Internet entrepreneur Kim Dotcom launched a new
file-sharing website Sunday, calling it the fastest-growing startup
in internet history after 100,000 users registered in less than an
The site was overloaded with thousands of new users signing up each minute, he said.
"I am so happy," he tweeted. "As of this minute one year ago #Megaupload was destroyed by the US government. Welcome to http://Mega.co.nz."
On January 20, 2012, New Zealand police staged a military-style raid to arrest Dotcom at his home outside Auckland due to copyright and racketeering charges filed against him in the United States.
Dotcom, born Kim Schmitz, is a German native who also holds Finnish citizenship and New Zealand residency. He yet faces possible extradition to the US.
Sunday's launch party at his home featured a traditional Maori dance troupe and about 200 invited guests and journalists.
In the middle of his speech, helicopters flew overhead and people stormed the stage in a mock re-enactment of his arrest.
Dotcom explained that the new site was designed to use cloud-based computing and comply with modern laws.
"The nature of this service is people uploading something, storing it in the cloud and making it available to others to download, is protected by the law," he said.
"We offer a smarter, faster and more secure way of cloud storage."
He said the site would be "huge," and declared that "nothing will stop Mega."
"By using Mega you say no to governments that want to spy on you. By using Mega you say yes to internet freedom and your right to privacy," Dotcom said.
His partner and co-defendant, Finn Batato, said the business model was straightforward.
"We provide up to 50GB of free storage on our site. Heavy users will need to pay 9.99 euros (13.31 dollars) per month. Middle term we might also show ads but not anytime soon," Batato said.
The site also offers up to 4TB storage for 29.99 euros.
Batato said the site works like Dropbox except for an encryption feature designed to prevent governments or other organisations from snooping on users, he said.
"We will run servers in several countries worldwide except in the US, as the US government decided to disrespect their own law as shown in the 2012 Megaupload case," Batato said.
"The new encryption means full privacy. Piracy will not be tolerated. We will have strong terms and conditions in place and we will comply with all relevant laws."
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