Want to read Slashdot from your mobile device? Point it at m.slashdot.org and keep reading!


Forgot your password?
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.
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

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

Comments Filter:
  • Evidence (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Aryden ( 1872756 ) on Friday January 20, 2012 @02:09PM (#38764386)
    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.
  • One story down (Score:5, Interesting)

    by IWantMoreSpamPlease ( 571972 ) on Friday January 20, 2012 @02:23PM (#38764722) Homepage Journal

    Is a case against some Dell folks for massive insider trading scam.

    Wanna take a whild guess as to who gets more jail time?

  • by Yvanhoe ( 564877 ) on Friday January 20, 2012 @02:32PM (#38764900) Journal
    Today, millions of people understood why technical staff always had reservation about "cloud-based" solutions.
  • Re:Evidence (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Nethemas the Great ( 909900 ) on Friday January 20, 2012 @02:43PM (#38765092)
    However, you may wish to relocate somewhere that has a reasonable economy and fewer ill feelings towards the US or its citizens. Accordingly Brazil might be a better choice since it has traditionally given the finger to US extradition requests.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 20, 2012 @02:45PM (#38765124)

    From the site:
    This is the NEW MEGAUPLOAD SITE! we are working to be back full again
    Bookmark the site and share the new address in facebook and twitter!

    But apparently if you go to the site, you will be used as part of a DDoS attack?

  • Re:Evidence (Score:5, Interesting)

    by forkfail ( 228161 ) on Friday January 20, 2012 @02:45PM (#38765126)

    That, in a word, is horseshit.

    The legitimate users of the service have lost real property without any intent to do wrong. The takedown was without warning. The folks who lost their legitimate data have had their fourth amendment rights absolutely trampled.

    And you think they should be grateful that all they lost was their data, and not their physical freedom?

  • Re:ACTA (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 20, 2012 @03:24PM (#38765852)

    Having read through the complaint, the accusations are chilling. The complaint basically describes any service that derives a profit from user-uploaded content and makes the leap that the site is responsible for all content uploaded by users. In this case, the site may very well have known that the vast majority of content was being uploaded by users with no rights to the content, but almost everything that's claimed could be claimed of services where that isn't the case. If this sets a precedent for sites being criminally liable for content uploaded by users, there are many, many online services with much more legitimate intentions that could be affected.

    There's also other nonsensical claims in the complaint that make it scary for those trying to play by the rules. For one, they claim that by not providing search functionality to aid copyright holders in identifying their content, the service was promoting piracy rather than the claimed use as a personal backup service. To me, a global search to help identify files that aren't yours seems like it would aid in piracy, not help it. Any functionality that helps copyright holders find their content will also help those that are looking to download it illegally. Also, unbelievably enough, the evidence against them includes a tool they created for copyright holders to claim files were copyrighted and remove them from the system. I'm still trying to wrap my head around how trying to help copyright holders protect their content can be evidence of conspiring to violate copyright.

  • by iamstretchypanda ( 939837 ) on Friday January 20, 2012 @03:29PM (#38765936) Homepage
    Check out the plates on some of these:

