This time Kim Dotcom has gone to great lengths to build a respectable business.
Dotcom and his lawyers have hit on a formula that looks squeaky clean. If anything naughty is stored on his Mega servers employees can legitimately hold up their hands and say “it wasn’t me”.
Hiring high profile InternetNZ boss Vikram Kumar to head the new operation was a public relations masterstroke, at least in New Zealand.
Months of writing about cloud computing from a business perspective have taught me cloud provider must be trustworthy. The same logic applies for personal data as for business data. As Dotcom’s Megaupload customers discovered, if a cloud operation is suddenly stopped, data cannot be retrieved.
On the surface the 50GB of free file storage looks like too good a deal to pass. But can we trust Dotcom and his new Mega organisation with our data?
In this case, that question is almost irrelevant. Dotcom’s business may or may not be trustworthy. It may even be financially stable*. Mega may respect the law. The problem is governments in Washington, Wellington and elsewhere don’t.
Last year’s raid was, at best, legally questionable. The indictments are also questionable. That didn’t stop governments closing Dotcom’s earlier cloud service and confiscating his assets.
Your data security is more dependent on the whim of the US government than it is on the integrity of Kim Dotcom and Mega.
For now at least, The US government appears happy for you to store the same files on Amazon, Apple, Microsoft, Dropbox or any of dozens of other cloud services.
In this case the question of trust isn’t about Mega but the US government.
* Mega may be financially sound, but if I was doing real due diligence, that’s where I’d look first when assessing the risks.