Federal prosecutors have told the Associated Press that data from MegaUpload could be deleted as soon as Thursday, according to a report in CBS. This is particularly bad news for anyone that was using the service to back up files. Contrary to popular belief MegaUpload was used for other things besides sharing illegal files...
According to the AP, a letter filed last Friday in the MegaUpload piracy case from the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Eastern District of Virginia revealed that Carpathia Hosting and Cogent Communications Group (two companies MegaUpload hired to store data) may begin deleting that data come Thursday.
Assets and bank accounts held by MegaUpload assets have been seized by the government, making it so that the two storage companies won't be paid. Since they aren't being paid, it is their policy to delete storage files.
The government went on to say that it has copied some data from servers but hadn't physically taken possession of the servers. They add that - because the original search warrants have been executed - the remaining data cannot be accessed legally.
MegaUpload was taken offline January 19 and its founder - along with several of his associates - were arrested and charged with various crimes related to online piracy.
The millions of people online who used the service may have to live with the fact that their data is permanently lost.
MegaUpload attorney Ira Rothken told the AP that at least 50 million MegaUpload users could see their data wiped out. He says that he is working with prosecutors to try to prevent the data from being lost forever.
"We're cautiously optimistic at this point that--because the United States, as well as MegaUpload, should have a common desire to protect consumers--this type of agreement will get done," Rothken told the AP. He also said the threatened data could be important for MegaUpload's defense.