back to article Millions face Megaupload data deletion by Thursday

US prosecutors have warned that Megaupload users could start losing the data they uploaded to the company as early as this Thursday. The US attorney's office had been granted search warrants for Megaupload data hosted on servers based in Virginia at Carpathia Hosting and Cogent Communications. In executing the warrants, …

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Anonymous Coward

And if the case collapses...

$Deity that's a big compensation claim, and a really, really big lawsuit for defamation and damages against the ones who brought the allegations.

Whatever happens, this is going to be very, very interesting - and likely utterly devastating for the RIAA and MPAA either way.

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@AC

>>"$Deity that's a big compensation claim, and a really, really big lawsuit for defamation and damages against the ones who brought the allegations."

Well, if RIAA/MPAA hadn't done much more than complain about the seeming inadequacy of the takedown responses and give whatever evidence they had over to the authorities, unless the data they provided was actually fabricated, once the authorities took the ball and ran with it, I think that probably leaves the original complainants largely, if not entirely, off the hook.

If someone told the police that their neighbour seemed to be involved in all kinds of strange stuff - odd late-night comings-and-goings, always flashing wads of cash around, etc, strange herbal smells they couldn't quite place, etc - and after some surveillance which gave them legal justification for a raid, the police raided his place and didn't find enough evidence of criminality to charge him, even if the raid screwed his business, I doubt he'd have any obvious comeback against the original complainer if they hadn't made anything up.

In the normal course of events, he might not even have the right to ask who the complainer was, even if he might suspect.

Even if it came to going after the police, while they might not have enough evidence for criminal action, depending what he was actually doing and how dubious it looked (or could be made to look), he might not necessarily have a great chance of portraying himself as an poor innocent victim of harassment.

>>"Whatever happens, this is going to be very, very interesting - and likely utterly devastating for the RIAA and MPAA either way."

It's certainly going to be interesting, but I'm not entirely sure it's an RIAA-killer.

if the case succeeds, they seem to win to some extent, and can still argue that the law needs strengthening to make action against these awful pirates and their helpers easier, and or to aid dealing more easily with more-overseas-based operations.

But if not, they have a pretty good excuse to argue that the law can't be strong enough if these terrible people can make so much money by effectively knowingly profiting from infringement without being liable.

Let's face it, Kim is a pretty convenient guy to have as a target, whether the first shot hits ('he's guilty!') or misses ('we need better weapons!"').

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Anonymous Coward

I'm not sure how it is in America, but in the UK, the police would pay.

Let's say someone tells the police they think you have some illegal substances in your house. The police decided to do a midnight raid and arrest you while they search. They have to a) make sure the house is secure, and b) pay for any thing they break, including broken doors and ripped up floorboards. That's regardless of if they find anything or not. If they find nothing then they have to compensate you for the time they've held you for. Certainly that's according to the UK guides on this subject.

Unless you can show the person who called the police did so maliciously (including a prank) then you can't touch them.

The MPAA/RIAA would be up for a bashing on social media sites, but they would not face penalties unless they were shown to have fabricated evidence. The FBI or whoever would be the ones to foot the bill (assuming they have a similar compensation clause as the UK does). Which means the US citizens get to pay... and not the MPAA/RIAA. Win for them, loose for everyone else.

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@AC

>>"I'm not sure how it is in America, but in the UK, the police would pay."

>>"Let's say someone tells the police they think you have some illegal substances in your house. The police decided to do a midnight raid and arrest you while they search. They have to a) make sure the house is secure, and b) pay for any thing they break, including broken doors and ripped up floorboards. That's regardless of if they find anything or not. If they find nothing then they have to compensate you for the time they've held you for. Certainly that's according to the UK guides on this subject."

Though if a crime is committed in a squat or rented property, would the police have to pay to store all the contents of the building just in case someone might want to use something in their defence?

Would they have to rent the building indefinitely to prevent the owners using it for something else?

