Sign in with
Sign up | Sign in

Dotcom Threatens to Sue Google Over Two-step Authentication

By - Source: Twitter | B 44 comments

Your move, Google, Facebook, and Twitter.

When you hear Kim Dotcom, it's probably in the context of the internet entrepreneur's adventures with the law and MegaUpload. However, this week, Dotcom is in the news for a completely different reason. Apparently, he's threatening to sue Twitter, Google and others over their use of two-step authentication.

Kim Dotcom revealed via Twitter yesterday that he holds the patent for two-step authentication and that Twitter, Google and others are infringing upon his IP.

"Google, Facebook, Twitter, Citibank, etc. offer Two-Step-Authentication. Massive IP infringement by U.S. companies. My innovation. My patent," he tweeted, later adding, "I never sued them. I believe in sharing knowledge and ideas for the good of society. But I might sue them now cause of what the U.S. did to me."

Dotcom also provided a link to his patent, which was filed in 1998 and made public two years later, in 2000. Titled 'Method for authorizing in data transmission systems,' the patent's abstract details a method of authentication that sees the user send "a qualifying identification of the data input apparatus together with a request for the generation or for the selection of a transaction authorization number TAN or the comparable password or selects them from a data file." The authorization computer would then send this transaction authorization number to another device (the patent gives the example of a pager). The user then enters the number into the previously mentioned 'data input apparatus,' whereby the validity of the the transaction authorization number is verified. 

So, Kim Dotcom owns this patent, and is holding that fact over the heads of some of the biggest names in the industry. What next? Well, Dotcom has said that he doesn't actually want to sue Google, Facebook, or Twitter. Instead, he just wants their help. The man is facing lengthy legal proceedings, the bill for which he estimates will be around $50 million. The problem is, MegaUpload's assets are all frozen, so he's asking for help.

"Google, Facebook, Twitter, I ask you for help. We are all in the same DMCA boat. Use my patent for free. But please help funding my defense," he tweeted. "All of our assets are still frozen without trial. Defending our case will cost USD 50M+. I want to fight to the end because we are innocent."

Whether or not Google, Facebook, or Twitter will lend a hand remains to be seen, but it's certainly an interesting approach to raising the money for his defense.

Ask a Category Expert

Create a new thread in the News comments forum about this subject

Example: Notebook, Android, SSD hard drive

This thread is closed for comments
  • 0 Hide
    spentshells , May 24, 2013 5:49 AM
    He did not threaten he asked for donations, come on toms get your story straight....
  • 1 Hide
    teh_chem , May 24, 2013 6:11 AM
    I hate Kim Dotcom. I think the specific legal issues he's in are trumped up. I'm confident that he was conducting business actions with MU that would be considered criminal, but no one would agree that what came to him was proportional to his actions. However, his past behaviors in business show that he's not some altruistic person that the tech community wants to make him out to be, and what I've read about him makes me really dislike him. He's ruethless, and gladly trampled anyone in his way.
    Regardless, the original source points out that there's prior art that could easily invalidate his patent.
    He's just trolling for help out of the situation he's in.
  • 0 Hide
    assasin32 , May 24, 2013 6:12 AM
    Seriously doubt Facebook, Twitter, and especially Citibank will help fund his defense. And this would probably fall under the "do no evil" part of google if they backed him. And quite frankly it sounds like he doesn't have the money to take on any of them over this patent. So I don't see him getting any funds from them anytime soon.
  • Display all 44 comments.
  • 0 Hide
    spentshells , May 24, 2013 6:22 AM

