Kim Dotcom Planning To Invest In Privacy Startups

from the actions-have-consequences dept

We were just discussing how there's a sudden renewed interest among many entrepreneurs to build much more security and privacy conscious apps. In that post, we noted that Kim Dotcom's Mega is working on encrypted chat and email, but it appears he wants to go much further. He's now announced that he's starting a venture capital fund for privacy-focused startups as well. Of course, it will be interesting to see what the actual details are and what comes out of it, but it's yet another sign that the revelations that have come out about widespread government surveillance many lead to a much needed refocusing on how to build much more secure and private systems in this digital era. It seems odd to think that, indirectly, the US government's highly questionable legal assault on Dotcom may eventually lead to the funding of a variety of applications and services that block out the US government's prying eyes.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 16th, 2013 @ 3:23am

    "...may lead to a much-needed focusing on..."

    FTFY

     

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  2.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 16th, 2013 @ 3:33am

    fakeblock didn't take care of this??

     

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  3.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 16th, 2013 @ 4:06am

    Re:

    ANy program to deal with goverment snooping should be called cockblock because the US goverment is full of dicks

     

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  4.  
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    ECA (profile), Jul 16th, 2013 @ 4:22am

    Ummm

    Something to REMEMBER..

    Its easier for the gov. IF' someone give them the KEY..
    and the CORPS do give the keys.

    There is already some GOOD security in many of these programs. IF its used properly.

    TRYINg to get threw good(not great) security would/should take a good amount of time. At least a month for EACH connection they wish to read.
    GREAT requires them to use a HEX editor and trying to figure out the code LENGTH, combination of characters, and many other factors...Some they may not know. and could take YEARS. You dont have to use a keyboard characters.

    Like the IDEA of 2 people making their OWN KEY..and you cant read the persons mail, unless you have a key. not a password, a KEY.

     

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  5.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 16th, 2013 @ 4:29am

    Oh sure, I'm going to trust my privacy to a guy that used to be involved in insider trading, embezzlement, hacking and god knows what else.

    ...or maybe I'll just stop smoking crack and use tor instead.

     

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  6.  
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    Jeroen Hellingman, Jul 16th, 2013 @ 4:54am

    The number one problem with security for consumer level products is that most users either don't care or don't know about security. I've been able to send PGP encrypted email for years, but nobody to receive it, except for a few.

    The second problem is to make a system that is secure, even in the face of gross end-user negligence and ignorance. It should be much simpler than the products currently available, without the need to educate end-user more than the obsolute minimum.

    The third problem is how to make your product stand out, and guaranty it is really secure, as opposed to just security snake-oil, and robust against skilled and determined counterparts...

    These requirements are quite conflicting, and will make it really hard to get something off the ground that really works. Now only if the copyright trolls would become far more aggressive than they are today, we would have some better feedback on the effectiveness of privacy tools...

     

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  7.  
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    The Real Michael, Jul 16th, 2013 @ 5:05am

    It's good that more ideasmen are ramping up efforts to find a means of online privacy. I predict that the government will at some point resond to this by making the bogus claim that the only people who would use privacy software are criminals and terrorists, nevermind that the threat of government eavesdropping is the primary symptom.

     

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  8.  
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    Ninja (profile), Jul 16th, 2013 @ 5:12am

    Re:

    Providing you never made any mistake in your life, Dotcom himself admits to his wrongdoings in the past and that he has learned with them. Part of serving jail terms and getting fines is to discourage such behavior and educate the ones involved in some minor crimes. People can change.

     

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  9.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 16th, 2013 @ 5:13am

    Responsibility

    The world does not need more security software or services, but rather people learning to use the available tools. This means that anything private that cross the Internet should be encrypted by keys fully under the users control, and the use of public encryption to protect emails, and provide signatures.
    Improving personal security is an education problem, not a software or services problem. However keeping personal data private involves some effort, and in particular in the management and protection of keys, and using cryptography tools.
    Can't blame Kim for trying to gain advantage from the current situation, but this is not the solution to the problem, although it may make him lots of money.