Would they even have a right to keep hold of anything which they couldn't claim was relevant evidence for the investigation?

It's certainly complicated here by the fact money has been frozen, but in a similar case where it hadn't been frozen, it would seem that the business would probably have to pay for keeping any data the authorities weren't interested in.

That would suggest that maybe sufficient assets should be unfrozen to pay for its upkeep, if the defendants want that.

If they don't want that, they might find it hard to successfully claim unfairness later.

After all they wouldn't be benefiting from the money in any sense other than getting a better chance at a trial, while a presumably/supposedly legitimate US company would be, so that should be relatively easy for the US authorities to stomach.

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Hate to tell you this, but you've been misinformed.

If the Ole Bill kick your door in and find evidence of a crime, the cost of the door is yours to pay.

If they find nothing, you may get some money but only if they've made an actual mistake (got the address wrong for example). See this lovely lass.

They do of course have to (re)secure the property, and a failure to do so could result in them being liable for loss. Not sure this is something that translates well to the Internet though, they haven't for example published the contents of the servers far and wide (which could be a data protection issue depending what's hosted). The data hosted is quite unlikely to be stolen.

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David Wilson

"Though if a crime is committed in a squat or rented property, would the police have to pay to store all the contents of the building just in case someone might want to use something in their defence?"

Absolutely not. They would, however, have to sieze anything potentially relevant to the case and that could be quite a wide definition. That might include everything owned by the suspect and could extend to others if deemed appropriate. It is up to the investigating authorities to take everything relevant to the case regardless of whether it's for the prosecution or defence. The wording (and it might be a case of interpretation) suggests that in the case of MU, they have only copied selective MU data. In that case, all relevant evidence almost certainly hasn't been secured.

"Would they have to rent the building indefinitely to prevent the owners using it for something else?"

If the building itself is relevant and needs to be preserved for some reason (not often, but sometimes happens) and photos etc. are not good enough, then yes. The building, property whatever is relevant and therefore must be kept as is until the case is over. Obviously, in most cases, alternatives can be found.

I totally agree that sufficient assets should be unfrozen to pay to keep the data available for a period of time to give people a chance to remove their files. It needn't be for long and the money would in no way be of benefit to the (alleged) criminal. And on top of all that, the authorities would be regarded as acting reasonably and hopefully would get a much better image out of it. This would potentially even extend to the MPAA etc. who could reasonably say they were only going after the infringers. At the moment, they appear to be after legitimate users as well.

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@Mad Mike

>>"I totally agree that sufficient assets should be unfrozen to pay to keep the data available for a period of time to give people a chance to remove their files."

Well, they might understandably not want to open it up for anyone to download anything in any quantity and with minimal records kept.

How easy it would be to have a system that allowed legitimate copying back of data, but blocked business as usual, I wouldn't like to say.

>>"And on top of all that, the authorities would be regarded as acting reasonably and hopefully would get a much better image out of it."

I guess if they reckon legitimate use was limited, they might think that, if technically feasible, and someone else footing the bill, having a system where they asked people to apply for access to get one copy of their data back could give them useful ammunition in the case of having relatively few applications for access, even if such applications would naturally only reflect a fraction of total legitimate usage, excluding both use for legitimate distribution, and use for legitimate storage of stuff not kept elsewhere.

Certainly, there'd be a good PR angle for giving some kind of access, especially since in the absence of doing anything, there'd be little to stop any number of invented/exaggerated tales of lost valuable or personal data flying around alongside any genuine ones, whereas giving reasonable access would largely knock that kind of thing on the head.

On the other hand, maybe they'd reckon that encouraging people to keep legitimate data away from 'borderline legal' sites in future might be handy as well, making it easier to portray such places as not merely being unlawful in some of their activity, but not even having much legitimate use going on.

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Then I guess you have no idea

what a cloned drive is and are entirely unfit to serve on a jury in any event.

