Dotcom made the announcement Sunday at a press conference held at his mansion in New Zealand, The Next Web reports. Mega launched on Saturday.
“The Internet belongs to no man,” Dotcom said at the press conference. “These attempts to rule the Internet are against innovation and must stop.”
The controversial Internet entrepreneur took the opportunity to once again dispute the current legal charges against him, saying that “our copyrights and access were taken from us without a trial or notice,” and warning that “those who try to stifle technology and innovation will be left on the side of the road in innovation and history.”
The Next Web reports Dotcom also said he plans to disappear from the international media spotlight he’s filled in recent months following the successful launch of Mega.
“After today I’m going to take myself back more. It’s not healthy. I want a good relationship with New Zealanders and I don’t want to be seen as someone who is always in the media,” Dotcom said at Sunday’s press conference.
Mega is the successor to the ill-fated Megaupload.com, a previous venture by Dotcom that was shut down last year amidst piracy accusations by the U.S. government. At present, the new and potentially improved Mega service is basically a web-based file storage system like Dropbox or Google’s (Nasdaq: GOOG) cloud service Google Drive, but Dotcom has grander ambitions than that. Eventually, he hopes that Mega will allow users to create and edit documents, store contacts and other information, and even host new websites within the program itself. It currently offers 50GB of free storage and three payment tiers for premium services.
Key to Mega’s differentiation from other cloud storage services is its high level of security encryption, a feature that bars the service from being able to tell what, exactly, its users are uploading. Files are encrypted locally before being uploaded onto Mega, keeping the service’s operators unaware of any unseemly activity like, say, piracy. Without a confidential personal decryption key, Mega’s terms of service state, nobody can access a user’s content.
Calling his new service "the most legally scrutinized Internet startup site in the history of the Internet" in an interview with the Wall Street Journal, Dotcom said Mega will be the first site "to take encryption out to the mainstream."
It’s too early to see if this security measure is effective enough to avoid rebukes from hackers or federal prosecutors. But the tech site Gizmodo has already called Mega a “masterstroke of copyright subversion.”
Users have been mostly positive about the new service, though many noted over the weekend that uploading and accessing files was slow due to high traffic. Dotcom said on Twitter that the service is still "slowly stabilizing" as the team fixes "small bugs and issues with some servers."
“We launched #Mega without traffic tests,” Dotcom tweeted Monday morning in response to the lag times. “That's like building a sports car from scratch and taking it straight to the Gumball.”