Kim Dotcom, the founder of Megaupload, and possibly the most hunted man on the internet, has revealed plans for the successor to his wildly popular file sharing service.
Dubbed ‘Mega’, Dotcom announced in a post on his website that the new web portal will go live on January 20, 2013, basically laughing in the face of US prosecutors and copyright advocates that have been trying for his indictment in a high-profile case involving alleged copyright infringement via his web service.
Dotcom and his co-defendants have managed to find an innovative way to circumvent objections made against the services of Megaupload, by giving users direct control – and responsibility – over their files. The planned new encryption essentially means that owners of the site will have no idea about what content is being stored on their servers. The only ones with access to the required decryption key will be the users who upload the files themselves, thereby also providing increased security against hacking. In yet another snub to U.S. prosecutors, Dotcom has said that the new website will not use U.S.-based hosting companies as partners, in order to avoid being shut down by U.S. authorities.
Before it was shut down in January, 2012, Megaupload was one of the largest file storage and viewing services in the world, averaging about 50 million hits per day. With over 25 petabytes (25,000 terabytes) of data stored on its servers, the portal was widely known and used, and its shutting down led to great outrage in the online sphere, with many severe responses from the file sharing community, including denial-of-service attacks on a range of websites belonging to the U.S. government and copyright organizations.
Now, the latest offering from Dotcom and his co-workers seems to be filling the gap left by Megaupload’s shattering. While the new site boasts faster upload speeds and larger storage capacity, the encryption technology marks a major shift from Megaupload as Mega operators and owners will not have access to user files and therefore be immune from content liability.
U.S. authorities have released no official comment yet on the planned venture. The announcement was delayed by an hour on account of overloading by users on data. In a tweet, Dotcom suggested that a lot of the traffic was driven by U.S. authorities: “FBI agents pressing reload... We see their IP addresses.”