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@Tom13

Any chance you could reference the post you're replying to - sometimes active threads can get hard to read if people don't.

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@USDOJ

When can I retrieve all the legitimate data I have stored? On my lifetime platinum account? that I paid for? Thanks USDOJ, for ruining the accounts of millions of users over your 'information infringement' claims.

Will you be reimbursing Mega's customers the money you have effectively stolen from us? Or does the standard only work one way?

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Facepalm

"On my lifetime platinum account? that I paid for?"

More fool you. I took one look at the advert strewn mess, the relentless upgrade nagging, variable reliability, vast selection of links in the wild pointing there for obviously moody content and decided many moons gone that my money wouldn't be going anywhere near the ruddy place.

Always felt just a shade too fly-by-night for my liking. There are plenty of online storage places that don't have a presentation that looks like a Flash advert for Geocities and who wield the banhammer at anyone taking the piss with what they're sharing.

Put it this way. If you had a selection of diamonds would you put them in a safe deposit box in a bank vault or "Honest Fred's no-questions-asked secure storage"? Caveat Emptor.

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Anonymous Coward

@Dannington

It would be (subject to them being found guilty) Megaupload who stole money from you, by offering a service which is not legal.

I have come across Megaupload several times, each time, I was looking for software that probably wasn't entirely legitimate to be in the public domain. Each time I saw megaupload, asking me to subscribe to be able to download, I thought "I'm steering well clear of this, it's obviously dodgy as hell and I don't want to end up the victim of identity theft or with a virus riddled computer."

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@TeeCee

Mmmmmm. So, presumably you don't own a bank account? All these very exemplary banks that would have gone bankrupt if governments hadn't stepped in. It you lost all your money due to picking the wrong high street bank, would you say the same. In the UK, anyone with money in RBS or HBOS (LLoyds only got dodgy when it was forced to take HBOS over) would have lost the lot. However, the government stepped in and if not, the banking compensation scheme would have covered at least some of the money.

The point here, is that it's unnecessary. They could easily shut the service down for a week, take full backups etc. for the court case and then make it available again for people to download anything they need. They could even monitor what people are downloading and if they are breaking copyright, prosecute them. But no......they take the nuclear option and hit the innocent as well as the guilty. Epic fail and totally unnecessary.

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@Mad Mike

>>"In the UK, anyone with money in RBS or HBOS (LLoyds only got dodgy when it was forced to take HBOS over) would have lost the lot. However, the government stepped in and if not, the banking compensation scheme would have covered at least some of the money."

Well, deposits up to a decent level were automatically covered, so no individual would have lost the lot, and most people would have been fully covered.

Someone with an account below the compensation limit could have invested their money quite safely, as long as the bank was a UK one, covered by the scheme.

>>"The point here, is that it's unnecessary. They could easily shut the service down for a week, take full backups etc. for the court case and then make it available again for people to download anything they need. They could even monitor what people are downloading and if they are breaking copyright, prosecute them."

Is downloading a criminal offence in the USA or is it the uploading (including making stuff available P2P) that is potentially criminal, similar to what (I think) is the UK situation?

>>"But no......they take the nuclear option and hit the innocent as well as the guilty"

Have they actually taken an option yet?

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@David WIlson

"Well, deposits up to a decent level were automatically covered, so no individual would have lost the lot, and most people would have been fully covered.

Someone with an account below the compensation limit could have invested their money quite safely, as long as the bank was a UK one, covered by the scheme."

I suspect this was a major reason why they bailed the banks out. The financial compensation scheme simply couldn't have covered the losses that would have occured and the compensation claims, so either it would have fallen (which would have been a disaster for the industry), or the government would have had to step in. So, don't think the compensation scheme protected anyone from these banks failing......it simply doesn't have the assets available.

"Is downloading a criminal offence in the USA or is it the uploading (including making stuff available P2P) that is potentially criminal, similar to what (I think) is the UK situation?"

