“We are very close to George Orwell’s vision…”

Jailed internet entrepreneur Kim Dotcom has given an exclusive interview with The Guardian in which he outlines his views on encryption and our right to privacy, US internet surveillance, copyright, and the signal failure of Hollywood to grasp the business potential of the internet.

The frog-like Dotcom, formerly Schmitz, was arrested in New Zealand on the US government’s say-so for copryright infringement when his MegaUpload site, which allowed effective transfer of large files, grew to the point where it accounted for 4% of ALL internet traffic.

The US, at the behest of their funders at the Motion Picture Association of America, contended that Kim knowingly profited from copyright infringement and strong-armed the New Zealand government into arresting him.

Kim spent a month in jail, but the case against him now appears wobbly. His new venture, Mega, will allow encryption of all transferred files and content by internet users and prevent surveillance of that content by the all-powerful US, surveillance which he says is endemic.

Dotcom says his case is symptomatic of a worldwide US campaign against privacy and information-freedom advocates like Julian Assange of Wikileaks and recently deceased Reddit founder Aaron Swartz.

The goal, according to Dotcom is to turn the internet into a regulated and monitored network and to protect the profits of powerful Hollywood content producers desperate to wring further earnings out of an archaic business model.

Meanwhile, if they could get their heads around “the internet opportunity” their potential business opportunities would be exponentially greater. And they could realise them without compromising the freedoms of everyone on the planet…


Writer for television, print and digital, corporate and editorial. Editor and writer of books. Musical performance, spoken word as Inspector Ras. Guitar/vocals for The Near Misses, (Worst Band In JoburgTM). The last whitey at umsebenzi. Latest book 415 Action-Packed Neighbourhood Marketing Tips with Basil O'Hagan, out now. @hagenengler

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