Megaupload data to get two-week extension

January 31, 2012

Federal officials said late last week that they were done looking at the data from the file-sharing site Megaupload, relinquishing access to the data, leaving its fate in limbo.

“It is our understanding that the hosting companies may begin deleting the contents of the servers beginning as early as February 2, 2012,” U.S. District Attorney Neil MacBride wrote in the letter to Megaupload’s lawyers on Friday.

But Megaupload users are in luck. The company has worked with hosting companies to preserve the data for at least two weeks. Ira Rothken, an attorney for Megaupload, said that the company is now working with the U.S. government to unfreeze some of its assets so that it may pay to recover that information.

He added that the hosting companies — Cogent and Carpathia — had been “very open to negotiating” to preserve the data.

Rothken said that he also hopes to use the data on the Megaupload servers to for the company’s defense. Megaupload has been accused of running an international criminal organization that made it easy to access and distribute pirated content. Seven Megaupload executives were indicted and charged with violating piracy laws this month.

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Hayley Tsukayama covers consumer technology for The Washington Post.
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