Many of the files stored by the millions of users of the cloud service Megaupload could begin losing their files on Thursday. The AP reports that federal prosecutors said Megaupload paid third parties to store data and now that authorities have freezed Megaupload's accounts, it can no longer pay those providers. The providers said they would begin deleting files as early as Thursday.
If you remember, the feds shut down Megaupload earlier this month because they said it facilitated the transfer of copyrighted material. Authorities charged seven men in what the Justice Department said was one of the biggest criminal copyright cases.
The AP reports:
"A letter filed in the case Friday by the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Eastern District of Virginia said storage companies Carpathia Hosting Inc. and Cogent Communications Group Inc. may begin deleting data Thursday. Spokespersons for the two companies and for the U.S. Attorney's Office did not respond to messages Sunday night.
"The letter said the government copied some data from the servers but did not physically take them. It said that now that it has executed its search warrants, it has no right to access the data. The servers are controlled by Carpathia and Cogent and issues about the future of the data must be resolved with them, prosecutors said.
"[Megaupload attorney Ira Rothken] said the company is working with prosecutors to try to keep the data from being erased. He said at least 50 million Megaupload users have data in danger of being erased."
As Computer World explains, Megaupload is also arguing that the deletion of files would amount to destruction of evidence. The service said by sifting through that data it could prove it was a legitimate cloud service, not just a haven for copyrighted songs and movies.
In other Megaupload news, Bloomberg has a good profile of Megaupload founder Kim Dotcom, who was born Kim Schmitz.