TIME Kim Dotcom

MegaUpload’s Kim Dotcom Launches a Political Party in New Zealand

An actor in police costume mock-arrests Megaupload founder Kim Dotcom, left, as he launches his new file sharing site "Mega" in Auckland Jan. 20, 2013. Nigel Marple—Reuters

The German-Finnish entrepreneur is also fighting extradition to the U.S. where he faces piracy charges

Controversial Internet mogul Kim Dotcom has launched a political party in New Zealand ahead of general elections in September.

The Internet Party would serve as a “movement for the freedom of the internet and technology, for privacy and political reform,” says the 40-year-old, according to the BBC.

Dotcom is currently fighting extradition to the U.S. where he faces charges of gross copyright infringement. Prosecutors allege his MegaUpload website facilitated the fraudulent downloading of pirated movies, games and TV programs worth some $175 million. The website was shut down in 2012 and Dotcom denies any wrongdoing.

If elected to parliament, which requires winning a seat outright or 5% of the national vote, the German-Finnish entrepreneur has vowed to “give you faster, cheaper internet, create high-tech jobs, protect your privacy and safeguard our independence.”

[BBC]

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