Kim Dotcom continues Internet crusade with new Mega website

Internet tycoon Kim Dotcom proved this weekend that as cyber’s self-appointed rebel-with-a-cause, he intends to remain utterly irrepressible.

Though still embroiled in a dense legal battle with the FBI over his Megaupload site (he’s been charged with “engaging in a racketeering conspiracy, conspiring to commit copyright infringement, conspiring to commit money laundering, and two substantive counts of criminal copyright infringement”) the New Zealand Internet crusader launched mega.co.nz at 6.48am yesterday, exactly one year after police incurred  his Auckland mansion, arresting him in the largest piracy case the world has ever seen. (If found guilty, he faces up to 55 years in jail. But anyway.)

Dotcom’s latest project essentially replaces Megaupload, only this time offers users 50GBs of free storage on the site’s purportedly impenetrable cloud.

The new venture seeks to surpass (or at least duplicate) Megaupload’s whopping 50 million daily UBs, and has promised a “state-of-the-art encryption to ensure only the users, not the site administrators, knew what they were uploading. That would theoretically stop authorities accusing administrators of knowingly aiding online piracy, which was the main allegation in the Megaupload case,” reports the Sydney Morning Herald.

So it’s “legal”, sort of.

The notoriously debauched Internet champion could not contain his excitement at the site’s reception yesterday, tweeting “100,000 registered users in less than 1 hour. Fastest growing start-up in internet history?”

To celebrate the website’s launch, Dotcom, aside from tweeting his glee – “Massive demand. Incredible. 250,000 user registrations. Server capacity on maximum load. Should get better when initial frenzy is over. Wow!!!” – hosted a massive party and press conference at his $25 million home just hours after Mega went live.

According to news.com.au, “Dotcom told the crowd more than one million people had visited Mega within 14 hours of the site's launch and about 500,000 people had registered as users.” (Since publishing, over 1 million has reportedly signed up.)

He also said that “the launch of Mega is not about mocking any government of Hollywood, it is about our right to innovate and start a new business.

“What we are offering is a smarter, faster and more secure way of cloud storage and we are fully assured by our legal team that we are in compliance with the law. Privacy is a basic human right."

It has not yet been announced whether Dotcom will be extradited to the US, and at present his hearing is scheduled to take place in March. For now though, a streaming-starved torrent-tired crowd have been waiting to get their buffer on, and sigh in exasperation when a pop-up informs them their daily allowance of 72 minutes has expired. Now, if you’ll excuse us...

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