Monday, January 30th 2012

Data of 50 Million MegaUpload Users To Be Deleted

Let's face it, to think that every MegaUpload user has copyrighted content uploaded on the site is like saying everyone going to work at Capitol Hill is naughty (did we just say that?). Regardless, data uploaded by as many as 50 million users faces deletion this week due to non-payment of MegaUpload's dues to its third-party hosting providers.

This data could be anything from precious legitimate online data backups to the alleged copyrighted content, including data backups by paid subscribers. This, even before the users could have a chance to download their data as the site went offline abruptly on the 19th of this month. Before similar services such as Yahoo! Briefcase went offline (because the company discontinued the service), users were notified, and had a chance to download their data, as it faced deletion. MegaUpload had as many as 150 million registered users.Source: BBC
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38 Comments on Data of 50 Million MegaUpload Users To Be Deleted

#1
Sir B. Fannybottom
by: btarunr
let's face it, to think that every megaupload user has copyrighted content uploaded on the site is like saying everyone going to work at capitol hill is naughty (did we just say that?). Regardless, data uploaded by as many as 50 million users faces deletion this week due to non-payment of megaupload's dues to its third-party hosting providers.

This data could be anything from precious legitimate online data backups to the alleged copyrighted content, including data backups by paid subscribers. This, even before the users could have a chance to download their data as the site went offline abruptly on the 19th of this month. Before roughly similar services such as yahoo! Briefcase went offline, users had a chance to download their data as it faced deletion. Megaupload had as many as 150 million registered users.

source: bbc
:cry::twitch: MY PORN!!!
Posted on Reply
#2
Jarman
so remind me why cloud computing is a step FORWARD rather than backward then?
Posted on Reply
#3
Batou1986
by: Jarman
so remind me why cloud computing is a step FORWARD rather than backward then?
Because owners of cloud services pay there service Providers and the feds.
Mega upload is a hosting service not a cloud service although there's not much of a difference.
Posted on Reply
#4
newtekie1
Semi-Retired Folder
by: Jarman
so remind me why cloud computing is a step FORWARD rather than backward then?
This is exactly why nothing important of mine gets put in the cloud without a copy left on my computer and my backup server.

by: Batou1986
Because owners of cloud services pay there service Providers and the feds.
Can you be sure of that? No. I bet plenty of paying customers assumed MegaUpload was using their money and paying their service providers too.
Posted on Reply
#6
lilhasselhoffer
I really hope nobody in the federal government was using this website....


Joking aside, anyone see this ending differently? If the FBI actually lets users get their data it would be a huge miracle. Taking down the service, without considering what influence it has on legal paying users, then fighting it out in court, is what the US legal system is good at. By the time the court cases are settled there will be enough data traffic to make everything that was lost seem like a momentary service outage.

I don't condone data thievery like this, but it's going to take far more than I'm capable of to make the government give users access to their data. The only thing I can think of is an armed uprising, because short of that they won't listen no matter how loud the internet collectively bitches.
Posted on Reply
#7
NAVI_Z
money talks, bullshit walks.
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#8
Steevo
Exactly my feelings about cloud, it still should only be used as a temporary service for processing high workloads or temporary storage/redundant storage.
Posted on Reply
#9
newtekie1
Semi-Retired Folder
by: lilhasselhoffer
I really hope nobody in the federal government was using this website....


Joking aside, anyone see this ending differently? If the FBI actually lets users get their data it would be a huge miracle. Taking down the service, without considering what influence it has on legal paying users, then fighting it out in court, is what the US legal system is good at. By the time the court cases are settled there will be enough data traffic to make everything that was lost seem like a momentary service outage.

I don't condone data thievery like this, but it's going to take far more than I'm capable of to make the government give users access to their data. The only thing I can think of is an armed uprising, because short of that they won't listen no matter how loud the internet collectively bitches.
The problem is that the government isn't directly deleting users data, but yes I agree that essentially this is what the government was after.

The Government has frozen MegaUpload's assets. They have taken over the domain, but the site and all of it's data still resides with the 3rd party hosting company. That is where things get screwy. Because the 3rd party hosting company isn't going to just keep huge volumes of information on their servers for free, even if the site isn't generating any traffic, it is still costing them money to maintain the data. However, MegaUpload can't pay the fees associated with maintenance because all their assets are frozen. And the Government will keep the case tied up for easily long enough that the data will deleted, and even if the Government loses the case they will get what they want by having the data deleted and MegaUpload will never be able to recover.
Posted on Reply
#10
Trackr
by: newtekie1
The problem is that the government isn't directly deleting users data, but yes I agree that essentially this is what the government was after.

