Wanted cyber tycoon Kim Dotcom launches party to contest New Zealand poll
WELLINGTON (Reuters) - Kim Dotcom, accused by Washington of being one of the world's biggest internet pirates, plunged into politics on Thursday with the launch of a party to contest New Zealand's general election in September.
The alleged copyright pirate, also known as Kim Schmitz, said the Internet Party's guiding principles included faster, cheaper Internet, the creation of high-tech jobs, and the protection of privacy.
"It is a movement for people who haven't voted before, who have been disappointed by voting, or who don't like the political choices on offer," Dotcom said in a statement.
"It is a movement for people who care about a digital future, and who want a society that is open, free and fair."
The flashy internet mogul is fighting a bid by U.S. authorities to extradite him from his lavish estate in New Zealand to face online piracy charges over the now closed file-sharing site Megaupload.
The attention has not fazed Dotcom, a large and ebullient German national with New Zealand residency.
On Tuesday, Dotcom gloated over a deal that will see a cloud storage firm he founded while on bail listing on the New Zealand stock exchange and valued on paper at NZ$210 million ($179 million).
Recruitment is being done through the party's website and apps on mobile devices, where he is described as the Internet Party's "Visionary".
The party must sign up 500 members and register with electoral authorities to take part in the election. Continued...