back to article Kim Dotcom vows to KILL SKYPE with encrypted MegaChat

Megaupload maestro Kim Dotcom says he will soon unveil an encrypted video calling and chat service that he claims will mark "the end of NSA mass surveillance." In a series of tweets, Dotcom said the service, to be called MegaChat, will also doom Skype, the current king of online calling, which is thought to have been …

  1. Kar98
    Megaphone

    Listen, Herr Schmitz!

    Your 15 minutes have been up a decade ago

  2. Gunnar Wolf
    Linux

    In this case, it's just a matter of configuring what's already there

    The SIP technology has already been delivered to browsers (i.e. Jitsi, ReSIProcate) and can be even delivered with a Drupal module (Drucall). Only a SIP presence provider (i.e. the centralized part of the service) is needed to be set up. So, contrary to what the article says, I do not liken this to Dotcom's "Unbreakable" Mega: This is a simple-ish configuration of a well-known, much-tested, much-deployed set of tools.

    1. Raumkraut

      Re: In this case, it's just a matter of configuring what's already there

      Yep, this sounds like yet another WebRTC implementation. I hear about a new "secure video chat" service about every other week these days. Even Mozilla baked one into the Firefox browser itself. I thought that I might get a break over chrimbo, but apparently Herr Dotcom needed his dose of publicity this week.

      The problem with the current crop of WebRTC clients is that, while the conversations are direct between clients in a p2p manner, they need a centralised server (website) to provide the routing of calls (aka call metadata), by virtue of the web browser security model.

      The most interesting project to me in this space is Tox which, while still being in a rapidly-developing alpha stage, appears to be well functional for text/voice/video chat.

    2. awood-something_or_another
      Thumb Down

      Re: In this case, it's just a matter of configuring what's already there

      ".......and can be even delivered with a Drupal module (Drucall)."

      That's rich. Using Drupal as a model for a security extension is quite humorous.

    3. Security Dude

      Re: In this case, it's just a matter of configuring what's already there

      Check out RokaCom. It uses ZRTP for voice and video, and GPG for messaging. They hardened the crypto libraries (and reposted them on github) to make them even harder.

  3. PleebSmash
    Go

    ****speak

    These new private chat services are a dime a dozen. And that's a good thing. More targets, more fragmentation, less centralization. When the dust settles, maybe one of them will "prove" to be secure. And it will probably be PGP with a fluffy wrapper

    1. JeffyPoooh Silver badge
      Pint

      igPay atinLay

      Iyay alreadyyay useyay ayay asicbay ormfay ofyay oicevay encryptionyay enwhay usingyay ypeSkay. Ityay orksway eryvay ellway.

  4. David Austin

    Good

    I don't trust Skype (Because of NSA/Snowden leaks), and I don't like Skype (2014 interface is very hard to work with, and it's still missing features from MSN Messenger that is supposedly replaced)

    more chat options is a good thing, and Kim is very, very good ad drumming up support for ideas, even if his execution is hit and miss

    1. jason 7

      Re: Good

      Too right re. the interface. I haven't used Skype in years but had to set it up for a customer yesterday.

      It's a bloomin mess! I don't remember it being that awful say 5 years ago.

      Not very intuitive, stuff all over the place.

  5. tempemeaty

    Damn the torpedoes...I welcome the Dotcom Chat

    Microsoft wrecked Skype enough that I welcome all alternatives.

    1. Kiwi
      Linux

      Re: Damn the torpedoes...I welcome the Dotcom Chat

      Microsoft wrecked Skype enough that I welcome all alternatives.

      Agreed. Loved being able to have ringing on the speakers and the actual call on the headset (y'know, so I could hear an incoming call while afk but others couldn't hear the call)

      Then MS brought in their wonderful "new features" and we got some crippled crapware that isn't close to what it used to be.

  6. OzBob

    Herr Bunter, please expedite your return to the US

    to face the charges you are accused of, and stop wasting our time with these petty distractions.

    Name me on instance where an intercepted Skype call has been determined to infringe on someone's privacy.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Herr Bunter, please expedite your return to the US

      > Name me on [sic] instance where an intercepted Skype call has been determined to infringe on someone's privacy.

      Err... Bob, isn't any intercepted call a breach of privacy by definition?

      1. Cipher

        Re: Herr Bunter, please expedite your return to the US

        Clearly state sponsored astro-turfers need better training...

    2. JJKing

      Re: Herr Bunter, please expedite your return to the US

      ozboob, how can someone return to a place that they have not previously been to?

      id10t

      1. Yes Me Silver badge

        Re: Herr Bunter, please expedite your return to the US

        > how can someone return to a place that they have not previously been to?

