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Dotcom’s new storage architecture will free operators from liability over stored content.
Kim Dotcom has been making waves in the World Wide Web over the last few years. His brainchild Megaupload was a massively popular file storage and distribution utility until its servers were shut down by the US Government on the allegation of profiting from copyright infringement. Since then, German national/New Zealand resident Dotcom has been in and out of court, testifying about the raid on his home and trying to reclaim his frozen assets. And now he’s officially announced his next big hosting project, under the simple name of Mega.
One problem with Megaupload was that the servers and domain names were managed in the USA. Though Dotcom professes innocence from wrongdoing, he doesn’t want to take his chances with the US courts, thus leaving his business assets in the hands of the US government. Mega will likely keep its servers in Hong Kong, out of the reach of the US. Another issue with Megaupload was that the files were transparent to the Megaupload admins, meaning that they could see the names and content of any uploaded data. This opened Dotcom up to liability for the content of the files they hosted, even though they complied with DMCA takedown notices in every known instance. Mega, on the other hand, will feature browser-based encryption. So when files are uploaded they will be encrypted, preventing server admins from knowing what the files contain. This could completely liberate Mega from all liability for any hosted content, since there is no way for them to know what the encrypted files contain. Where Megaupload was an exercise in possibility, Mega is an exercise in precaution.
Mega is also opening up to hosting partners. According to the Me.ga website (the .ga top-level domain comes from Gabon), they’re accepting offers, and prefer unmetered monthly payments. Mega is slated to go live on January 19th. With a large enough network, Dotcom could very well become the next king of the web.