Kim Dotcom Launches Fully-Encrypted "Skype-Killer" Voice Chat

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Kim Dotcom Launches Fully-Encrypted "Skype-Killer" Voice Chat

kim dotcom

Dotcom says his "MegaChat" VOIP program uses end-to-end encryption protocols to keep your chats secure.

Ever since Edward Snowden blew the top over just how much the US government was sticking it's fingers into data we previously thought of as secure and private, digital rights activists like Kim Dotcom have been scrambling to create alternatives that are actually secure and private. Now, he's just announced a new VOIP program - MegaChat - that utilizes end-to-end encryption to keep your chats secure.

Dotcom has described the "program", which requires only a web browser and no additional downloads, as a "Skype-killer". Dotcom claimed that "no US-based online service provider can be trusted with your data" and that "Skype has no choice. They must provide the US Government with backdoors". His new MegaChat, just like his Mega file sharing service, will be based in New Zealand.

"We are releasing MegaChat beta step by step. Starting with video calling today," said Dotcom, adding that more features, such as text chat and video conferencing, would follow shortly.

While MegaChat doesn't require any downloads to function, plugins for Google's Chrome and Firefox are available for "faster loading and added resilience against attacks."

Additionally, in order to help quell security concerns, Dotcom is once again offering a cash bounty for anyone who is able to find and report any security flaws in the new software.

Source: The Guardian

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Steven Bogos:

Dotcom has described the "program", which requires only a web browser and no additional downloads, as a "Skype-killer". Dotcom claimed that "no US-based online service provider can be trusted with your data" and that "Skype has no choice. They must provide the US Government with backdoors". His new MegaChat, just like his Mega file sharing service, will be based in New Zealand.

"Skype-killer"? Oh no, not this again... He's got high hopes, I'll give him that, but at most it will be a specific minority that uses this. Even then the people doing illicit or very personal things over Skype tend to treat security as an afterthought, or not even a thought for some...

I'll NEVER understand that need some people have to remain fully anonymous at all cost. It's not like someone in a position of authority is likely to tap communications "for the LOL". There are such things as procedures and accountability, you know. So unless you have something to hide, Skype is fine.

Beside, it got Dotcom's name on it. Not touching. :(

samahain:
I'll NEVER understand that need some people have to remain fully anonymous at all cost. It's not like someone in a position of authority is likely to tap communications "for the LOL". There are such things as procedures and accountability, you know. So unless you have something to hide, Skype is fine.

Beside, it got Dotcom's name on it. Not touching. :(

Let me go through your house and read every letter and see what you keep in your house, and tell me every single secret you have or anything you do not like to share with people, and i would like to know the names of every friend you have, you have nothing to hide after all, i mean if you are against having every detail in your life an open book then you must be a terrorist or something to hide.

Look I get that he says that its secure, but we all know its not. I'll cite this article as exhibit A)

http://mashable.com/2013/08/09/silent-circle-lavabit-shut-down-to-avoid-nsa-snooping/

Basically they were run out of business when they refused to give up user data to the NSA.

And this is exhibit B)
http://www.newsmax.com/Newsfront/Snowden-NSA-spying-iPhone/2015/01/24/id/620541/

Apple has a built in back-door in all iPhones. And you just know Samsung, Microsoft and all the others do too.

The basic point I'm making is no government would allow a fully encrypted website like Skype Killer in their country. They would either force Dotcom to release data(if they don't already have a back door) or simply place an injunction on his site, preventing it from operating. And they'll simply refresh that injunction until Kim Dotcom either cooperates or has to close down.

I know this sounds paranoid, but don't think for a second SkypeKiller isn't being watched.

samahain:
I'll NEVER understand that need some people have to remain fully anonymous at all cost. It's not like someone in a position of authority is likely to tap communications "for the LOL". There are such things as procedures and accountability, you know. So unless you have something to hide, Skype is fine.

Beside, it got Dotcom's name on it. Not touching. :(

First of all, what NickBrahz said.

