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Megaupload Users’ Data Could Be Deleted By Thursday

Legitimate files on the Megaupload site may be deleted this week, say US federal prosecutors

Megaupload users could lose files hosted through the site by the end of this week according to a letter sent to the company by US prosecutors.

Millions of legitimate files could be deleted from Thursday as federal prosecutors hand back control of the data to Carpathia Hosting and Cogent Communications. The two companies were hired by Megaupload for file storage and have not been paid since the latter’s funds were seized just under two weeks ago, prompting worries that users will lose their files permanently.

Deleting a cloud

According to the AP, prosecutors investigating Megaupload’s alleged copyright infringements copied data from Carpathia’s and Cogent’s servers, but as their search warrants had been executed, they would no longer have access to the data and any unresolved issues regarding user files would have to be taken up with them.

Ira Rothken, Megaupload’s lawyer, claims there are upwards of 50 million files at risk, but the company is working to keep them from being erased. “We’re cautiously optimistic at this point … because the United States, as well as Megaupload, should have a common desire to protect consumers, that this type of agreement will get done,” he said.

Rothken expressed optimism that the US prosecutors would understand that consumers would need to be protected and mentioned that the data was also important for Megaupload’s defence.

Speaking to TorrentFreak, he also explained how the recovery of the files was not only vital for users, but for cloud computing as a whole:

“If the United States fails at helping protect and restore Megaupload consumer data in an expedient fashion, it will have a chilling effect on cloud computing in the United States and worldwide. It is one thing to bring a claim for copyright infringement it is another thing to take down an entire cloud storage service in Megaupload that has substantial non infringing uses as a matter of law.”