Mega, Kim Dotcom’s successor to the defunct Megaupload, promised security and privacy that would make it legal and prevent it being taken down like other file-sharing sites. But a new search engine, mega-search.me, could undermine that claim because files are now visible to the public.
In Mega, users need to register and login before files are visible. From there, Kim Dotcom has put forth an array of security measures to ensure the privacy of users and their files. Security functions such as encryption keys controlled by the user help prevent unwanted snooping, as previously reported on IBTimes. There’s not even a password recovery function on Mega, meaning if you forget your password, you are locked out and out of luck. These measures were built in to prevent Mega being shut down due to copyright infringement claims, but a third-party search engine could open Mega up to pesky copyright problems.
Wired notes that mega-search.me is not run by Mega and is hosted on an anonymous domain. The search engine does not automatically update search listings and relies on user submissions. Mega members can provide links, but that does not mean the links are live. In fact, doing a quick search on any popular movie has only been met with plenty of dead links and no pirated material. All the links for “Skyfall” are unavailable, as is any link for “The Hobbit.”
According to Wired, the search engine “makes for a full-blown piracy site, closer to what Megaupload was before it was brought down.” Dotcom is still facing charges stemming from Megaupload, including copyright infringement and money laundering.
Mega has been very successful just two weeks after its launch. It claims more than 1 million users and the links on mega-search.me are probably just a small sample of what the data on Mega. It will be interesting to see if more search engines pop up for Mega.