‘Witch hunt’: Dotcom blames US for Gabon’s plans to suspend me.ga

Megaupload boss Kim Dotcom. (AFP Photo / Michael Bradley)
Kim Dotcom, the founder of MegaUpload, has accused Washington of a “witch hunt” after the government of Gabon announced the suspension of his new site, which was due to be launched in January.

­Last week, Dotcom unveiled plans to re-launch his file-sharing site in January 2013, using the Gabonese domain me.ga, with the message "this button will change the world."

But the authorities of the African state thought otherwise.

"I have instructed my departments… to immediately suspend the site www.me.ga," announced Communication Minister Blaise Louembe, saying, "Gabon cannot serve as a platform or screen for committing acts aimed at violating copyrights, nor be used by unscrupulous people."

(Image from twitter.com)
(Image from twitter.com)

Minister Louembe said the domain name was originally registered to someone in France who then transferred it to Dotcom.

Furthermore, Gabon’s communications ministry alleges that the website was set up to redirect traffic to another site hosted in France, which would provide access to shared files.

Dotcom immediately replied to the move by blaming Washington. “Don't worry. We have an alternative domain. This just demonstrates the bad faith witch hunt the US government is on,” he tweeted.

(Image from twitter.com)
(Image from twitter.com)

The 38-year-old German national is free on bail in New Zealand ahead of an extradition hearing to the US in March.

The FBI and US Justice Department allege MegaUpload made  $175 million in profits by offering pirated copies of movies, TV shows and other content, resulting in over  $500 million damages to the industry.

Washington wants him on money laundering, racketeering, fraud and online copyright theft charges, and seeks a 20-year jail sentence.

Dotcom insists he is innocent and free to start a new file-sharing venture which will incorporate state-of-the-art encryption methods resulting in user-only knowledge of the uploaded material.