I was not talking about allowing people to download copyright violating material. I said they could either filter the material, or more likely, simply log who downloads what. Then, when the copyright violating files are identified, the people can be prosecuted for downloading. In the UK, both uploaders and downloaders are potentially liable to prosecution, although it tends to be uploaders that are chased as they make the material available and are generally easier to find.

"Have they actually taken an option yet?"

Agreed, they have not. But, given that the US have taken the nuclear option so many times in their history (and are now reaping the benefits), I think it likely.

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Mushroom

Am I the only one who READ this article?

1. The servers were on US soil, hence under US jurisdiction.

2. The US Government only copied data relevant to the case.

3. As of right now, NOTHING has been deleted.

4. There are currently no active plans to delete data. However, a payment deadline (apparently) comes up this Thursday, at which point the data could be deleted. BUT:

5. There are ongoing negotiations to preserve the data.

All of this information is in the article, with the exception of the payment deadline, which is a logical inference from the statement that Megaupload can't pay the hosting provider due to its assets being frozen and the statement that deletions could happen as early as Thursday.

Oh, and as a side note, you have this file or set of files that are important to you, so you upload them to some third-party site like Megaupload. And then you delete the originals? Really? The real root cause of any lost data in this case will be the incompetence of the data owners.

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Facepalm

I *LOVE* these kinds of statements, makes it sound so simple, but really, it's 'perfect world' nonsense.

You might well have read this article, but you've clearly not read the rest, or relevant case law, or much else connected to the case.

Think back oooh 30 years, to the Betamax case. There was a ruling by a little known body called the US SUPREME COURT that noted that VCR's were NOT to be banned if they had 'significant non-infringing uses.' (that means designed uses which do not require infringement)

Now tell me, how exactly do you show that this was happening and widespread? Easiest way would be to have the data available....

I know I had non-infringing use of MU. I launched a book last week, a combination of essays. It's called "No Safe Harbor" (www.nosafeharbor.com) and it's free to download. I'd been putting versions of the ebook (in different formats) onto MU for some friends to check. When done ,that would have been another alternate download source.

As for your side note, quite a straw man. The only reason the MU version might be the only copy is because 'you deleted the original'? So, hard drive failure, computer stolen, fire/flood/unexpected corporate-driven police-raid, what about in THOSE circumstances?

By the way, i was cranking through ebook versions 2 weeks ago so fast at one point, that sometimes the MU versions were only in one place, MU.

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SCOTUS & MU

The "'perfect world' nonsense" is your idea that the world revolves around the fact that YOU uploaded some garbage to Megaupload.

And you haven't really replied to any of the points in Steve Knox's post other than call it "'perfect world' nonsense".

As for the US Supreme Court saying that "VCR's were NOT to be banned if they had 'significant non-infringing uses" you have clearly misunderstood it: it does NOT mean "some uses, or possible uses which do not require infringement". A more exact - although still inexact - meaning would be "many of its uses do not necessarily require infringement". It does not mean "someone somewhere is using it for non-infringing uses". And it *certainly* does not mean "YOU are using it to store versions of something you're writing".

To put this another way, your files do not shield Megaupload.

And here is what the Supreme Court said in "MGM Studios, Inc. v. Grokster, Ltd." when they vacated a lower court ruling that found in favor of Grokster: "the rule on inducement of infringement as developed in the early cases is no different today. Advertising an infringing use or instructing how to engage in an infringing use, show an affirmative intent that the product be used to infringe, and a showing that infringement was encouraged overcomes the law's reluctance to find liability when a defendant merely sells a commercial product suitable for some lawful use…" (That from Wikipedia's articles, see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/MGM_Studios,_Inc._v._Grokster,_Ltd. and http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sony_Corp._v._Universal_City_Studios)

So the fact that Megaupload might have non-infringing uses does not shield them from liability for infringing uses.

