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article imageKim Dotcom: New file service MEGA up and running

By Anne Sewell     Jan 20, 2013 in Internet
Auckland - As promised, one year to the day after the raid on Megaupload and his mansion in Auckland, NZ, Kim Dotcom's ultimate new file hosting solution website MEGA is now up and running, giving you total privacy for your files.
While still fighting extradition to the US on copyright violation charges, Dotcom, founder of the notorious Megaupload, has now launched his new project in beta mode.
Symbolically, the new website, MEGA was launched on January 20, exactly one year after US authorities shut down Megaupload and Dotcom's New Zealand mansion was raided.
Dotcom told Reuters that the launch of the new website is not revenge for what happened to Megaupload, and that the website is completely legal:
"This is not some kind of finger to the U.S. government or to Hollywood," Dotcom told the news service at his mansion just outside Auckland.
"Legally, there's just nothing there that could be used to shut us down. This site is just as legitimate and has the right to exist as Dropbox, Boxnet and other competitors," he said, referring other cloud storage services available on the Internet.
In the first two hours after the launch of the new service, over 250,000 users have registered with Mega, already pushing their servers to the limit.
Users are offered 50GB of free storage on Mega, and there are paid service plans with up to 4TB storage and 8TB bandwidth available with prices ranging from $9.99 to $29.99.
Their major claim is privacy, with the website saying: "MEGA provides robust cloud storage with convenient and powerful always-on privacy. MEGA believes in your right to privacy and provides you with the technology tools to protect it. We call it User Controlled Encryption, or UCE, and it happens automatically."
In other words, only users have access to their files with a special encryption key. MEGA has no idea what you are storing and has no access to the files. This also means that law enforcement won't be able to access your personal files, should they decide to raid Dotcom once again.
The website states: "All files stored on MEGA are encrypted. All data transfers from and to MEGA are encrypted. And while most cloud storage providers can and do claim the same, MEGA is different – unlike the industry norm where the cloud storage provider holds the decryption key, with MEGA, you control the encryption, you hold the keys, and you decide who you grant or deny access to your files, without requiring any risky software installs. It’s all happening in your web browser!"
Dotcom and other members in the MEGA group, Mathias Ortmann, Bram van der Kolk, Finn Batato and CEO Tony Lentino, are hoping that MEGA will be as successful as its predecessor, Megaupload, which had around 50 million users a day before it was eventually closed down by US authorities.
According to the US, Dotcom criminally benefited from a huge copyright infringement operation and they claim he caused over $500 million worth of damages to the entertainment industry. They further claim that he personally profited to the tune of $175 million from distributing copyrighted material, which Dotcom denies, saying that Megaupload only offered online storage, not file-sharing.
US prosecutors have been trying to have Dotcom extradited to the US, but have encountered numerous legal hurdles in the New Zealand legal system. On top of this, Dotcom has won several legal victories against the prosecutors in relation to the case.
The hearing on his extradition has been postponed until March 2013, as the defense team failed to obtain US judicial reviews of the search warrants under which Dotcom’s residence was raided, and has yet to get access to the evidence used by the prosecution.
The defense has also made it clear that the raid on Dotcom’s mansion and the seizure of hard drives was illegal, as the warrants issued were general and did not describe the stipulated offenses.
A celebration party is planned for Sunday night
To celebrate the launch, Dotcom will be hosting a lavish gala and press conference at his New Zealand mansion on Sunday night. While the theme of the party is being kept a secret, Dotcom apparently threw a Willy Wonka-styled ice cream social in Auckland earlier in the week, so anything is possible. Apparently builders were seen putting finishing touches on a festival-sized concert stage in the grounds of the mansion, so its going to be big.
He did tell Reuters, "I had to grow up, you know, I was a big baby," he said. "Big baby with too much money usually leads to baby craziness."
"I am going to be more of a person that wants to help to make things better and help Internet innovation to take off without all these restrictions by governments. That is going to be my primary goal if this business is successful."
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