Internet entrepreneur Kim Dotcom and New Zealand Prime Minister John Key have locked horns at a parliamentary hearing over proposed changes to spy agency laws.

Mr Key was forced to apologise to Mr Dotcom last year after it was revealed his government's spy agency, the Government Communications Security Bureau, had illegally tapped Mr Dotcom's communications.

The founder of Megaupload said he wanted to appear before the committee to ensure that no other New Zealander has to undergo the abuses he has suffered.

Mr Dotcom faced Mr Key, who chaired the committee, and said a proposed new law is a betrayal of citizens' rights and would enable the details of every New Zealander to be shared with spy agencies of other countries.

He also said it was "morally indefensible" that the government would seek to increase the powers of a spy agency that had not been acting lawfully.

Mr Key described Mr Dotcom's appearance at the parliamentary hearing as a circus and not a serious attempt to criticise the proposed new law.

Mr Key says the illegal spying carried out on Mr Dotcom would still be illegal under proposed changes to the law.

The US is seeking Mr Dotcom's extradition for alleged copyright theft.

The 38-year-old German national, who is also known as Kim Schmitz, is accused of leading a group that netted $US175 million since 2005 by copying and distributing music, films and other copyrighted content without authorisation.

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