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After the seized Megaupload and Megavideo domains ran malicious ads last month, there is more Mega domain strangeness to report. Various domain names which previously belonged to Kim Dotcom and his companies have expired and are now listed for sale, or were sold already. When Kim Dotcomâ€™s mansion was raided early 2012, the U.S. Government targeted various domain names that were linked to the â€œMega conspiracy.â€ While Megaupload and Megavideo were the most prominent targets, the indictment also listed megapix.com, megacar.com, megabackup.com and various other â€œMegaâ€ domains. All the above sites were pulled offline as a result of the raids, and Megaupload.com and Megavideo.com displayed a banner informing visitors that the sites were under investigation. As reported previously, the banners vanished after the U.S. Department of Justice made a mistake, which also caused the seized Megaupload and Megavideo domains to run malicious ads. After uncovering these problems with the Megaupload and Megavideo domains, we noticed something else strange. The domain name Megabackup.com was no longer listed as seized. In fact, the domain is now in use by another company that offers backup solutions, similar to what Megaupload planned. Baffled by this finding, we contacted the company behind the new backup service. They informed us that they are in no way affiliated with Kim Dotcom, Megaupload or its former employees. â€œWe are an independent software startup with no affiliation to MegaUpload whatsoever,â€ a company spokesperson said. Instead, the new Megabackup simply bought the domain name through a broker after it had expired. â€œWe have acquired this domain name through a reseller platform called â€˜Sedoâ€™ about a year ago, simply because this name looked interesting and suitable for the backup software we make.â€ Megabackup is not the only domain that expired. The same happened to megacar.com, megagogo.com and megapix.com. The latter is currently on sale for a cool $35,000. HugeDomains, the company currently selling Megagogo.com, informed us that they scooped up the domain after it had expired. â€œWhen the domain was not renewed by the owner after expiration, HugeDomains acquired the domain when it became publicly available on January 22, 2015,â€ the company informed us. So has the U.S. Department of Justice made another mistake by letting these domains slip out of their hands? Well, not so fast. While the domain names are all linked to Megaupload and mentioned in the indictment, those on sale were not officially seized unlike many others. This means that anyone could have picked them up, which has also happened to Kim Dotcomâ€™s kimpire.com domain. Commenting on the situation Dotcom informs us that the domains were not supposed to expire. â€œThis should not have happened,â€ he says, adding that someone else in his team handled the registrations. https://torrentfreak.com/kim-dotcoms-seized-mega-domains-are-now-for-sale-150613/
Kim Dotcom's dream of a people-powered, censorship-resistant Internet will rely on the goodwill of supporters to get off the ground. In an announcement this morning, the entrepreneur confirmed that his MegaNet project will seek equity via a crowd-funding campaign set to launch on the January 2016 anniversary of the raid on Megaupload. For many years Kim Dotcom was associated with a crazy lifestyle but these days he prefers to be seen more as a family man. Regularly posting pictures of his children on Twitter and playing down his wild past, Dotcom seems unlikely to entertain a recent request from Pirate Bay founder Peter Sunde to join him on the Gumball Rally. But while yachts and fast cars might be a thing of the past, Dotcom has certainly not lost the fire in his belly when it comes to his current predicament. As he fights off a ravenous U.S. government determined to bring him to justice by any means possible, spying included, the Megaupload founder has positioned himself as a champion of Internet privacy. On January 19, 2013, Dotcom marked the anniversary of the raid on his empire by launching the privacy-focused cloud-storage service Mega.co.nz. Next year on the same date, the tenacious German says he will deliver again. Thus far, details are thin on the ground, but what we do know is that Dotcom is planning a new anti-censorship network he calls MegaNet. â€œHow would you like a new Internet that canâ€™t be controlled, censored or destroyed by Governments or Corporations?â€ Dotcom teased in February. MegaNetâ€™s precise mechanism is yet to be revealed, but Dotcom has already stated that the network will be non-IP address based and that blockchain technology will play an important role. What we also know is that usersâ€™ mobile phones will play a crucial role, although at launch other devices will participate in the network. â€œAll your mobile phones become an encrypted network,â€ Dotcom notes. â€œYouâ€™d be surprised how much idle storage & bandwidth capacity mobile phones have. MegaNet will turn that idle capacity into a new network.