     

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  10.  
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    theDude, Jul 16th, 2013 @ 5:40am

    I just cant

    Take seriously any man with the first name Kim, or anyone with the lastname Dotcom.

     

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  11. This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
     
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 16th, 2013 @ 5:52am

    It seems odd to think that, indirectly, the US government's highly questionable legal assault on Dotcom may eventually lead to the funding of a variety of applications and services that block out the US government's prying eyes.

    Your giddiness is showing, Mike. Nothing makes you happier than the thought of your buddy Dotcom sticking it to the man! Yay!!

     

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  12.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 16th, 2013 @ 6:24am

    Do all you like

    With the raw processing power available to groups like the NSA it would take them milliseconds to decrypt your key, and ALL your data, no matter what level of encryption you want to employ..

    and with so few bothering with encryption, the ones they will decide to investigate and decrypt are the ones that ARE encrypted.

     

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  13.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 16th, 2013 @ 6:28am

    Re: Re:

    "Providing you never made any mistake in your life..."

    So we consider "embezzlement", "insider trading" and "hacking" a mistake now? A mere accident?

    Are you willing to give the big bankers who were responsible for the current global economic crisis the same amount of benefit of the doubt?

    "People can change."

    Sure they can. But trust must be earned, and Kim Dotcom should not be trusted. If for nothing else, at least for the fact that he is a marked man, under the sights of the government. Do you want to get caught in the crossfire?

     

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  14.  
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    Michael, Jul 16th, 2013 @ 6:38am

    I don't know...

    That seems like it would paint quite the target on your business to associate Dotcom with it. And since the NSA seems to think that encrypting information is reason enough that they should be allowed to retain it until it can be decrypted, any company that uses this VC fund is likely to have a steep hill to climb.

     

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  15.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 16th, 2013 @ 6:38am

    Re:

    You talking about Dotcom or the NSA?

     

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  16.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 16th, 2013 @ 7:09am

    Re: Re: Re:

    "Are you willing to give the big bankers who were responsible for the current global economic crisis the same amount of benefit of the doubt?"

    Well since to date, none of them appear to be in prison, so it would seem yes, we would.

     

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  17. This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
     
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    out_of_the_blue, Jul 16th, 2013 @ 7:28am

    Too wild for Techdirt! Here's what the fanboys censored:

    # This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
    identicon Anonymous Coward, Jul 16th, 2013 @ 5:52am

    [First a bit of Mike quoted and italicized]: It seems odd to think that, indirectly, the US government's highly questionable legal assault on Dotcom may eventually lead to the funding of a variety of applications and services that block out the US government's prying eyes.

    Your giddiness is showing, Mike. Nothing makes you happier than the thought of your buddy Dotcom sticking it to the man. Yay!!


    How fanboys use their "report" buttons is one of the silliest aspects of Techdirt. THAT is too horrible for them? And as I've wondered before: how do enough of them know it's a particular repeat AC they wish to suppress? Either the number needed to suppress is very low, or Mike is actually the one doing the suppressing. -- But in any case, it's just plain silly for anyone to censor so mild a dig.

    So now and then I repeat the censored comments, and add some railing. -- And if it's so horrible, how can they let my repeat of it show?

    By the way, Techdirt works better when turn off javascript and host out "cdn.techdirt.com"; then you see all comments but no ads.

     

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  18.  
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    IFailedMath, Jul 16th, 2013 @ 7:36am

    Re: Do all you like

    Care to show us the math you used to arrive at the "milliseconds" figure? I really interested to know what kind of system can brute-force a 256-bit AES key in milliseconds.

