back to article Uh-oh! Kim Dotcom is back with a brand new Megaupload site

Megaupload founder Kim Dotcom has announced that he will launch a new file-sharing website called Mega in January. Despite the fact that he's fending off the US authorities' allegations of industrial-scale copyright infringement, Dotcom has made it clear to the Feds that he couldn't give a toss. His previous file-sharing …

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  1. Alan Bourke

    Life is increasingly like

    a Neal Stephenson novel.

    1. FutureShock999
      Terminator

      Re: Life is increasingly like

      Time to put a cloud host in earth orbit, aka, Straylight...

    2. scarshapedstar
      Thumb Up

      Re: Life is increasingly like

      Ha, yeah, the Crypt came to mind instantly. Actually, Kim probably read the book, too.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    Good luck

    I wish him luck with that, although I don't expect a 'good result.' Giving the man the finger generally seems to annoy them no end and extra-legal means don't mean a thing to a US-based court judge so long as they are delivered in front of the bench.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Good luck

      "Pulling the dragons tail" springs to mind.

      Which reminds me, I should not post on the internet!

  3. g e
    Thumb Up

    Splendid!

    Always happy to see someone sticking to the USA Man.

    May I be the first to wish him a fluffy cat, swivelly chair and an oak-panelled map of the world with flashing lights thereon!

  4. KitD

    Nice, but ...

    "The new Mega encrypts and decrypts your data transparently in your browser, on the fly"

    That should stop folks up/downloading full-length films then. The sequel will be out by the time it's finished.

    1. MR J

      Re: Nice, but ...

      Not if the user system is doing the encryption/decryption. To have this done on the net provider side would be costly and cpu intensive.

      Most of us no longer use 486's to do sthuff on the interwibbles.

  5. mark 63 Silver badge
    Facepalm

    Swiaa Banking

    Sounds a bit like a swiss bank, and we all know how upstanding and reputable they are.

    1. RICHTO
      Mushroom

      Re: Swiaa Banking

      But customers of those banks don't care about that. That's the whole point of using them....the same principle applies to Mega.

  6. Mephistro
    Thumb Up

    There is very good advice in this article.

    "... will not use American hosting companies, domains, internet providers or anything else with Uncle Sam's stamp on it"

    Nuff said.

    1. DJ Smiley

      Re: There is very good advice in this article.

      Every peice of radio equipment these days seems to have the FCC stamp on it - no wifi for him then ;)

      I do wonder what mobile he uses too....

      1. RICHTO
        Mushroom

        Re: There is very good advice in this article.

        No it doesnt. I checked 5 laptops, 2 routers, 3 mobile phones and a WiFi card. No mention of the FCC.

  7. JaitcH
    WTF?

    I wonder if UK Home Sec May has 'Future Proofed' this?

    Poor old May, she claims the new spy and wire tap bling they are buying is 'Future Proofed'.

    This venture, along with Silent Circle, is the new reality.

    Let's see what GCHQ can do with this. All those little clouds filled with impenetrable secrets from the Middle East and 'terrorists'.

    1. Brewster's Angle Grinder Silver badge
      Meh

      Re: I wonder if UK Home Sec May has 'Future Proofed' this?

      Oh, I'm sure they'll be able to crack it. But they won't be able to do it on mass, to millions of people, so an acceptable balance will be achieved,

      1. Aaron Em

        Re: I wonder if UK Home Sec May has 'Future Proofed' this?

        'En masse'. It's French, y'all.

      2. JohnMurray

        Re: I wonder if UK Home Sec May has 'Future Proofed' this?

        Simple UK answer: RIPA

  8. Sam Liddicott
    Thumb Up

    I'll be buying

    I'll be buying even though I have google drive for free! Why?

    Because I support life, liberty and the a̶m̶e̶r̶i̶c̶a̶n̶ ̶w̶a̶y̶ ̶o̶f̶ ̶l̶i̶f̶e̶

    I want this to work out

  9. umacf24

    That'll work.