The Government has frozen MegaUpload's assets. They have taken over the domain, but the site and all of it's data still resides with the 3rd party hosting company. That is where things get screwy. Because the 3rd party hosting company isn't going to just keep huge volumes of information on their servers for free, even if the site isn't generating any traffic, it is still costing them money to maintain the data. However, MegaUpload can't pay the fees associated with maintenance because all their assets are frozen. And the Government will keep the case tied up for easily long enough that the data will deleted, and even if the Government loses the case they will get what they want by having the data deleted and MegaUpload will never be able to recover.
And this is legal?
Posted on Reply
#11
brian.ca
by: newtekie1
Can you be sure of that? No. I bet plenty of paying customers assumed MegaUpload was using their money and paying their service providers too.
It should probably be important to point out that the reason they didn't pay their fees to the server companies is b/c all their assets were locked as part of the legal action against them (this is pointed out in the BBC article). It's not that they simply decided to save some money, users be damned, it's that they can't move their money to pay them b/c the feds won't let them.

Another important consideration is the timing would have to bring into question whether this was considered as a possibility at all on the feds part. Having that data deleted would probably only hurt the defense's case but more than that it hurts the idea & industry. There should be no doubt that there was legitimate use going on there. If those users have their legitimate data deleted b/c of the users who used it to infringe copyright, it sets a dangerous precedent in that it does create that situation where people have to question how safe their data are with services like this/similar to this. It's similar to the potential problem posed by SOPA/PIPA that would make websites that relied on user generated content extremely impractical in the legal/business context. That problem is also compounded by the fact that if people who use these services for legitimate purposes start pulling away from them b/c of this concern, then the services themselves really do start to become less legitimate and easier to target.

One way or the other though, this will definitely be an important case to follow so cheers to btarunr for posting that and please keep posting updates as they come along. :toast:
Posted on Reply
#12
Jarman
The only "safe" way for the file hosting sites to continue is to do what filesonic and fileserve have done and make it so files cannot be shared...USA, land of the free, or dictatorship in disguise?? Starting to like the US less and less to be honest, they aren't happy unless there is someone (anyone) to go to war with.
Posted on Reply
#13
HTC
by: newtekie1
The problem is that the government isn't directly deleting users data, but yes I agree that essentially this is what the government was after.

The Government has frozen MegaUpload's assets. They have taken over the domain, but the site and all of it's data still resides with the 3rd party hosting company. That is where things get screwy. Because the 3rd party hosting company isn't going to just keep huge volumes of information on their servers for free, even if the site isn't generating any traffic, it is still costing them money to maintain the data. However, MegaUpload can't pay the fees associated with maintenance because all their assets are frozen. And the Government will keep the case tied up for easily long enough that the data will deleted, and even if the Government loses the case they will get what they want by having the data deleted and MegaUpload will never be able to recover.
Can't the users file a class action suit against the government or something?

EDIT

by: Jarman
The only "safe" way for the file hosting sites to continue is to do what filesonic and fileserve have done and make it so files cannot be shared...USA, land of the free, or dictatorship in disguise?? Starting to like the US less and less to be honest, they aren't happy unless there is someone (anyone) to go to war with.
Weren't those sites supposed to be file sharing sites?
Posted on Reply
#14
Jarman
they were file locker sites and still technically are. But now you can only download files that you personally uploaded
Posted on Reply
#15
newtekie1
Semi-Retired Folder
by: Trackr
And this is legal?
Yes.

by: brian.ca
It should probably be important to point out that the reason they didn't pay their fees to the server companies is b/c all their assets were locked as part of the legal action against them (this is pointed out in the BBC article). It's not that they simply decided to save some money, users be damned, it's that they can't move their money to pay them b/c the feds won't let them.

Another important consideration is the timing would have to bring into question whether this was considered as a possibility at all on the feds part. Having that data deleted would probably only hurt the defense's case but more than that it hurts the idea & industry. There should be no doubt that there was legitimate use going on there. If those users have their legitimate data deleted b/c of the users who used it to infringe copyright, it sets a dangerous precedent in that it does create that situation where people have to question how safe their data are with services like this/similar to this. It's similar to the potential problem posed by SOPA/PIPA that would make websites that relied on user generated content extremely impractical in the legal/business context. That problem is also compounded by the fact that if people who use these services for legitimate purposes start pulling away from them b/c of this concern, then the services themselves really do start to become less legitimate and easier to target.

One way or the other though, this will definitely be an important case to follow so cheers to btarunr for posting that and please keep posting updates as they come along. :toast:
Correct, I pointed that out, but really a lot of the cloud based services are no different from megaupload. Users can upload illegal content and share it. But again, there were plenty of people that assumed their money would go where it needed to go to keep their data safe, and it turned out that isn't the case, regardless of reason.

