Data wiped from 630 Megaupload servers

Megaupload did not ask for the data, hosting provider LeaseWeb said

LeaseWeb, one of Europe's biggest hosting providers, has wiped 630 servers that contained Megaupload data and countered claims from the company that the file-sharing site wasn't warned.

"This is the largest data massacre in the history of the Internet," Megaupload founder Kim Dotcom said Wednesday on Twitter, where he criticized LeaseWeb for deleting the data.

LeaseWeb did not warn Megaupload that it was about to delete the servers, Dotcom claimed, adding that they were informed Wednesday that the servers were deleted on Feb. 1. He maintained that Megaupload's lawyers repeatedly asked LeaseWeb not to delete Megaupload servers while court proceedings are pending in the U.S, Dotcom said.

LeaseWeb disputes Dotcom's claims.

After Megaupload was shut down in 2012 because of allegations that it facilitated copyright infringement, 60 servers owned by the company that were stationed at LeaseWeb were seized by the police and sent to the U.S. in June, said Alex de Joode, LeaseWeb's security officer.

Another 630 servers that Megaupload leased from LeaseWeb were kept running until Megaupload stopped paying the bills, he said. LeaseWeb proceeded to shut the servers down and stored them in the cellar, De Joode said. This January, about a year after the police raid, nobody had asked for or shown interest in the data, De Joode said.

Since there were no payments made and nobody seemed interested in the data, including the police, LeaseWeb decided to reactivate the servers, De Joode said.

"We informed Megaupload about our plans to start using the servers again," said De Joode. When LeaseWeb received no reply from Megaupload it subsequently started wiping the servers, which took the company almost the whole month of February, he said.

"And three weeks ago we received a question from Megaupload's lawyer who wanted to know what happened to the data," De Joode said. But by then, the data was already gone, and it cannot be retrieved, he said.

"Probably something went wrong on Megaupload's side. But that is their problem," De Joode said.

This means that "millions of personal Megaupload files, petabytes of pictures, backups, personal & business property" are destroyed forever, Dotcom said. Adding: "Let me be crystal clear. Leaseweb has NEVER informed our legal team or anybody at Megaupload about the deletion of servers until TODAY."

By deleting the data Leaseweb has "simply ignored the rights of millions of Megaupload users", because the data belonged to them, Dotcom said.

Aldo Verbruggen, one of Megaupload's Dutch lawyers said he started contacting LeaseWeb three weeks ago. "And today we were informed that the servers were wiped," he said.

It is too early to tell if there will be any legal procedures concerning the wiped data, he said.

Loek is Amsterdam Correspondent and covers online privacy, intellectual property, open-source and online payment issues for the IDG News Service. Follow him on Twitter at @loekessers or email tips and comments to loek_essers@idg.com

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags legalCriminalLeaseWebmegaupload

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Loek Essers

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Cool Tech

Toys for Boys

Family Friendly

Stocking Stuffer

SmartLens - Clip on Phone Camera Lens Set of 3

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Brand Post

Bitdefender 2019

This Holiday Season, protect yourself and your loved ones with the best. Buy now for Holiday Savings!

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Aysha Strobbe

Microsoft Office 365/HP Spectre x360

Microsoft Office continues to make a student’s life that little bit easier by offering reliable, easy to use, time-saving functionality, while continuing to develop new features that further enhance what is already a formidable collection of applications

Michael Hargreaves

Microsoft Office 365/Dell XPS 15 2-in-1

I’d recommend a Dell XPS 15 2-in-1 and the new Windows 10 to anyone who needs to get serious work done (before you kick back on your couch with your favourite Netflix show.)

Maryellen Rose George

Brother PT-P750W

It’s useful for office tasks as well as pragmatic labelling of equipment and storage – just don’t get too excited and label everything in sight!

Cathy Giles

Brother MFC-L8900CDW

The Brother MFC-L8900CDW is an absolute stand out. I struggle to fault it.

Luke Hill

MSI GT75 TITAN

I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.

Emily Tyson

MSI GE63 Raider

If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?