And even then, it does not appear to me at least that either of these two Supreme Court decisions offer any defense to Megaupload: they have offer payments to users who upload frequently-downloaded files, knew as shown by their emails that they knew that their servers were being used for infringement and profited from it, and refused to remove infringing files.

By the way, should your files on Megaupload also shield them from charges of money-laundering?

"As for your side note, quite a straw man. The only reason the MU version might be the only copy is because 'you deleted the original'? So, hard drive failure, computer stolen, fire/flood/unexpected corporate-driven police-raid, what about in THOSE circumstances?"

Now THIS would be a good example of a straw-man argument! What would make you think that Megaupload servers are immune to these same problems? So you have not defeated Steve Knox's original point, which, if I may paraphrase, is that anyone keeping their only copies of important files on Megaupload, or anywhere else, with no copies anywhere else, is an "idiot".

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@Steve Knox

Could I clarify one of your points.

2. It does not say the US Government only copied data relevant to the case. It says they copied selective information. Who's to say that was everything to do with MU? How did they make the decision of what is 'relevant'? Perhaps relevant to the prosecution only?

The incompetence here is not of the data owner. If a site offers secure and safe storage and that's part of the contract, you're entitled to expect this. BT has a cloud storage product for sale in this country. If some use this for illegal purposes, should everyone loose their data? Do you not trust BT to hold your data securely?

Obviously, in an ideal world, everyone should keep two copies, but there are a variety of reasons why people might not be able to. As mentioned earlier, this also spells the deathknell of cloud services. What this is proving, is that unless the data is stored on your servers under your control, it can disappear at any time.

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@Mad Mike

I did not say they copied ALL relevant data, only that they copied relevant data, and of course the decision of what is relevant was theirs. It's their case. My point was that they are not obligated to copy and preserve data not relevant to their case.

As for trusting BT (or anyone else, even with an ironclad contract) to hold the only copy of my data safe and secure? Don't make me laugh! In the event of a failure, the best you can hope for is monetary recompense -- if they mess up, your data is already gone. That's why backup exists. That's why the adage is "If your data doesn't exist in at least three places, it doesn't exist." I would personally add that at least two of those places should be under your direct control, or they don't count.

I reaffirm: Anyone responsible for data of any importance who decides to store only one copy of it in a location they do not have direct control over, in a storage service open to use (and therefore abuse) to the general public, is INCOMPETENT.

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@Steve Knox

It is a fundamental requirement of fairness in trials that all the evidence is available to both the prosecution and defence. The prosecution may choose not to use it, but it must be presented to the defence for their case if they choose to use it. Therefore, the only valid way to do this, is to copy ALL of the data and make it available to both. The prosecution does not have the right to determine what is and what is not relevant as quite clearly their view is highly biased. Unless all the data has been copied and made available, the case is dead. Even the judiciary in the USA wouldn't dare allow that through.

I don't disagree with your case about data backups, but you're simply proving my point. Cloud based solutions, whether data backup or application hosting, are now effectively dead unless you play fast and loose with your data. These clowns have been allowed to trample all over an entire industry that would have brought a lot of money to the usa and to what end? Will this stop copyright violations.....not a hope. If anything, this will do the exact reverse. It's the usual usa carpet bombing trick. It never made them any friends in the past and certainly won't in the future.

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@Turtle

(To Mike)

>>"As for the US Supreme Court saying that "VCR's were NOT to be banned if they had 'significant non-infringing uses" you have clearly misunderstood it: it does NOT mean "some uses, or possible uses which do not require infringement". A more exact - although still inexact - meaning would be "many of its uses do not necessarily require infringement". It does not mean "someone somewhere is using it for non-infringing uses". And it *certainly* does not mean "YOU are using it to store versions of something you're writing"."

I'd guess a relevant factor is also that the decision was about banning VCRs in general, not about taking action against one particular VCR or its owner.

