MegaUpload Debacle: Worse-Case Scenario For Cloud Storage Users

One of the risks when you store your data in the cloud is that you’re trusting a third party with your precious files. Of course, you’re gambling with your data no matter where it’s stored; even if you have your own mini-server locked away in the basement, there are worst-case scenarios associated with fire or water damage, equipment malfunctions, and PEBCAK-type errors.

Recently, the worst-case scenario occurred for users of popular storage and file-sharing site MegaUpload after the feds kicked down the door and halted its operations over allegations of large-scale digital piracy. Law enforcement officials are apparently all through with the servers containing MegaUpload’s users’ data, but if you’re one of the many who was hoping to get that data back, it sounds like you’re out of luck.

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Two of the companies that hosted MegaUpload’s data in the U.S., Carpathia Hosting and Cogent Communications, are free to do whatever they like with the servers the feds released back to them. Prosecutors apparently think that the companies will just erase the data starting as early as a couple of days from now.

For its part, Carpathia Hosting released this statement on its website concerning the whole debacle:
In reference to the letter filed by the U.S. Department of Justice with the Eastern District of Virginia on Jan. 27, 2012, Carpathia Hosting does not have, and has never had, access to the content on MegaUpload servers and has no mechanism for returning any content residing on such servers to MegaUpload’s customers. The reference to the Feb. 2, 2012 date in the Department of Justice letter for the deletion of content is not based on any information provided by Carpathia to the U.S. Government. We would recommend that anyone who believes that they have content on MegaUpload servers contact MegaUpload. Please do not contact Carpathia Hosting.
In other words, Carpathia is washing its hands of this mess and putting the responsibility on MegaUpload (where it belongs), which effectively means that any data on those servers isn’t making its way back to users anytime soon, if ever.

If this means your stash of pirated movies is toast, well, no one’s going to feel sorry for you. If, on the other hand, you’ve lost important work files, irreplaceable photos and video, and the like, maybe there’s a painful lesson in here somewhere.