Mega is the new venture from internet entrepreneur and outlaw famous for his previous website megaupload.com. During January of 2012 Kit Dotcom was hunted down by various authorities and was caught in his New Zealand mansion for breaching numerous internet piracy laws. Megaupload and its subsidiary Megavideo were targeted by US agencies during the SOPA bill due to the site hosting a large number of files for free breaching copyright laws of various organisations. One year after Megaupload was closed down his new project has come into the internet spotlight.
Mega is the spiritual successor to Megaupload but operates in a different way to the infamous file sharing website. Mega is designed as a cloud storage facility for individuals and businesses who value their online privacy. As we know, Google are notorious for their complete disregard for personal privacy as a means to target advertising to each individual user. Mega would offer you a place to store any personal data with little risk of it being delved through. Although this seems like a great resource for private cloud storage but there is a somewhat darker side to Mega.
Recently Mega announced via Twitter than for their premium service they now accept Bitcoin as a method of payment. Bitcoin is an online currency which has no link to any country’s economy; it is almost like the dollar of the internet. Whilst a fantastic idea to give the internet its own currency it isn’t widely used by most users. Bitcoin is commonly used by the underworld of the internet for purchasing illegal products in the darkest depths of the internet. They can’t be traced meaning that any connection between buyer and seller is over the minute the transaction is made.
If Mega is trying to be a legitimate online business in a similar vein to Napster after they were shutdown for file sharing why are they deciding to accept such a shady, underground currency? It’s a great idea and works well in practice but is this online business more than meets the eye?