Megaupload founder returns to the fray with new site Mega

The founder of controversial website Megaupload, Kim Dotcom is back with a vengeance and a new website that is cunningly entitled ‘Mega’

The flamboyant entrepreneur launched the new cloud storage and sharing site on the anniversary of his arrest on racketeering charges. Megaupload which was founded in 2005,was one of the most popular sites on the web, at one point actually being responsible for 4% of all traffic on the internet. It was shut down by US officials in a major action against piracy and breach of copyright.

"As of this minute one year ago #Megaupload was destroyed by the US Government. Welcome to Mega.co.nz," Dotcom tweeted as the new site went live, reporting back hours later that Mega had received over 250,000 registrations.

US authorities are trying to extradite the German-born Dotcom from New Zealand, where he is currently on bail. Prosecutors accuse him of making tens of millions of dollars while copyright holders lost about $US 500 million in revenue.

Dotcom is fighting the case on the basis that he had merely provided a platform for file sharing and that any copyright infringement was the work of individual uploaders rather than the company itself. He insists Megaupload complied with copyright by removing links to pirated material when asked.

"In the dark ages ... the enemies of progress burned books," Dotcom said last week. And now today they are burning websites. And Mega is going to be the website that is going to end all of that."

Mega, like Megaupload, allows users to store and share large files. It offers 50 gigabytes of free storage, substantially more than similar sites such as Dropbox and Google Drive. All data transfers will feature an encryption process that only users hold the key for – creating a firewall between Mega and the content – so the new site can’t in theory be held accountable for content it can’t see.

US prosecutors declined to comment on the launch, referring only to a court document that cites several promises Dotcom made while seeking bail that he would not - and could not - start a Megaupload-style business until the criminal case had ended.

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