With regard to websites, if they're going to be looked at as individual things on their own merits, then it's not like banning all websites in advance because some could be used for dodgy ends, but looking at a particular website to see what is going on there.

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Cloud computing.... is this the death knell?

I would think so. After all, with a 'cloud' service you have no control where the data is stored - so data stored in the US could (by this example) be copied by the authorities. Even if encrypted we KNOW that the US government can and does read encrypted data. Worse still, can you imagine this happening to your cloud service provider - all your companies data lost, all your files frozen and inaccessible?

Even for a normal user this is a disaster - what if I had stored my own photos, videos and data on this site? It would now be lost. Cloud companies are also totally at risk from exactly this sort of action.

The US authorities are doing their damnedest to shaft an entire industry before it has even started. This is exactly the sort of behaviour that occurs when you allow the playground bully too much power. The US spends a collosal 43% of the worlds total military spending - more than 6 times its nearest rival. This is clearly not defence, it is offence (and offensive). Frankly the rest of the world needs to up its own military spending and confront the bully, and do it fast.

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Holmes

There was a report recently of an NHS trust putting their data on a cloud system.

I can't recall exactly where it was based but as it becomes more popular (and more personal data is held) then the likelihood of data being stored on US soil becomes greater. Imagine if the US did something similar and that system was taken down.

Hopefully this'll concentrate minds and either stop our government departments allowing data to be held abroad or stop them using out sourced data warehouses completely.

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Anonymous Coward

@Oldredlion

It was a storage hosting arrangement for an NHS trust, with EMC, hardy cloud computing and hardly giving patient data to Megaupload.

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As usual

The predicable tirade against the DoJ, MPAA, RIAA, etc. etc. just goes on and on whenever an item comes up involving piracy.

I particularly love the disingenuous faux-ignorance as to the extent to which Megaupload (and others) host pirated material.

Then there is the analogy drawn between recording some film on TV onto VHS tape and hosting pirated material on MU.

Except, DUH, you didn't go around with a portable VHS tape-to-tape into people's houses along with your VHS collection, offering to make copies available to anyone who wanted one.

Or did you? Judging by your cavalier attitude to rights, maybe you did.

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Anonymous Coward

All data is illegal and pirated. Fact.

Ever since I was a kid I thought the "No unauthorised broadcast, sharing, rental, re-sale, lending, giving away..." blurb meant that buying/selling secondhand CDs, DVDs etc was illegal. Then I realised it was utter crap and carried on watching my TV-recorded Star Wars & MTV mix videos.

We truly are in an age of "All your data are belong to US". Yes, I meant that "US". Of A.

My favourite idiot quote of the weekend, courtesy of MMO-land: "did we win the SOPA war yet? wheres the fighting anyway?". I'm pretty sure the answer involved "the whitehouse lawn".

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imagine if banks were forced to open up every safe deposit box in the vaults because somebody thought there was something dodgy in one of them...

Now imagine if the contents disappeared...

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like this case? http://www.thisislondon.co.uk/lifestyle/article-23939717-operation-rize.do

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@Old Cynic

>>"imagine if banks were forced to open up every safe deposit box in the vaults because somebody thought there was something dodgy in one of them..."

>>"Now imagine if the contents disappeared..."

Now imagine someone put their sole copy of some important documents in 'Diamond Geezer's It'll-Be-Alright Lockup Service', when they had no fucking idea where he was going to store their stuff, whether he'd be storing it in his lockup garage or someone else's, and where it wasn't obvious what obligations, if any, he would have if he or anyone else lost it *or* how he was promising to look after it.

And you call *yourself* an old cynic

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Big Brother

Who are they protecting

It just came to mind that if they are being selective on what files they intend to keep could they also delete any illegally uploaded files that Prominent people uploaded along with their ip's and such.

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FAIL

Seems like egregious data tampering to me.

What if data pertaining to the defence is "accidentally" deleted?

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Do it fast?? Yes and no.

