DOJ files motion to block return of data to MegaUpload user

By Lee Kaelin on June 12, 2012, 12:00 PM

The innocent users of Megaupload who lost their data, personal files and documents as a result of the US Government's action against the file-sharing service in January remain unable to access them, for at least the foreseeable future after the Department of Justice filed a motion to deny the request of a former user of the service to return his football videos.

With heavy backing from the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), Kyle Goodwin filed a motion demanding a workable solution be found for the release of his work-related material, as well as the data of other former users of the service. However, the court decided that returning the precious videos to Goodwin would set a bad precedent, according to court documents obtained by CNet.

The US Attorney's Office for the Eastern District of Virginia asked the Federal Court to deny Goodwin's request on the grounds that the court had already heard his request and he'd already been given all the relief he was entitled to.

"Mr. Goodwin's proposed solution is to have the government bear the financial cost of restoring his data," the U.S. Attorney's office wrote in its filing, "even if that means releasing assets of the defendants which are subject to mandatory forfeiture. Twenty-three years ago, the Supreme Court made clear that a criminal defendant does not have a right to use someone else's money to finance his defense."

Goodwin was also informed that the US Government was in no way responsible for his loss of data, despite yanking down all of Megaupload's servers as part of its criminal investigation. Instead, Goodwin has been told he should sue Megaupload, or its hosting providers for breach of contracts to recover his loses.

What makes the situation considerably worse is that Carpathia Hosting is growing increasingly unhappy at footing the $9,000 daily cost of keeping the 1,103 servers containing around 28 petabytes of data leased by Megaupload. The hosting company had previously offered to sell the servers complete to the ill-fated firm for $1,000,000, but who exactly will foot the continually increasing bill remains unresolved.

Interestingly, the MPAA said at the end of last week that it was happy for the data of innocent users to be returned to their rightful owners, as long as copyrighted material was not released as part of that process.




User Comments: 16

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inventix1136 said:

What does this ruling mean to all of the cloud services? You can lose ALL of your cloud data on the whim of a government prosecutor without any trial or due process, no matter how much "redundancy" the cloud provider has.

mevans336 mevans336 said:

What does this ruling mean to all of the cloud services? You can lose ALL of your cloud data on the whim of a government prosecutor without any trial or due process, no matter how much "redundancy" the cloud provider has.

No one has lost data yet. If the cloud provider is knowingly engaging in illegal activities on the scale Megaupload was, then you're asking for trouble if you rely on their services. Especially for your "business."

Guest said:

Cloud seem very good but as you can see it has its major drawback. I would not trust any cloud service out there to keep my precious files, you have no control and at any time the company can close its door and bye bye. Or worst, like in this case, the company could do something illegal and then your files are taken hostage and you will probably never get it back. As the attorney say, you can sue Megaupload, only problem is how can you sue a company that is in court and that will probably close. Your familly pictures are worth millions for you but for the court it is just a picture with no real value. With the price of hard disk just buy one and keep a copy of your file at home, and a second copy on a cloud somewhere to share with friends. If you dont have a second copy of your files then you are playing with fire.

Guest said:

What do you mean noone has lost any data? It's been months that people have not had access to their files, that's pretty lost if you ask me. Not to mention that the ruling on deleting the data could change at any time.

MilwaukeeMike said:

The justice department isn't in the habit of releasing possible evidence, and if they start, they'll have to a million files to sort through to figure it out for every 'innocent' user.

"Interestingly, the MPAA said at the end of last week that it was happy for the data of innocent users to be returned to their rightful owners, as long as copyrighted material was not released as part of that process." Why is that interesting? Because we prefer to think of the MPAA as evil?

@Guest - You're right... you could lose your stuff at any time. But the phrase 'Don't put all your eggs in one basket' has been around for a long time. This isn't a new problem. if you care that much about your stuff you should have two separate copies.

Guest said:

Every cloud based service is storing illegally copied files from users which are shared by millions. Skydrive, Dropbox, iCloud and every other cloud based storage allows you to share your files with your friends. I don't see any difference here.

Guest said:

"Instead, Goodwin has been told he should sue Megaupload, or its hosting providers for breach of contracts to recover his loses."

I have to agree with this.

Guest said:

^I don't agree with the typo, unfortunately. :)

TJGeezer said:

"Instead, Goodwin has been told he should sue Megaupload, or its hosting providers for breach of contracts to recover his loses."

I have to agree with this.

So the government takes down the site, effectively putting the cloud storage company out of business, and the bystanders who lose their cloud-stored files should sue Megaupload for a breach of contract over which they had no control? And to you that sounds fair?

Good lord.

shamus087 said:

"Instead, Goodwin has been told he should sue Megaupload, or its hosting providers for breach of contracts to recover his loses."

I have to agree with this.

So the government takes down the site, effectively putting the cloud storage company out of business, and the bystanders who lose their cloud-stored files should sue Megaupload for a breach of contract over which they had no control? And to you that sounds fair?

Good lord.

Thank you sir for confirming I'm not alone.

Guest said:

If the govt. (like any private person) takes property from someone with the intention not to return, then this is theft. In this case, the property is the user's binary data held on a server. If the US gvt. determines this is not personal property or this is not theft then THEIR WHOLE ARGUMENT for taking down the servers in the first place falls flat on it's face.

Unfortunately, it is only the big corporations that are in the financial position to sue the govt. Sheeple must comply.

Mantrhax Mantrhax said:

Cloud computing is a disaster with a clock

cliffordcooley cliffordcooley, TechSpot Paladin, said:

To me the definition of cloud computing is incomplete. When I envision cloud computing, I see multitudes of servers linked together across the globe as one single cloud.

The only way I will ever except the concept of cloud computing, is if my data stays available regardless of how many servers are taken down. As long as users data can be block by taking down one server, it will remain my belief that cloud computing will be a failure.

Guest said:

if you have read the case and all of the articles since the seizure, you'll realize that the case hasn't come to trial and they haven't been proven to have done anything. that's the problem here, you don't have to do anything to lose everything. cloud computing my ass.

Tygerstrike said:

As the guest above stated, it hasnt gone to trial yet. So ANYONE trying to get their info will be blocked untill they can comb through the data and weed out the personal data from the copyrighted data. I feel for the ppl who have personal data and work product stuck in limbo, and its not their fault that the leadership of Mega was a bunch of crooks. Problem with cloud is simple. You are trusting that the company you choose to go with isnt doing anything illegal that would cause the data to be lost.

Guest said:

"Cloud computing is a disaster with a clock"

That is so true.

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