Megaupload founder Kim Dotcom has unveiled a new file-sharing website called Mega.
"As of this minute one year ago #Megaupload was destroyed by the US Government," Dotcom tweeted on Saturday, along with a link to the new site. In a subsequent tweet, he posted a screenshot of the site with the note, "Look at this @MPAA. Lets talk!"
Dotcom also wrote on Twitter that the new site has already signed up more than 250,000 users only hours after launch. He stated in a Wall Street Journal interview that the new file-sharing site boasts "on-the-fly encryption" for users who access Mega and intends to take such encryption "to the mainstream."
"I would say the biggest new development is on-the-fly encryption," Dotcom told the newspaper. "Without having to install any kind of application-it happens in your browser in the background-it encrypts giving you privacy. This means when you transfer data anyone sitting on that line will get nothing as it is all scrambled and impossible to decrypt without your key. This is going to take encryption to the mainstream."
Dotcom stressed in interviews with multiple outlets that his new site is legal and that Mega will take down content if notified by copyright holders.
"Legally, there's just nothing there that could be used to shut us down. This site is just as legitimate and has the right to exist as Dropbox, Boxnet and other competitors," he told Reuters. A Motion Picture Association of America spokesperson stated to the wire service that it was "skeptical" of the new site.
In January 2012, Megaupload was shut down and Dotcom's New Zealand mansion was raided by authorities. The U.S. has argued that the file-sharing website cost copyright holders more than $500 million in losses.
Dotcom has contended that offering cloud-based storage services isn't criminal. In a letter penned by the Megaupload founder that first appeared in The Hollywood Reporter last July, he argued that he was not the "enemy" of the entertainment industry.
"Providing 'freemium' cloud storage to society is not a crime," he wrote. "What will Hollywood do when smartphones and tablets can wirelessly transfer a movie file within milliseconds?"