The German entrepreneur Kim Dotcom, who is currently wanted by US for copyright infringement and money laundering in connection with the Megaupload web service, has launched a political party in New Zealand.
The Internet Party manifesto said it would fight for net neutrality, faster broadband and online privacy. The party plans to challenge the next parliamentary election in September.
Dotcom came to notoriety as the founder of the cloud-based file hosting service; Megaupload, which was forcibly shut down by the New Zealand authorities back in January 2012 on behalf of the US Department of Justice. Dotcom is accused of illegally earning around $175 million through the website, whilst at the same time causing losses of approximately $500 million for the US entertainment industry. The business entrepreneur is still continuing to battle an extradition order, with the next hearing scheduled for June 2014. If he is convicted in the US, he faces a sentence of up to 20 years incarcerated in a state institution. News has emerged this week that one of Dotcom’s recent projects, the successor to Megaupload; Mega, is now valued at around £108 million due to ‘reverse takeover’ agreement.
The Internet Party has promised to reform copyright legislation, facilitate faster and cheaper Internet connections and boost the economy of New Zealand’s technology sector through benefits and incentives. The party also has plans to bring in a New Zealand-sponsored digital currency along similar to Bitcoin.
The Party needed 500 paying members to run for the elections and they achieved this goal in around seven hours, partly due to the website and app that were specially developed for this venture “The Internet Party app is symbolic of everything the Internet Party represents…We’re a breath of fresh air, and a dose of common sense, for a tired and adversarial political system that has lost touch with modern New Zealand and the Internet generation,” Dotcom said. To become a part of the next government, the Internet Party needs to win an electoral seat or secure five percent of the vote. Given Dotcom’s popularity in the country due to his engagement with the public, it is not unlikely that his party may get it. Stay Tuned.
[Image via spin]