MegaUpload founder Kim Dotcom told his Twitter followers today that hosting company LeaseWeb had wiped MegaUpload user data from more than 600 servers without warning. According to Dotcom, LeaseWeb wiped all MegaUpload servers without warning and all user data as well as "crucial evidence" for MegaUpload's defense has been destroyed.
"Millions of personal #Megaupload files, petabytes of pictures, backups, personal & business property forever destroyed by #Leaseweb," he tweeted, later adding, "This is the largest data massacre in the history of the Internet caused by the U.S. government, the Department of Justice & #Leaseweb."
LeaseWeb says it kept the servers up and running for a year after MegaUpload was taken offline. Because MegaUpload's funds were frozen after last year's raid, it couldn't pay its bills. LeaseWeb says it stored 630 servers at its own cost for a year and received no require for access or retention of the data during that time.
"After a year of nobody showing any interest in the servers and data we considered our options. We did inform MegaUpload about our decision to re-provision the servers," said LeaseWeb's Alex de Joode, later adding, "As no response was received, we commenced the re-provisioning of the servers in February 2013. To minimize security risks and maximize the privacy of our clients, it is a standard procedure at LeaseWeb to completely clean servers before they are offered to any new customer."
MegaUpload says it received no communication from LeaseWeb concerning the 630 servers it planned to wipe and that it was only told today that the data was gone.
Whether or not MegaUpload was informed of LeaseWeb's intentions, it seems naive for LeaseWeb to think no one was interested in the data. For a start, there's the fact that the data belongs to MegaUpload users and they would presumably want access to it if at all possible. Not to mention the headlines generated when the topic of deleting the data has came up in the past. Then again, they can't be expected to store the data indefinitely for free. Rock and a hard place.
Kim Dotcom says he's currently looking for a Dutch lawyer to evaluate potential legal claims against LeaseWeb on behalf of MegaUpload and it users.