The Gabonese government is closing down the Megaupload filesharing site Me.ga, following charges of piracy against German Internet Tycoon Kim Dotcom.
“Gabon cannot serve as a platform or screen for committing acts aimed at violating copyrights, nor be used by unscrupulous people,” communication minister Blaise Louembe said, while demanding immediate suspension of the site to “protect intellectual property rights” and “fight cyber crime effectively.”
Kim Dotcom announced upgraded re-launch plans for his file-sharing domain early this year. At the time when the plans were made public, it was a year since his arrest in New Zealand for piracy.
The United States accused Dotcom of making business out of illegal copied films and TV shows, among other media with a profit of over US$ 175 million. He also faces charges such as laundering, racketeering, fraud and online copyright theft which could result in 20 years of jail sentence. Dotcom, currently free on bail in New Zealand, has denied all accusations. The hearing is scheduled for March.
Gabon has awarded the address with .ga domain to a French man who has given Dotcom the publishing rights. Investigation outcomes show the Gabonese website has been programmed to redirect visitors to a French site providing access to shared files, reported News24 on Tuesday.
At 21:00 GMT Tuesday, the website was still online, showing the following sentence: “On January 19, this button will change the world.”
However, the Web address is currently redirected to a Twitter account named ‘onymous’ with an omega sign as profile picture. The page displays photos of Dotcom and shows recent French tweets appealing at the president to make contact with him. It also exhibits promises to stand up against Gabon’s decision of suspension. “We will regain control of me.ga for it is, was and should be ours. Ours to deplete into (the) ome.ga,” was posted at 9:34PM yesterday.
The personal twitter account of Dotcom, originally surnamed Schmitz by birth, displays a tweet posted yesterday afternoon: “We have reserved our New Zealand company name: Mega Limited”. He also accuses the US government of “hunting [them] down like terrorists”.