     

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  19.  
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    Ninja (profile), Jul 16th, 2013 @ 7:38am

    Re: Re: Re:

    No, it was not an accident. And I never said he shouldn't have paid for it. However it has been a while, penalties have been handed, ha now has a family.. etc etc

    The big bankers never paid for their wrongdoings. You can rest assured that they'll do it again. Now, put them in jail for a long while and see if they are going to do it again. Surely they'd need to work extra hard to regain any trust and that's probably something Dotcom may have to deal with.

    If for nothing else, at least for the fact that he is a marked man, under the sights of the government.

    I'm impressed. You place your trust in a corrupt Government that has been caught ignoring the law but not in a man who was once jailed to pay for crimes he says he left behind.

    Do you want to get caught in the crossfire?

    It's not that you have issues with Dotcom himself it seems. It's cowardice.

     

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  20.  
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    jupiterkansas (profile), Jul 16th, 2013 @ 7:53am

    Re: I just cant

    I'll just assume you're not including Koreans.

    Then there's this: www.guysnamedkim.com

     

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  21.  
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    G Thompson (profile), Jul 16th, 2013 @ 12:16pm

    Re: Do all you like

    Muwahahahahahahahaha!!

    there that was more than a few milliseconds of me laughing at your idiocy in regards to cryptographic decryption methods that you think are available.

    Muwahahahahaah.. there have some free more milliseconds of it

     

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  22.  
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    G Thompson (profile), Jul 16th, 2013 @ 12:19pm

    Re: I don't know...

    Not really.. In fact he has a huge market potential in the rest of the world that is not the USA.. In fact at last count it was a market base of 95% of the actual planet.

    In point of fact I know of a whole range of major organisations (not US owned I'll grant you) that would, have, and are working with him on many and varied projects and really couldn't give a flying whatever (or even really care for that matter) what the US Govt think about it.

     

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  23.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 16th, 2013 @ 12:55pm

    Re: Responsibility

    actually in this case its both. No one is going to learn about signing certs and generating a 2048 bit PGP key and public/private key exchange and encryption.

    We need something that is transparent and works easily. Not only encrypting in transit with forward privacy but staying encrypted as it hits the server with only the user holding the keys, and this all needs to be transparently done.

    Or we need to build an entirely new system. A P2P email system decentralized with an encrypted blockchain similar to other protocols. For example bitmessage is a promising one.

     

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  24.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 16th, 2013 @ 5:43pm

    Re:

    Stick it to the man? Really? Did you miss the parts where 'the man' is sticking it to you and turning the blade? In your defense of the government, and vilification of Dotcom who hasn't even been convicted yet, you turn a blind eye to all the illegal activities of the government. Grow up and see ALL the sides of an argument. The world isn't black and white.

     

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  25.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 16th, 2013 @ 5:45pm

    Re: Too wild for Techdirt! Here's what the fanboys censored:

    The comment was blocked, just as your's has been, because it adds nothing to the conversation. It is a trolling, no different from your own history. Stay on topic and learn to think critically.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  26.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 16th, 2013 @ 9:32pm

    Re: Too wild for Techdirt! Here's what the fanboys censored:

    Out-Of-Your-Ass, You are right, it would be better if he followed in the footsteps of your hero copyright maximalists blogs where every comment is moderated and only the comments that agree with the article are allowed to be shown. Where every dissenting comment is censored (yes, really censored, not just hidden by the community like it is on Techdirt.)

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  27.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 17th, 2013 @ 3:55am

    Re: Re: Responsibility

    Existing protocols and systems are quite capable of distributed use being built on a peer to peer technology. Learning to use them is not that hard. Given a fixed IP address, it is relatively easy to set up a private server. Also note that giving the IP address to permitted users to put in their hosts file, rather than using DNS is preferable for small private networks. DNS servers are a potential source of metadata, and for inserting man in the middle attacks.

    Privacy protection requires that people generate manage and distribute their own keys, as anything simpler puts control of the keys into third party hands. Anything simpler puts control of keys into the hands of a third party, and therefore makes the data available to at least one government. This is more important than using a distributed email system.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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