    Sorry, I think this bit is wrong:

    "... cannot access the encrypted uploaded data, absolving themselves of any responsibility for contents of the files."

    This should surely be:

    "... cannot access the encrypted uploaded data, in a somewhat implausible attempt to absolve themselves ..."

    1. diodesign (Written by Reg staff) Silver badge

      Re: That'll work.

      What was in our brains did not translate perfectly into the written word. The sentence has been tided up.

      C.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: That'll work.

        Will it automatically also change the filenames to something that doesn't give the game away.

        Even if encrypted, a file called "IronMan_4_ripped.mp4" looks awfully suspicious.

        1. RICHTO
          Mushroom

          Re: That'll work.

          How will they read an encrypted filename?

          1. bluest.one
            1. Slabfondler
              Terminator

              Re: That'll work.

              Awesome reference to a fine fine film...ah, Rowdy Roddy Piper...a fine Canadian. Time to get *your* glasses.

    2. RICHTO
      Mushroom

      Re: That'll work.

      No, it does work - until the they are notified of infringing content - which they can remove just like they used to.

      What it protects them from is any requirement to police or inspect the content.

  10. Velv
    Facepalm

    "It is understood Mega's staff and owners cannot access the encrypted uploaded data, absolving themselves of any responsibility for contents of the files"

    Is this the opinion of the journalist or of me.ga??? It hasn't absolved any other service provider, so what makes anyone think its going to absolve me.ga of responsibility now.

    1. Pen-y-gors Silver badge

      seems reasonable

      If I rent out a lockup garage or warehouse to someone and they store naughty things there, am I legally responsible?

      If I rent a house to someone and they indulge in naughty activities there, am I legally responsible?

      If I deliver a letter containing naughty plans for someone am I legally responsible?

      If I run a massive public broadcasting organisation and someone has rumpy-pumpy in a dressing room, am I legally responsible?

      If I store encrypted files for someone am I legally responsible?

      The person doing the naughty thing is the one responsible.

      1. wowfood

        Re: seems reasonable

        yes, you are. At least so far the US government is concerned.

        And yes you are to all of them, if it can be proven that you were aware of said illegal activity.

        1. RICHTO
          Mushroom

          Re: seems reasonable

          But if the data is encrypted, you are not likely to have been aware of it's content.....

      2. John G Imrie

        Re: seems reasonable

        Todays answers

        No to all questions

        Answers after Mrs May gets her bill through.

        You are a terrorist. Go to jail. Do not pass the court.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: seems reasonable

          Not actually 'No' to all questions.

          If you rent a house to someone who runs a meth lab or similar out of it. You, the home owner, will be fiscally responsible for some very expensive clean-up, government inspections, and regulatory paperwork. Not to mention the tremendous loss of equity IF you can even sell the house again.

          With luck you won't go to jail or at least spend a lot of time in jail ... but it will definitely be financially devastating.

      3. Richard IV

        Re: seems reasonable @Pen-y-gors

        You can be. It's Aiding and Abetting under certain circumstances such as if you knew what was going on.

      4. Arrrggghh-otron

        Re: seems reasonable

        If only things worked like that.

        Don't forget 'strict liability'

      5. Psyx
        Pint

        Re: seems reasonable

        "If I rent out a lockup garage or warehouse to someone and they store naughty things there, am I legally responsible?" - Yes, if you are aware of it and choose to ignore it.

        "If I rent a house to someone and they indulge in naughty activities there, am I legally responsible?" - If you are running a brothel essentially, then yes.

        "If I deliver a letter containing naughty plans for someone am I legally responsible?" - Ask the Al-Qaeda couriers sat in GITMO.

        "The person doing the naughty thing is the one responsible." - They are, but by acting as a wilful and willing enabler who deliberately turns a blind eye and fails to report the crime, you share responsibility in the eyes of the law.

        Like it or not, that's the way the cookie crumbles. Standing by and helping people break the law is generally considered illegal, in most cases.

