Kim Dotcom And MegaUpload
If you thought John McAfee was a little full of himself, he’s a paragon of modesty next to Kim Dotcom. You’ll be shocked to learn that this hacker-turned-mogul wasn’t born with that moniker, but instead grew up in Germany as Kim Schmitz.
Riding a wave of publicity about his skills, he boasted of great achievements early in life, relying mostly on the gullible German press who in 1992 were far less savvy about such things as Sneakers-style hacking of phone banks and codes. One of Kim’s big early tricks was buying stolen phone code cards and setting up premium lines, then using the codes to call the lines and pocketing the profits.
He parlayed what he’d earned into creating companies, including an early stab at what would become his biggest success/nightmare for businesses: file sharing. Warring with telecom companies, the record industry and more than one government, he slowly built a legend around himself, indulging in the rich life of custom cars, big houses and even making promotional films about “Kimble”, a character he created to channel his fantasies.
With his company Data Protect doing well, he launched other ideas and kept his cult of personality going by posing in parked planes and acting like he owned them. Selling a stake in Data Protect, he began playing the tech bubble for all it was worth, pledging to invest in one company before cashing out just as it crashed. Hello, insider trading charges! But the lure of file sharing wealth proved too great and he set up one of the biggest websites around, while also changing his name to Kim Dotcom. Classy.
Sadly for both Dotcom and Megaupload (as Data Protect became), the US government eventually became very interested in chasing pirates. The site was raided and Dotcom moved to New Zealand to enjoy his money. He’s since claimed he’s going totally legitimate with his new site Mega, but the US authorities are still trying to extradite him…
We’d cast: Ethan Suplee, in a fat suit since he lost all that weight.
Tone: Project X-style anarchy pic.