The infamous brains behind MegaUpload, Kim Dotcom, has just launched the beta version of his latest product: a browser-based encrypted video calling and file-sharing service he hopes will take on the Microsoft-owned Skype.
Called MegaChat, the service uses what is called User Controlled Encryption (UCE), meaning that you get a decryption key provided, and are then free to send it to people so that they you can trade files with them. Like the Web-based MegaUpload, no software installation is required, although there are Chrome and Firefox extensions which aid with improved performance and security.
We are releasing #MegaChat beta step by step. Starting with video calling today. Text chat & video conferencing will follow soon.
— Kim Dotcom (@KimDotcom) January 22, 2015
While Skype is definitely a popular service, it also took a beating from the post-Edward Snowden revelations, with previously classified documents showing that Microsoft had collaborated closely with U.S. intelligence to circumvent the company’s own encryption — thereby allowing users’ communications to be intercepted.
Kim Dotcom may not always be presented as the most trustworthy figure (although none other than Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak thinks he’s been unfairly portrayed), but it certainly seems that he’s doing his best to show how secure MegaChat is: offering a reward to anyone able to discover a security bug.