Kim Dotcom has warned that the New Zealand government now has covert control of cloud storage service Mega -- so he's going to launch a third iteration of the site.
The German-born entrepreneur, would-be politician, evader of US law-makers and some time electronica musician made the statements in a wide-ranging interview with Slashdot users.
Dotcom's original hosting service Megaupload had its servers wiped clean before US authorities launched an effort to have him extradited on charges of hosting and encouraging the upload of stolen media. A lawsuit followed, but this did not deter the larger-than-life character from launching Megaupload successor Mega, designed to be faster and more secure than any competitors on the market. Believing that in a post-Edward Snowden world the demand for encrypted services would spike, he also promised an encrypted messaging service -- "we want to make encryption easy for everybody, so you don't have to think about how it works. It just happens in the background," he told WIRED.co.uk at the time. But all those dreams look dashed -- for now.
Dotcom told Slashdot poster Anonymous Coward that he no longer had any involvement in Mega, after the company suffered "a hostile takeover by a Chinese investor who is wanted in China for fraud". The investor apparently accumulated enough shares covertly, to stage the takeover, but those shares were then seized by the New Zealand government -- Dotcom alleges. "Which means the NZ government is in control. In addition Hollywood has seized all the Megashares in the family trust that was setup for my children. 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."
"I'm strong enough and I will fight for the future of my children and for Internet Freedom"
If anyone is in doubt as to the veracity of this statement, Dotcom promises more details next week, and tweeted today: "I will issue a detailed statement about the status of #Mega next week. Then you can make an educated decision if you still want to use it."
Dotcom’s battle to return to the heyday of Megaupload's peak, when it was thought to have had 180 million registered users, is at this point seemingly never-ending. And he says he is almost set to launch Mega 3.0.
"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."
Dotcom's commitment to his cause seems a genuine one. With the Internet Party, his doomed attempt to enter New Zealand politics, the founding principle was "to get an open, free, fair, connected and innovative society", and he had also promised in the past to use funds raised from suing the US government and Hollywood to provide free, fast internet for the whole of New Zealand.
In a reply to Slashdot user Joe Gillian, Dotcom said: "I love 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."
Dotcom is, also, a man driven by an extreme sense of injustice. He talks in the Q&A about how the actions of the US and New Zealand governments destroyed his family, as well as the livelihoods of many people working for Megaupload, calling the US justice system "a tool of a US empire that wants to control the world". But in the face of these odds, he promises: "I'm strong enough and I will fight for the future of my children and for Internet Freedom."