Kim Dotcom has tweeted that he intends to launch his new Mega business venture on the first anniversary of the police raid at his New Zealand mansion. The tweet says “Announcement: The new Mega will launch exactly 1 year after the raid with a #MansionPressConference & #DoomsdayLaunchButton.”
The raid took place on January 20 2012, so we can expect Mega to launch in just under three months time. There are few firm details concerning Dotcom’s new venture, with the controversial entrepreneur releasing only small amounts of information, and a vaguely explanatory video.
What is clear however, is that it’s as legally dubious (and in this case, morally too, thanks to the system’s close ties with malware) as Megaupload was, and the Department of Justice has already taken a dim view of Dotcom’s future business plans. According to Dotcom’s bail agreement, he would not and could not restart Megaupload or a similar business, and had been completely shut down.
Megabox sounds similar enough to cause problems, and the Department of Justice has issued a statement saying “If defendant Dotcom intentionally misled the court in New Zealand about his intentions and capabilities … [it] might endanger Dotcom’s bail situation or even subject him to additional charges.”
It certainly looks like Dotcom is playing with fire, and could be underestimating the DOJ’s overwhelming desire to see him pay for his “crimes,” thanks to some recent courtroom wins and his sudden rise to Internet stardom.
Going back to the announcement tweet, the Mansion Press Conference hashtag speaks for itself — and will undoubtably be entertaining spectacle, should it all go ahead — but the Doomsday Launch Button may need a little more explaining.
It’s a reference to the FBI’s belief that Dotcom had a “doomsday device” in his possession, which could remotely wipe all the servers with evidence of Megaupload’s existence at the touch of a button. This was one of the reasons why a dawn raid on Dotcom’s home was considered necessary. Of course, he didn’t have anything of the sort, but he’s clearly going to play it up for Megabox’s launch.
Will Megabox really launch in the New Year, and will Dotcom avoid further prosecution if it does? At the moment, we have nothing other than his word that it will. Let’s see if he can live up to it.