Kim Dotcom’s Megaupload sequel has hit another roadblock. The larger than life figure and alleged piracy kingpin previously announced that he was launching a new cloud-based file sharing service known as Mega in January. The website was expected to be hosted on the Gabon-based me.ga domain rather than a traditional .com, however the small West African nation has said it has suspended the domain, PHYS.org reported on Tuesday.
Notorious file-sharing service Megaupload was shuttered last year as part of a multinational sting that did nothing to curtail illegal file-sharing and everything to place Megaupload creator Kim Dotcom in the limelight. While the flamboyant founder has vowed that the service will return in one form or another, federal prosecutors say that regardless of what new services pop up, users will almost certainly never get their Megaupload files back. Are the Feds right? Unfortunately, the Electronic Frontier Foundation seems to think so. “It’s almost an insurmountable hurdle for any individual or small business,” EFF attorney Julie Samuels told Wired in an interview. While Megaupload was indeed a massive hub for illegal file-sharing, a number of individuals and small businesses used the service to store data legally.
Alleged online piracy kingpin/alleged musician Kim Dotcom is back in business. The controversial and larger than life figure who was arrested and charged with racketeering, copyright infringement and money laundering earlier this year has announced the launch of a brand new version of Megaupload. In typical fashion, Dotcom will launch the website a year after his police raided his mansion on January 20th. The founder previously vowed his Megaupload service would return as a massive global peer-to-peer network that, as he claims, will “turn this world upside down.” The new site will feature enhanced security measures to ensure the government cannot shutdown the service again, such as an “Advanced Encryption Standard algorithm.” Dotcom also revealed that he has been working with lawyers, developers, designers, investors and partners in an effort to create the “ultimate” service.
It’s not just the Pirate Bay that’s upping its game to thwart the copyright cops — Kim Dotcom and his Megaupload team are working on a few new tricks as well. Wired recently caught up with both Dotcom and business partner Mathias Ortmann to discuss how they’ll keep the revamped version of Megaupload, which will launch as “Mega” within the next few months, safe from government raids and copyright infringement claims. The key, according to Wired, is that all files uploaded to and shared on Mega “will first be one-click-encrypted right in a client’s browser, using the so-called Advanced Encryption Standard algorithm” after which the user is “provided with a second unique key for that file’s decryption.”
Kim Dotcom has learned his lesson and is lawyering up to ensure that when his next-generation Megaupload website launches, it won’t be vulnerable to any legal challenges. Posting on his Twitter account on Monday, Dotcom said that he is working “24/7 with lawyers, developers, designers, investors & partners” to create the “ultimate” version of Megaupload that would be free of the legal controversies that had dogged the previous version of the site. When asked by a follower if he was worried that the new Megaupload could face the same fate as its predecessor, Dotcom replied “that will be IMPOSSIBLE. Trust me!” More →
Megaupload founder Kim Dotcom is making a really cool new toy but he’s not letting Americans play with it due to their government’s role in orchestrating a raid on his mansion this year. TorrentFreak reports that Dotcom is planning to build a massive global peer-to-peer network that will let non-American hosts across the world connect servers and bandwidth. While Dotcom hasn’t yet provided many details regarding what this Megaupload reboot will look like, he did vow that Megaupload Mark II would ”turn this world upside down” when it launched. At any rate, the new Megaupload site will certainly give law enforcement officials something tangible to fear about Dotcom rather than his illusive doomsday machine or deadly belly-flop kung fu. More →
The United States government has suffered another legal setback in its case against alleged piracy king Kim Dotcom, TorrentFreak reported. Authorities involved in the case were trying to claim that the evidence they compiled against Dotcom should stay private. A New Zealand judge on Thursday upheld an earlier decision that ordered the U.S. government to reveal the evidence it held against the Megaupload team, however, citing that the defendants would be unable to mount a full and proper defense in their upcoming extradition hearing without it. “Without disclosure [Kim Dotcom and associates] will be significantly constrained in [their] ability to participate in the hearing, and the requesting state will have a significant advantage in terms of access to information,” Justice Helen Winkelmann said in the ruling. More →
If anyone thought the shenanigans surrounding Megaupload founder Kim Dotcom couldn’t get any more absurd, think again. The New Zealand Herald reports that the New Zealand police justified utilizing its elite counterterrorism unit during the raid on Dotcom’s mansion in part by claiming that Dotcom might use his stomach as a weapon against law enforcement officers. According to the NZ Herald, law enforcement officials cited claims by former Megaupload video editor Jess Bushyhead that Dotcom “body-butted” him “in the left shoulder using his stomach” to demonstrate that Dotcom was prone to violent behavior. The NZ Herald also says that police “cited a photograph of Dotcom holding a shotgun” as a reason to suspect Dotcom would be a threat during the raid. More →
Sane people may be wondering why the New Zealand government utilized its elite counterterrorism unit to raid Megaupload founder Kim Dotcom’s mansion. And now, via the NZ Herald, we have our answer: the FBI actually believed Dotcom had a Dr. Strangelove-style “doomsday device” that was capable of wiping out all evidence of Internet piracy with the flick of a switch. More →
Megaupload founder Kim Dotcom testified in a New Zealand court on Tuesday that police had punched him in the face and kicked him while he was lying on the ground during a raid on his mansion earlier this year. As reported by TorrentFreak, Dotcom testified that he had initially fled to a safe room within his house when police first entered his home but said that police had little trouble breaking into it. “And then they were all over me,” he said. “I had a punch to the face, boots kicking me down to the floor, a knee to the ribs. One man was standing on my hand.” TorrentFreak says that representatives from the New Zealand Special Tactics Group, the counterterrorism unit that conducted the raid on Dotcom’s house, will also testify about the raid sometime this week. More →
Kim Dotcom may be zany, but he also has some compelling facts on his side. In an interview with Ars Technica Thursday, the embattled Megaupload founder pointed to a leaked report from the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry (IFPI) showing that Megaupload was far from the worst offender when it came to hosting URLs that infringed upon copyrighted material. In fact, per the IFPI report, the number of infringing URLs hosted by Megaupload was positively dwarfed by file-sharing sites such as filesonic.com, which accounted for nearly half of all infringing URLs, and wupload.co.uk. More →
Kim Dotcom is again sounding off against the White House, and this time he’s using more than his questionable singing voice. Dotcom, the mercurial Megaupload founder who released a song last week where he both criticized the Obama administration for its ties to Hollywood and compared himself to Martin Luther King, Jr., is escalating his attacks on the White House with the launch of the Kim.com website. More →
New Zealand district judge David Harvey has stepped down from his role presiding over accused piracy king Kim Dotcom’s extradition trial after stating publicly that the United Sates is the enemy. ”We have met the enemy and he is U.S.,” Harvey said during a discussion about trade talks with the U.S. The judge surrendered his role in the trial voluntarily according to The New Zealand Herald, and the case will now be heard by Judge Nevin Dawson. ”[Judge Harvey] recognises that remarks made in the context of a paper he delivered on copyright law at a recent internet conference could reflect on his impartiality and that the appropriate response is for him to step down from the case,” district court chief judge Jan-Marie Doogue said in a statement. Dotcom’s extradition hearing is set to begin in March next year. More →