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In response to the scandal surrounding the NSA's global surveillance program, Mega and its famous founder Kim Dotcom are developing a new, entirely secure instant message and video chat service. Due to launch in early 2015, MegaChat will be accessible from a web browser.
On December 28, the controversial web entrepreneur Kim Dotcom filled in his Twitter followers on the details: "Mega will soon release a fully encrypted and browser based video call & chat service including high-speed file transfers. Bye bye Skype."
Codenamed MegaChat, the project is actually nothing new: Mega had announced its plans to launch a secure, encrypted chat service back in fall 2013. The idea behind the initiative is to offer an entirely encrypted messaging service that also allows logged-in users to share files and folders securely.
MegaChat will be the latest in a growing list of services responding to privacy fears after the NSA scandal, which aroused suspicion of more institutionalized, less secure communications platforms, many of which are accused of collaborating with government surveillance programs. These new services are positioned as alternatives for anyone interested in protecting their anonymity and privacy online, at least in principle.
Last spring, John McAfee launched Chadder, a mobile app claiming to offer confidential chat communications by fully encrypting each private message. Several encrypted email services have also recently been launched (A/I (Autistici/Inventati), Lavaboom), most of which target web specialists and political activists.
With MegaChat, Kim Dotcom hopes to challenge the hegemony of Skype (Microsoft) and Hangouts (Google).