This whole thing in general sets a dangerous precedent for sure. It basically says that any cloud service can be completely seized and shut down if some of the users are uploading illegal material and giving access to said material to other users.

But really, the main issue is that people assume their data is safe in the cloud, and this is a perfect example disproving that. You are safer with larger, well known companies, for sure. However, even large companies are not immune from mis-management.

by: HTC
Can't the users file a class action suit against the government or something?

EDIT



Weren't those sites supposed to be file sharing sites?
No, they couldn't do anything to the government. However, they could file suite to stop the 3rd party hosting company from deleting user data until the case against MegaUpload is settled.
Posted on Reply
#16
Static~Charge
by: Trackr
And this is legal?
It is when you make the laws (and conveniently ignore existing laws). :nutkick:
Posted on Reply
#17
1freedude
This is not so correct...
if the tenants of an apartment building pay their water bill in the rent, and the landlord doesn't pay the water bill, the water company has the full right to shut off the water. It has happened here (not to me, but it made the news).
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#18
Completely Bonkers
This is going to knock the online backup service industry. Because 3rd parties can take down your data and you are helpless and powerless to do anything about it.

The concept of "implied trust" in online backup has just hit the rocks.

Better build-your-own backup server NOW!

by: 1freedude
This is not so correct...
if the tenants of an apartment building pay their water bill in the rent, and the landlord doesn't pay the water bill, the water company has the full right to shut off the water. It has happened here (not to me, but it made the news).
In many many countries, turning off the water is strictly prohibited. People cannot live without water, and this is protected in law. The water company must take you to court and if necessary bankrupt you first.

This is NOT true of telecoms or electricity though. These "utilities" CAN be cut off.
Posted on Reply
#19
GLD
Ouch for the legit MU users.
Posted on Reply
#20
HTC
by: 1freedude
This is not so correct...
if the tenants of an apartment building pay their water bill in the rent, and the landlord doesn't pay the water bill, the water company has the full right to shut off the water. It has happened here (not to me, but it made the news).
Really? I've never heard of such a case!
by: Completely Bonkers
This is going to knock the online backup service industry. Because 3rd parties can take down your data and you are helpless and powerless to do anything about it.

The concept of "implied trust" in online backup has just hit the rocks.

Better build-your-own backup server NOW!



In many many countries, turning off the water is strictly prohibited. People cannot live without water, and this is protected in law. The water company must take you to court and if necessary bankrupt you first.

This is NOT true of telecoms or electricity though. These "utilities" CAN be cut off.
Should be like that everywhere, IMO.
Posted on Reply
#21
newtekie1
Semi-Retired Folder
by: HTC
Really? I've never heard of such a case!
I have, it happens all the time with pretty much all the utilities.

The service provider is not obligated to the tenant if the landlord's name is on the account, they are obligated to the landlord. Their contract is with the landlord, not the tenant, and if the landlord doesn't pay the bill the service can be terminated. The only exception in the US currently is gas and electric during the winter. If the temperature is below 40°F then they can't turn off the gas or electric due to non-payment of the bill. However, if the temperature goes above 40°F for even an hour, they are out turning people off in mass...

Whenever you are using a service that isn't directly provided by the person you are paying you are taking the risk that the 3rd party providing the service isn't getting paid properly and might cut off the service at any time.
Posted on Reply
#22
HTC
by: newtekie1
I have, it happens all the time with pretty much all the utilities.

The service provider is not obligated to the tenant if the landlord's name is on the account, they are obligated to the landlord. Their contract is with the landlord, not the tenant, and if the landlord doesn't pay the bill the service can be terminated. The only exception in the US currently is gas and electric during the winter. If the temperature is below 40°F then they can't turn off the gas or electric due to non-payment of the bill. However, if the temperature goes above 40°F for even an hour, they are out turning people off in mass...

Whenever you are using a service that isn't directly provided by the person you are paying you are taking the risk that the 3rd party providing the service isn't getting paid properly and might cut off the service at any time.
You may have miss interpreted me: i meant regarding water!

Ofc i've heard of it regarding electric, gas, phone, but never water.
Posted on Reply
#23
15th Warlock
Welcome to the cloud...

It was a nice dream while it lasted, but reality is, your information is only safe in your own hands, that's why I don't trust anything based on a cloud service.
Posted on Reply
#24
NC37
by: Jarman
so remind me why cloud computing is a step FORWARD rather than backward then?
I've said the same thing for a decade but all I hear is people harping about how wonderful it is to have data "permanently" backed up online.

Gotta be kidding me, nothing is permanent. Hacks happen, stuff like this happens, hardware fails...paying someone to do the same work that just buying an extra HD would do. /facepalm
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#25
Jarman
cloud computing just seems like an overly jazzy and hyped up term for what used to be a terminal and mainframe system....1980's revamped!
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