Kim Dotcom’s plans to relaunch file-sharing service Megaupload as Me.ga appear to have been dashed, after the Gabonese government, which owns the .ga domain, announced it had suspended the site ahead of its planned January launch.
Dotcom unveiled his plans for Me.ga just last week, launching a homepage preview on the domain featuring a big red button and the message that “this button will change the world”.
But sadly for Kim, authorities in Gabon have apparently decided that they don’t want anybody pushing any buttons on their territory at least.
Blaise Louembe, Gabon’s Minster of Communications, apparently enjoying some attention on the world stage for once in his life, gleefully announced “I have instructed my departments to immediately suspend the site www.me.ga. Gabon cannot and will not serve as a platform for committing acts aimed at violating copyrights, nor be used by unscrupulous people”.
Mr. Loumbe told reporters that the domain name was transferred to Kim Dotcom by someone in France, who had previously registered it.
Unsurprisingly, Dotcom was quick to vent his frustration on Twitter, launching a savage attack on US authorities, who he claims are behind the Gabonese government’s move.
“The reach of the US & Vivendi: Gabon Minister announced me.ga domain will be suspended. Calls cloud storage site cyber crime”
Megaupload was taken offline earlier this year, following a dramatic (Dotcom claims illegal) raid on its New Zealand headquarters that saw police smash down doors, confiscate millions of dollars of property, and arrest Dotcom and his staff, and throw them all in jail.
US authorities have since accused Dotcom of numerous copyright and money laundering offences, and are hoping to extradite him to the states so he can face trial. Dotcom has staunchly denied the charges, and appears to have the backing of several officials in New Zealand who are concerned that some aspects of the FBI’s investigation into Megaupload were unlawful.
Throughout all of this drama, Dotcom has kept up a vocal PR campaign with incessant tweets and even a music video lauding the virtues of Megaupload. As part of his efforts to win public support, Dotcom has even tried to paint himself as something of a Robin Hood, proposing a plan to build an undersea cable that would offer free broadband to all New Zealand citizens.
Following the latest developments, Dotcom was quick to reassure his supporters that his plans for a Megaupload comeback have not been dashed:
“Don’t worry. We have an alternative domain. This just demonstrates the bad faith witch hunt the US government is on.”
We can’t know for certain if Dotcom’s claims about a backup domain are true, but given Gabon’s stance, it’s unlikely that there will be many nations willing to take him in. Syria perhaps?