Megaupload Kingpin Released On Bail But Banned From the Internet

New Zealand news sources report that Megaupload co-founder Kim Dotcom was released on bail today almost exactly month after he was arrested. The only catch is that he can't stray too far from his house or use the Internet. Ouch.

After being repeatedly denied bail, Kim Dotcom is finally out of jail. CNET noticed that news sources in New Zealand were reporting his release. A New Zealand court ruled he was no longer a "flight risk," because, apparently, Kim Dotcom doesn't have access to any of the money that would allow him to flee the country.

Still, authorities didn't exactly give Dotcom a free pass to wander the country to do as he likes. According to Stuff.co.nz:

Judge Dawson granted bail to his Coatesville house with the conditions that he did not have access the internet, no helicopter be allowed to travel to the property, that he would not travel more than 80km from the property and that he give police 24 hours notice of any appointment that required him to leave the property, except for medical emergencies.

As the founder of Megaupload, Dotcom has emerged as a bombastic symbol for both sides of the case. Some people see him as a hero and a victim, while others see him as a criminal. Next up for Dotcom is a hearing about his potential extradition to the United States to face charges for what the FBI called, a $500 million "mega conspiracy." That hearing was reportedly supposed to begin today, but the United States hasn't yet filed the extradition paperwork—US officials have until March 2nd to do so.

Without doubting Judge Dawson's decision, I'm inclined to side with Dotcom's lawyer who told the judge that asking Dotcom not to use the Internet altogether is unrealistic and excessive request in this day and age. And for god's sake-the man's name is Dotcom. [Stuff.co.nz via CNET via Business Insider]