Kim Dotcom, the founder of the file-sharing site Megaupload, who is battling an extradition bid by US authorities from his adopted home in New Zealand has announced Mega, the successor to Megaupload, in a bid to avoid jail in the US.
In July, a New Zealand judge delayed the extradition hearing of Dotcom until 2013, dealing a blow to the US$282m US court case against the founder of Megaupload.
The new encrypted storage service will replace the file-sharing site and will launch in 2013.
Mega is described by Dotcom as a way of avoiding the liability problems faced by cloud storage services and enhances the privacy rights of internet users.
The new service’s servers will not be located in the US, obviously to avoid potential shutdown by US authorities.
Mega promises one-click encryption directly from a user’s browser using the Advanced Encryption Standard algorithm. To decrypt the data, the user will need a second unique key.
Users will be able to upload, store and share photos, text files, music and films and select who they wish to grant access to the data.
According to Wired, Dotcom believes that even the broad interpretation of internet law that brought down Megaupload would be insufficient to thwart Mega because what users share will be their responsibility and under their control and not Mega’s.
“If servers are lost, if the government comes into a data centre and rapes it, if someone hacks the server or steals it, it would give him nothing,” Dotcom stated.
“Whatever is uploaded to the site, it is going to remain closed and private without the key.”