After a preemptive shutdown of his Me.ga domain by the government of Gabon, Megaupload founder Kim Dotcom announced today that his new “lobbyist-proof” website will operate under the New Zealand-issued Mega.co.nz domain. Mega, as it’s called, will be a “global cloud file system,” according to the placeholder site, which gives users control over their files through the use of browser-based encryption.
“New Zealand will be the home of our new website: Mega.co.nz,” tweeted Dotcom earlier today. “Powered by legality and protected by the law.”
Dotcom’s original plan was to launch Mega under the Me.ga domain. Unfortunately for him, the .ga country code Top-Level Domain (ccTLD) is under the auspice of the government of Gabon, which denied Dotcom the Me.ga URL less than a week after he announced that it would be the home of his new website. Gabon Communication Minister Blaise Louembe said his country does not want to be “used by unscrupulous people.”
Following Gabon’s announcement, Dotcom condemned the country as a pawn of the U.S. government, which provides aid and buys oil from the West African nation.
According to the U.S. government, at least, Dotcom would certainly fall into the “unscrupulous people” category. Dotcom, along with six other employees of the now-dead Megaupload file-sharing site, face charges in the U.S. that include conspiracy to commit racketeering, conspiracy to commit copyright infringement, conspiracy to commit money laundering, copyright infringement, and wire fraud. The U.S. Department of Justice is seeking to extradite Dotcom for his alleged crimes.
The case against Dotcom and Megaupload has faced a number of setback over the past year. In June, the High Court in New Zealand, where Dotcom lives, found that the search warrants for Dotcom’s mansion were unlawful. New Zealand Prime Minister John Key then apologized to Dotcom in September after an official report revealed the country’s law enforcement had spied on the 38-year-old German national unlawfully.
The fumbled police pursuit of Dotcom by New Zealand authorities delayed the multimillionaire’s extradition hearing, which has been pushed back to March of 2013. The new Mega cloud locker is set to launch on January 20, the one-year anniversary of Megaupload’s demise.