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Cloud Crime Data Storage Piracy Privacy

Megaupload User Data Could Be Destroyed Soon 260

New submitter writes "According to the Associated Press, user data from the recently-closed file-hosting site Megaupload could be destroyed as soon as Thursday. Apparently Megaupload paid another company to actually store the data. 'But Megaupload attorney Ira Rothken said Sunday that the government has frozen its money. 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. ... 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." There's also been talk of a lawsuit against the FBI over users' lost files.
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Megaupload User Data Could Be Destroyed Soon

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday January 30, 2012 @04:43PM (#38869063)
    Absolutely nothing ... I don't think there was any question of "how" to do it. RTFA
  • Re:Suing the FBI? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday January 30, 2012 @04:51PM (#38869185)

    No, it's like the FBI impounding all the units in a storage facility because some of them hold illegal contraband.

  • Re:Suing the FBI? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by L3370 ( 1421413 ) on Monday January 30, 2012 @04:53PM (#38869193)
    how about legit files of your own creation that you had complete ownership of and decided to put on a cloud service?
  • by Cro Magnon ( 467622 ) on Monday January 30, 2012 @04:57PM (#38869247) Homepage Journal

    Did the users upload to MU and delete their local copy? If not, they still have their data.

  • !Safe in Cloud (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Barondude ( 245739 ) on Monday January 30, 2012 @05:00PM (#38869283)

    And this is why you should never trust anything you can't afford to lose to the cloud. You lose control and have no idea what is really going on with your data under the hood.

  • by hey! ( 33014 ) on Monday January 30, 2012 @05:04PM (#38869325) Homepage Journal

    The short answer is no. "They" (by which I assume you mean the US govt) cannot delete the data. What they *can* do is take steps which will almost certainly result in the data being deleted by the third parties hosting it.

    The result is something like an extrajudicial execution. They've ensured Megaupload will die, even if the company is exonerated in the courts.

  • Re:Suing the FBI? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by localman57 ( 1340533 ) on Monday January 30, 2012 @05:09PM (#38869389)
    Welcome to the cloud. If your data is more valuable than the storage space it's written to, then keep your own copy. In this case, it was the government that precipitated the shutdown of a service provider, so everybody's looking to blame them. Who are you going to blame when market dynamics cause a company to just go bankrupt? This reminds me of the outcry that happened when they finally put a bullet in (I believe it was) GeoCities.
  • by jellomizer ( 103300 ) on Monday January 30, 2012 @05:09PM (#38869393)
    By unlawful you mean by lawful methods you disagree with.
  • Re:Suing the FBI? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by whoever57 ( 658626 ) on Monday January 30, 2012 @05:11PM (#38869413) Journal

    not quite. Its like the FBI seizing all units of a storage facility where the storage facility itself is believed to be storing illegal materials on the premises.

    Having destroyed the material, how do they prove it was illegal? Even if they can point to a few files, how do they show that the majority of files are infringing (which will be required under US law)?

    No, the objective here is simple: put Megaupload out of business, irrespective of what is legal or not. This deletion will put them out of business.

  • Re:!Safe in Cloud (Score:4, Insightful)

    by theNAM666 ( 179776 ) on Monday January 30, 2012 @05:13PM (#38869433)

    Kinda like... trusting anything you can't afford to loose to a hard drive.

    Remember when IBM moved its production facilities from San Jose to Hungary? I heard they had a 60%+ return rate on those first batches of drives-- I lost two years of grad school research.

    Cloud= redundancy, man. Didn't you watch the Steve Jobs presentation at WDDC, when he said HE NEVER LOST ANYTHING? That's the idea.

  • Re:Suing the FBI? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Charliemopps ( 1157495 ) on Monday January 30, 2012 @05:17PM (#38869477)
    No, it's like the FBI showing up with the CEO's of walmart in tow, prying the lock off a couple of the storage units and the CO's pointing at random objects and yelling "They stole that, and that, and that..." meanwhile the renters of the storage locker are in China, and the owner of the storage company says "Well they could have gotten that at Target you know... also, how do you know they stole this and didn't actually pay for it? Have you even asked them?" The FBI then arrests the Owner of the storage unit, who now can't pay its utility bills... water, sewer and power are cut off... the buildings catch fire and the FBI tells the fire department "no need to put that out... we have the truth, let the lies burn."

