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Kim Dotcom launching Skype-killing messaging service MegaChat

Kim Dotcom has revealed that he plans to launch his own chat service, providing more secure communication than that offered by Microsoft’s Skype software.

The service will be launched as part of his cloud storage and file hosting platform Mega.

Read more: Skype, WhatsApp and more found to be worryingly insecure

Kim Dotcom originally made his name as the founder of Megaupload, a file-sharing site that generated vast advertising revenues and was once the 13th most visited site on the Internet. Back in 2012 however, the site was shut down for breaching US copyright laws.b

Mega’s chat component, which has been dubbed MegaChat, will reportedly be out of reach of the US government, with security being one of the service’s top priorities.

“Mega will soon release a fully encrypted and browser based video call & chat service including high-speed file transfers,” Dotcom announced via Twitter.

MegaChat will look to compete directly with Skype, which currently has an estimated 300 million users. However, high-profile reports of surveillance and government spying programmes, such as PRISM, may lead users to adopt Kim Dotcom’s new platform. The service will operate directly within a web browser and, according to Dotcom, offer more secure messaging than its competitors.

“No US based online service provider can be trusted with your data,” he claimed. “Skype has no choice. They must provide the US Government with backdoors.”

MegaChat will be available over the next few weeks through a private beta offered to Mega users, with a public beta expected to launch in the first quarter of 2015.

Read more: Kim Dotcom saves Christmas after PlayStation and Xbox attack

Kim Dotcom also made the news earlier this month by offering hackers targeting Xbox Live and Playstation Network a lifetime membership to his Mega service if they stopped the attack, as he wanted to “play Destiny on Xbox Live.”

Barclay has been writing about technology for a decade, starting out as a freelancer with IT Pro Portal covering everything from London’s start-up scene to comparisons of the best cloud storage services.  After that, he spent some time as the managing editor of an online outlet focusing on cloud computing, furthering his interest in virtualization, Big Data, and the Internet of Things.