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Mega and the return of Kim Dotcom

Internet celebrity, file-sharing mogul, and top-ranked Modern Warfare 3 player Kim Dotcom is back in the news. He and his cofounders were indicted in the US for copyright infringement and racketeering related to the piracy hub Megaupload in early 2012, but managed to fight extradition to the US. The group then launched a new company, Mega, which is based in New Zealand and billed as a personal cloud storage solution and offered users a whopping 50 GB of space to start. Dotcom says Mega is a legitimate competitor to Dropbox and Google Drive, but critics call it a front for piracy.

  • Chris Welch

    Nov 28, 2013

    Chris Welch

    Kim Dotcom's Mega comes to iPhone with file sharing and in-app subscriptions

    Mega iOS
    Mega iOS

    Kim Dotcom's cloud storage service Mega has arrived on iOS. Nearly five months after the company entered mobile by way of Android, it's now launched an iOS 7 app that lets users manage content stored in their cloud locker. Mega for iOS can preview or stream supported media files, and also lets you send file and folder links directly within the app. Somewhat surprisingly, you can even subscribe to Mega's premium tier via in-app purchase, which means that Apple is taking a cut of each $10.99 monthly payment from Mega's users. That subscription gets you 500 GB of storage and 1000 GB of bandwidth each month, though Mega does offer even more capacity for purchase on its website. The company says that a version for iPad is planned for the near future, and it's also working to deliver automatic photo backup/sync a la Dropbox.

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  • Sam Byford

    May 23, 2013

    Sam Byford

    Kim Dotcom accuses Google, Facebook, and Twitter of violating his two-step security patent

    Dropbox two step authentication (STOCK)
    Dropbox two step authentication (STOCK)

    Hours after Twitter rolled out support for two-step verification, Kim Dotcom has claimed credit for inventing the security feature. In a series of tweets, the embattled Megaupload founder points to a patent dating back to 1997 as proof for his claim, and accuses companies including Google, Facebook, and Twitter of infringing his intellectual property rights.

    "I never sued them," Dotcom continues. "I believe in sharing knowledge and ideas for the good of society. But I might sue them now cause of what the U.S. did to me." The faint threat is followed by a plea to the named companies for financial support in Dotcom's ongoing fight against extradition to the US.

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  • Dante D'Orazio

    Feb 17, 2013

    Dante D'Orazio

    Kim Dotcom teases new 'secure' and private Mega email, chat, voice, and video services

    Mega frontpage
    Mega frontpage

    As part of a (brief) rant on Twitter today about the dangers of using web services that are based in the United States, Mega founder Kim Dotcom said the service will expand "in the coming years" beyond cloud storage to offer secure email, web chat, voice, video, and "mobile" (emphasis his) products. Naturally, no details have been offered beyond the single tweet teasing the new features, but from a series of messages on Twitter it's clear that the focus is on privacy. The tease came after Dotcom advised his followers not to use US-based web services, like Gmail, Skype, and iCloud, claiming that they have to "provide (by law) secret & untraceable NSA backdoors to all your data." The expanded web services would most certainly be based in New Zealand, as Mega is currently, and Dotcom called the country "a safe haven for companies competing with insecure US providers."

    Such an expansion would mean much work lies ahead for the Mega team: Mega has already pledged to address security concerns in its current product, and Dotcom previously gave a quick peek at a new film service, MegaMovie, which is presumably in the works. Beyond Dotcom's tease today, he also revealed that users can now pay for Mega's pro tiers using Bitcoin through official reseller Bitvoucher, allowing customers to pay while avoiding the potential privacy concerns of using a service like PayPal.

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  • Top New Zealand web exec joins Kim Dotcom, compares Mega to Google

    kim dotcom vikram kumar
    kim dotcom vikram kumar

    Vikram Kumar, the former head of the company that administers the .nz domain, just announced he has joined Mega as CEO. "From meeting with the Mega team, I have absolutely no doubt whatsoever that they intend to run the company in a manner that is well within both the letter and spirit of the law," Kumar said in a blog post announcing the move.

    Kumar compared Mega's launch to Google's launch of Gmail, suggesting that Mega could be the next "significant Internet services company out of New Zealand." Mega has signed up more than two million users since it launched, Kumar told PC World.

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  • Adrianne Jeffries

    Jan 31, 2013

    Adrianne Jeffries

    Pirates beware: Kim Dotcom's Mega isn't the safe haven he says it is

    mega paradise
    mega paradise

    Kim Dotcom — the infamous, indefatigable internet entrepreneur with an unidentifiable European cadence and the bravado of a Bond villain — is back in our lives. Exactly a year after his website Megaupload was shut down due to charges of copyright infringement, Dotcom has come out with a new venture called Mega.

    Mega is ostensibly a cheap way to store files online, offering an insanely generous 50 GB of space for free. It also offers some additional security to protect your data from prying eyes, although the effectiveness has been challenged. Dotcom and his cofounders ran one of the world’s most influential hubs for the market in pirated movies, so of course the new Mega has started attracting pirates — although not as many as you might expect. And with Mega's recent move to shut down the piracy facilitating third-party search engine mega-search.me, the new file-sharing site is starting to seem downright hostile to the file traders on whose backs Dotcom built an empire.

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  • Chris Welch

    Jan 20, 2013

    Chris Welch

    Kim Dotcom claims over one million Mega users during outrageous launch party

    Kim Dotcom mega event screencap
    Kim Dotcom mega event screencap

    In just one day, Kim Dotcom's new Mega service has reportedly garnered over one million users. The impressive tally was revealed by Dotcom himself during a lavish launch party for the cloud storage platform in New Zealand. No doubt pleased with this early momentum, Dotcom said bluntly, "we cannot be stopped." Further, he emphasized that Mega was built from the ground up after MegaUpload was felled by the US Justice Department, which deemed Dotcom's previous project to be an "international organized criminal enterprise" that permitted piracy on a grand scale. The two web services thus share little to no code in common. "We have scrutinized every pixel to ensure it’s built from the ground up to adhere to the law," Dotcom insists.

