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Kim Dotcom Claims He Invented Two-Factor Authentication

Illustration for article titled Kim Dotcom Claims He Invented Two-Factor Authentication

Yesterday, Twitter finally got two-factor authentication—which was enough to prompt Kim Dotcom to claim that he invented the technique.

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Taking to Twitter, the man behind Mega pointed out a patent from 1997 which he claims is proof that two-step security is, in fact, his idea. He went further, accusing companies like Google, Facebook, and Twitter of infringing rights:

Google, Facebook, Twitter, Citibank, etc. offer Two-Step-Authentication. Massive IP infringement by U.S. companies. My innovation. My patent

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Kindly, he's also explained that he decided early on not to sue any of these sites—though he isn't sure he can hold out much longer:

I never sued them. I believe in sharing knowledge & ideas for the good of society. But I might sue them now cause of what the U.S. did to me

The obvious question to ask here is: how much truth is there in Dotcom's claims? Arguably there are plenty of people who could try and lay claim to the system, but the patent which he points to seems legitimate enough.

Dating way back to 1997, it still accurately describes a system where a secondary access code is delivered by SMS. That could be difficult to beat. It'll be interesting to see if any other, similar claims creep out of the woodwork, that date back more than 16 years. [Twitter via Verge]

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DISCUSSION

On related note, Patent systems really need to reform such that after a patent is granted. the company has to in production within x years (# of years depending on the complex of the patent to be reviewed by panel). this will reduce patent troll, and companies that patent 'future' ideas that is preventing innovation. e.g. i patented a idea now to create fusion reactor that works in theory, but no way to achieve it today. 10 years down the road, some company actually got it to work using my method, but now in the risk of getting sue by me.

but this will never happen unfortunately.