Secondly, government accountability? AHAHAAHAHAHAHAHA.

Skype Killer? I dunno but I seriously hope that this thing finds a steady audience, while staying as secure as modern technology allows.

Well I guess drug dealers and pedophiles rejoice? Not sure why folks get so god damned paranoid over the government reading your mail. Do you *honestly* think they care about what brand of tentacle porn you like?

Kim Dotcom is good people.

mavkiel:
Not sure why folks get so god damned paranoid over the government reading your mail.

It's less what they might find out, more the principle of the matter.

mavkiel:
Well I guess drug dealers and pedophiles rejoice? Not sure why folks get so god damned paranoid over the government reading your mail. Do you *honestly* think they care about what brand of tentacle porn you like?

Well if its so unimportant, Care to post your Email account info so we can all read through your personal things? I mean it doesnt matter because we dont really care in the end do we?

I mean you're not a drug dealer or pedo so what do you have to be private about? Only criminals want to be private after all.

Adultratedhydra:

mavkiel:
Well I guess drug dealers and pedophiles rejoice? Not sure why folks get so god damned paranoid over the government reading your mail. Do you *honestly* think they care about what brand of tentacle porn you like?

Well if its so unimportant, Care to post your Email account info so we can all read through your personal things? I mean it doesnt matter because we dont really care in the end do we?

I mean you're not a drug dealer or pedo so what do you have to be private about? Only criminals want to be private after all.

Not really a valid response. Just because a guy doesn't have cause to believe the gubberment is looking over his shoulder doesn't mean he's going to go out of his way to make himself a target of everyone else on the internet. Which is, you know, exactly the sort of thing that happens when one posts account information for all to see.

I mean, I'd be more worried about being a target of government scrutiny if I had something like that on my computer. Go far enough out of your way to hide something and it just makes people want to know more about what you're hiding than they would be if you didn't try so damn hard to hide it.

So Kim Doesnthaveareallastname wants to make this even though he's already on bad terms with the FBI? Bold move, I like it, if it works I'll use it.

Steven Bogos:
snip

I'd rather use tox tox.im

samahain:

NickBrahz:

samahain:
I'll NEVER understand that need some people have to remain fully anonymous at all cost. It's not like someone in a position of authority is likely to tap communications "for the LOL". There are such things as procedures and accountability, you know. So unless you have something to hide, Skype is fine.

Beside, it got Dotcom's name on it. Not touching. :(

Let me go through your house and read every letter and see what you keep in your house, and tell me every single secret you have or anything you do not like to share with people, and i would like to know the names of every friend you have, you have nothing to hide after all, i mean if you are against having every detail in your life an open book then you must be a terrorist or something to hide.

Got a mandate? Thought so. Trespasser, meet broomstick.

In all seriousness, that analogy doesn't hold.
A house is searched by the police - for a reason.
Communications may have to be monitored by some agency - for a reason.
Cops can cuff you - for a reason.

You get the point. No? Let me explain: Not our call to make!

@CpT_x_Killsteal: please, the grownups are having a discussion.

there's a difference between cops getting a warrant following due process and all that stuff and a shady government agency being able to monitor most of your online activities without a warrant

If there ever is a Skype-killer, like any other "killer" of a major thing, will not be an intentional one, but instead be one which happenes as a surprise result of its existence.

samahain:
I'll NEVER understand that need some people have to remain fully anonymous at all cost. It's not like someone in a position of authority is likely to tap communications "for the LOL". There are such things as procedures and accountability, you know. So unless you have something to hide, Skype is fine.

Beside, it got Dotcom's name on it. Not touching. :(

I really don't mean to sound insulting, and I apologize if it comes across this way, but I don't understand this kind of thinking to be honest. Of course it is silly to expect everything to stay private, but this kind of thinking that says "If you have nothing to hide then why are you worried?" is just basically saying that you should accept any change regardless of your comfort level, and if it doesn't effect you personally then you shouldn't care about it. While from a practical standpoint, I don't disagree with you. Using facebook is just too damn convenient because everyone has it, I still would like to live in a world where my privacy isn't dependent on taking their word for it.

