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Kim Dotcom's Mega Again Announces Encrypted Browser-Based Chat Service 40

An anonymous reader writes Kim Dotcom, founder of file hosting service Mega, revealed his company will be launching a browser-based chat service "soon." Dotcom referred to the service with the hashtag #MegaChat, though he confirmed with VentureBeat that this may not be its final name. This is not the first time Dotcom has talked about the upcoming service, which gets mentioned every few months but has yet to hit public availability in any form. There is naturally a lot of hype surrounding it, given the increasing importance put on secure communications on the Internet.
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Kim Dotcom's Mega Again Announces Encrypted Browser-Based Chat Service

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  • I mean, who wouldn't want to do business with this guy?

  • by schwit1 ( 797399 ) on Monday December 29, 2014 @02:39PM (#48691005) []

    "Experts agree it is far more difficult for intelligence agencies to manipulate open source software programs than many of the closed systems developed by companies like Apple and Microsoft. Since anyone can view free and open source software, it becomes difficult to insert secret back doors without it being noticed."

    • by TheCarp ( 96830 )

      I think this is an important point. Not impossible, but difficult. Also difficult to ensure they stay there unnoticed for long periods of time. Anyone who has seen an obfuscated C contest should know its not impossible but, the level of skill required definitely goes up, the level of bullshit required to justify dodgy updates, etc.

      How useful is it if you spend hours developing a clever patch that should get accepted by a software maintainer, only to have him take one look at it, tell you its a good idea, an

      • by mlts ( 1038732 )

        OSS utilities also have the ability that in a pinch, someone can git clone the source tree, then throw some money at it, and do a complete audit of the entire shebang. With closed source code, the only assurance we have is from the vendor, and with the ways EULA/TOS agreements are written, the vendor is not required to lift a finger to fix anything.

    • Since it runs in the browser, what does it matter if it is open source? You'll have to check the code each time you visit the web page to ensure that the code which they say you are running is what you are actually running. The browser is a terrible place for trying to run secure code. Browser extensions can basically do whatever they want, and you'll have to check every browser extension you're using to verify that they aren't listening in on what you are doing. Why not just make a chat client that commun
      • The goal of this chat program is to have the perceived security, not actual security. Dotcom is a master of PR in the digital world, and he's used that manipulative skill-set to commit outright fraud in the past as well (this was way before Megaupload, look up his bio.)
        Given his history, it's not too far-out of a theory that he would collect user information passing through his chat service to sell to third parties: corporations, governments (trying to earn favors), possibly other shady groups with the righ
    • people seem to think a secret backdoor has to be some obvious piece of code like if(password="Joshua") then return access_granted; The truth is open source or closed source can be riddled with backdoors and you would never know it, even a good reviewer will just see them as a security coding error such as a convenient buffer overflow.

  • Kim Dotcom is of course exactly who I would trust with my secrets, he wouldn't let anything out that the producer of the content doesn't want released. Certainly all of his associates doing the actual work on the system are of the highest moral fiber.

    Okay, maybe not, but at least his chat servers won't be the target of any surveillance by anyone else, so I can feel secure that only mega can read and publicize my messages.

  • ''Never play cards with a man called Doc. Never eat at a place called Mom's. Never sleep with a woman whose troubles are worse than your own.''

    and never do business with Kim Dotcom.

  • Kim Dotcom knew what he was doing with megaupload. I wonder if this will be a way to have secure, semi-anonomous abilities to send a file point to point in the method of the IRC file-shares, but with an easier user interface.

    • by Tom ( 822 )

      You mean, just like almost every other chat out there?

      If it'd be P2P, fully anonymous onion-routed, torrent-based or even slightly innovative, I might have a yawn for it. As the announcement stands, a sack of rice falling overy in China has a higher news value. Or maybe the /. editors forgot that it's 2014, not 1994.

  • There are already encrypted chats available. I've not used it in years, but AIM supported/supports S/MIME key encryption for end to end protection, similar with MSN.

    If one wants an independent solution, Symantec's PGP Desktop (now called Endpoint Encryption) also has the ability to encrypt/decrypt on the fly.

    Another encrypted chat option is fine, but there are a lot of solutions out there that do the job just fine. One doesn't really have to search far... Apple has iMessage built in, for example. ChatSec

  • by ShaunC ( 203807 ) on Monday December 29, 2014 @04:18PM (#48691633)

    Is there any reason to believe that Pidgin with OTR is not reasonably secure? Competition is always a good thing, so the more services the merrier, but I'm curious what others think about existing offerings.

  • How can it be secure if it runs in a VM and OS provided by an unknown agency?

  • by gavron ( 1300111 ) on Monday December 29, 2014 @04:36PM (#48691745) [] is open source encrypted chat that works on any chrome browser.

    It's nice of Kim Dotcom to one day have an alternative... but smoke and vaporware can't compete with an existing working solution.


  • by caspy7 ( 117545 ) on Monday December 29, 2014 @04:37PM (#48691755)

    Why not Mozilla's Hello service?

    It's browser-based, encrypted, open source and P2P.
    You do currently have to use Firefox to generate the initial URL to share (but that will hopefully be remedied in the near future).

  • by Tom ( 822 )

    How much is Dice getting paid for its constant ass-kissing every time Kimble farts? Am I the only person here that sees the fucker is addicted to publicity?

  • How is this different/superior than for web-based ease? Of course, Pidgin/Adium with OTR is already available and likely superior, and can run on top of almost any existing IM infrastructure.
  • I love reading about all these different encrypted chat systems, but I can't find one that suits me. Can anyone recommend something that you can use on your phone and computer ala Google+ chat?

Many people are unenthusiastic about your work.