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Carpathia, EFF start Megaupload data retrieval project

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Those looking to recover files from the file-sharing service Megaupload now have someone to call. The Electronic Frontier Foundation has partnered with one of Megaupload’s D.C.-area hosting companies, Carpathia, in an effort to let users reclaim some of their data.

Called MegaRetrieval, the site is a project between the hosting company and the non-profit foundation to give Megaupload users an avenue to try and recover their data from the Web site’s servers.

In a statement, EFF staff attorney Julie Samuels said, “EFF is troubled that so many lawful users of Megaupload.com had their property taken from them without warning and that the government has taken no steps to help them. We think it's important that these users have their voices heard as this process moves forward.”

Users who are interested in trying to recover legitimate, legally-obtained from Megaupload that were on the servers before the U.S. government shut down the Web site, can e-mail Megauploadmissing@eff.org and appeal for legal help to retrieve that data.

Those contacting MegaRetrieval should only send the project their contact information, not copies of the information that they had stored on the site, according to instructions on the project’s front page. The EFF also said it might not be able to represent everyone who inquires about getting legal help.

Megaupload lawyer Ira Rothken said Thursday that the company is working with the government to unfreeze some of its assets to pay hosting fees, and that Carpathia and another hosting company, Cogent, have agreed to preserve the data for at least two weeks.

EFF spokeswoman Rebecca Jeschke said the non-profit foundation is also open to starting a similar arrangement with Cogent. “We're very pleased that both Cogent and Carpathia have agreed not to destroy the users' data for the time being,” she wrote in an e-mailed statement.

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