If someone want privacy for what ever reason, maybe its that they just don't like other people and don't want to share things with them. I for instance don't want to tell you who I'm voting for or how much my salary is because this things are very personal for me, and they are none of your business out of principle. That doesn't mean I don't talk about them with other people, but now lets say facebook does targeted advertising within my private messages, which you know they would love you, that information may become public for no other reason than for them to earn money. Than why is that ok? Because its pain to do anything about it? Because complaining about it is annoying? Sure Kim-dotcom might not be the answer but I really do sympathize with that cause.

So what good is it when the rest of your system is compromised? Or a phone next to you is compromised? Also, this is the same guy who is a known embezzler and who is still on trial for alleged copyright infringement charges, major ones. Even if he is sincere here, using this might make you an even bigger target for snooping.

I don't like the government getting pron suggestions from me either, but I also don't like extremist scumbags strapping explosives to their chests and blowing up a bus full of innocents. We are stuck on this razor's edge. Power corrupts, and new tech that has come out in the past 3 decades sure has given many groups more power. But, we also got nutjobs, who are hiding in plain sight in many cases, using the same tech and whatever dangerous objects they can find to terrorize people across the world. Completely blinding any security agency watching out for a real threat to public safety is not good.

I'd say there's no escaping some surveillance, especially from the ones who are extremely good at it, market researchers. Your best bet is to stop posting your life online, and watch the damned politicians for any funny business that might lead us back into another era of McCarthyism. (Another stock phrase that still rings true: history can repeat itself.)

Sigh. why must it be browser based. why cant it have a proper client. world is obsessed in putting everything in your browser now :(

samahain:
There are such things as procedures and accountability, you know.

haha. For you, perhaps. Organizations like NSA has none of such things.

samahain:

In all seriousness, that analogy doesn't hold.
A house is searched by the police - for a reason.
Communications may have to be monitored by some agency - for a reason.
Cops can cuff you - for a reason.

One of those do not fit here. Thats because communications are monitored without a reason. they are just monitored. all of it.

Meh. If you use any sort of electronic communication, you have to accept that those messages probably aren't "private" in the sense that no one but you and the recipient can read them. Your mobile provider can read your text messages. Your email provider can read your emails. Etc.

Engineers get a lot of surprising little windows into people's lives! ;)

Frankly, I'm getting a bit tired of skype. Every update seems to make it worse, so, perhaps I'll migrate from skype to another application.

However, this one doesn't seem too enticing, there's very little that sounds "Skype Killing" to me. Not that it doesn't sound like a decent voice-chat service, but, it seems a very different role than that skype serves.

MetalMagpie:
Meh. If you use any sort of electronic communication, you have to accept that those messages probably aren't "private" in the sense that no one but you and the recipient can read them. Your mobile provider can read your text messages. Your email provider can read your emails. Etc.

Engineers get a lot of surprising little windows into people's lives! ;)

You can send encrypted messages to try and keep your conversations private. You can use pgp to encrypted your email and there are Skype alternatives

https://prism-break.org/en/

Maybe someone could give the the technical details on this but I have heard that since the program isn't open source, there is no way anyone could be sure that it is secure, with us basically taking Dotcom's word for it. If someone could be more technical as to why that is, it would definitely help.

Other than that... "Skype-killer."

Yeah, no. This will never be anything but a niche for people who are fearful of surveillance, which most people really aren't. If that were true then more people would use programs like TOR, instead of just the naturally curious or online criminals. Skype has massive fucking problems, but the average person just doesn't care. If this even ends up getting 5% of the users Skype has I will be impressed.

onion panzer:

MetalMagpie:
Meh. If you use any sort of electronic communication, you have to accept that those messages probably aren't "private" in the sense that no one but you and the recipient can read them. Your mobile provider can read your text messages. Your email provider can read your emails. Etc.