â€ At this stage it appears that Dotcom envisions a totally decentralized system, an essential quality if he is to deliver on his claims of absolute privacy. With the earlier promise that participants in MegaNet â€œbecome the MegaNetâ€, Dotcomâ€™s announcement this morning that the project will seek monetary contributions from the masses seems entirely fitting. â€œMegaNet details will be revealed and equity will be available via crowd funding on 20 Jan 2016, the fourth anniversary of the raid [on Dotcom and Megupload],â€ Dotcom confirmed. And for now, that is all. Dotcom has become somewhat of an expert at dripping small details to the masses as and when he sees fit while allowing the media to fill in the blanks. Itâ€™s a somewhat effective strategy which provides millions in free advertising for close to zero marketing outlay. The big question now is how much equity MegaNet will need to get off the ground and how many of Dotcomâ€™s supporters will believe that privacy is a commodity worth supporting with their wallets. People were happy to support Peter Sundeâ€™s Heml.is on the same premise, but as recently revealed the amount of cash required to compete can be considerable. However, Dotcom probably wonâ€™t attempt this entirely on his own. Given his history thereâ€™s a significant chance that the entrepreneur will pull in heavyweights such as Julian Assange and Glenn Greenwald to support the campaign. That will definitely help to boost the coffers. Update: Kim Dotcom has sent TorrentFreak additional details on how MegaNet will operate. â€œMegaNet has a unique file crystallization and recreation protocol utilizing the blockchain. You can load entire websites with this new technology and it makes them immune to almost all hacker attacks and ddos,â€ Dotcom informs TF. â€œIn the beginning MegaNet will still utilize the current Internet as a dumb pipe but in 10 years it will run exclusively on smartphones with hopefully over 500 million users carrying the network. â€œA network by the people for the people. Not controlled by any government or corporations. MegaNet will be a powerful tool to guard our privacy and freedoms and it will also be my legacy,â€ Dotcom concludes. On the finance front, MegaNet will partner with Bnktothefuture.com and Max Keiser to raise capital. https://torrentfreak.com/kim-dotcoms-meganet-preps-jan-2016-crowdfunding-campaign-150610/
After several false takedown notices from the major record labels Mega has now terminated the cloud hosting account of its founder Kim Dotcom. The incident shows that Mega takes copyright infringement seriously, but that it's also vulnerable to abuse. New Zealand-based entrepeneur Kim Dotcom has dealt with numerous copyright infringement allegations in recent years. The United States launched a criminal case against Dotcom and wants him extradited, while the major movie and music companies filed their own suits against Megauploadâ€™s former boss. This week he can add another allegation to this growing list, a rather unusual one too as it comes from cloud hosting service Mega, a company he founded. Dotcom has been using Mega to share his first music album â€œGood Timesâ€ with everyone who wants to give it a spin. While he holds all the rights, several prominent music labels kept informing Mega that the album was â€œinfringing.â€ A few weeks ago we learned that the takedown requests were all inaccurate, and triggered by a prankster. However, that apparently didnâ€™t stop them from coming in and as a result Dotcom has now had his Mega account terminated for repeatedly violating the terms of service. Those who try to grab a copy of the album via the official download link on Kim.com see the following message: â€œThe file you are trying to download is no longer available. The associated user account has been terminated due to multiple violations of our Terms of Service.â€ The account termination probably wonâ€™t last as it was triggered by false takedowns. However, it shows how easy it is to abuse the takedown process to shut down peopleâ€™s accounts, at least temporarily. Previously Mega told TF that they take every takedown notice seriously, but that they also plan to set up a system where repeated false takedowns can be flagged to prevent this type of abuse in the future. â€œWe are improving our systems to monitor the takedown process and will eventually be able to identify repeated incorrect notices,â€ a Mega spokesperson said. For now, we hope that Dotcom has his files backed up in a safe place. Update: Kim Dotcom told us that the following takedown notices were received for his album.The account has now been reinstated. Aug 18 â€“ IFPI â€“ allegedly â€œThe Golden Echoâ€ by â€œKimbraâ€ Sep 1 â€“ IFPI â€“ unspecified, could be any of â€œDAVID BISBAL, ARIANA GRANDE, EMINEM, ALEJANDRO SANZ, VA, U2, CESAR MENOTTI E FABIANO, CARTEL DE SANTA, CRAIG DAVID, GREEN DAY, DUNCAN DHU, PLAYA LIMBO, RICARDO ARJONAâ€ Sep 15 â€“ Begian Anti-piracy Federation â€“ allegedly â€œXâ€ by â€œEd Sheeranâ€ Oct 11 â€“ MarkMonitor on behalf of the Entertainment Software Association â€“ allegedly â€œALIENSâ€ Oct 12 â€“ NBC Universal â€“ allegedly â€œAnarchyâ€ by â€œThe Purgeâ€ Oct 22 â€“ MarkMonitor on behalf of HBO â€“ allegedly â€œBoardwalk Empireâ€ Oct 23 â€“ MarkMonitor on behalf of CBS â€“ unspecified, could be any of â€œNCIS: NEW ORLEANS, NCIS, STAR TREK: DEEP SPACE NINE, EXTANT (2014), PENNY DREADFUL, HAWAII FIVE-0 (2010)â€ http://torrentfreak.com/mega-terminates-kim-dotcoms-account-for-repeat-infringements-141115/
