megaupload

Dotcom's Mega storage site sets up shop in New Zealand

Kim Dotcom's upcoming file storage service, Mega, has moved its website to New Zealand following the government of Gabon's recent seizure of Me.ga. '.GA' is the top-level domain for the small African country.

Unless the embattled Internet entrepreneur faces another setback, Mega should launch on January 19, 2013 at Mega.co.nz. Mega was originally scheduled to launch January 20. “New Zealand will be the home of our new website,” Dotcom said Monday via Twitter. “Powered by legality and protected by the law.”

IDGNS
Kim Dotcom

Dotcom has suggested that Gabon seized Me.ga, the original domain planned for the new service, under pressure from the U.S. government. The government of Gabon denies the charge. Communications Minister Blaise Louembe told TechHive that Gabon seized Me.ga because the country does not want its '.GA' top-level domain used by people who “do not respect international laws and regulations.” Dotcom is fighting extradition to the United States to face criminal copyright charges over Megaupload, the online file storage and sharing service seized by U.S. authorities in January.

Assuming Mega finally launches in 2013, the new online file storage service will use key-based encryption to prevent anyone, including Mega, from knowing the contents of user-uploaded files. Only the individual users, who store their own keys locally on their systems, will be able to decrypt their files. It's not yet clear how much the new service will charge its users. A posting on Mega's site suggests Dotcom hopes to offer a free service as part of the Mega launch.

But whether Dotcom will be managing his new business from a New Zealand mansion or an American prison cell has yet to be decided. Dotcom's extradition hearing in New Zealand is expected to conclude in March.

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