Megaupload's Kim Dotcom returns with “Mega” file-sharing service

Kim Dotcom's Twitter image
Credit: Kim Dotcom's Twitter image

Megaupload founder Kim Dotcom (shown above in his Twitter image) is out of jail and ready to start his next venture—but from the looks of things it’s not much different than his last.

Dotcom debuted Mega on Thursday, which essentially is the same type of service as Megaupload. Mega, which Dotcom said in September would appear soon, will allow for the sharing of large files much like its predecessor when it launches later this year. There’s one key change, though: it will handled stored data much differently.

Mega encrypts all files before uploading, and each downloader receives a unique decryption key to read the file once it’s downloaded. This means the site itself cannot readily view the files themselves, which Dotcom and his associates claim will clear them of any liability.

The site’s structure pushes any liability onto the uploader themselves. He or she has full control over who may have access to their files rather than Mega itself. Furthermore, none of the encryption keys will be stored on Mega’s servers.

“If servers are lost, if the government comes into a data center and rapes it, if someone hacks the server or steals it, it would give him nothing,” Dotcom told Wired in an interview. “Whatever is uploaded to the site, it is going to be remain closed and private without the key.”

How Mega's data is to be stored

Another key change is how data is stored: Mega will store copies of its files in two different servers across two countries, which it hopes will prevent the kind of data loss that occurred after the FBI seized its servers during a raid early this year.

With the new system, all that's different will be the encryption. Now, a file is encrypted on the server but the encryption keys are not stored on the server, and access is controlled by the uploader. That user has a secondary key to decrypt the file which he or she provides to anyone who wants to download the content.

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