While Kim Dotcom has been raided, thrown in jail (along with some of his compatriots) and much of his physical assets frozen, the founder of digital locker Megaupload isn’t calling it quits anytime soon. In fact, he’s raring to make a comeback in the digital storage space, but this time, he’s got a system that he says will make the next iteration of Megaupload untouchable by the law.
The new site will simply be named Mega, and Kim and Mega partner Mathias Ortmann has devised a simple system that will release the new site from legal liability when it comes to users’ uploaded content: encryption. While both Mega and Megaupload are both subscriber-based cloud storage platforms, Mega diverges from Megaupload’s methods by first encrypting a user’s content before it’s uploaded to their servers. Users are then given the unique key to unlock their files in the cloud when they need it. Now, if users wish to share that file (and the encryption key for that file) to other users, it’s their business – Mega legally has no knowledge of what’s inside the encrypted files in their servers.
This is how Mega plans to avoid the legal issues that they encountered with Megaupload. Since the decryption key is never shared with the mother site (only the encrypted files are on the servers), they should, theoretically, be safe from any kind of criminal liability. It also means that whatever users upload to Mega will remain private, whatever happens. “If servers are lost, if the government comes into a data center and rapes it, if someone hacks the server or steals it, it would give him nothing,” Dotcom explains. “Whatever is uploaded to the site, it is going to be remain closed and private without the key.”
Dotcom stresses that the only way to stop Mega from being a reality is to ban encryption altogether, which we all know isn’t going to happen. “And according to the U.N. Charter for Human Rights, privacy is a basic human right,” Dotcom explains. “You have the right to protect your private information and communication against spying.”