Megaupload might be dead, but that doesn’t mean the movie industry is done rifling through its corpse. TorrentFreak reports that Twentieth Century Fox, Disney, Paramount Pictures, Universal, Columbia Pictures and Warner Bros. have banded together to file a lawsuit against Megaupload and former employees Kim Dotcom, Mathias Ortmann and Bram Van Der Kolk. More →
It’s been months since Kim Dotcom triumphantly returned to the digital world with the launch of Mega and now the mercurial German-born Kiwi has set his sights on some even bigger ambitions for 2014. In a company blog post this week, Mega outlined its plans for new services next year that will include both encrypted messaging and encrypted video chat services aimed at helping users evade government intelligence agencies that cast a wide surveillance net across the entire Internet. Dotcom and Mega first started talking about launching encrypted email and messaging services this past summer after documents leaked by Edward Snowden revealed the National Security Agency’s vast data collection practices.
Kim Dotcom is producing a special treat for Mega users who want to communicate without any risk of getting intercepted by the National Security Agency. TorrentFreak reports that Dotcom plans to launch an “encrypted messaging service in four to six weeks” that Mega CEO Vikram Kumar says is designed to address “global concerns over governments collecting, storing, and analyzing all Internet traffic.” Dotcom tells TorrentFreak that in addition to the messaging service, Mega is also working on an encrypted email service that will be available sometime in the next six to nine months. Dotcom, who has been very critical of the NSA’s spying program, has personal experience when it comes to controversial surveillance practices. Last fall New Zealand prime minister John Key apologized to Dotcom for government security officials who illegally spied on his communications without first obtaining a warrant.
Kim Dotcom is giving a big thumbs down to a new proposal that will let New Zealand’s Government Communications Security Bureau spy on its own citizens. Reuters reports that the Mega founder told a parliamentary hearing on Wednesday that expanding the GCSB’s surveillance powers would be a big mistake because it would push New Zealand into “the dark ages of spying.” Dotcom has personal experience when it comes to controversial surveillance practices, as last fall New Zealand prime minister John Key apologized to Dotcom for government security officials who illegally spied on his communications without first obtaining a warrant.
Kim Dotcom’s old file-hosting website Megaupload has been wiped from the Internet. The website was shut down by the Department of Justice in January of 2012, and Dotcom was arrested and charged with racketeering and money laundering. The data for millions of Megaupload users, however, remained stored on hosting company LeaseWeb’s servers. It was revealed on Wednesday that LeaseWeb wiped its servers in February, effectively erasing Megaupload and its data from the Internet. More →
Mega founder Kim Dotcom has been scoring one victory after another over his would-be prosecutors over the past year and now he’s poised to land his biggest triumph yet. BBC News reports that Dotcom “has won access to evidence seized during raids on the file storage service” after New Zealand’s high court ruled that the warrants used to seize the evidence were unlawful. Dotcom wasted no time crowing about his latest win on Twitter and made a “victory” checklist in which he checked off the goal of getting his data back from law enforcement officials. The only item left unchecked on Dotcom’s list is getting former Megaupload users’ data back, which Dotcom has repeatedly said is one of his most important goals.
Despite significant victories by the United States, accused piracy kingpin Kim Dotcom claims he will never be locked up in the United States. The founder of file-sharing service Mega, and formerly Megaupload, appeared at the South By Southwest conference in Austin this week by way of Skype to talk about his ongoing legal battles with the U.S. government, TorrentFreak reported. Dotcom said that he is confident about his upcoming trial and noted that serving jail-time in the U.S. is not going to happen. More →
It looks like the entertainment industry may have gotten its money’s worth after law enforcement officials shut down Kim Dotcom’s Megaupload last year. The Wall Street Journal reports that movie sales increased significantly after Megaupload went offline, according to new study conducted by Wellesley College assistant professor of economics Brett Danaher and Carnegie Mellon University professor Michael D. Smith. The two researchers say that “shutting down Megaupload and Megavideo caused some customers to shift from cyberlocker-based piracy to purchasing or renting through legal digital channels,” contradicting earlier studies that suggested shutting down the site did little to lessen online piracy. More →
Kim Dotcom could be packing his bags and heading to a U.S. courtroom in the near future. The accused Internet piracy king has been fighting an extradition motion seeking to move him from New Zealand to the United States to face trial. New Zealand’s Court of Appeal on Friday overturned an earlier decision that required U.S. authorities to hand over evidence it planned to use in the high-profile extradition trial set to take place in August, The Wall Street Journal reported. Authorities will now only be required to provide the defense with a summary of the evidence it intends to use. Dotcom has vowed to fight the ruling, stating that he will appeal the decision to the Supreme Court of New Zealand.
Kim Dotcom has never been shy about tooting his own horn, and this week he boasted on his Twitter account that his new Mega file-sharing website now has more than 3 million users. It has also hosted more than 125 million files ever since coming online just a month ago. Dotcom said that Mega’s encryption remains “unbroken,” that “most” of its bugs had been fixed, and that the website will soon launch a mobile app and a sync client. The last year has been a long, strange trip for Dotcom, who has been engaged in a legal battle with law enforcement officials who shut down his original Megaupload file-sharing site in early 2012. Throughout the year, authorities also accused Dotcom of owning an Internet doomsday machine and of having the world’s most dangerous belly, among other questionable assertions.
Kim Dotcom made his triumphant comeback last week, but that doesn’t mean he’s toning down his accusations against the Obama administration and its connections to the 2012 raid on his mansion that led to his arrest. In an interview with RT, the Mega founder said it was no coincidence that the American government directed the raid of his mansion just as the campaign season was rolling around last year. What’s more, Dotcom accused the Obama administration of using his arrest as a major fundraising chip to raise campaign cash for the president’s reelection campaign. More →
Kim Dotcom isn’t the world’s most likely celebrity — a German born New Zealander who had been best known for running a website called Megaupload that was used primarily by people looking to share large files with one another and that wasn’t on the radar of the average Internet user. But as ZDNet’s Jack Schofield notes, the American government’s heavy-handedness, along with Dotcom’s own keen media savvy, have both conspired to make Dotcom into a media sensation who has now attracted more than 1 million users to his new Mega website in just one day. More →
Kim Dotcom launched the successor to his shuttered Megaupload service this past Saturday and early adoption has been impressive. While speaking during a launch event for the new service, called simply “Mega,” Dotcom said that more than 1 million users joined the site in just one day, The Next Web reported. “We cannot be stopped,” Dotcom exclaimed, speaking directly to media rights holders that have targeted the alleged piracy kingpin. Mega is a file-sharing service similar to the original Megaupload site but it uses a complex encryption mechanism that prevents even Mega from knowing what files are hosted on its servers. Downloaded files can only be decrypted with a unique decryption key made available to the original file holder when a file is uploaded to the Mega site.