘synchronicity’ between the NSA and GCSB.
March 22nd 2011 – High level intelligence meetings
May 2011 – McCully visits Washington
June 17th 2011 – Key meets with Ian Fletcher for breakfast at Stamford Plaza.
July 22nd 2011 – Key is invited to Washington as pay back for this new ‘synchronicity’.
July 26th 2011 – Key side steps normal protocols and appoints his old school friend Ian Fletcher to take over at the GCSB.
October 2011 – John Key, the head of the SIS and NZDF join Ian Fletcher, the MFAT Head, and the DPMC boss for a secret dinner at the British High Commissioner’s home
December 8th 2011 – A letter states that Key is going to meet Ian Fletcher on 12th December
December 12th 2011 – Key meets with Ian Fletcher.
December 14th 2011 – The Police boss responsible for spying on Dotcom meets John Key with other intelligence agencies present.
December 16th 2011 – Kim Dotcom starts to be illegally spied upon.
January 2012 – Raid on Kim Dotcom. Spying supposedly ends.
…watching Key on screen telling people that there was no conspiracy and it was all a simple mistake draws gasps from the viewing audience.
Watching the anti-GCSB protests we organised while Key rammed through mass surveillance powers with just one vote under urgency in Parliament still makes me choke with rage when I watch it.
This moment still shocks me…
…watching the media refuse to take what was revealed at the Moment of Truth and focus on Kim not catching Key out was one of the worst abdications of responsibility our media have ever committed.
Whatever you think about Kim, whatever his excesses or behaviour, whatever you think about the MANA-Internet Party hook up – the way we have allowed our Intelligence Agencies to acquiesce to America so it can attempt to claim jurisdiction in cyber space by arresting Kim in NZ is an affront to every element of our sovereignty.
Kim’s fight against the mass surveillance state is all our fight against the mass surveillance state, Goldson has provided a context that none of our mainstream media provided.
For those outside the Dotcom story, this documentary will be a revelation, for those of us who were briefly involved inside, it’s just more fuel for the anger that this was even allowed to happen in the first place.
Kim Dotcom: Caught in the Web, is one of the most important political documentary’s to come out of NZ for a very long time.