Wednesday, May 21, 2014

The Secret Life of Kim Dotcom

The Secret Life of Kim Dotcom
David Fisher
Paul Little Books Auckland, 2013
ISBN 9780-473-259-433
224 pp RRP $30

With the subtitle Spies, Lies and the War for the Internet you would expect intriguing revelations and David Fisher doesn’t disappoint. We are all mixed-up human beings, but none more so than Kim Dotcom. Here the many sides of this complex character are presented, with fascinating details of his fortunes and misfortunes.

Fisher is a senior reporter for the Auckland Herald, New Zealand, and he makes it clear that this is not an authorised biography. It is, however, based on many personal interviews with the subject, as well as extensive research.

The saga uncovers Kim’s early life (born Kim Schmitz) as a lonely child in Germany, his early forays into the internet, his extraordinary knowledge, his close friends and associates – all brilliant computer whizzes – the story of why he came to New Zealand and the police raids on his home on January 20 2012. It follows the subsequent court cases and fall out with politicians and people in high places.

Fisher has been accused of giving undue reverence to a criminal. Dotcom is a flawed character and he is shown here in many guises, both good and bad. I think Fisher has done a great job of trying to present the story as he sees it, and he has tried to depict all sides of the story.

It is a tale of much more than the life of one man. We have politicians, the New Zealand Government, the American FBI and more. It shows cracks in the systems, why the FBI were involved in the raids, and much, much more.

Our opinions are often shaped by the media and the outcome is a very shallow view of events. This book is trying to give a rounded story to fill in the gaps. If you are interested in knowing more about the workings of Governments and men in high places, reading this book might give you more than you bargained for.

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