Kim Dotcom: Caught in the Web

Synopsis: The story of the most wanted man online
Director(s): Annie Goldson
Production: Gravitas Ventures
  1 win & 3 nominations.
107 min


[Dotcom] It's really like a Hollywood

script. That's how I see it.

This whole thing is a live movie

that's playing out for, like,

four and half years already,

and I'm the main act.


[Annie] So what about the notion of

being innocent until proven guilty?

Yeah, exactly,

where did that go?

You know?

Guilty until we say he's guilty,

you know, which is now.

I mean, it's crazy.

[indistinct murmuring

through radio]

[birds chirping]

[ducks quacking]

[horse whinnying]

[Alan] As local people, we just

knew there was a very large house.

Because the house itself

was not easily seen,

it became more noticeable

when they started building

the stone wall,

which pretty much surrounds it.

[France] And there were

all sorts of rumors about

who was gonna move into it,

and our favorite one was

that it was Tom Cruise

who was gonna put

a Scientology center there.

We thought that would be

kind of exciting.

[electronic beeping]

[computer keys clacking]

[Alan] This person turned up who

had changed his name to Dotcom,

and we just thought, well,

that was fascinating,

but otherwise, I mean,

it's not as if we saw him

walking along the street.


Then the cameras went up.

I don't know whether there were

listening devices on the end,

but I always wondered

whether we were being

listened to or watched.

It didn't mesh very well

with the community.

And then, there was a little bit

more digging into the background.

And then it was, "Oh, my God, who's

just landed in Coatesville?"

So I started looking into who

our new neighbor was gonna be,

and I went onto

all sorts of websites.

And the more I looked into it,

the more frightened I became

of what kind of person was gonna

be coming into our community.

[indistinct murmuring]

[computer keys clacking]

[helicopter engine running]

[man through radio] Ground unit,

gates are opened.

[reporter] Top story this hour.

New Zealand is at the center of one of world's

biggest Internet piracy investigations.

Police conducted dawn raids

on behalf of the FBI.

Kim Dotcom, the founder

of massive file-sharing site.

Megaupload was...

[woman] The notorious Dr. Evil

of the information highway.

[speaking Danish]

[man] Some say

he's a criminal master mind,

others, an online innovator,

but he has to be

the most wanted man online.

[computer keys clacking]

[man speaking German]

[Dotcom] I was a hacker.

Hackers were wizards.

Any kind of system,

any kind of network,

you know, a hacker right away

identifies weaknesses...

[electronic beeping]

And I'm really good at that.

[speaking German]

[Fisher] Kim Schmitz wasn't the

only identity that he assumed.

He became Kimble,

styling himself after Richard

Kimble from The Fugitive.

He claimed that

he'd hacked into the Pentagon,

that he had reduced the credit ratings

of world leaders down to zero.

[Mike] You know, there were

all these stories,

and some people

didn't believe them.

They did seem sort of

very fantastic in some ways.

They seemed sort of, you know,

the sort of Hollywood version

of what a hacker must be.

My impression was that,

you know, it was someone

who seemed to be

bragging quite a bit

for someone who's clearly breaking

the law in certain cases.

[sirens wailing]

[Fisher] All the other things

that he did were about reputation

and learning how stuff worked.

The thing that

he was convicted for,

that was a very obvious

criminal enterprise.

It was a scam using phone cards

that would then generate cash

that would be Dotcom's.

[dial tone lingering]

And he got caught.

[bells chiming]


[Dotcom] The judge rightfully

ruled that, you know,

I should get a two-year

probation sentence,

and he also said that

there was an important factor

which was

my youthful foolishness.

Not understanding enough

at my young age

you know, that

I shouldn't have done this.

But it actually

launched my career.

[keyboard keys clacking]

[Sean] That arrest actually

helped him boost his reputation.

[speaking in German]


He set up this whole business

around the idea of

protecting companies

from hackers like him,

and when you're dealing with

businesses that really don't have

any sort of computer security

expertise internally,

that's a really good

business to be in

because you can say anything.

[man speaks in German]


[computer keys clacking]

[Sean] He used his hacker

mythos to build his credibility

as this security guy.

I do know that his reputation

that he built up

by the things he said he did

allowed him to get

investment from people

and to build up his company.

[Dotcom] All my life,

I've been an innovator,

and all my life, I've

been a little bit ahead

of what everyone else was doing.

In the data security space,

we were one of

the first companies

to create firewalls that

alert you of a hacker attack.

[distorted male voice]


When no one was thinking

about computers and cars,

I created the MegaCar,

real time video conferencing

from a car,

that was driving on the

highway at 200 miles an hour.

You know, all these things

I thought about early on,

you know, and again

patented it and sold it.

[speaking in German]

[Schmidt] Kim Schmitz.

[audience clapping and cheering]

[Sean] He did everything he could

to exude this new image of himself

as this hyper successful hacker

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Annie Goldson

Anne 'Annie' Veronica Goldson is a New Zealand journalism and film academic specialising in documentaries. Her films include Punitive Damage, Georgie Girl, Brother Number One and Kim Dotcom: Caught in the Web. She was made an Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit in 2007 for services to film and was made a Fellow of the Royal Society of New Zealand in 2007. more…

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Submitted on August 05, 2018

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