Famed Internet supervillain Kim Dotcom launched a new file-sharing website Sunday, aiming to surpass the popularity of his previous online flagship, Megaupload.
The file-sharing tycoon is currently out on bail and living in a plush New Zealand mansion, which is famous for the safe room where he attempted to hide from authorities during a 2012 government raid.
American authorities hope to extradite Dotcom to the U.S. for allegedly costing content-makers — like filmmakers and songwriters — approximately $500 million in copyright revenue.
Dotcom claims he is aiming for legitimacy for his new company, Mega, by using an encryption scheme that allows only the users who are sharing files to see a given transaction.
And unlike MegaUpload, Mega also does not use de-duplication — which describes a file storage system scanning uploaded files for duplicates already in its system. If a copy of the file already exists, a de-duplicating system rejects the upload and gives the user access to the earlier version.
While Mega’s terms of service allow for the possibility of de-duplication being implemented in the future, the company has said it has no plans to do so.
“Interest in the site has certainly been high, with Dotcom claiming half a million users registered for Mega in its first 14 hours,” reported the Telegraph.
Researchers’ early reviews of the site found Mega’s encryption lacking, particularly when it comes to remembering simple passwords.
“If you lose your password, or it’s hacked, Mega can’t help you. Your files will be, for all practical purposes, toast,” reported ZDNet.
Researchers also complained about the speed of the site, an issue Dotcom addressed through his Twitter account Monday. Mega, he said, was “slowly stabilizing,” and “small bugs and issues with some servers” were still being fixed.
“You can expect a smooth experience soon,” he insisted.
Not surprisingly, a foe from the adult entertainment industry is trying to cut off Mega’s funding sources through PayPal, reported TorrentFreak.
Robert King, of the group StopFileLockers, said Mega failed to meet several of PayPal’s terms of service. Although he declined to provide specific examples, he said they would be provided soon.
“We have already detected a significant amount of illegal and copyright infringing material being shared by the new Mega. There are sites already sharing links to hundreds of copyright infringing titles on Mega,” said King.