    2005 Mercedes-Benz CLK DTM, VIN WDB2093422F165517, LicensePlate No. “GOOD”;69.
    2004 Mercedes-Benz CLK DTM AMG 5.5L Kompressor, VINWDB2093422F166073, License Plate No. “EVIL”;70.
    2010 Mercedes-Benz S65 AMG L, VIN WDD2211792A324354, LicensePlate No. “CEO”;7071.
    2008 Rolls-Royce Phantom Drop Head Coupe, VINSCA2D68096UH07049; License Plate No. “GOD”;72.
    2010 Mercedes-Benz E63 AMG, VIN WDD2120772A103834, LicensePlate No. “STONED”;73.
    2010 Mini Cooper S Coupe, VIN WMWZG32000TZ03651, License PlateNo. “V”;74.
    2010 Mercedes-Benz ML63 AMG, VIN
    WDC1641772A608055, LicensePlate No. “GUILTY”;75.
    2007 Mercedes-Benz CL65 AMG, VIN WDD2163792A025130, LicensePlate No. “KIMCOM”;76.
    2009 Mercedes-Benz ML63 AMG, VIN WDC1641772A542449,LicensePlate No. “MAFIA”;77.
    2010 Toyota Vellfire, VIN 7AT0H65MX11041670, License Plate Nos.“WOW” or “7”;78.
    2011 Mercedes-Benz G55 AMG, VIN WDB4632702X193395, LicensePlate Nos. “POLICE” or “GDS672”;79.
    2011 Toyota Hilux, VIN MR0FZ29G001599926, License PlateNo. “FSN455”;80.
    Harley Davidson Motorcycle, VIN 1HD1HPH3XBC803936, LicensePlate No. “36YED”;81.
    2010 Mercedes-Benz CL63 AMG, VIN WDD2163742A026653, LicensePlate No. “HACKER”;82.
    2005 Mercedes-Benz A170, VIN WDD1690322J184595, License PlateNo. “FUR252”;83.
    2005 Mercedes-Benz ML500, VIN WDC1641752A026107, License PlateNo. DFF816;84.
    Fiberglass sculpture, imported from the United Kingdom with EntryNo. 83023712;85.
    1957 Cadillac El Dorado, VIN 5770137596;86.
    2010 Sea-Doo GTX Jet Ski, VIN YDV03103E010;87.
    1959 Cadillac Series 62 Convertible, VIN 59F115669;88.
    Von Dutch Kustom Motor Bike, VIN 1H9S14955BB451257;89.
    2006 Mercedes-Benz CLK DTM, VIN WDB2094421T067269;90.
    2010 Mini Cooper S Coupe, VIN WMWZG32000TZ03648 LicensePlate No. “T”;7191.
    1989 Lamborghini LM002, VIN ZA9LU45AXKLA12158, License PlateNo. “FRP358”;92.
    2011 Mercedes-Benz ML63, VIN 4JGBB7HB0BA666219;
  • Re:Evidence (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Brett Buck ( 811747 ) on Friday January 20, 2012 @03:31PM (#38765958)

    I don't think you understand - IP is only real property when someone steals or makes unavailable YOUR IP. When it's someone else's IP, then it should be free and they are terrible people for trying to keep it to themselves, you know, data (i.e. popular movies that people spend tens or hundreds of millions to make) wants to be free, man!


  • Re:Evidence (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Marxist Hacker 42 ( 638312 ) * <seebert42@gmail.com> on Friday January 20, 2012 @03:33PM (#38766004) Homepage Journal

    And if it's damning, there are plenty of dead-man-switch based e-mail services that will happily e-mail your file to several news outlets for a cheap price if you fail to check in.

  • Re:Evidence (Score:5, Interesting)

    by sjames ( 1099 ) on Friday January 20, 2012 @03:35PM (#38766050) Homepage Journal

    I have no doubt that some people used megaupload for for copyright infringement, but it was also a perfectly legitimate service used for lawful purposes by many people.

    We don't go bust Ma Bell just because we know that more than one crime has been plotted over the phone.

  • Re:Evidence (Score:5, Interesting)

    by kiwimate ( 458274 ) on Friday January 20, 2012 @03:36PM (#38766076) Journal

    According to the indictment:

    all users are warned in Megaupload.comâ(TM)s âoeFrequently Asked Questionsâ and Terms of Service that they should not keep the sole copy of any file on Megaupload.com and that users bear all risk of data loss. The Mega Conspiracyâ(TM)s duty to retain any data for even a premium user explicitly ends when either the premium subscription runs out or Megaupload.com decides, at its sole discretion and without any required notice, to stop operating.

    But besides this, Megaupload was not positioned as a legitimate backup site. If that's what people wanted, it sure wasn't competing against Carbonite. Numerous sources describe that if you didn't have a premium account then any files you uploaded got deleted if they weren't downloaded within a 21 day period. That's not for backups; that's purely for sharing files, for transferring files from me to you.

    There are a ton of people in this story saying exactly this - if you uploaded your only copy of a file to this (or any other) cloud site, then more fool you.

    Finally, my comment was about the poster I replied to talking about people being deprived of real property, and pointing out that the prevailing claim on Slashdot is that data files aren't real. One or a thousand copies of the file - according to posters here, it makes no difference in the real world.

