Megaupload Dead! What About Your Stuff? Feds' Attitude: What Me Worry?
Is your data ever safe? Were you lead to believe it was? Well, think again, especially after what happened to Megaupload, the mammoth file-sharing site the US authorities seized and blacked-out forever. For every user of Megaupload, their data was at mega risk, only they didn't know it. Now, the companies hosting such data can begin to delete it on February 2nd, according to prosecutors.
The Justice Department accused Megaupload.com's owner and others of perpetrating a strategy to violate copyright laws on movies, music and other forms of entertainment. The accusation is tantamount to a guilty verdict and death sentence for the company, even though founder Kim Dotcom and three other men denied all charges as they prepared to go through extradition hearings in New Zealand where they were arrested. (A fifth "suspect" was arrested in the Netherlands and two others were charged there.) But with the feds, charges of conspiracy to commit racketeering, conspiracy to commit copyright infringement and criminal copyright infringement are enough to close the company. And if the charges are not proven later on and Kim Dotcom and the others are vindicated, they will just have to pick up the pieces and start over. What recourse do users have? None. They are the collateral victims. Serves them right for "walking on the wild side."
Assuming that Megaupload holds an enormous amount of pirated content, then the Feds have done their job and the company's founder and others will be convicted. But the issue is more complicated than this simplistic "if/then" sequence. Megaupload also holds the personal files of many individuals, including artists who used Megaupload as a Dropox alternative. People used the file-sharer to send files to themselves, friends and colleagues. Would they have done this if they knew the Feds were "eyeing" the company to unplug it? Oh, yeah! If artistic works personally filed and stored are destroyed/deleted as a result of the Fed's action, then who is to blame? Is this a destruction of private property?Continued on the next page