Kim Dotcom announces ‘Skype-killing’ VoIP service
Megaupload founder pledges ‘end of NSA mass surveillance’
Kim Dotcom, controversial founder of file-sharing site Megaupload, claims to have developed an alternative to Microsoft-owned Skype that will mean "the end of NSA [US National Security Agency] mass surveillance", the Register reported.
MegaChat, as Dotcom calls the service, will deliver an encrypted video- and voice-chat service that will be designed to do battle with VoIP heavyweight Skype, which is reportedly one of the earliest participants in Project Prism, the surveillance programme disclosed by ex-NSA contract employee, Edward Snowden, as part of his 2013 leaks of classified documents.
Dotcom currently resides in New Zealand, where he is fighting extradition to the US on a series of charges, including money laundering, and copyright infringement. His legal battles have, according to Dotcom himself, brought him to the brink of bankruptcy.
While living in New Zealand he has announced development of music services Megabox and Baboom, and pledged to deliver dedicated fibre Internet services to his adopted homeland. To date, none of these services have gone live.
With the browser-based MegaChat, Dotcom appears to be reaching for consumers who are worried about privacy.
"No US based online service provider can be trusted with your data," he tweeted yesterday. "Skype has no choice. They must provide the US Government with backdoors."
But Dotcom has an uneven reputation when it comes to encryption security, claiming his Mega file-sharing service, launched in early 2013, was impenetrable, only to have passwords stolen from it within days.