    So a data file disappears, forever? So what? Nobody's lost real property, have they? Unless you argue about all the work and effort and time spent to create that work - but now we're back to recognizing that electronic data files, despite not being real, nonetheless have "real" origins, and "real" impacts.

    The debate is clearly purely semantic, but it's used constantly on Slashdot when the shoe is on the other foot and it's somehow considered an irrefutable stance.

  • Re:Evidence (Score:5, Interesting)

    by EdIII ( 1114411 ) on Friday January 20, 2012 @08:08PM (#38769740)

    A huge part of the whole cloud approach is that it is an approach to data storage that comes with all of the redundancy built in. The idea is that it's expensive to run your own redundant data stores, keep them secure, etc. So, one basically outsources it to the cloud.

    I disagree. If you are using the "cloud" as your sole backup strategy, you have failed. I personally use 3 points of failure. Primary storage, which can be distributed and redundant by itself. Secondary storage, which is really just a copy of Primary but on different hardware. Finally, Offsite storage. I don't use Amazon for that, but another service which is a differential backup, with versioning, and we maintain the encryption keys locally. Only encrypted data gets uploaded to the service.

    And if this can happen to one company, it can happen to any, including the "more reputable" ones like AWS. Especially with the SOPA-esque laws and treaties being pushed.

    I don't think any company will be safe with SOPA type laws. The end game is going to be complete control and Big Brother watch points at every level of the network. The fundamental idea being that we can't live without Government thinking for us, doing what is in our best interest, and that it needs to be able to watch everything everywhere to protect the American Way of Life. Freedom cannot exist without UnFreedom.

    If only I was making that up. How many examples could I give that show Government has that idea? Carnivore? Echelon? Clipper Chip?

    This will absolutely break the cloud model. It renders all the advantages of the cloud moot, and in fact, opens up a completely new security hole (that of unwarranted seizure and or destruction of data by government agencies, or perhaps even rival corporations with an accusation of illicit content). Disney thinks that MyLittleComic is storing their data in JoesCloud? Accuse JoesCloud of hosting illicit data, get the whole thing nuked.

    This is happening right now. I honestly believe the majority of all DMCA take down notices are fraudulent, hostile, and premeditated sociopathic behavior on the part of content companies.

    Not just the DMCA either. Every aspect of government and regulations is gamed by corporations to gain an advantage on other corporations, citizens, or to suppress unpopular speech. Some of it has nothing to do with laws either. Astroturfing?

    This results in loss of business (at least in the USA); it makes it harder for the smaller firms and startups to be viable; and it further entrenches those corporations that are big enough to pay the appropiate bribes^H^H^H^H^H^H lobbyist donations in Washington DC.

    The US has been fucked for years. The DMCA alone is responsible for huge monetary losses. People are just coming here to learn about technology and get degrees to flee elsewhere where there is more freedom, which is deeply tragic and ironic.

    MegaUpload was not in the US. While I don't think this is SOPA-esque behavior because the FBI did conduct an investigation (due process), the people involved were clearly not just complicit, but actively involved in criminal copyright infringement, and stole data from their users. Seriously, we all know this true. Everybody has for years. Let's not feign ignorance simply because it serves the noble purpose of fighting for freedom. MegaUpload was a slimy ass site where you were more likely to get infected by something than to get what you wanted. Anybody I ever dealt with professionally used a different service for private file sharing like Dropbox.

    What I do have serious questions about is how the FBI thinks it has international jurisdiction to arrest anyone anywhere when no US laws were violated on US soil.

    Finally, I would never, ever argue against due diligence. I would, however, claim that for a number of organizations that cloud use IS due diligence. And I'd still mainta

  • Re:Evidence (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Altrag ( 195300 ) on Friday January 20, 2012 @09:04PM (#38770430)

    Don't be ridiculous. This is the 21st century. Evidence isn't necessary beyond a vague plausibility when it comes to copyright infringement.

    And once the lawsuit is started, it doesn't really matter if you're guilty or not, since you don't have the time or money to fight the legal battle anyway (for a statistically probable definition of "you.")

    America: Guilty until innocence is paid for.

The party adjourned to a hot tub, yes. Fully clothed, I might add. -- IBM employee, testifying in California State Supreme Court