Kim Dotcom launches Mega, his new file-sharing site
Indicted Megaupload founder Kim Dotcom appears on a large screen during the launch of a new file-sharing website called "Mega" at his Coatesville mansion in Auckland, New Zealand, Sunday, Jan. 20, 2013. (AP Photo/New Zealand Herald, Richard Robinson)
Published Saturday, January 19, 2013 5:01PM EST
Exactly a year to the day the U.S. government forced the shutdown of popular file-sharing site Megaupload, its eccentric founder has launched a new internet hosting service called Mega.
The site allows subscribers to share, access and store files, but incorporates several layers of encryption technology that sidesteps potential copyright issues that plagued its predecessor, Megaupload.
The heavily hyped launch of Mega drew intense traffic minutes after it went live Saturday, overloading the site for hours. On Twitter, founder Kim Dotcom said Mega had registered 100,000 users in less than one hour and suggested it is the fastest growing start-up in Internet history.
“Site is extremely busy,” Dotcom tweeted. “Currently thousands of user registrations PER MINUTE.”
The site is a follow-up to Megaupload, which boasted hundreds of millions of users when it was shut down in January 2012. The U.S. accused Megaupload and sister sites of being a vessel for pirated files.
Mega is laden with encryption techniques which experts say avoid copyright or piracy issues.
The encryption of a file such as a video, document or song happens on the user's computer, and Mega's employees do not have access to the encryption code, effectively removing them from any responsibility if copyrighted material is shared.
When confirming an account has been created, users get the following message: “Your 2048-bit RSA public / private key pair is now being created. To strengthen the key, we have collected entropy from your mouse movements and keystroke timings.”
Mega has been registered in New Zealand, putting it out of reach of U.S. federal law jurisdiction.
Dotcom and three of his partners were arrested in January 2012 and briefly imprisoned. They face extradition to the U.S. on various conspiracy charges, some related to copyright infringement.
Dotcom has said Mega will provide users with 50 GB of free storage.