Kim Dotcom announces ‘Skype killer’

Johannesburg – Kim Dotcom, the founder of controversial file-hosting website ‘Mega’, says he has built an internet video and voice chat service to rival Microsoft’s Skype.

Dubbed ‘MegaChat’, the service is planned to be ‘safer’ to use than Skype, according to Dotcom.

Microsoft was reportedly among participants in ‘Project Prism’, which formed part of the US National Security Agency (NSA) mass surveillance programme. Project Prism was exposed by former Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) employee and ex-NSA contractor Edward Snowden.

In a 2013 statement regarding the NSA surveillance allegations, Microsoft said: “When we upgrade or update products we aren’t absolved from the need to comply with existing or future lawful demands.”

Shrouded in controversy

Dotcom – who is originally from Germany but now resides in New Zealand – cuts a controversial figure as he is fighting extradition to the US on charges of copyright infringement relating to his former ‘Megaupload’ file sharing and money laundering.

Dotcom claims his legal battles have almost made him bankrupt: a far cry from his days as a high-flying internet multimillionaire in the 1990s and early 2000s.

When Dotcom launched his Mega file-sharing service in early 2013, he also claimed that the service would offer better security.

However, security researcher Steve “Sc00bzt” Thomas developed a tool to steal passwords from encrypted Mega confirmation links. Other experts also lashed out at Dotcom’s security claims regarding Mega.

source : Gareth van Zyl, Fin24