    Still, he remains visibly frustrated with the United States government for its actions. "The privacy of our users was intruded on, communications were taken offline, and free speech was attacked." Content owners, Dotcom maintains, have wielded copyright law as a weapon to hold back innovation. "No matter how many politicians you lobby, no matter how many SOPAs your money puts together in Congress, you will not succeed with your attempts to take control of our internet." With signups for Mega showing no signs of slowing, we can only wait and see if it can somehow escape the same fate as its predecessor. You can watch the entire extravagant Mega launch event along with a press Q&A that lends insight into Dotcom's future plans below.

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  • Kimber Streams

    Jan 19, 2013

    Kimber Streams

    Kim Dotcom launches Mega, teases new movie service

    Mega frontpage
    Mega frontpage

    Mega — intended as a competitor to popular storage solutions such as Dropbox — is a simple, drag-and-drop storage solution that allows users to share files via public link. In order to avoid copyright issues that led to Megaupload's takedown one year ago, Mega has implemented a new encryption system. This system, intended to protect both itself and its users from potential hacks or government raids, means that the service will not have access to users' uploaded content.

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  • Chris Welch

    Jan 18, 2013

    Chris Welch

    Kim Dotcom's Mega to take on Dropbox with massive cloud storage

    Mega frontpage
    Mega frontpage

    Kim Dotcom's new venture Mega isn't scheduled to launch publicly until tomorrow, but some press outlets including TechCrunch are getting an early peek at the cloud service right now. In addition to the complimentary 50GB that all users can expect to receive, Mega will also be offering paid tiers for those that demand more capacity — to be used for totally legal purposes, of course. The incremental "Pro" options offer 500GB, 2TB, and 4TB of cloud for €9.99, €19.99 and €29.99, respectively. Jumping up to the Pro packages also means you'll be able to share your files with more people; the 500GB package comes with 1TB of bandwidth while the 2TB and 4TB are each allocated 4TB and 8TB.

    And there's more on the way. Unsurprisingly, Mega isn't hiding its intent to take on Dropbox. Filesystem mount Integration is coming "shortly" for Windows, allowing your Mega cloud to appear alongside any other physical storage disks in your computer. Similar solutions for OS X and Linux are also en route, but the company is being less specific about when users can expect to see those. Mega also promises forthcoming mobile access and up-to-date syncing between all platforms. Further, the company is determined to make Mega more than a simple cloud locker by (eventually) offering a variety of collaboration tools and built-in word processing / spreadsheet apps. When it launches tomorrow, Mega may be little more than a fresh coat of paint on its former incarnation, but Kim Dotcom clearly has lofty ambitions for the service.

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  • Sam Byford

    Jan 18, 2013

    Sam Byford

    Kim Dotcom promises 50GB of free storage for Mega service launching on Saturday

    Kanye West Loves Megaupload
    Kanye West Loves Megaupload

    Kim Dotcom's Mega, the follow-up to Megaupload, is finally set to go live this weekend, and the flamboyant entrepreneur has taken to Twitter to share some details about the new service. Mega will apparently give all users 50GB of free cloud storage, making it a potentially compelling competitor to the likes of Dropbox (2GB free) and SkyDrive (7GB free) — if you're not worried about the service getting shut down like its predecessor, that is.

    Dotcom says that his lawyers are working on a way to get MegaUpload users access to their previously stored files and premium status, but it seems impossible right now. On the plus side, Dotcom says that the service is "like time travel," calls it a win for innovation against the US government, and promises to "take you to the future." We'll see if Mega can back up Dotcom's big words this Saturday.

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  • Kimber Streams

    Nov 5, 2012

    Kimber Streams

    Kim Dotcom reveals plans to build $330 million internet cable between US and New Zealand

    kim dotcom
    kim dotcom

    Kim Dotcom has revealed plans to revive the Pacific Fibre cable project that would connect New Zealand to the United States and lead to cheaper and faster internet for residents, The New Zealand Herald reports. The cable will cost about $330 million to build, which Dotcom says will be funded by his recently announced company Mega and other investors. While the venture would not yield free internet for residents, as has been commonly reported, Dotcom says the network would offer significantly higher speeds for a lower cost. Access to the fiber cable would be free for ISPs, while government agencies and businesses would be charged a premium.

    Dotcom has recently taken to philanthropic gestures in the country after a New Zealand court ruled that a US search warrant was invalid, and in preparation for his extradition hearing that's scheduled for March of next year. Despite Dotcom's efforts to revitalize the project, funding challenges, regulatory snags, and technical obstacles could still prove to be an issue.

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  • Sam Byford

    Oct 21, 2012

    Sam Byford

    Meet Mega, Kim Dotcom's new and secure Megaupload sequel

    kim dotcom
    kim dotcom

    Wired has details of Mega, the new cloud storage project from embattled Megaupload founder Kim Dotcom. In many ways it sounds suspiciously similar to the previous file-sharing service that came under fire from US authorities, but a new encryption system gives users the ability to limit access to any file via generated keys. Mega won't keep the decryption keys on its servers, protecting them from possible hacks or government raids, and also meaning that the service won't be able to know the contents of users' uploads. As Dotcom explains it:

    As for the legality of this service, Dotcom believes that it will be safe from prosecution as long as encryption remains within the law, saying "You have the right to protect your private information and communication against spying."

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