While Kim Dotcom is often seen as a folk hero of the internet, he drew a lot of criticism recently for his deletion of 3D printed gun plans from his Mega file locker website and this concerned people: partly because Dotcom has previously been all about freedom of information and partly because they wondered, how exactly he did it.
Mega is a file locker website that's mission statement is the customer's privacy. It encrypts files uploaded to the site and only gives the ability to decrypt those files to the account holder and anyone that person shares a particular link with. The idea behind this is that nobody, not the police, not the government, not even Mega itself can look at your files. This protects you, but also removes responsibility from Mega over what you do with the service.
However, if Mega staff can't look at a customer's files, how exactly did they delete gun plans?
This is what worried a few people, including myself, as it sounded like Mega had some sort of method of tracking down certain file types; perhaps through some sort of automated system.
In fact though, it turned out to be far more mundane and far less scary: some people had posted links to the files on the gun maker's website. That was it. Dotcom‘s team then found those files and deleted them. Very simple.
Of course this still leaves us with the dilemna over Dotcom deleting something he doesn't agree with from the site, which seems a bit hypocritical considering his usual freedom of information stance – and the fact that there's a picture floating around with him posing with a shotgun. Oh here it is:
Dotcom might look back on this picture with regret, but it would be good to hear a clarification
But that's a much less dangerous concern than Mega having secret access to Mega files. Which for the record, it does not. Dotcom‘s quote on the matter reads:
“We don’t have access to decrypted files. We can’t search files. All is encrypted. 3D gun links taken down were posted on gun maker site.”
KitGuru Says: Very pleased to hear that Dotcom‘s staff don't have access to Mega. It would have completely undermined the purpose of the site. Still, I'd love to hear why he made a stink over the 3D printed guns. They're only as dangerous (and law breaking) as the people that print them.