by Swapnil Bhartiya

Can we trust Kim Dotcom’s cloud anymore?

Aug 04, 2015
Cloud Computing Open Source

Kim Dotcom is planning his third cloud service, can we continue to trust his endeavours?

‘Cloud’ is a buzzword that very few understand. When you talk about cloud storage, it’s just someone else’s computer where you are saving your files. Simple. So when you choose a cloud storage service, you are pretty much trusting the owner of that ‘computer’ to keep your files safe and secure. It’s the responsibility of that owner to ensure that the data of his users is secure. Should people trust such an owner who has failed them not once but twice?

I am talking about Kim Dotcom.

The creator of Megaupload and Mega is all set to launch his third cloud storage service. During an AMA on Reddit he claimed that Mega, the company, was taken over by a Chinese investor in a hostile takeover and that the New Zealand government subsequently seized that investor’s shares, taking full control of the company.

That’s bad news for users. In Kim Dotcom’s words it means Mega can’t be trusted anymore: “As a result of this and a number of other confidential issues I don’t trust Mega anymore. I don’t think your data is safe on Mega anymore.”

What does it mean that users’ data isn’t safe on Mega? Does it mean that the Chinese government, the NZ government and the US government now have access to users accounts and their data? People trusted Kim Dotcom after the Megaupload fallout. Did he ensure that despite the hostile takeover none of the user data or files would be compromised and fall into the wrong hands? Did he warn users in advance to close their accounts and remove files? What did he do to protect users?

One would have given Dotcom the benefit of the doubt after the extremely aggressive action by the US government to seize Megaupload. That seizure handed over user data to the US government and organizations like EFF tried to protect innocent users.

After failing his users twice now, Dotcom is making the same promises again while badmouthing his former company Mega. He said, “I will create a Mega competitor that is completely open source and non-profit, similar to the Wikipedia model. I want to give everyone free, unlimited and encrypted cloud storage with the help of donations from the community to keep things going.”

The question is not whether his third cloud will be open source or for-profit. The question is what has he done or will do to protect his users. Looking at his previous ventures, will you trust him again?

Recall the cases of Lavabit and Silent Circle who chose to shut down operations instead of complying with the US government? They closed their services before the Feds would have seized any piece of data. Has Dotcom done enough to protect users? Ask yourself before you sign up for the third Mega service.

If you really want safe and secure cloud, you should try ownCloud and Seafile.