Entrepreneur, hacker, and aspiring politician Kim Dotcom has said that he intends to launch an open-source, non-profit cloud storage service that will follow in the footsteps of his previous file-sharing sites Megaupload and Mega. In a user-led Q&A on Slashdot, Dotcom said that since leaving Mega he doesn't trust the service anymore, alleging that the site suffered "a hostile takeover by a Chinese investor" whose shares were subsequently seized by the New Zealand government, putting them in control of the site and putting users' data at risk.
"Completely open source and non profit, similar to the Wikipedia model."
"As a result of this and a number of other confidential issues I don't trust Mega anymore. I don't think your data is safe on Mega anymore," wrote Dotcom. "But my non-compete clause is running out at the end of the year and I will create a Mega competitor that is completely open-source and non-profit, similar to the Wikipedia model. I want to give everyone free, unlimited, and encrypted cloud storage with the help of donations from the community to keep things going."
It's not clear at this point how serious Dotcom's plans are, but he's already promised on Twitter that he will release a "statement about the status of #Mega next week." The company itself has denied his allegations, describing Dotcom's comments as "self-serving" and accusing him of trying to draw attention to his new venture by bad-mouthing Mega. The firm also says that Dotcom's claims of a hostile takeover are incorrect, and that the company plans to publish Mega's source code to reassure users about the safety of their data. "Mega’s encryption code has been examined by various international experts including the Spanish National Cybersecurity Institute without any flaws being found," said the company in a statement emailed to The Verge.
Elsewhere in the Slashdot Q&A, Dotcom addressed issues surrounding copyright infringement and legislation, saying that "we are living in a world of copyright extremism," and that the internet is "threatening the old copyright models but it is also offering an enormous opportunity to monetize copyright." He added that despite his long legal battles, he still loves the internet. "It gave me everything. I believe in internet freedom, in your right to share, in your right to privacy. With your help and your support I can do it. I want to win this fight for all of us."
Update August 4th, 6.00AM ET: Updated to include response from Mega.