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The infamous Kim Dotcom, New Zealand resident and founder of the banned Megaupload filesharing site, has announced a new version of the defunct behemoth, with a twist.

Dotcom is currently in New Zealand awaiting an extradition decision which would mean facing American charges for $500 million worth of alleged online piracy, racketeering and money laundering.

Yet this hasn’t stopped the popular entrepreneur from working non-stop on a file sharing service that seems to be bigger and more ambitious than its predecessor.

The new online storage service looks markedly different from a policy perspective as it gives users complete responsibility and control over their own files.

The site will also avoid using US-based hosting companies as partners in order to avoid being shut down by US authorities, Dotcom said today.

Dotcom said Mega would launch in January 2013, right before the extradition hearing is set to take place.

The US government alleges that Megaupload was legally responsible for illegally uploaded content on the site and that it made over $175m from its users unlawful activities.

"The new Mega will not be threatened by US prosecutors," Dotcom said today.

"The new Mega avoids any dealings with US hosters, US domains and US backbone providers and has changed the way it operates to avoid another takedown."

Users of Mega would be able to upload, store and share photos, text files, music and films, encrypt those files and grant access using unique decryption keys, Dotcom said.

"You hold the keys to what you store in the cloud, not us," a statement on the Mega website said.

The shutdown of Megaupload in January earlier this year led to denial-of-service attacks on a range of websites belonging to the U.S. government and copyright organisations, and caused much uproar among privacy and freedom of speech groups.

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David Swan

David Swan is a tech journalist from Melbourne and is iTWire's Associate Editor. Having started off as a games reviewer at the age of 14, he now has a degree in Journalism from RMIT (with Honours) and owns basically every gadget under the sun. He also writes for Junkee and Fasterlouder. You can email him at david.swan@itwire.com or follow him at twitter.com/mrdavidswan

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