New Mega File-Sharing Site Launches with User Controlled Encryption

New Mega File-Sharing Site Launches with User Controlled Encryption

Kim Dotcom unveils upgraded version of defunct MegaUpload file-sharing site where only “you control the encryption, you hold the keys, and you decide who you grant or deny access to your files.”

Exactly one year after being shutdown by US authorities, file-hosting site MegaUpload has relaunched under the new name Mega, and plans to reinvent online file-sharing as we know it. For the new Mega implements a new feature called User Controlled Encryption (UCE). UCE means that only individual users will be able to control the encryption of their stored data; only they will hold the keys, and be able to decide with whom to grant or deny access.

The new Mega and UCE are, of course, both a result of the long and complicated history that it’s had with US copyright holder groups. The ordeal begins in earnest back in 2010 when it was revealed that the Recording Industry Association (RIAA) and the Motion Picture association of America (MPAA) were in talks with Mastercard and, presumably, other credit card companies and transaction services, to cut off payments to other cyber lockers and streaming sites.

The efforts by the record and movie industries culminated in a raid on MegaUpload founder Kim Dotcom’s mansion in New Zealand on January 19th, 2012.

However, as many predicted, 6 months later a New Zealand court ruled the warrant to seize MegaUpload assets was invalid, and that removing evidence from the country to be examined in the US before it could properly examined by Kim Dotcom and New Zealand authorities was illegal.

With the law so far squarely siding with MegaUpload, a few months later Kim Dotcom announced he was working to create a new Mega with “one-click encryption” of all data transfers” and “total privacy. ”

His work has finally paid off, and thanks to hereforto unheard User Controlled Encryption, the new Mega looks to deliver the “total privacy” that he originally promised.

Mega now flies under the new banner of “We Promise We Deliver — Bigger . Better . Faster . Stronger. Safer.” Now, unlike other file-hosting sites, Mega cannot access your stored files – only you can!

As Kim Dotcom said in a press conference earlier today, “sometimes great things are born from bad events.”

From the Mega’s privacy policy:

All files stored on MEGA are encrypted. All data transfers from and to MEGA are encrypted. And while most cloud storage providers can and do claim the same, MEGA is different — unlike the industry norm where the cloud storage provider holds the decryption key, with MEGA, you control the encryption, you hold the keys, and you decide who you grant or deny access to your files, without requiring any risky software installs. It’s all happening in your web browser!

So even if the MPAA, for example, demanded that Mega turn over your files for examination for possible infringement, it would still have to contend with the very powerful 2048-bit RSA encryption keys.

So what’s the new site like? It’s simpler, more intuitive, and most importantly safer than ever before.

Let’s take a look.

The file manager interface is clean and easy-to-use. You can create folders and subfolders with with which to share uploaded files with contacts in your contacts list.

Users have four account options:

  • Free – 50GB, storage, unspecified amount of bandwidth
  • Pro I – 500GB storage, 1TB of bandwidth, $9.99 p/mo
  • Pro II – 2TB storage, 4TB of bandwidth, $19.99 p/mo
  • Pro II – 4TB storage, 8TB of bandwidth, $29.99 p/mo

Mega also plans some interesting new features for the future that are sure to please many.

“The MEGA cloud is just the beginning,” it says. “In the future, MEGA will provide UCE in your browser for a wide range of applications without the need to install anything. Our technology will protect your emails, calls, chats and video streams.”

Though Mega is currently limited to desktop browsers, it adds that it’s “working hard to make MEGA fully compatible with all major mobile devices and tablets,” and that we can expect “cool custom apps” for popular mobile devices sometime in the “near future.”

At today’s Mega launch, Dotcom said he hoped that the MegaUpload events “open a new conversation about Internet freedom,” and that revealed the “urgent ongoing political debate about freedom on the Internet. He added that the Internet “belongs to no man or industry or govt,” and that the Internet is the “key to the betterment of mankind.”

Dotcom characterizes the efforts of copyright holders as a kind of “legal warfare to take control of he Internet and chill free speech.”

Mega “believes in your right to privacy and has developed technology to keep your data private and safe,” he said.

Mega would appear to do just that, and with more than a reported 250,000 registering in the first 2 hours and more than a million within the first 24 hours it would appear that many are excited by the new site.

Stay tuned.

[email protected] | @jaredmoya

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