In the wake of the MegaUpload shutdown many of the site’s users complained that their personal files had been lost due to collateral damage.
From work-related data to personal photos, the raid disabled access to hundreds of thousands, perhaps millions, of files that were clearly not infringing.
With most of the news coverage focusing on Megaupload founder Kim Dotcom and the racketeering, copyright infringement and money laundering charges, the fate of these users hasn’t received the attention it deserves.
By taking down Megaupload many of the site’s users were directly harmed. To resolve this matter Megaupload has been talking to the Department of Justice.
“Megaupload’s legal team is working hard to reunite our users with their data. We are negotiating with the Department of Justice to allow all Mega users to retrieve their data,” Kim Dotcom told TorrentFreak.
Over the past weeks Megaupload has been looking into the various options they have to grant users temporary access. Interestingly enough, this quest revealed that many accounts are held by US Government officials.
“Guess what – we found a large number of Mega accounts from US Government officials including the Department of Justice and the US Senate.”
“I hope we will soon have permission to give them and the rest of our users access to their files,” Dotcom told us.
One of the affected Megaupload users.
Megaupload itself is not the only outfit concerned about the lost data of the site’s users. The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) took up the issue as well and launched the MegaRetrieval campaign to make an inventory of disadvantaged users.
Thus far EFF hasn’t made a decision on how to move forward, which will in part depend on the outcome of the negotiations between Megaupload and the Department of Justice.
“EFF continues to identify more people who have lost access to legitimate personal files. Our goal is to help them get their files back as quickly and efficiently as possible,” EFF staff attorney Julie Samuels told TorrentFreak.
Megaupload users who’re missing vital data, including US Government officials, can contact the EFF at [email protected].
Aside from securing user data, EFF is extremely worried about the consequences the Megaupload case has on other file-hosting services.
“In general we are very concerned about the implications the ‘Mega conspiracy’ indictment has for the future of cloud computing and file-hosting services, and innovation more generally. It’s hard to imagine how the nature in which this went down won’t have a chilling effect going forward. We hope to come up with processes for future cases that will counteract that,” Samuels said.
It is expected that in the coming week more news will come out about an eventual resurrection of Megaupload, so users can download their personal files.