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Loss of legitimate Megaupload files probable – InternetNZ boss

Two-week stay-of-execution seen as only delaying the inevitable - but it does highlight that al least some of Kim Dotcom's business was above-board.

Chris Keall
Wed, 01 Feb 2012

Customers of Kim Dotcom’s got a stay-of-execution for their files yesterday.

US-based companies Carpathia Hosting and Cogent Communications, which were contracted to host files uploaded by users, have pledged to keep data for at least another two weeks.

InternetNZ boss Vikram Kumar told NBR the decision was likely just delaying the inevitable.

“The loss of legitimate files stored with Megaupload is a probable outcome,” Mr Kumar said.

“The US federal authorities would have already made a forensic copy of the data they require. It looks like Megaupload has no financial resources to keep paying for the servers they have leased. There is likely to be a huge amount of data and a high barrier for anyone to figure out what is or isn't legitimate.”

Earlier this week, Carpathia and Cogent had threatened to start deleting Megaupload data as soon as Thursday.

With his assets frozen, owner Kim Dotcom cannot afford to pay hosting bills to Carparthia and Cogent.

Those bills would be considerable. According to the US government’s indictment, Virginian-based Caparthia hosts 25 petabytes of Megaupload data on its servers – or enough to fill the hard drives of around 40 million home or business PCs.

Like the original threat to delete files, the two-week extension was granted through Kim Dotcom’s US attorney, Ira Rothken.

It remains unclear if the deletion threat was pressing, or to what extent Mr Rothken is using it as a PR stunt – the better to highlight that there were many legitimate users of Megaupload’s commercial file sharing and online storage service.

Premium Megaupload accounts cost from $US10 a month and were recommended by reputable sites like LifeHacker. Kim Dotcom’s camp maintains there were millions of businesses using the service to store files, and home users utilising the service to upload the likes of photos.

But the argument does run counter to another line pushed by Mr Rothken – that Megaupload is “just like YouTube”. The Google-owned YouTube hosts all its servers inhouse.

Chris Keall
Wed, 01 Feb 2012
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Loss of legitimate Megaupload files probable – InternetNZ boss