Controversial New Zealand-based internet billionaire Kim Dotcom yesterday announced the impending release of Mega, a successor service to Megaupload which he believes will be free from any possible law-breaking against the authorities in the USA.
Dotcom has claimed that Mega (scheduled for a launch date of 20 January 2013, almost exactly a year after Megaupload’s forced shutdown) is to include ‘advanced encryption methods’ that ensures only users know what has been uploaded by their accounts, but at the same time passing responsibility for the material onto them.
A further measure being made is that Mega are to be hosted outside of America to further avoid dealing with the authorities in the Megaupload-hosting North American nation.
Dotcom, who still has to face a delayed extradition trial in March 2013, said of his latest venture: “The new Mega will not be threatened by US prosecutors. The new Mega avoids any dealings with US hosters, US domains and US backbone providers and has changed the way it operates to avoid another takedown.”
He adds that the provisional site for Mega has already recieved ‘millions’ of hits, including many from anxious US authorities.
However, Dotcom claimed last month that Mega’s ‘one-click encrypt’ via their ‘Advanced Encryption Standard algorithm’ will protect data in the event of hacking or raids, as he stated: “If servers are lost, if the government comes into a data centre and rapes it, if someone hacks the server or steals it, it would give him nothing. Whatever is uploaded to the site, it is going to… remain closed and private without the key. If they [content rights holders] want to use that tool [of taking down content], they’ll have to accept, prior to getting access, that they’re not going to sue us or hold us accountable for the actions of our users.”
The site itself promotes the idea of user responsibility in as positive a manner as it possibly can, along with a plea for funding from investors, as a promotional message reads: “In the past, securely storing and transferring confidential information required the installation of dedicated software. The new Mega encrypts and decrypts your data transparently in your browser, on the fly. You hold the keys to what you store in the cloud, not us. We have raised sufficient funds to cover the launch, but we would like to provide Mega free of charge for as long as possible.”
While fans of Megaupload will be pleased to see its return under its shortened-name guise, will they be as excited at the fact that the administrators have found a way to potentially shift legal blame onto them?