Kim Dotcom Data Deletion
Remember our story about Kim Dotcom's latest venture, Mega? It was created to replace the hosting site Megaupload shut down by US officials in January of last year after charges of conspiracy to commit copyright infringement, conspiracy to commit money laundering, conspiracy to commit racketeering, and two counts of criminal copyright infringement. Kim Dotcom Data Deletion

It seems that after the site was shut down, a Dutch company was left in charge of user data, but has decided it no longer wishes to do so — and deleted all of the data.

Kim Dotcom Data Deletion: Too Bad, So Sad

Apparently, this affected Dotcom to the point he was “in tears.” LeaseWeb, based in Amsterdam, deleted millions and millions of files stored on 630 of their servers in what Dotcom is calling the “largest data massacre in the history of the internet.”

LeaseWeb, in a blog post, said they simply needed to “reprovision the servers.” The company maintained the servers at their own expense after Megaupload was shut down. “After a year of nobody showing any interest in the servers and the data we considered our options…we commenced the re-provisioning of the servers in February 2013.

Dotcom fired back on Twitter, stating lawyers “had repeatedly asked LeaseWeb not to delete Megaupload servers while court proceedings are pending in the US.” What's more, he wasn't warned the deletions would be taking place. LeaseWeb, however, has said they most certainly did tell Dotcom it was about to happen.

The servers that saw data deleted were only a small portion of the total amount of servers Megaupload leased for its users. Just in North America, 1,100 servers were leased from Carpathia Hosting, and more servers were leased from Cogent Communications. According to Dotcom, these two companies refuse to delete the data until the case is decided.

Kim Dotcom Data Deletion: The Legal Fight

Many US Internet rights organizations are outraged at the deletion of the files, and are calling for LeaseWeb to restore the files in order for users to have access to their files like photos and videos.

While Dotcom is out on bail, he is fighting extradition to the US from New Zealand. It was New Zealand authorities who spoke out against the raid on Dotcom's home, calling it illegal. Numerous computers, documents, and hard drives were taken in this raid.

Kim Dotcom Data Deletion: A Victory For Dotcom

In fact, in late May, the New Zealand high court granted Dotcom access to the evidence seized in that raid. According to the court, the warrants obtained to conduct the raid were illegal.

What exactly did the court decide? Police must return to Dotcom any files irrelevant to the case, and any clones must be destroyed. Anything deemed relevant must be forwarded along to Dotcom's lawyers. Those lawyers have been gearing up for his extradition hearing this August, so they have been asking for access to this evidence for some time.

Kim Dotcom Data Deletion: The Big Question

Dotcom claims the charges are ridiculous, that he should not be held accountable for the data stored on Megaupload. He merely offered a storage service, and did not encourage illegal content whatsoever.

But is this necessarily true? We've said many times in articles here at Ananova that hosting companies have the right to deem your content inappropriate and refuse to provide you hosting services. Also, there are numerous hosting services like this, cloud-based or otherwise, that allow users to upload any kind of content they wish to. It will be interesting to see what happens in this case, and what it means for other sites that offer cheap hosting of content.

What's your opinion on this case? We'd love to hear about it!

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