Megaupload Host Refuses to Delete User Data and Evidence, For Now

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Months after the Megaupload raids and arrests, the fate of the 1,103 servers hosted at Carpathia is still undecided. While the feds won't mind if the servers are wiped clean, Megaupload, the EFF and the MPAA want the data to be preserved because it contains critical evidence and irreplaceable user data. Carpathia is sympathetic to these concerns and has put the fate of Megaupload's data in the hands of Judge O'Grady.

megaupload logoFor weeks Megaupload has attempted to come to a workable solution with the Department of Justice, but Megaupload founder Kim Dotcom has just confirmed to TorrentFreak that these efforts have been in vain.

The DoJ and Megaupload couldn’t reach an agreement and as a result several parties are now fighting over the data, all for very different reasons.

The government’s position is somewhat confusing. Initially the authorities argued that they had no interest in the data at all, but when Carpathia Hosting made a deal with Megaupload to sell the servers for $1,000,000, the feds backpedaled. The government does not trust Megaupload with the data and would rather see it deleted.

But Carpathia refuses to do so, as Megaupload, the EFF and even the MPAA all believe that would be a bad idea.

Megaupload has argued before the court that the servers hold important evidence, and has accused the feds of wanting to purposefully destroy it so the file-hoster becomes hindered when mounting its defense.

“In essence, the government has taken what it wants from the scene of the alleged crime and is content that the remaining evidence, even if it is exculpatory or otherwise relevant to the defense, be destroyed,” Mega’s defense wrote to the court.

And Megaupload is not the only party interested in keeping the data intact. The EFF is representing a user who is demanding the return of his personal files, and the MPAA wants the data to be preserved for civil cases the movie studios may file against Megaupload.

In an attempt to save the data, all parties except the government have asked Judge O’Grady to come up with a solution to prevent Carpathia from having to wipe the servers clean.

In a filing to the court yesterday, the hosting company makes its position clear. Without an opinion from the court, they are refusing to delete the data as the government is suggesting.

“Carpathia is in no position to decide whether to destroy or keep the data without guidance from this Court. Defendants’ claims are sufficiently reasonable that without a court order, it would be imprudent for Carpathia to simply ignore them and reprovision the servers,” the hosting company writes.

“And while the government claims its sampling is sufficient and no further data need be preserved, other parties have claimed that all of the data is necessary – Mega for its defense, EFF for the return of data to innocent users, and MPAA for use in future litigation,” they add.

For now Megaupload’s servers are safe, but if the court decides that it has no problems if they are wiped clean, the hosting provider will do so.

If the data is to be preserved, Carpathia wants to know if they can sell the servers to Megaupload. If the court believes the hosting company should continue to maintain the servers, Carpathia wants to be compensated.

The fate of Megaupload’s data is now in the hands Judge O’Grady.


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