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The Courts Your Rights Online

Megaupload Host Wants Out 164

angry tapir writes "Carpathia Hosting, a U.S. company hosting the frozen data of millions of users of the file-sharing site Megaupload, has gone to court to argue it should not keep the files if it is not being paid. The company has filed an emergency motion in the U.S. Federal Court in the state of Virginia seeking protection from the expense of hosting the data of up to 66 million users. 'While Carpathia has never had access to the data on Megaupload servers and has had no mechanism for returning that data to Megaupload users, we have been attempting over many weeks to resolve this matter to the satisfaction of all parties involved, in a manner that would allow for Megaupload users to be in a position to ultimately recover their data,' Brian Winter, the company's chief marketing officer says."
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Megaupload Host Wants Out

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  • 5th Amendment (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Compaqt ( 1758360 ) on Friday March 23, 2012 @05:24AM (#39448769) Homepage

    "No person shall ... be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law ..." []

    Seems like a dead letter these days. Encryption keys, laptop seizures, cloud seizures, warrantless email searches, GPS tagging, etc.

  • by AGMW ( 594303 ) on Friday March 23, 2012 @05:31AM (#39448789) Homepage
    It totally stinks that the high percentage of legitimate Megaupload customers are getting screwed 'cos of the US bully-boy tactics. What about shutting down the US Postal Service because of all the illegal activity that enables? People do bad things with telephones too. Hey, don't people use cars as getaway cars ... let's shut down Ford and GM while we're at it!
  • by rtb61 ( 674572 ) on Friday March 23, 2012 @05:49AM (#39448861) Homepage

    The best alternative would have been to appoint a legal guardian, to ensure the legal elements of the business can continue whilst the court case is carried out. What has happened flies in the face of one of the most important elements of justice, innocent until proven guilty. Elements of the US government have completely abandoned this principle from torturing suspects (guilty upon accusation and subject to punitive physical and psychological abuse, at the hands of mentally disturbed individuals seeking promotions and passing performance measures, all without recourse to the courts and false confessions to end the torture being treated a valid evidence) to confiscation of assets to actively prevent paying for a legal defence.

    A bunch of out of control wankers, with no real appreciation of the law and justice, just their own ego of being judge, jury and execution. A closed chorus, cheering each other on in their legal abuses, gloating over the power they misuse and it all falls apart when it finally goes through the courts, unless of course they can force a confession and guilty plea out of people, via extended psychological torture.

  • Re:5th Amendment (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday March 23, 2012 @06:44AM (#39449051)

    Carpathia Hosting is unable to re-purpose these servers, they are also being deprived of their property without due process. They should be allowed to delete the data.

  • Re:5th Amendment (Score:3, Insightful)

    by petsounds ( 593538 ) on Friday March 23, 2012 @06:53AM (#39449099)

    Funny how people say that digital goods should not be counted as a specific piece of property until suddenly their personal interests are at stake. [I'm not targeting you personally; I don't know what your take on digital goods is.]

    Either files are real property, or they are not. If they are, then they must be so consistently whether it is your file on a server that you have been denied access to, or whether it is someone downloading a 'copyright-infringed' mp3 from a torrent site. If not, then the files uploaded to sharing servers are just copies; not the original item, and in that case people should've made a backup copy in a digital space that they control.

    Either way, it seems like our legal definition of property is way behind the technical state of the art.

  • Meh (Score:4, Insightful)

    by drinkypoo ( 153816 ) <> on Friday March 23, 2012 @07:03AM (#39449139) Homepage Journal

    If I did legitimate banking business with an offshore bank I would still expect my funds to dry up and disappear one day because it's a fucking illegal bank. Yes, there is non-infringing use, but these sites exist on the back of illegal uploads. If it can be shown that they make a significant percentage of their income on obviously illegal transfers then it's hard to see the logic (legally, that is) of permitting them to continue to do business. And it's also hard to see the logic of expecting your files to continue to be available when you're storing them with someone known for their access to files to which people aren't supposed to have access.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday March 23, 2012 @07:07AM (#39449161)

    It's like this:

    Company A pays Company B for hosting
    Company B buys/rents servers, rackspace, power, bandwidth to provide the service

    Government C shuts down Company A
    Company A no longer pays Company B
    Company B still has it's bills to pay.