Engineers get a lot of surprising little windows into people's lives! ;)

You can send encrypted messages to try and keep your conversations private. You can use pgp to encrypted your email and there are Skype alternatives

https://prism-break.org/en/

Personally, I prefer the convenience of services like GMail and SMS, even though I know my messages can be read by other people. But if I decide to plot an assassination, I'll be sure to use encryption. ;)

mavkiel:
Well I guess drug dealers and pedophiles rejoice? Not sure why folks get so god damned paranoid over the government reading your mail. Do you *honestly* think they care about what brand of tentacle porn you like?

They could at least have the dignity to send me popcorn if they're going to watch my porn with me!

And while I don't care (honestly I am so boring, looking at my internet history is like reading a text book on sawdust)... in a world where people in positions of power are very susceptible to abusing that power to bury people who get on their bad side. A need for this kind of stuff is growing.

I really don't like that governments (yes governments are made up of people) have the ability to see and mess with your data at their whim and for the 0.00001% of people they use to screw with such power, while you think it'll never happen to you, It fills me with dread and unease.

I support work like this even if its out of KimDotAss promoting it.

Strazdas:
Sigh. why must it be browser based. why cant it have a proper client. world is obsessed in putting everything in your browser now :(

making this a browser based application means that the code doesn't live on an individuals system to be de-compiled, or reverse engineered (realistically a somewhat smarter move more on this at the end)

Happiness Assassin:
Maybe someone could give the the technical details on this but I have heard that since the program isn't open source, there is no way anyone could be sure that it is secure, with us basically taking Dotcom's word for it. If someone could be more technical as to why that is, it would definitely help.

you kind of hit the nail with your own head in this point. if the system was open source then it would actually be easier to break. the easiest way to encrypt something so that it can be decrypted somewhere else is through key pairs. for example lets look at a password to a website where you type in the password into the box. each character, or combination of characters is then converted into a different thing, and saved on a server (so that you can access that site by using the same password). now you have to realize that for most password servers they use the same algorithm for every password, so if someone was to get effectively that algorithm, or cipher if you will then every account is now compromised, so this is why most of your encryption software/programs are rarely if ever open-source, and those that are, are just broken quickly.

on the topic at hand say that even if every conversation uses a unique algorithm to encrypt a conversation. there has to be a possibility of a reuse, and then if they only ever use one algorithm at a time then it is just a matter of observation. the more observation that can be done on a controlled sampling of these communications the easier it will be to break. lets say that for a series of calls the background is always the same, but the face keeps moving, by just taking each frame, and then dissecting everything that is similar, and compare it to the thing that are different you will soon be able to find the encryption algorithm.

then by making a browser based application they can actually insure a higher level of agility in their implementation every time they want to change something they change it on the server, and done. they don't have to release an update that then has to be updated. the other thing is that if this was a client based application then the same thing that happened with the Java installer a few years ago where someone got in, and changed where the updater pointed to, and it took Oricle almost 4 months to realize that 1/4 of their user base was using a obsolete version even though they had been releasing new versions (some of them in rapid succession)

If the government can easily read you information, so it is safe to assume that people with criminal intent would not find it that hard either. Strangely enough the government/large organizations in many countries could be seen to have similar intentions also.

In the long run it boils down to power, will you relinquish your power of integrity/privacy to a entity controlled by a few? There are always other options when fighting against "terrorism". Increase the infrastructure with schools that incorporate western propag... ehm i mean values. One only needs to look,see and understand to be able to use their imagination to create other solutions to a problem.

A more secure chat bring it on.

Thoughts?

Strazdas:
Sigh. why must it be browser based. why cant it have a proper client. world is obsessed in putting everything in your browser now :(

samahain:
There are such things as procedures and accountability, you know.

haha. For you, perhaps. Organizations like NSA has none of such things.

samahain:

In all seriousness, that analogy doesn't hold.
A house is searched by the police - for a reason.
Communications may have to be monitored by some agency - for a reason.
Cops can cuff you - for a reason.

