Kim Dotcom has announced plans to garnish his encrypted file-sharing service, Mega, with an encrypted email service. The file-sharing mogul, who faces extradition from New Zealand to the U.S. over copyright infringements on his former site Megaupload, has reported swift success with new project Mega.
Dotcom told the Guardian that the secure cloud storage service, launched in January, already had 3 million registered users who have stored a total of 125 million files in the first month of operation. “We’re going to extend this to secure email which is fully encrypted so that you won’t have to worry that a government or internet service provider will be looking at your email,” said Dotcom.
Mega, unlike most cloud storage providers such as Dropbox, gives users both the encryption and decryption key. Dotcom has said the idea is to protect user privacy and his own ass: Mega, the provider, does not have the ability to decrypt the content it stores, so it cannot turn such content over to the authorities decrypted, and, Dotcom hopes, Mega can’t be held responsible for copyright infringing content stored as the provider can’t see the decrypted files.
Privacy advocates have, however, reserved praise for Mega and its infamous founder. The Verge’s Adrianne Jeffries noted that many groups concerned with online privacy have been reticent to trust Dotcom’s products after the FBI raided Megaupload and many users lost all access to their files. “The Electronic Frontier Foundation filed a brief on behalf of one Megaupload user who has not had access to his files since the raid. That doesn’t bode well for Mega’s prospective customers, who have to worry that their cloud storage provider might be seized by the government,” wrote Jeffries.