David Fisher

David Fisher is a senior reporter for the NZ Herald.

Dotcom has another go with me.ga file share site

Dotcom's new site 'Mega' overloaded during launch. Photo / Mark Mitchell
Dotcom's new site 'Mega' overloaded during launch. Photo / Mark Mitchell

Kim Dotcom has launched a new website as the successor to his Megaupload file-sharing site - with the weblink going back to the small West African nation of Gabon.

The "Mega" business has been forecast as a replacement for Megaupload, which was shut down in January. Mr Dotcom and three colleagues were arrested by New Zealand police for extradition to the United States after FBI charges they had committed criminal copyright violation through the site.

Signs of an effort to create distance from the US start with the new web address me.ga. The "ga" suffix stands for Gabon, the former French colony now a republic of 1.6 million people.

The new address takes users to kim.com, which has put out a call for investors, app developers and web hosting services. It added: "Unfortunately we can't work with hosting companies based in the United States. Safe harbour for service providers via the Digital Millennium Copyright Act has been undermined by the Department of Justice with its novel criminal prosecution of Megaupload.

"It is not safe for cloud storage sites or any business allowing user generated content to be hosted on servers in the United States or on domains like .com/.net. The US government is frequently seizing domains without offering service providers a hearing or due process."

Mr Dotcom said the new site had attracted huge interest across the internet, but was also visited by US government computers in the first hours of going live. There had been "quite a spike" in visits from computers which matched IP addresses held on the Megaupload database. "The US government had surprisingly many accounts on Mega."

As well as distancing itself from the US, the Mega website had also promised to distance its creators from future claims of copyright infringement. It was being built with "on the fly" encryption which would lock users' files behind an impenetrable code away from those running Mega - and anyone policing the internet.

"You hold the keys to what you store in the cloud, not us," the site says. Its structure spreads knowledge of files held - and the files - across a diffuse grouping of computers around the world.

A police spokesman said they had no interest in the new website "as long as Mr Dotcom stays within the law".

- NZ Herald

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