One of those do not fit here. Thats because communications are monitored without a reason. they are just monitored. all of it.

Utter nonsense. There 144 billion emails sent every day, even if takes 0.01 second to parse each email it will take 3000 years to read one days email. When you add in social network posts, chat clients and chat in online games that figure becomes even more ridiculous. Simple maths will tell that there is too much to monitor it all. If they where monitoring it all why did facebook place certain profiles on separate server so the NAS could look at it? That's according to the Russian spy Snowden.

Not sure what's worse. That the government feels the need to snoop through its citizen's and the world's private communications.

Or the government sympathizers that claim they don't care that this shit is going on.

Besides, if the government, who are mostly incompetent, can read your private shit then it's highly likely that people with criminal intentions can do the same. But who needs security, right? Not like they can do anything with your credit card number or paypal account, right?

All we need now is for some terrorist cell to use this technology to coordinate attacks.

What's more, if he thinks he's safe because he's in New Zealand he should seriously think again, the government here isn't bound by a constitution and could pass a law FORCING him to allow governments a backdoor into his program.

So, in the event of the former being proven to happen the government in New Zealand would pass the latter law in a heartbeat.

Yes, all of your stirring words have convinced me of the infallibility of law enforcement, who not too long ago were proven, repeatedly, over the course of the past year or so, in incident after incident, that their moral character and insistence that there be an absolute, concrete reason to do what they do are the foremost reasons why they should be allowed full access to, as far as we know, adequately supplied authority in every matter they are involved in, as far as we know, including the quite temporary, not at all institutional suspension of any kind of human right, which should not be afforded to people that we are always sure do not deserve them. After all, there's no reason why absolute authority figures would lie to us!

I'm sure there's some kind of a market for such a thing, but it's not going to kill Skype. The kind of people who are this concerned about security likely aren't using Skype in the first place. Everyone else wouldn't want to go through the bother of changing VOIP programs. Besides, anything being touted as "completely secure" is just begging to get cracked into.

You know what's really upsetting about all this? This piece of technology we're using, the internet, is possibly the greatest thing humanity has ever created. It facilitates almost instant communication between any two humans (or any number of humans) that have internet access. It is without a doubt, the most powerful staging platform for human co-operation ever. Do we use it for co-operation and progress? Fuck no, of course not, we're all too fucking stupid for that. We use the greatest repository of human knowledge not for education, but as an avenue from which we can insult and antagonise each other, another way to try and control each other.

Here we have the means before us, to organise across the entire globe, to build plans for a better tomorrow, and to spread the word so we can go about building that tomorrow, but instead, what do we use it for? To sell each other shit. To share mind-numbing crap. To spread misinformation. To spy on each other. To preserve the status quo.

Using the internet as a co-ordination tool, we could know what resources are needed where, at any time, what needs to be done with them, and we could organise the people with the skills to get it done. We could literally transform the world, end most of our problems. Unfortunately, society hasn't caught up to the internet. As a species, we're still thinking like this is the 20th century. We're still thinking in terms of politicians and world leaders; Nations and borders; upper, middle and working classes; globalism and corporatism; travel by internal combustion engine; electricity from oil, coal and gas; A world filled with hierarchy, where the decisions come from the top, where the interests of the elite are served long before the interests of the majority, where profit is the driving force of development. We are living in a world where Greed is more important than Need. It doesn't have to be this way.

image

I'm thinking it will actually but man, he's going to be putting even more pressure on himself... And where's he getting the money to do this anyway?

I look at this the same way I look at TOR. You are not on the governments radar until you start using it.

Well the security is most certainly a bold claim, if I remember correctly his last legal conundrum came about because the government of NZ just bent over for whatever USA told them to do. So in what way do you imagine your system will be safe...

Honestly if you just get the basic communication to work properly that will be hands down enough to take over the Skype audience, because god fucking damn it is that piece of shit useless.

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