    you say trampled anyone in his way, all the other companies have done this don't kid yourself it's only that they hide behind the mask of a brand name and the people incharge insulate themselves using layers upon layers of management, just like organized crime, no way to get to the top as the old saying goes shiat rolls downhill
  • 7 Hide
    nino_z , May 24, 2013 6:30 AM
    I like this guy, he has a good approach. The internet is like space - endless and free, and i am against one country or another going up against Kim for offering people Cloud space. That's just unfair. It's like putting the creators of the cooking knife in jail, cause it's been used as a murder weapon once. Shame on you.
  • 0 Hide
    ricardok , May 24, 2013 6:34 AM
    Interesting turn of events..
  • -1 Hide
    Afrospinach , May 24, 2013 6:45 AM
    So he cannot pay for legal proceedings and is appealing for help with a threat of legal proceedings. What an outstanding character this guy is.
  • 2 Hide
    COLGeek , May 24, 2013 6:48 AM
    This could get interesting, especially if Dotcom gets desperate for money. At that point, I would think his apparent good will of "patent free use" will go away is favor of $$$.
  • -2 Hide
    phyco126 , May 24, 2013 6:54 AM
    If his funds are frozen and he can't pay for his legal defense, I'm sure these big companies will laugh at his face for threatening to sue them (whether he has a case or not). Can't sue if you don't have the money.
  • -1 Hide
    scook9 , May 24, 2013 7:18 AM
    Isn't that called extortion? Threatening someone if they do not help you? Pretty sure it is also illegal.....
  • 1 Hide
    the great randini , May 24, 2013 7:19 AM
    I bet the D.O.J. will get pressure from google to drop the
  • -1 Hide
    Stimpack , May 24, 2013 7:22 AM
    Ugh, these pathetic attempts at squeezing money out of companies are disgusting. I guess when you're backed into a corner and really need money, you'll do anything, but still.
  • 0 Hide
    unoriginal1 , May 24, 2013 7:31 AM
    Smart man
  • -1 Hide
    DRosencraft , May 24, 2013 7:56 AM
    First, I don't know that he's ever used the patent, therefore it is possible the exclusivity of the patent has already expired. Most patents have a requirement that they be in use over a period of time or else the patent is considered unenforced.
    Second, I doubt Mr. Dotcom has the ability to sue Google, Twitter, etc. As he says, he doesn't even have enough money to defend his own case. I doubt he would then have enough money to launch and wage a lawsuit against what are some of the largest companies in the world who either by cost, principle, or optics, would rather not get involved with Mr. Dotcom.
  • -2 Hide
    Chipi , May 24, 2013 7:56 AM
    If his assets are frozen, how is he going to sue Google and the others?
  • -2 Hide
    FloKid , May 24, 2013 8:01 AM
    Tomorrow's headline. ".com gets sued for blackmailing"
  • 0 Hide
    fightingslu , May 24, 2013 8:07 AM
    Well this puts those three companies in a kind of interesting position. Obviously they do not want to be seen supporting a man who is synonymous with piracy, but they have all spoke out against CISPA and there could be a reaction out of their users if they ignore this.
  • 6 Hide
    irish_adam , May 24, 2013 8:40 AM
    The way the the US has handled Dotcom is a disgrace, you can say what you like about the guy and personally i think the guys got a screw loose but the fact that they have basicly put him in a position where he cannot even defend himself is a disgrace. I can go on youtube right now and watch full movies, tv episodes, songs etc. that are in blatant violation of copyright law yet i dont see the US government, seizing all of googles servers and freezing all their assets and money.

    How much copyrighted material is being stored on the various cloud solutions provided by big business? A LOT and yet they get away with it, why is that? At the end of the day he did take down copyrighted material, the amount of megavideo links that i've clicked on only to see that the video had been removed. You can say all you want that he didnt do enough but you shouldnt rob him of all his money so he cant even afford a decent lawyer. You are basicly saying that every penny he made was made through illegal means, which it obviously wasnt.

    To me it just shows how corrupt the legal system is in America and how much sway the media organisations have within the gorvernment
  • -1 Hide
    SirGCal , May 24, 2013 8:40 AM
    So help me or I'll sue you if I survive and can afford to? Wha?!?
  • 0 Hide
    spentshells , May 24, 2013 8:56 AM
    LOL WUT?
Display more comments