Nachiket 'therapist' Mhatre, Jan 30, 2012 1606 hrs IST
Storage providers may begin deleting data on Thursday.
The recent crackdown on MegaUpload.com by the US Government has already led to the arrest of seven men, including its reclusive founder Kim Dotcom. The federal authorities have also seized storage servers harbouring several terabytes of user data. The US Attorney's Office has intimated the courts that Carpathia Hosting Inc and Cogent Communications Group Inc (the websites providing MegaUpload with storage) may begin deleting user data by Thursday.
Reportedly, the government authorities did not physically seize the servers, but only copied some of their data for investigation. Now that the search warrant has been executed, the feds no longer have access to it. The fate of the user uploads now rests upon Carpathia and Cogent. Unfortunately, it seems unlikely that MegaUpload will be able to secure the funding required to keep the data online, since its financial assets have been frozen.
MegaUpload's lawyer Ira Rothken believes that the frozen data is crucial for the website's defence. According to Rothken, the file-sharing portal is co-ordinating with the prosecution to preserve the user data, which is technically evidence at the moment. "We're cautiously optimistic at this point that because the United States, as well as MegaUpload, should have a common desire to protect consumers, that this type of agreement will get done", explained the defence attorney.
Rothken estimates that at least 50 million users will be affected if Carpathia and Cogent choose to clean their servers. As of now, the chances of retrieving your files from the website seem quite slim. While it's practically impossible to weed out copyrighted content from the confiscated data, it's still unfair for the website's subscribers to be penalised for this SOPA-inspired witchhunt.