For the past few months, Kim Dotcom has been teasing the return of Megaupload. It appears, however, that Megaupload will not be returning. Instead, Dotcom will be releasing Mega, a new service that might just shake up the file sharing industry.
Speaking to Wired, Dotcom revealed that Mega will be a return to Megaupload while simultaneously being completely new. It's the same file storage service that people came to know and love with Megaupload, but it contains a number of privacy protections that make it completely anonymous.
So how is Dotcom going to do this? He says that the new Mega service will use an "Advanced Encryption Standard" algorithm. In short, the file will be encrypted upon being uploaded so that nobody can see what it is. The uploader will then be given a unique key that will decrypt the file whenever they need to access it.
The new system is great for data privacy, but it also protects Mega from the very thing that brought down Megaupload. Users will be the only ones with the decryption keys and they will be the ones controlling who accesses what. Mega will not have any knowledge in regards to who is using their service or what is being stored on their services. Under the safe harbor provision of the DMCA, they are completely safe.
Even more interesting, the new Mega can't be taken down by the authorities of any one country. Dotcom says that the new Mega will be hosted on servers all around the world. If one server goes down, the others will be around to pick up the slack. Just like The Pirate Bay's new cloud initiative, the new Mega will be hard to bring down.
All of this doesn't mean that Dotcom is doing this to get back at Hollywood. He told Wired that he's ready to work with them to help remove infringing content from their servers. If a studio finds their content with decryption keys on Web sites, they can send Mega a DMCA notice to have it removed. They will also give these studios access to Mega to remove content as long as they sign an agreement saying they won't pursue legal action against Mega for its user's actions.
Mega is shaping up to be really interesting. The combination of complete anonymity and user accountability could be just the thing the file hosting business needs. People are going to obviously use the service for piracy, but it's now on their heads if they spread licensed content. It might make Internet users more conscious of their actions.
As for Kim Dotcom, he's thrilled to be on the cover of Wired magazine this month.
The WIRED cover. I won't do another interview like this. Go get it 😉 http://t.co/K1sDODlm