Kim Dotcom, the file-sharing kingpin indicted on criminal copyright infringement allegations in the United States, is suffering a setback in his purported quest to build a follow-up site to Megaupload, which U.S. authorities shuttered in January.
Authorities in the African nation of Gabon have seized the domain, me.ga, that Dotcom registered and claimed last week would be used to launch a new, encrypted site for file-sharing, to replace the Megaupload site that U.S. authorities shuttered last January. The domain, .ga, is the country domain for Gabon.
Gabon Communication Minister Blaise Louembe announced that he had “instructed” the government to “immediately suspend” Dotcom’s new site, which was hosted by Gabon Telecom, a subsidiary of French telecom Vivendi.
Dotcom tweeted that he had “an alternate domain” and blamed the U.S. for Gabon’s action, saying that the seizure “demonstrates the bad faith witch hunt the US government is on.”
The criminal prosecution of Megaupload targets seven individuals connected to the file-sharing site, including founder Dotcom. They were indicted in January on a variety of charges, including criminal copyright infringement and conspiracy to commit money laundering. Their extradition to the United States is pending.
Megaupload allowed users to upload large files and share them with others. The authorities allege the service was used almost exclusively for sharing copyrighted material without permission.