Technology exile Kim Dotcom to launch encrypted e-mail service
Kim Dotcom, the German-born internet entrepreneur fighting extradition from New Zealand over US claims of criminal copyright infringement, says he plans to launch an encrypted e-mail service to go with his encrypted file storage offering.
Speaking from New Zealand via a Skype video link to London, Dotcom said that his new Mega file storage service which launched in January now had more than three million registered users who had stored a total of 125 million files in the first month of operation.
"It took [US cloud storage company] Dropbox two years to achieve that," Dotcom, 39, said. "We can see really high demand for this storage.
"Next we're going to extend this to secure e-mail which is fully encrypted so that you won't have to worry that a government or internet service provider will be looking at your e-mail."
Dotcom, who has permanent residency in Hong Kong, is trying to overturn demands by the US government for him to be extradited from New Zealand, where he lives with his wife and children, to face criminal charges relating to the operation of his MegaUpload service - which was shut down 13 months ago when New Zealand police arrested him and other staff.
At the time, Dotcom's assets were seized. He said on Tuesday he was still struggling to have them unfrozen, meaning that his legal team had gone unpaid.
"I have the best legal team money can't buy," he said.
He accused the US government of "hacking its law" by ignoring its own legislation. He said that the MegaUpload service, which allowed people to upload, share and stream files, had obeyed the US's Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA). "The DMCA was supposed to protect us and give us safe harbour" if users uploaded copyrighted files, he said. "But they went after that and took us down."
Dotcom said that the MegaUpload service had been heading for a stock market flotation six months after the raid that closed it down, and dismissed suggestions by the US government that MegaUpload was a "criminal enterprise".
"I don't know of any examples of any criminal organisation that had ambitions to be a public company," he said.