YES

and

NO upbudget needed for confronting a playground bully. Asymmetric "r"us...We need look no further than the last two major illegal military invasions by the usans. In both cases the indigents trashed the usan mil using pound shop weaponry.

What's needed is the will to say enough or FO or whatever...

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@httpss

What the Americans need to understand, is that if you p**s off enough people, you can have the largest military in the world by a country mile, but it won't save you. The USA have for decades been trying to upset whole swathes of the planet. You can list them all......Vietnam, Somalia, Iran, Iraq, Afghanistan etc.etc. And how many of these wars have they won? They'd like to say all or most, but the reality is none. In Iraq they got whipped by people barely out of the stone age. Same in Afghanistan. In Somalia, they had to leave in humiliation......defeated by people with AK47s and RPGs.

Over the years, the USA has become more and more of a terrorist target and they can't see the correlation. A large part of it relates to their complete contempt for civilians during their actions. They'll kill dozens of innocents to get a few guilty. How many times has this happened in Iraq and Afghanistan?

Now, with this action, they are doing exactly the same, but on computers. Yes, they're getting some people (decide on how many you think) who have broken the law, but they're hitting huge numbers in collateral. Are they making friends by doing it? If you've lost data in this debacle, are you saying it was all worth it to catch the pirates? No. You're probably more inclined to become a pirate now!!

Everything the USA does simply turns more and more people against them. Then they wonder why whole swathes of the world hate them and they're terrorist target number 1!!

For god sake; wake up and realise the correlation and try to understand this action is likely to increase the number of pirates, not decrease it. Just like in all your other wars. And in all cases, quite often the average Joe in the USA doesn't actually agree with it. The anti-piracy law is being brought and paid for by big business in much the same way may of their other wars are. Plenty of people making a lot of money out of them, many being current politicians or people close to them.

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Angel

Oh you wonderful Cloud.

On initial glance it welcomed warmly as did Cheshire Cat,

Upon the second you've mistaken, for it's Schrodinger's instead.

For now your data's both alive and dead

Until peered on by a Prosecutor's head!

(err. sorry)

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Anonymous Coward

They copied selected data off?

Wait, what you mean is the FBI chose all the best films and music and copied it! Quick, sue them!

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@ Mad Mike "what the americans need to understand"

Two points arise -

The term "American" will include people and societies, even countries, ranging from Alaska to Tierra del Fuego. So in the quest for even-handedness and to avoid the possibulity of smearing innocents, the collective noun(vaguely but justifiably pejorative) for persons emanating from Fed States now in general use is "usan".

Again, in the search for balanced viewpoints, we have to be aware that the cabal who are operating the sopa, acta and siezing persons and property are in this case largely usans of a particular tribe. A tribe whose name we dare not say...

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Anonymous Coward

Yes, that's it

Using the term "American" is the big issue here. Thank goodness you clarified the exact sweep of generalisation.

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Anonymous Coward

Clouds

In many ways, not a lot of difference between this and many cloud services. I wonder how long it will be before some of them are found to be hosting improper material and get closure notices, with consequent data deletion?

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Anonymous Coward

Not a good move really

This looks to me like an excellent example of the damage to the internet that over-zealous piracy-busting can do, just as its detractors claim. It directly undermines confidence in letting your data out of your sight. If that isn't impacting the direction that progress is taking us, I don't know what is.

Which site is next and will your data be on it?

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@AC

>>"This looks to me like an excellent example of the damage to the internet that over-zealous piracy-busting can do, just as its detractors claim. It directly undermines confidence in letting your data out of your sight. If that isn't impacting the direction that progress is taking us, I don't know what is."

It does at least suggest that if people are going to let important data out of their sight (let alone *sole copies of important data*) that they use a little bit of sense and check out who's going to be in charge of it to a degree commensurate with the data's value.