        It seems that in the case of the USA, being accused of a crime there is enough to get a free ticket for your first visit. (Although it's a bit hard to believe that he's never been there, for the US justice system it seems to be enough that his private bits have been there.)

    3. kellerr13

      Re: Herr Bunter, please expedite your return to the US

      It's right in the EULA if you bother to read it.

  7. DougS Silver badge

    I don't trust Skype

    But I trust them a hell of a lot more than I trust that fatass blowhard!

  8. Mark 85 Silver badge

    Let's not slap Dotcom around this week....

    Maybe a grace period for ending the XBox DDoS attack? On second thought.... he still an ass.. nuke him. From space.

  9. Ali on the Reg

    I thought this guy went bust?

    He seems to be cropping up in the press even more than usual.

    1. jason 7

      Re: I thought this guy went bust?

      Slow news day!

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: I thought this guy went bust?

      He and Julian Asswipe have media sensationalism time share allowances as part of their avoiding extradition packages courtesy of the US of A state department conspiracy theorist's Act.

  10. Stu Mac

    open source?

    Is Dotcom's solution open source? otherwise why would we trust it further than skype

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    a clown

    trying to peddle his business with the usual ryanair-type marketing (create controversy, use big names, wait for the media to write it up).

  12. OffBeatMammal

    how will this stack up against Blink (or whatever the bittorrent encrypted chat solution is called) works (or will work, when it gets traction)?

    the biggest problem any alternative to Skype faces is getting your friends to use it... and secure or not given dotCom's penchant for hyperbole and lack of follow through will this ever reach a tipping point of usefulness?

  13. Tchou
    WTF?

    >>But Sc00bz and others have dismissed that boast, saying it would be easy for Mega to provide an >>"unbreakable" account with a long, random password, but it wouldn't prove that real-world Mega >>accounts can't be hacked or spied on.

    And it would be easy for Microsoft & friends to start bogus claims on MegaChat security without providing evidences, let alone proofs.

    Isn't it strange that "security researchers" main argument is "yeah we could not have break it because they would have cheat", in other words "trust only the one we can OFFICIALLY break"

    1. Oninoshiko

      No, what they are saying is:

      There are fundamental flaws with how people use things in the real world that this implementation treats naively. Going some other way forces the user to use it properly, and therefore in practice, is far more secure.

      That's a completely reasonable claim, in fact I find it to be one of the things security researchers SHOULD be talking about, but often don't.

      Good Job, security researchers!

      1. I. Aproveofitspendingonspecificprojects
        Paris Hilton

        Good job for security researchers!

        Find out how to get people to remember very long passwords

        I should come up with a book of alphanumeric rhymes. OK, don't nobody* read this until after websites start demanding 4 line couplets for passwords.

        I should be ready by then.

        *Especially if you work for NSA or GCHQ and ...what's the other one called?

  14. keep-it-calm-or-more

    alternatives are welcome

    sure i welcome alternatives, but i am not sure i trust kim dotcom. unless his product is fully opensource he can forget about it.

    1. Tchou

      Re: alternatives are welcome

      Like if opensource projects are immune... Linux zeitgeist anyone?

  15. Dom 3
    Stop

    Attn El Reg

    The guy's an irrelevant tosser. Please stop wasting my screen pixels with non-stories based on whatever his latest self-aggrandising press release is. Or give me some kind of opt out. And if you're stuck for tech resources, I could code it for you: I wonder whether Mr. Schmitz could?

    1. kellerr13

      Re: Attn El Reg

      Go back to your TV. I am sure there's another ball game on someplace.

    2. The Vociferous Time Waster

      Re: Attn El Reg

      People who use the word code as a verb are just trying to hide the fact that they are not programmers and at best use scripting languages and at worst markup.

      1. Dom 3

        Time waster

        An apt moniker. In 25 years of being paid to code [1] that's the first I've ever heard someone come out with that particular idea.

        [1] Including C, C++, various flavours of assembler, on embedded systems, desktop applications, etc... you get the picture.

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Not unless pigs have learned to fly

    Can Dotcom fly?

  17. Security Dude

    Am I missing something, it runs the the browser right? Do we trust web browsers now?

  18. I. Aproveofitspendingonspecificprojects

    Just because you are broke

    It doesn't necessarily follow that being broke means you can't get rich or have financial clout. A lot of people having died for non tax purposes have not enjoyed the paradox of being made rich on the process.

    So too, being sucker punched by state run crooks doesn't make you a bad risk.

    And even if you were there are plenty of perhaps fellow criminals that would let you take up their slack.

    Whatever. Good luck to him and may he have an happy new year.

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