    When they come to take your rights away, they start with the people that clearly don't deserve them. When they come for yours, well... it's a little too late then isn't it?
  • by Maximum Prophet ( 716608 ) on Monday January 30, 2012 @05:21PM (#38869527)
    The downloaders that downloaded copyright infringing material can re-download somewhere else.

    Customers that downloaded original stuff are screwed if they can't find a copy.
  • by _KiTA_ ( 241027 ) on Monday January 30, 2012 @05:25PM (#38869567) Homepage

    Imagine if this was done to YouTube. YouTube has at least one infringing clip, but it also has a lot of original content that would be lost.

    Believe you me, if YouTube hadn't been bought by Google, this would have happened to them. The various Copyright Cartels would still love to do this to them, but can't because Google is too big.

  • by 0123456 ( 636235 ) on Monday January 30, 2012 @05:41PM (#38869723)

    "This action will destroy the cloud storage/computing industry before it gets off the ground."

    You say that as though it's a bad thing.

    If you give your data to someone else, it's no longer your data and there's no guarantee you'll get it back. Either deal with that, or keep your data locally.

  • by TFAFalcon ( 1839122 ) on Monday January 30, 2012 @06:11PM (#38870051)

    It's kind of like the police busting into you apartment and finding a body. They remove the body, but don't look at anything else. Then arrest you and prevent you from paying your rent.

    As a result, your landlord throws everything out, cleans the apartment and re-rents it.

    The only problem with that is there could have been tracks that the real murderer left there, a suicide note or a confession written by someone else.

  • Re:Suing the FBI? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by PRMan ( 959735 ) on Monday January 30, 2012 @06:15PM (#38870131)

    OK, let's play this game.

    Let's say that U2 has a new song that's almost out. It gets leaked (somehow) to the internet. Bono sends a copy to Edge on MegaUpload so that he can play it for a performer from their opening act so that they can hear it and end their act with a song that's not too similar. U2's manager sends a copy to an advertising agency to use in a commercial. The band sends a copy to the execs at Island Records so that they can send it to radio stations. Also, a pirate makes it and the Megaupload link available for download.

    The lawyers for U2's label (rightfully) demand immediate takedown for the pirate link, because it's being used for piracy. How many of the 4 copies are illegal?

    The answer is probably one. MegaUpload would be right to leave the other 3 identical copies alone. This is the problem with copyright infringement claims. The files don't come with dossiers explaining who is and is not allowed to listen to it. That's why copyright and fair use must be decided in a court of law.

  • Re:Suing the FBI? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by TFAFalcon ( 1839122 ) on Monday January 30, 2012 @06:27PM (#38870307)

    Innocent until PROVEN guilty? Why can the money (and the lawyers it could buy) be taken away before the trial even begins?

  • by IndustrialComplex ( 975015 ) on Monday January 30, 2012 @07:40PM (#38871321)

    Counter-lawsuit? Against what?

    The government is the perfect example of 'not my department.' The government doesn't have to care what gets crushed under the wheels of 'justice'. The people who are supposed to care were the ones who pointed the government in that direction and said 'GO'.

    ie: the government has the excuse in the form of: The people told me to go do this, it's not my job to question, it's my job to do. They told me to do this by passing the laws that gave me the power to do this. I must assume that they factored in the costs and potential outcome when they granted this power in the first place.

    This is why your first worry shouldn't be 'Will this give the government the power to solve problem xyz' but 'How is it possible for this power to be abused? And when it is inevitably abused in that manner, is it worth the cost?"

"How many teamsters does it take to screw in a light bulb?" "FIFTEEN!! YOU GOT A PROBLEM WITH THAT?"