Kim Dotcom’s MegaChat aims to be a ‘Skype killer’

23 Jan 2015

Entering public beta for the first time, Kim Dotcom’s MegaChat communications platform is aiming to be a ‘Skype killer’ by offering encrypted messaging with existing storage and file services.

The entire Mega service has been created as part of a web app now hosted on a domain in New Zealand, and its new beta chat service offers users video and voice communication, but Dotcom says that this will gradually be expanded to include text and video conferencing, according to Gigaom.

The decision to host it as a web app follows the trend of similar communication services, including Skype, who are developing browser-optimised version rather than be limited to downloading separate software installed on a person’s computer.

By emphasising encryption as a guarantee, Dotcom aims to take away business from Skype who, as a Microsoft product, have seen privacy-conscious people shy away from the service after revelations that the NSA in the US and other governmental agencies have requested information and communications through Skype.

However, Dotcom’s Mega services have received criticism in the past for what was perceived to have a series of security flaws that left it vulnerable to snooping, but the man himself has taken to Twitter to defend MegaChat offering a cash bounty for anyone able to find an encryption flaw.

Colm Gorey was a senior journalist with Silicon Republic