The controversial and flamboyant Kim Dotcom has been vigorously planning the return of his defunct file sharing site Megaupload, set to re-launch at domain name me.ga on the anniversary of its takedown. Dotcom’s already hit a snag, with a block in Gabon before me.ga’s official launch.
The Gabonese government, which owns the .ga domain, suspended the site, with Gabon’s Minister of Communications Blaise Louembe stating that their country will “not serve as a platform for committing acts aimed at violating copyrights, nor be used by unscrupulous people.”
But nothing’s slowing Dotcom down. His latest revelation appeared on Twitter earlier today, with news that the new Megaupload site will be homed in New Zealand. The reason for setting up shop down under? Protection.
Like Gabon, the New Zealand domain is up, but not yet functional. It features the same tag line, “WE PROMISE, WE DELIVER BIGGER. BETTER. FASTER. STRONGER. SAFER.” The word MEGA is boldly plastered in the center, and your only other option is to submit your e-mail address for early notice of mega.co.nz’s launch.
The new Mega “encrypts and decrypts your data transparently in your browser, on the fly. You hold the keys to what you store in the cloud, not us.” And Mega users will no longer need to install Mega Manager on every computer they use, as “high-speed parallel batch uploading and downloading with resume capabilities are integral parts of the Mega website.” This means that they won’t know if users are uploading pirated content, which means they won’t be accountable for piracy. The Pirate Bay took a cloud-optimized approach with their relaunch as well, also hoping to circumvent another legal quandry.
Mega is still looking for hosting partners, API partners and of course investors.
So why choose New Zealand? In an interview with TorrentFreak, Dotcom stated that he has faith in its legal system–that judges there are independent and not influenced by politics. They will operate Mega legally so it will be protected by law.
And Dotcom hasn’t been shy about his frustrations with the legal system in other countries, calling out the US department of justice for “blatantly disregarded the law” when taking down Megaupload’s site without warning, blocking file access to millions of users. Dotcom is open to the possibility that NZ will draft new laws to prevent sites like Mega from operating but he stated that if that happens, it will be the end of cloud storage.
“The New Zealand government can try to draft new legislation to ban services like Mega but that would be the end of cloud storage and online service providers in New Zealand and probably also the end of the current government.”
“One thing is certain, the new Mega will become a commercial success. It will allow us to fund the best legal defense team money can buy and launch our offensive in all those countries that the US dragged into this nonsense. We will make the DOJ attorneys work day and night while our users can enjoy a truly innovative and ground breaking new Mega,” Dotcom stated.