If 'progress is taking us' in the direction of blindly trusting 'the internet', then even if nothing else good comes out of it, with a bit of luck this case *will* directly undermine the confidence of many people.

>>"Which site is next and will your data be on it?"

If any other sites, then likely ones sailing a bit close to (or beyond) the limits of the legal, none of which I seem to use for anything, let alone backup, so I guess my data is fairly safe for now.

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the USA

Mainly the MPAA/RIAA: Enemy of menkind

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Anonymous Coward

Oops...

There goes all your data. Boo Hoo.

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Pint

I'm puzzled...

If this is a LEGAL case, shouldn't they be retaining all the data as evidence?

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It would seem best if they could use some seized assets to pay for the data to be kept, but presumably that's one of the things they're negotiating about.

Justice would suggest that at the very least, giving the defence access to it for a reasonable time to look for defence evidence would be necessary.

If it came to storing it all, potentially for years before trials and possible appeals, just in case some of it was useful to the defence, it might be a bit much to expect the US to pay for all that.

Otherwise, what would happen if there was a similar situation which was being run more hand-to-mouth, with huge monthly storage bills and only enough money around to pay for the next couple of months?

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@David Wilson

I don't disagree. The deletion of the data would seem to render any court case immediately biased if only the prosecution have had the opportunity to take what they want. In terms of costs................according to reports and the prosecution themselves, there is plenty of money in accounts that are now frozen. So, why not use that? I suspect the answer is that the prosecutors/people they're acting for consider that their money now?

The rights and wrongs of the case and whether they are guilty or not don't come into the administration of justice. For justice to be done, it has to be seen to be done. The actions of the prosecution here would seem to prohibit that and if anything, will probably cause more people to file share. Not because they necessarily agree with it per se, but because of the lack of clear and transparent justice.

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There are no seized assets anymore.

The police made their copies and gave the servers back to the vendor, which was NOT MegaUpload. That vendor is due payment from MegaUpload, which MegaUpload are not able to pay because their assets have been FROZEN. The assets are frozen because of the money laundering charges, which enable RICO seizures. RICO* laws were passed in order to limit the ability of organized crime to move their money about and continue their criminal enterprise even though a given individual in the organization might have been arrested, tried, and convicted. Also it seems to have increased the longevity of star witnesses in the cases of such organizations.

On the issue of the data, the police are issued a warrant to cover certain items. Items not covered by the warrants can't be kept. Hence the "selective" copying: they selectively copied the data covered by the warrants. Copying more than what is covered by the warrant is illegal and has the high probability of getting the case dismissed. The copied data must be made available to the defense. If the defense wishes to search for more data, that's on their dime and at their risk for civil suit if THEY breach someone's rights.

*I actually come down on the side of people who think RICO needs to at least be re-written if not repealed because of abuses which have happened with non-organized crime defendants, but the law is what it is, and those are the reasons given by those who support RICO for keeping it as is.

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Anonymous Coward

Operation "Fukem" continues....

...I'm not going to the cinema/movies again this year.

That's 5+ years now.

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To the people who have lost legitimately owned data on MU:

I'm genuinely curious, are you pissed at the copyright infringers, the MPAA/RIAA or someone else for the loss of data?

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@Haku

It is quite obviously the authorities that are responsible for the loss of data. The MPAA/RIAA have requested justice and after due process will/will not get it from their point of view, depending on the verdict. The 'alleged' copyright infringers can't be held accountable as they didn't initiate this. There is absolutely no reason why the files can't be left available for a certain period of time and people given the ability to download their content. They could even monitor it so any infringing files and their downloaders are found. According to the prosecution there is plenty of money in MUs accounts to finance this, so it needn't cost the USA any money. Not doing this just annoys loads of people and is simply unnecessary.

They could try and take the moral high ground whilst being seen to be reasonable in protecting the innocent. Instead, they are choosing to hit the innocent as well as the guilty. That's no way to win, as the USA has been shown many times before. Not that they're listening.

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