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Cloud Data Storage Hardware

What Happens To Your Files When a Cloud Service Shuts Down? 592

MrSeb writes "Megaupload's shutdown poses an interesting question: What happens to all the files that were stored on the servers? XDA-Developers, for example, has more than 200,000 links to Megaupload — and this morning, they're all broken, with very little hope of them returning. What happens if a similar service, like Dropbox, gets shut down — either through bankruptcy, or federal take-down? Will you be given a chance to download your files, or helped to migrate them to another similar service? What about data stored on enterprise services like Azure or AWS — are they more safe?" And if you're interested, the full indictment against Megaupload is now available.
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What Happens To Your Files When a Cloud Service Shuts Down?

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 20, 2012 @02:13PM (#38764468)

    I've always wondered what happens to Pokemon in a trainers' computer when the trainer dies/quits/etc. I imagine the same would happen to megaupload files. Like the pokemon lost in a nonphysical oblivion for all eternity, these files will endure an endless torture of nothingness.

  • Simple... (Score:3, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 20, 2012 @02:13PM (#38764472)

    Your files will glow in golden sunlight when the cloud dissipates... =)

  • Re:Evidence (Score:5, Funny)

    by ackthpt ( 218170 ) on Friday January 20, 2012 @02:17PM (#38764600) Homepage Journal

    As a point, the government will be using all files hosted on those servers as evidence in the case. They will not likely, and are not required to, give access to those files.

    Yeah, expect a subpeona in the mail.

    "Uh, I was so shocked by the news I forgot the password to my 8GB zip file."

    "No worries, we have a crack team of security hackers who will have it open in a few minutes if you can't supply it."


    "We'll call upon you if we need you for anything. Bye!" *click* nrrrrr...

    *click* diit-doot-doot-deet-diit-doot-deet-doot-deet-doot "Hello, I'd like a ticket to New Zealand! FAST!"

  • Re:Evidence (Score:3, Funny)

    by letherial ( 1302031 ) on Friday January 20, 2012 @02:42PM (#38765074)
    ""No worries, we have a crack team of security hackers who will have it open in a few minutes if you can't supply it." Well good luck with that, its a truecrypt file disguised as a .zip, the password is 50 characters long, it also requires 10 files all which where destroyed on 'accident' So I hope your supper crack team has alot of crack.
  • Re:Evidence (Score:4, Funny)

    by Nethemas the Great ( 909900 ) on Friday January 20, 2012 @02:44PM (#38765110)
    I think he mentioned something about "self-respecting"...
  • Cloud backup: The safety of an 8-member RAID0 array of SSDs combined with the speed of tape.

  • by mcrbids ( 148650 ) on Friday January 20, 2012 @02:54PM (#38765268) Journal

    It had to be said: obligatory xkcd reference. []

  • by GameboyRMH ( 1153867 ) <gameboyrmh@gmai l . c om> on Friday January 20, 2012 @02:55PM (#38765290) Journal

    Lots of us do but few are willing to admit it ;-)

  • by guttentag ( 313541 ) on Friday January 20, 2012 @03:11PM (#38765602) Journal
    Your files are going to be probed over the next few months for:
    1. evidence of copyright infringement that can be used to increase damages
    2. evidence of criminal activity other than copyright infringement by Megaupload users
    3. confidential information that could be useful to law enforcement (contact lists for Mexican drug cartels? Can you imagine if they seized Evite? You know they'd be looking for "Welcome back from your cross-border smuggling mission!" parties and "Whack-A-Mole" mafia parties)

    First Rule of Cloud Computing Use: Never upload anything to the cloud you wouldn't want the entire world to see.

    Are you going to get this data back? Of course not. The servers have been seized by the government because they were used for criminal activities. They're not going to take the time to go through everyone's files to find the good ones and give them back.

    • "This photo belongs to 10-year-old Jimmy Thompson in Arlington, VA. Looks harmless to me. Go ahead and email this back to him." Right.
    • "This looks like a code snippet from some open source project. Looks harmless to me. Email it back to them." Sure.
    • "This one's just a video of Jimmy's family singing Happy Birthday to him at the park. Wait! That's infringement []!" (Personally, I'm boycotting birthdays until 2030 when people can legally sing the song.)

    They're going to count up the number of items that look like copyrighted content (7 billion copyrighted photographs, 28 million ripped DVDs, etc.), come up with a multiplier for each type ($5,000 for each photo, $15 million for each DVD, etc.) and then tell the judge the copyright infringement at Megaupload was so massive, the value of the damages is greater than the amount of U.S. debt held by China.

    Second Rule of Cloud Computing Use: Never assume that you have any guarantee of access to anything in the cloud.

    Keep in mind that the Rules of Cloud Computing Use are a necessary because of the Three Laws of Cloud Computing:

    1. 1. A cloud may not injure an industry association or government entity or, through inaction, allow an industry association or government entity to come to harm.
    2. 2. A cloud must obey the orders given to it by industry associations or government entities, except where such orders would conflict with the First Law.
    3. 3. A cloud must protect its own existence as long as such protection does not conflict with the First or Second Laws.
  • Re:Evidence (Score:5, Funny)

    by quaero_notitia ( 1192373 ) on Friday January 20, 2012 @03:12PM (#38765628)

    No, pirates don't use RAR or ZIP. They use YARR, matey!

  • Re:Evidence (Score:2, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 20, 2012 @03:27PM (#38765908)

    Ah, they'll just check the header info of the file and see it's not really a zip file. Actually, the initial forensics test will alert them that the file has an incompatible file header pointing it to them quicker. Plus, the hash value will match the know bad copy they are looking for anyway since you probably just copied it from someone online and thought that renaming the file extension would super secret hide it.
    In the end since they rely on the same backend encryption algorithm it won't really slow them down at all...

  • Re:Evidence (Score:4, Funny)

    by Saberwind ( 50430 ) on Friday January 20, 2012 @04:43PM (#38767110)

    Yet Another Recursive Repository?

The wages of sin are high but you get your money's worth.