'Data massacre' as Megaupload files deleted

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'Data massacre' as Megaupload files deleted
Dotcom and the management of Mega. Photo credit: Juha Saarinen

LeaseWeb wipes hundreds of servers.

Kim Dotcom is fuming after one of Megaupload's web hosts, Dutch company LeaseWeb, wiped 690 servers with user data, allegedly without warning.

The outraged Dotcom took to Twitter, calling the deletion "the largest data massacre in the history of the Internet caused by the US government, the Department of Justice and LeaseWeb."

Speaking to iTnews, Dotcom said there was no warning before the data was zapped.

"I have not received any such notice from LeaseWeb. 

"Our legal team has provided LeaseWeb with several data preservation demands in order to prevent the destruction of evidence and to keep user data safe," Dotcom said.

According to Dotcom, petabytes of data have been destroyed. This includes crucial evidence for the Megaupload legal defence in the secondary copyright infringement case that he and three associates are fighting. Dotcom is awaiting a hearing in New Zealand to find out if he and his associates will be extradited to the United States.

"What LeaseWeb has done is just wrong," Dotcom said.

This is the DOJ's copyright clown case of the century. LeaseWeb should have waited until the US court made a decision on user data which we are all waiting for at the moment," Dotcom told iTnews.

Megaupload user data has now also been lost, including Dotcom's personal files.

"Millions of personal Megaupload files, petabytes of pictures, backups, personal & business property forever destroyed by LeaseWeb," Dotcom said.

Dotcom compared LeaseWeb's action with that of his US hosting partners Carpathia and Cogent which are keeping Megaupload's dedicated servers in storage at their own cost, estimated at thousands of dollars a day.

LeaseWeb's legal officer Alex de Joode responded to Dotcom's tweeting on the company blog, saying the hosting provider had informed Megaupload of the decision to reprovision the rented servers. He said the company had stored and kept available the servers for a year at no cost and without being requested to do so.

Furthermore, de Joode said it was 630 rented servers, as sixty had been confiscated by the Dutch Fiscale inlichtingen en opsporingsdienst (Fiscal Information and Investigation Service, FIOD) government anti-fraud agency and shipped to the United States.

The remaining servers were re-provisioned with all data on them completely erased in February this year after Leaseweb didn't receive a response from Dotcom, de Joode said. 

The legal officer said LeaseWeb managed some 60,000 servers and had over 15,000 clients worldwide, and while storing the 630 servers was "a relatively small burden", de Joode argued it must serve a purpose.

"We absolutely regret the setbacks Kim Dotcom has had since MegaUpload was taken offline, but we hope he as an entrepreneur will understand our side of the story and the decisions deliberately taken," de Joode wrote.

Dotcom is now threatening legal action against Leaseweb, and is looking for a Dutch law firm to "evaluate potential legal claims" on a deferred basis.

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