        1. James Micallef Silver badge
          Facepalm

          Re: seems reasonable

          "If I rent out a lockup garage or warehouse to someone and they store naughty things there, am I legally responsible?" - Yes, if you are aware of it and choose to ignore it

          Not so simple.

          1) Mega is specifically refusing to even know what's in there, so by definition they are not aware of any naughty things stored in there.

          2) "Legally Responsible" in what jurisdiction??

          1. Velv
            Big Brother

            "Legally Responsible"

            Which is where Cyberspace is going to get interesting, and there is no law that currently answers the problem.

            Is it where the data is hosted?

            Is it where the data owner is located?

            Is it where the processing server is located (which may not be in the same jurisdiction as the storage)?

            Is it where the company owner is located (which may be a registered company and subject to different laws for directors than from individuals)?

            Is it where the domain name is registered?

            Is it where the copyright content owner is located?

            Is it at the choice of anyone who wants to raise the legal action in cases where there may be a choice (think patent law in the US where the case is filed in certain states which are more sympathetic than others - what would happen if the EU had a similar "federal" circuit of courts)?

            Many of you will have opinions on these - please don't post replies, there is NO right answer at the moment.

            1. Psyx
              Stop

              Re: "Legally Responsible"

              "Many of you will have opinions on these - please don't post replies, there is NO right answer at the moment."

              Please don't try to censure debate on it, though.

              And there *are* laws that answer part(s) of the problem.

          2. Psyx

            Re: seems reasonable

            "1) Mega is specifically refusing to even know what's in there, so by definition they are not aware of any naughty things stored in there."

            Nice idea, but to put it into perspective, that's like a drug mule or afore-mentioned Al-Qaeda courier trying to avoid prosecution by not knowing what was in the briefcase. If you have reasonable suspicion to think that the bloke you are selling a firearm to is going to cap someone with it and they do, you bear a share of the blame in the eyes of the law. Which is kinda fair enough, when you think about it: Wilful ignorance shouldn't be a carte blanche to engage in smuggling, or to aid and abet criminals.

            Kim is basically going to be handing people the tools to commit an offence with and then sticking his fingers in his ears and saying "LALALALA I don't know that you're breaking the law". Except it won't even be that opaque to him: For the site to be used for its (less face it:) intended purpose of sharing movies and music, the Keys will have to be easily accessible to anyone. Hell: They'll probably be listed in the file description on the site, which makes the encryption and 'invisibility' to the site admins a moot point.

            I don't see it really working out to well: He doesn't have a shred of plausible deniability and his entire defence is based on technicalities and lying under oath if it goes to court ("I honestly didn't know anything illegal was happening on my website, judge!")

            2) "Legally Responsible" in what jurisdiction??

            New Zealand? If that's where he is and his business is.

            He's clearly trying to ensure that the US can't touch him. That might work. It depends on who has the best lawyers, I guess.

            1. Piercy

              Re: seems reasonable

              "Nice idea, but to put it into perspective, that's like a drug mule or afore-mentioned Al-Qaeda courier trying to avoid prosecution by not knowing what was in the briefcase. If you have reasonable suspicion to think that the bloke you are selling a firearm to is going to cap someone with it and they do, you bear a share of the blame in the eyes of the law. Which is kinda fair enough, when you think about it: Willful ignorance shouldn't be a carte blanche to engage in smuggling, or to aid and abet criminals."

              Couriers... not a drug mule. A courier may carry certain items that are illegal but under their terms and conditions you are not allowed to do that. Similarly i would presume you are not allowed to host content on me.ga that is unlawful/copyrighted etc. However, just cos they provide a hosting service doesn't make the company unlawful or guilty of a crime. They provide a service just like a courier does. However, if you are willingly providing a service to known terrorists or drug barons then of course ignorance isn't going to save you.

            2. kiwimuso
              Holmes

              @!Psyx Re: seems reasonable

              Kim is basically going to be handing people the tools to commit an offence with and then sticking his fingers in his ears and saying "LALALALA I don't know that you're breaking the law".

              Quite. So when is Google cloud service (and other cloud services) being charged then?

