DOJ Continues To Obstruct Efforts For Megaupload Users To Get Their Files Back

from the because-hollywood-once-told-us-someone-was-dr.-evil dept

For a while we had followed the bizarre situation with Megaupload's servers. As you may recall, the Justice Department seized them all, following its criminal indictment against Megaupload and many of its executives. However, soon after seizing all of the company's servers, the DOJ announced that it no longer needed them and told the hosting company that had them that the data on them could be destroyed. We pointed out that this seemed like a clear case of destruction of evidence by the DOJ. First, it seized pretty much all of the assets of a company, prior to any conviction, and then before any actual judicial proceedings, asked for most of those assets -- many of which could include exculpatory evidence -- to be destroyed. It seemed... quite questionable. That resulted in a bit of a legal battle, as the hosting company storing them, Carpathia, asked what it should be doing (since it's suffering from the cost of keeping the servers). Megaupload sought to buy the servers, but the DOJ has blocked that effort. Last we'd heard, the judge had told everyone to work it all out by themselves.

Torrentfreak has an update, noting that everyone's in a stalemate and nothing seems to be happening:

This effort was stopped because the U.S. didn’t want Kim Dotcom to have access to the files. Hoping to get out of this stalemate the Court then suggested that all affected parties should get together and come up with a solution, thus far without success.

“In separate written requests in the past year both Carpathia and Megaupload have asked Magistrate Judge Anderson – who was appointed by Judge O’Grady to mediate the cloud storage server data issue – to preside over follow-up negotiations on data preservation and consumer access,” Rothken tells TF.

“The US DOJ has shown little interest in such negotiations and the Judge has not been inclined to set any additional meetings,” he adds.

The whole situation is bizarre. Individuals who had legitimate content stored on Megaupload are still asking for access to get back their content, but the DOJ doesn't seem to care at all. In fact, it's coming up with increasingly bizarre excuses to justify shutting down an entire business based on the entertainment industry's say so, and seems to have no qualms about how many people this has created massive problems for.

As the Aereo case is about to be heard, and various concerns about its impact on cloud computing are being raised, people should look over at what's happening with Megaupload's servers and be even more concerned. If the broadcasters succeed in redefining what is a "public performance," it's entirely conceivable that the DOJ could choose to do the same to other cloud services you rely on -- and there seems to be no recourse whatsoever.

Filed Under: doj, evidence, servers
Companies: carpathia, megaupload


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  1. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 6 Apr 2014 @ 4:16am

    Re:

    horse with no name just can't stand it when due process is enforced.

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