    Therefore, either:
    Company B removes it's service, and re-uses the equipment, rackspace etc for a new paying customer
    Company B loses money running a service that costs money but it gets nothing for
    Government C re-imburses Company B for the cost
    Government C uses a legal instrument to require Company B to retain the data

  • by king neckbeard ( 1801738 ) on Friday March 23, 2012 @07:34AM (#39449301)
    You missed the part about being the only extant copy. No, there were no instances where MU had the only copy ever. People accidentally delete files. Hard drives crash. Data gets corrupted. Thus, the other copies not on MU could feasibly now be extinct.

    Seriously do you think anyone would upload the one and only copy of some important data to a company that may well have been bankrupt the next day anyway, or had a server crash, or any number of things? You'd be batshit nuts to do that. What if the copy you uploaded was corrupt on the server?

    Yes, you'd have to be an idiot to leave important data in 'the cloud.' However, most people ARE idiots.

    This is backed up by the lack of requests from people to get their one and only copy of data back from Megaupload's server.

    Where are you documenting this lack of requests? There isn't a clear party to ask that can actually do anything, and if there was, there could very well be users who don't know who that party is.

  • Re:5th Amendment (Score:4, Insightful)

    by msobkow ( 48369 ) on Friday March 23, 2012 @07:35AM (#39449305) Homepage Journal

    If your data is your life, you should have been doing backups to other locations, not just posting it to a server some where.

    No sympathy here for anyone who "lost" data due to the takedown. Were I in the hosting provider's shoes, my response would be along the lines of:

    A failure to plan on your part does not constitute an emergency on my part.

    It's an old saying in the IT world, but a sanity-saver when dealing with incompetent users and departments who always put off their requirements to the last minute and who rarely have the budget to PAY for those requirements.

  • Re:5th Amendment (Score:5, Insightful)

    by PopeRatzo ( 965947 ) on Friday March 23, 2012 @08:28AM (#39449641) Journal

    A failure to plan on your part does not constitute an emergency on my part.

    What would you say if you got a call from your banker tomorrow saying they lost all your money, but...

    "A failure to plan on your part does not constitute an emergency on my part."

    Hell, you should have saved some money elsewhere and kept your money somewhere that didn't have a vice president who was going to Vegas every weekend, and by the way, you never complained when you were getting 0.5% higher interest rates than other banks offered.

    If your money is your life, you should be more careful with it.

    If it's such a high war on crime priority for the FBI to take down this goofy criminal mastermind, who they seem to believe is some James Bond supervillian, then they ought to pay this host site to preserve their evidence for them. And, they ought to allow the users of Megaupload access to their files until they are each proven to be stolen or infringing. And to anyone who actually paid Megaupload to share their files: have you never heard of a torrent?

  • Re:5th Amendment (Score:4, Insightful)

    by sjwt ( 161428 ) on Friday March 23, 2012 @08:54AM (#39449885)

    Carpathia Hosting is unable to re-purpose these servers, they are also being deprived of their property without due process. They should be allowed to delete the data.

    Or perhaps as part of the due process, the government should be reimbursing the companies it can and dose cripple with such moves.

  • Re:5th Amendment (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Hatta ( 162192 ) on Friday March 23, 2012 @09:18AM (#39450111) Journal

    That's not funny, it's true. Since "due process" no longer means "judicial process" what's left?

  • Re:5th Amendment (Score:4, Insightful)

    by ILongForDarkness ( 1134931 ) on Friday March 23, 2012 @01:42PM (#39453667)

    No. I think a bigger concern is that the assets being frozen aren't his. It is like there being a murder in an apartment building and the police come and put up their tape. Fine. But the CSI's have had plenty of time and have done all they can do with the scene. But the government just expects the landlord to keep the apartment the way it was, including all the utilities on and the plants watered by the gardener until the trial is done. The cost is being paid by someone that isn't the defendant. They should copy the data and then let the guy delete it. If they don't want to copy it because it is a ridiculously large amount of data than that is their problem.

Fear is the greatest salesman. -- Robert Klein