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: seems reasonable

          "Standing by and helping people break the law is generally considered illegal, in most cases." ***

          *** unless you work in politics or banking.

          1. Psyx
            Holmes

            Re: seems reasonable

            "unless you work in politics or banking."

            Not true: Look at the kind of shit financial institutions get into via the actions of a few rogue traders fixing rates, for example... and they didn't even *know* about it. Likewise, the current hoo-ha as regards NoTW pivots around whether senior figures *knew* if the law was being broken.

            If you can establish plausible deniability (which Kim is trying to do via the "It's encrypted, so I don't know it's illegal" thing), then you might be able to avoid culpability. If that plausible deniability isn't plausible enough ("I didn't know the dodgy guy who gave me a grand to carry a bag through customs had put drugs in it!"), then you're in trouble.

      6. Spanners Silver badge
        Flame

        Re: seems reasonable

        Remember that, even if we had legal systems not violently corrupted by big business and money, legally responsible is not a lot to do with morally responsible.

        It has even less to do with factually responsible.

        You are responsible for whatever a big company says you are responsible for. In the same way, they are not responsible for whatever they have decided they are not responsible for.

      7. Anonymous Coward
        Windows

        Re: seems reasonable

        In London it would certainly not be reasonable to assume that. In Operation Rize the Met opened almost 7,000 safety deposit boxes and sent the directors to prison because some of the boxes contained contraband.

      8. Mike VandeVelde
        Alert

        Re: seems reasonable

        If I rent a house to someone and they indulge in naughty activities there, am I legally responsible?

        http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/calgary/story/2012/03/09/calgary-landlord-growop-woes.html

  11. Gordon Pryra

    Far enough the USA were Tards

    As usual,

    But the guy was still allowing people access to ripped off goods (aka stolen) He was also moving money about in an attempt to not pay taxes.

    You can't, on the one hand claim to want to do wtf you want and not pay for it, then with the next ask for the protection of the people you have been ripping off.

    Yeah the USA are idiots, and their legal system and the way its foreign policy works explains how people can hate them enough to kill themselves in order to hurt them, but this Kim guy is not a nice robin hood persona deserving of any compliments.

    He hunts baby dolphins as well apparently

    1. Loyal Commenter Silver badge

      Re: Far enough the USA were Tards

      I don't want to weigh in and defend the guy here - I know nothing abut whether he is a nice chap or not, but I jave to clear you up on one point - copied is not stolen. Stealing something deprives the owner of it, copying it does not, although it may prevent them from profiting by metering access to it.

      Copying != theft != piracy.

      Whether copying is morally right is another question, but by sttempting to conflate it with other 'serious illegal' activities, copyright owners are doing themselves no favours when it comes to credibility.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Far enough the USA were Tards

        Its also worth noting that the MP3's in question could have been legally ripped. from his own collection. Unlike in Blighty, this is legal in the US.

    2. John G Imrie

      aka stolen

      You have bought into the propaganda.

      To steal something requires that you deprive someone of that item. He might be guilty of copyright infringement. But that should be a civil not a criminal offence.

      1. Gerard Krupa

        Re: aka stolen

        On the other hand he has been previously convicted of embezzlement which is most definitely stealing and a criminal offence.

        1. Dante

          Re: aka stolen

          Think the key word there is "previously".

          The guy is a cock but, really, the whole thing with the US and Mega Upload stinks.

        2. RICHTO
          Mushroom

          Re: aka stolen

          Right, but how is that relevant to THIS case? He is hardly a hardened criminal.

          The "embezzlement" was actually for selling shares after hyping a company by saying he planned to invest more money in it - where he received a suspended sentence.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: aka stolen

        Actual, the definition of "theft" was broadened some time back in the UK.

        It varies wildly with jurisdiction.

        I think there is a wiki link to set you straight, somewhere.

        1. Vic

          Re: aka stolen

          > the definition of "theft" was broadened some time back in the UK.

          It still doesn't cover copyright infringement.

          > It varies wildly with jurisdiction.

