3 Nov 2012

New Dotcom site to encrypt user data

8:37 am on 3 November 2012

A new file-sharing site being developed by internet entrepreneur Kim Dotcom will be launched on the anniversary of his arrest in January.

Mr Dotcom is fighting extradition to the United States on copyright, money laundering and fraud charges relating to his now-defunct website Megaupload.

He was arrested during a raid at his mansion near Auckland on 19 January this year and his website Megaupload shut down the following day. Three others are also facing charges.

On Thursday, he launched a teaser page for his new site, Mega, to be launched on the anniversary of his arrest. He says the site will encrypt user data and be hosted all over the world.

Technology commentator Peter Griffin told Radio New Zealand's Morning Report programme the site will ultimately, as with Megaupload, provide a repository for files that users can upload and share with their friends, but will be designed differently.

Users will be given a decryption key they can share with their friends to unlock the files.

"People won't be able to see into those files, even the Mega employees themselves won't be able to see exactly what information is being stored on those servers."

A Gabon domain name, me.ga, will be used rather than a US-based one, to avoid being accountable to the American authorities.

Mr Griffin says there is a huge demand for the service but it is not yet clear how Mr Dotcom will make money out of it.