Kim Dotcom Of Megaupload File-Sharing Site Starting Political Party In New Zealand

 @neato_itsdennis
on January 13 2014 6:32 PM
Kim Dotcom and wife Mona
Shown are Megaupload.com founder Kim Dotcom, left, and his wife Mona. Reuters

Eccentric Internet entrepreneur Kim Dotcom says he will launch a new political party in New Zealand later this month. The working title is “Megaparty,” a reference to Dotcom’s Megaupload and MEGA companies.

Dotcom made millions heading Megaupload, which was known as a hub for illegal file-sharing until it was shut down by the U.S. government in 2012. At the time of the shutdown, Megaupload.com had 150 million registered users and received about 50 million hits daily. It netted Dotcom $42 million in 2011. Soon after, Dotcom opened up MEGA, a data storage service based on complete privacy.

Dotcom, a German born as Kim Schmitz, confirmed he would announce details about his party via Twitter on Jan. 20. He said, “My political party will activate non-voters, the youth, the Internet electorate. We are going to make politics exciting…”

The U.S. government has been trying to extradite Dotcom to face charges that include racketeering, copyright infringement, money laundering and criminal conspiracy. He was arrested shortly after the shutdown of Megaupload, but has remained in New Zealand, where he is suing a New Zealand spy agency for snooping.

Since retiring from his new company, MEGA, Dotcom has turned to political activism. Dotcom cannot run for Parliament himself, as he is not a New Zealand citizen. That doesn’t necessarily stop him from supporting and funding a party, however.

Dotcom lambasted the current state of politics and government in an interview with Vice last week. He said, “Where the government is supposed to serve us the people, we are paying with our taxes that they do a good job for us. But look what they do, they undermine our rights, they destroy our freedoms, they censor our Internet, so we are the ones who have to bring that change.”

Chris Trotter, a reporter at stuff.co.nz, says Dotcom could have a big impact on politics in the remote island country because of his appeal to young, tech savvy-voters, “a generation which, ideologically-speaking, finds little to connect with in either National or Labour," the traditional main parties in New Zealand.

Trotter went on to say “these individuals are young, wired, and mercifully free of the sort of ideological and historical baggage that connects both National and Labour politicians to the ‘failed policies of the past.'”

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