          It varies a little. I'm unaware of any jurisdiction that considers copyright infringement to be theft, however much various organisations would like you to believe it to be so.

          Vic.

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: aka stolen

        unless it could be intrepeted that the miscreant was intending to deprive someone of the value of the thing (it can be an intangiable object) by making it so commonly available that the true owner could barely give away a legimate copy.

    3. frank ly

      Re: Far enough the USA were Tards

      "He was also moving money about in an attempt to not pay taxes."

      Google, Vodaphone, Starbucks, .......etc. It's what legitimate organisations do :)

    4. Psyx
      Pint

      Re: Far enough the USA were Tards

      "But the guy was still allowing people access to ripped off goods (aka stolen) He was also moving money about in an attempt to not pay taxes."

      Yeah: People aren't allowed to do that.

      Only companies and corporations.

    5. RICHTO
      Mushroom

      Re: Far enough the USA were Tards

      How was he allowing access to anything stolen? The worst that was going on was copyright infringement, which is not and has never been theft.

      See here if not clear on the above: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IeTybKL1pM4

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Ah The USA

    One thing I don't get, a comparison of markets if you will.

    Company A makes a profit of 8billion in the USA, but thanks to clever accounting they can shift it around (as they do in every country) to avoid 90% of the tax. And that is perfectly legal, despite the fact that the company deals with US customers on US soil.

    Meanwhile internet company A makes a much smaller profit thanks to users in the USA, while everything else it has is offshore. And that is illegal.

    One has many many links to the USA and is untouchable.

    The other has one link which is in common with the first, and that's it. And the US can charge in and do what they want.

    My god I love American logic.

    1. Ben Norris
      Facepalm

      Re: Ah The USA

      Exactly, by the same reasoning GB should storm into Google USA and shut them down!

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Awsome

    Good for him. I back him and Mega!!

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Trollface

    Hmmm

    Does Ecuador have an Embassy in New Zealand ?

    1. Psyx
      Thumb Up

      Re: Hmmm

      Not one large enough to fit Kim into, I imagine.

  15. Ben 50
    Pirate

    The long term response is predictable.

    Manufacturers will be obliged to bake backdoors into your systems either at the hardware or OS level.

    If we aren't already that far.

    1. nematoad Silver badge
      Linux

      Re: The long term response is predictable.

      "bake backdoors into your systems either at the hardware or OS level."

      Hardware maybe, but the OS? I think not, because even if they did you can bet your bottom dollar that the Linux folks and others like the *BSDs will soon spot it and rip it out.

      Another good reason to use FOSS.

  16. rurwin
    Pirate

    There is an old saw which states....

    The Internet views censorship as network damage, and routes around it.

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I had a similar idea...with a minor twist (but big data impact) -TLDR warning.

    Rather than store the encrypted data, they should store only BIG 'keys'. Some online key safe facility whereby you can share access to your keys, and one which extends to large keys too.

    Encrypt the file using a key (otp maybe) of equal size to the file. In this scenario you effectively have 2 files, either of which can be considered the key to the other. Get two hosting companies to host your 2 keys (which one is the key and which one the encrypted file?). There is no law against holding keys for somebody.

    [X] = secure 10MB file

    [Y] = 10MB random key

    XOR X,Y - to give [Z]

    Upload Y and Z to 2 hosting companies. Which one is hosting the encrypted file and which on the key?

    For added security you can add a 3rd key that could turn both keys into a legitimate (but safe) file.

    [A] is a public 10MB pdf document, [B] is your 10MB 'secure' file, [C] is random 10MB data.

    XOR A, B, C to create [D] (also 10MB).

    XOR B,C to create [E] (also 10MB)

    XOR A,C to create [F] (also 10MB)

    D, E and F are themselves just 10MB keys, but when combined in the correct order they produce different results. Upload D to one provider, E to another, F to a 3rd. Keep C local (no need to upload it).

    Combining (XOR) D and E yields the PDF document

    Combining D and F yields the personal file

    None of the hosting providers are storing encrypted data for you, they are hosting keys. But what are the keys for?

