The German-born Internet mogul Kim Dotcom has revealed that he plans to launch his own chat service. He said the MegaChat communication service would threaten to wipe out Microsoft's Skype software.
Kim Dotcom, who made his name internationally after founding the file-sharing site Megaupload, made the announcement via his Twitter account, confirming that his new venture, Mega would soon release "a fully encrypted and browser based video call and chat service including high-speed file transfers."
"Bye bye Skype," he added, referring to Microsoft's video chat service, which currently has an estimated 300 million users.
Mega's latest undertaking would operate directly within a web browser and, according to Dotcom, would offer more secure messaging than its current competitors. In a tweet following his initial announcement, Dotcom vowed an "end of NSA mass surveillance."
"No US*based online service provider can be trusted with your data. Skype has no choice. They must provide the US government with backdoors," Dotcom tweeted.
Dotcom is currently accused of copyright infringement in the US, after Megaupload was shut down in 2012 following an FBI-led investigation.
Just last week, the multi-millionaire hit the headlines after the hacking group Lizard Squad allegedly targeted Sony's PlayStation Network and Microsoft's Xbox Live.
In a bid to put the gaming networks back online so that he could "play Destiny on Xbox Live," Dotcom offered hackers a lifetime membership to the Mega service if they stopped the attack.
He also tried his hand in New Zealand's political sphere by funding the Internet-Mana Party. The party failed to win a single parliamentary seat in September elections, however, after attracting only 1.26 percent of the vote - more than 3 percent less than that required to enter parliament - and also failing to win an electorate seat.
The Internet mogul has had a long-running conflict with New Zealand Prime Minister John Key, accusing him of conspiring with the US to arrange his arrest on online piracy charges.