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.
RTietjens 2 years ago

Under SOPA, PIPA, or ACTA, if one user stores unauthorized copyrighted content on, for example, Amazon's Cloud, Google Docs, or Apple's cloud storage service, the entire system will be seized and shut down - regardless of how many legitimate files are stored there by other users.

Remember, humans are no longer citizens, and the needs of humans no longer matter under Citizens United vs. Federal Election Commission. Only Corporations matter. And Corporations can afford to build their own server farms, not open to the public, so they won't be inconvenienced (or financially ruined) by a human storing a LOLcat picture on their servers.

Aoshi 2 years ago

Agreed RTietjens, this is a messy concept that is near impossible to handle.

zybch 2 years ago

You're an absolute idiot if you store your stuff on the cloud without it also being stored locally (ala DropBox).

Servers go down, internet goes down, your ISP goes down, some jumped up jackass in law enforcement confiscates a server coz it has an illegal content (and also hosts your data), there is just too much uncertainty with anything located solely on the cloud.

Sure, use the cloud as a backup service, but NEVER as the one and only location for your important stuff.

AKwyn 2 years ago

This is just pathetic. MegaUpload has as much legitimate uses as other file sharing sites (and they did take down copyrighted files); it's a shame the government had to play the whole illegal and profiting from it card because they assumed it was a threat to the music business. (what with it's service that'd pay artists for music being played for free.)

Whatever happened to a free market?

omegadoom13 2 years ago

I feel bad for those who used Megaupload for legal purposes. I would never store important files online without first backing them up. Use the cloud servers as backup, not as the primary location for your files.

realneil 2 years ago

I've never transfered anything to cloud storage yet. I never saw it as being secure enough to trust. (not like having my own DATA stored here, in more than one place)

It's a shame that some people are about to lose their files. It is a harsh lesson.

cowboyspace 2 years ago

It is just unacceptable they should should/most return those user's data.I see cloud like a dangerous place to storage my date as it only depends of a password as far as i know or not? bad luck for those users of MU.

OMEGADraco 2 years ago

My family uses SugarSync and we sync our family photos between multiple machines with it. Plus they are stored on the SugarSync cloud. So this means my photos are on my parents machine and theirs are on mine plus they are backed up to the cloud. I don't use the cloud for any other files like taxes or financial records though it is far to insecure for that.

inspector 2 years ago

I find it wrong how feds can just seize a whole server when there is maybe only one thing wrong with it :l. A hosting company i help out at had its server seized for a customer uploading a visa(credit card) phishing script and handed the whole server to visa without giving our other customers a backup :l... I can see why they do this but i think they need to work out a better way.

DHampton 2 years ago

Dont do business with criminals my brother had a chance to invest with a guy who would give 200% return almost perfectly assured. The guy was a criminal with semi well known mob affiliation his friend still invested. What happened all assets were seized including that of people which invested.

Mega video/ upload were one of the most popular illegal content host on the web. To really on them is just dumb they were popular well known criminals.

Sopa pipa acta are bad but none of these caused this sure it may have been a fed flex in response to losing so big. But it was perfectly legal and within law.

BHart 2 years ago

i hope they AT LEAST give us 24 hours access...i'm mad cause i had alot of stuff of on MU that i didn't keep a 2nd backup off (-)smacks head into wall(-)

p.s. if anyone is looking for a similar free host:

imo it's better than megaupload since peeje gives u DIRECT-download links

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