    D is the key that turns E into the PDF document.

    E is the key that turns D into the PDF document.

    F is the key that turns your local C into the pdf document.

    If you want to give a 3rd-party access to your secure data then point them to D and F.

    Not perfect but you get the idea. What I'm saying is that by storing 'keys' rather than encrypted data things could get interesting - when the key length is the same as the data who decides which is which?

    1. chris lively
      Coat

      Re: I had a similar idea...with a minor twist (but big data impact) -TLDR warning.

      It could probably be simpler than this.

      Use cloud storage providers in a way similar to RAID. Just store parts of the file across 3 different services. In other words, every third bit goes to service A.. There wouldn't be enough information at any two providers to actually figure out what it was. You would need all three.

      1. Fatman

        Re: I had a similar idea...Use cloud storage providers in a way similar to RAID.

        You have a file (fragmented all over the place on that "toy" operating system known as WindblowZE) occupying hard drive space. To the O/S, it doesn't matter which sectors contain the file, just that it (the O/S) "knows" where the segments are, and in what sequence they need to be re-assembled in order to provide the complete file.

        So, treat cloud storage as an extension of your local hard drive, and take that to a further extreme. Split your 'file' into multiple pieces, and store segments in different cloud locations. Only YOUR "directory" knows which sectors are stored at a specific location, and in the sequence that they need to be retrieved in order to make the file complete.

        Now, try to figure out who has what????

    2. Peter Gathercole Silver badge

      Re: I had a similar idea...with a minor twist (but big data impact) -TLDR warning.

      @ac 14:30 re XOR X,Y -> Z

      .....except that XOR Y,Z will reconstruct X. Admittedly, whoever was wanting to retrieve X will need to know this is what you have done, and obtain both Y and Z.

      XOR is just not safe unless you increase the number of keys and operation as you do in the later examples, but the more keys you have, the more chance you have that one of the storage companies go out of business, get shut down or just lose the data.

      It would be better to use something like use a distributed set of symbols of Reed Solomon hashed data blocks. Doing this would enable you to reconstruct the data if one set of symbols is lost, but would make it necessary for someone to get most of the symbols in order to decode the data. The exact number of symbol sets needed, and the minimum number of sets required to decode the data would depend on the parameters in the RS encoding chosen. Each subset would not contain any usable data.

  18. Nunyabiznes

    This is an aside from how the USA took down the servers and the loss of access to legal files people had (stupidly) kept on a site designed to be a way around copyright. I don't agree with the methods and I think the site should have had a cease and desist order issued by the hosting country and/or the country where the owner/s reside. That would have given time for legal files to be moved, for the illegal files to be tracked when they were moved (which provides evidence for future court proceedings) and time for the owner/s to prepare their legal defense.

    If you copy a copyrighted file to avoid paying the copyright owner their fee, that is theft. I don't care what semantics you try to use. If you don't think that movie, music, artwork or picture is worth the price then don't buy it. Don't go and download it from a buddy and claim that since you weren't going to buy it anyway that there is no loss to the owner. I will grant that that loss is hard to quantify, and most of the numbers being used in court cases are complete bull.

    For those of you that are going to claim that you pirate whatever to see what artists you like so you can then purchase their stuff; let's just say I believe you to be an extreme minority, like leprechauns and unicorns.

    1. RICHTO
      Mushroom

      COPYING IS NOT THEFT whatever sematics you use to try and make it so. Rinse and repeat until you understand: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IeTybKL1pM4

    2. RICHTO
      Mushroom

      Statistics and research prove that in fact people who download more DO buy more.

      http://www.pocket-lint.com/news/48001/pirates-more-music-online-non-file-sharers

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        yes, they use all that money they didn't spend on legitimate copies.

        or more seriously those that download are doing so because its part of their personality that wants to acquire as much stuff as possible - they'd still spend lots on media if they couldn't download

        1. RICHTO
          Mushroom

          Well either way, the copyright cartels wouldnt be getting more money if they didnt download....

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