What was Kim Dotcom’s response to the United States government disrupting this budding Megaupload enterprise? Give the feds the middle finger and open a new and improved service, Mega.
As part of his plan to circumvent anti-piracy enforcement by the American government, Kim Dotcom decided to use http://me.ga as the URL for Mega. Because all website domains ending in .ga are registered with the country of Gabon, a Western African nation, the idea was the Americans could not bring down Mega since it is out of their reach. Dotcom didn’t realize that Gabon itself may bring down the site.
According to a French news agency, Gabon Communication Minister Blaise Louembe “instructed [his] departments… to immediately suspend the site www.me.ga”. In other words, Kim Dotcom lost control of http://me.ga before the website was even launched.
For his part, Dotcom is blaming the reach of the United States for the loss of http://me.ga. You see Dotcom registered the domain with Gabon Telecom, a subsidiary of US-based Vivendi Entertainment. In Dotcom’s eyes, the American government directly or indirectly forced Gabon to bring down the domain, tweeting:
The reach of the US & Vivendi: Gabon Minister announced Me.ga domain will be suspended. Calls cloud storage site cyber crime.
Gabon Minister used time machine to analyze legality of the future Mega. Verdict: Cyber crime! Gets 5$ award from the FBI.
Gabon, however, states that it doesn’t want a .ga domain to be used as a “platform or screen for committing acts aimed at violating copyrights”, seemingly indicating Gabon made the move on its own behalf.
Which side of the story is true (or more true, rather) we likely won’t ever know. We do know, however, that Dotcom is not letting the loss of http://me.ga deter him from launching the new service. Rather, Dotcom is now going to register the domain in New Zealand — the country he lives in — at http://mega.co.nz:
New Zealand will be the home of our new website: http://Mega.co.nz – Powered by legality and protected by the law.
Despite the domain name setback, Mega is still set to launch on January 19, 2013. How long it will be before it is brought down again (if ever), only time will tell. I can say, however, the American government likely won’t be happy to see it up and running.