The government has the opportunity to deport Kim Dotcom to Finland or Germany — because he failed to disclose a driving offense when applying for permanent residence.
This is quite separate from the deportation proceedings regarding copyright infringement. That could see him sent to the US to face the disingenuous wrath of major Hollywood studios.
Many people want him gone. They don’t want to consider the nuances of his case for purely bigoted reasons. He’s German. He’s overweight. He’s rich because of his brain, his ability with technology. His political pursuits last year pissed a lot of people off, people who believe that outsiders don’t belong on the political stage.
Let not the racists out-scream those who distrust government and it’s cyber police. A significant amount of people — not a majority — don’t think deporting Kim Dotcom to the US is desirable. We face an important debate over the privacy of communications, and the future of copyright. Does it help the debate to silence one of its important voices? I think it’s an undemocratic and illiberal way forward.
The government needs a third way. It needs to satisfy the many who want the “Jabba the Hutt” of the Internet gone. It also needs to prevent the other group from mobilizing like they surely will if Dotcom goes stateside. Enter the convenient revelation that Kim went 149 km/h in a 50 km/h zone in 2009.
It’s up to the minister of immigration (Michael Woodhouse) to decide to deport him to Germany or Finland. The right thing to do politically is to take the opportunity.