Created on: January 21, 2013
Indicted Megaupload founder Kim Dotcom launched a brand new file-sharing website in New Zealand on Sunday, the anniversary of his arrest on racketeering charges. In just 24 hours, the “Mega” cloud service has garnered more than one million registered users.
The website was announced ahead of a press conference and a prestigious gala at his mansion in Auckland on Sunday evening. In 14 hours, it had more than 100,000 users, who were getting their free 50 gigabytes of cloud storage.
“250,000 user registrations. Server capacity on maximum load. Should get better when initial frenzy is over. Wow!,” tweeted Dotcom on Saturday. “If you are currently experiencing slow access to #Mega its because of the unbelievable demand. We are working on more capacity.”
Mega is similar to Megaupload. Users can store and share large files, more than other cloud services. Also, the encryption and decryption feature is rather different for data transfers, which will now protect him from the legal calamity that has engulfed his life for nearly a decade. The decryption keys are held by the user not the website so the website operators are not privy to see what’s inside the files.
There are different pricing plans for storage. It ranges from $13 per month for 500 gigabytes to $40 for one terabyte of storage.
Dotcom denied that he launched Mega as a way to aggravate the United States authorities, who are attempting to extradite the Internet tycoon from New Zealand, where he is free on bail. “Sometimes good things come out of terrible events. If it wasn't for the raid, we wouldn't have Mega.”
The news conference was quite eccentric as it featured the jovial Dotcom showing up from a giant stage set up in his backyard and a helicopter soaring above with faux police agents climbing down the side of his mansion. Scantily-clad women dressed as guards danced around him, while Dotcom ordered everyone to “stop this madness!”
“By using Mega you say no to those who want to know everything about you,” said Dotcom, according to PC World. “By using Mega you say no to governments that want to spy on you. By using Mega you say yes to Internet freedom and your right to privacy.”
American prosecutors claimed that Dotcom, born as Kim Schmitz, earned tens of millions of dollars, while artists, such as filmmakers and songwriters, lost approximately half a billion dollars in revenue. But Dotcom argued that he can’t be blamed for copyright infringement committed by users and even insisted that he helped authorities by removing links that maintained pirated material.
“Our company and assets were taken away from us without a hearing," stated Dotcom, reported the Associated Press. "The privacy of our users was intruded on, communications were taken offline and free speech was attacked."
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