Badman internet entrepreneur Kim Dotcom is launching a political party ahead of New Zealand’s general election this year.
Dotcom will fund the party – named ‘Megaparty’ in reference to his defunct Megaupload file-sharing site – but will not run for election, as the German-born businessman isn’t a New Zealand citizen.
“My political party will activate non-voters, the youth, the Internet electorate. We are going to make politics exciting,” he tweeted, adding: “Get ready for low blows and smear against me and my political party. My attackers are worried. They should be. We will get more than 5%.”
Those “low blows” will likely centre on the accusation that Dotcom facilitated internet piracy on a massive scale with Megaupload, which had 150 million registered users at the time of its shutdown by the U.S. government in 2012. Dotcom is currently fighting U.S. attempts to extradite him on charges of racketeering and money-laundering.
While the exact political stance of Megaparty is still unclear, Dotcom espoused broadly libertarian ideas in an interview with Vice last week, where he criticised the current state of politics in New Zealand: “Where the government is supposed to serve us, the people, we are paying with our taxes that they do a good job for us. And look what they do, they undermine our rights, they destroy our freedoms, they censor our internet – so we are the ones who have to bring that change. And that’s why I get involved in politics, because I’m fucking tired of this nonsense.”
The Megaparty website and a mobile app are set to launch next week to start signing up party members.
Meanwhile, Dotcom has had to change the venue of a free party he’s throwing next week in Auckland after more than 15,000 people signed up for tickets. He’s also working on an EDM album with the Black Eyed Peas’ producer and building a free music service, Baboom. [via Guardian]