The New Zealand Court of Appeal has ruled that local police must return clones of the devices that were seized from Kim Dotcom during the 2012 raid. The Court argues that Dotcom and his colleagues should be able to have access to the information in preparation for the extradition hearings. January 2012, New Zealand Police carried out the largest ever action against individuals accused of copyright infringement. The raid on Dotcomâ€™s Coatesville mansion was requested by United States authorities who are now trying to extradite the Megaupload founder and several of his colleagues. Despite protests from Dotcom about the legitimacy of the search warrants, the raid was found to be legal earlier this year. However, that doesnâ€™t mean that all seized property can be kept from the New Zealand-based entrepreneur. Today the New Zealand Court of Appeal ruled that clones of the seized electronic devices should be returned to Dotcom and his co-defendants â€œas soon as reasonably practicable.â€ Last month the prosecution explained that the data hadnâ€™t yet been handed over because some of it was encrypted, making it impossible for police to verify and investigate its contents. In its ruling today, the Court of Appeal respects this hesitation but noted that all non-encrypted data should be returned. The rest can follow after the defendants give up their encryption passwords to two nominated police officers. Previously the Court of Appeal ruled that police crossed a line when they shared cloned data with the United States. In a reference, todayâ€™s order prohibits the two police officers from revealing the encryption passwords with others. â€œ[...] in particular to any representative of the government of the United States of America,â€ the verdict reads. http://torrentfreak.com/police-ordered-to-return-clones-of-dotcoms-seized-data-140908/
Kim Dotcom is pulling out all the stops in his fight against the U.S. government and his adversaries in Hollywood. On the table now sits a $5 million bounty for anyone prepared to reveal behind-the-scenes wrongdoing and corruption. Dotcom told TorrentFreak how it will work. dotcom-laptopWhichever way you look at it, Kim Dotcom has a series of huge battles in front of him. Up soon is his fight to avoid extradition to the United States where he is wanted in the biggest copyright infringement case ever. Running in parallel to that criminal case are a pair of civil actions brought by the MPAA and RIAA, with both entities currently attempting to put a lock on his currently frozen assets, should the entrepreneur get his hands on them again. As those battles continue in the background, Dotcom is preparing his next steps, and heâ€™s calling on supporters to help him. On the table today sits a cool $5 million bounty payable to anyone who provides substantial information that will allow the Megaupload founder to win his case. Itâ€™s a large amount by any standards but of course Dotcom rarely does anything in half measures. So what exactly is Dotcom looking for and how will the project play out? â€œLet me be clear, we are asking for information that proves unlawful or corrupt conduct by the US government, the New Zealand government, spy agencies, law enforcement and Hollywood,â€ Dotcom told TorrentFreak. â€œIt is the opinion of my legal team that disclosure of such information would be lawful. I would also guarantee that any whistleblower coming forward would have the best legal representation at zero cost.â€ Dotcom goes on to reiterate a long-standing claim, that the action against him and Megaupload was a â€œcorrupt contract prosecutionâ€ carried out by the White House in order to get Hollywoodâ€™s support for Obamaâ€™s re-election campaign. Heâ€™s interested in evidence that supports that assertion. â€œFormer Senator and now MPAA chairman Chris Dodd and Vice President Joe Biden in particular have abused their political power to make the pre-trial destruction of Megaupload possible,â€ he explains. â€œJoe Bidenâ€™s personal counsel (while Biden was still a Senator) Neil MacBride was promoted to a top position at the DOJ and oversaw the Megaupload destruction. We have already exposed a whole range of unlawful government conduct in the Megaupload case, backed by court rulings.â€ So presuming people have information, what should they do with it? Dotcom suggests going to a well-known newspaper with a proven track-record in handling leaks. â€œI have been in touch with the Guardian editor and he has kindly retweeted my offer and told me that he hopes that someone will reply to that offer,â€ Dotcom says. Dotcom notes that potential leakers can utilize the new whistleblower tool released by The Guardian this week. But for those who really need to cover their backs, more drastic additional steps could be taken. â€œIn order to be completely safe I would advise any Whistleblower not to use this tool from home or work. Go to an Internet cafe with a memory stick. Donâ€™t use your own computer or phone. You can also buy a cheap laptop or netbook just for the purpose of leaking and destroy it after youâ€™re done.â€ The big attraction of course is the $5 million Dotcom has put on the table. What assurances can Dotcom provide concerning the cash? â€œIâ€™m currently in talks with my legal team about how to formalize the bounty. We will probably setup a trust account to deposit the bounty and provide terms and conditions for anyone who will provide information. I will not just offer a bounty for the piece of â€˜case winningâ€™ information but for anything useful,â€ he explains. â€œWe know that there are people out there with information. Iâ€™m willing to pay for that information. Iâ€™m determined to fight a grave injustice that has been done to a legitimate cloud storage business, its 220 employees and over 100 million users. This struggle has just begun and it will take time. But in the end we shall be victorious and we shall expose those who have abused their power,â€ he concludes. Thereâ€™s little doubt that $5 million is potentially a life-changing sum for the right person.. Will someone step forward into that new life? Time will tell. http://torrentfreak.com/how-kim-dotcoms-5m-whistleblower-bounty-will-work-140607/