Megaupload data safe from deletion - for now

For a little while, it looked like the data from over 50 million users of the now shut down Megaupload file sharing web site could be deleted starting later this week. Now News.com reports that a deal has been made between Megaupload's defense team and the two companies that hosted Megaupload's servers, Carpathia Hosting and Cogent Communications Group.

The deal will keep the files from being deleted for at least two more weeks, according to Ira Rothken, MegaUpload's U.S. based attorney. He also claims that he is trying to broker a more permanent solution to this issue with the US government prosecutors in this case. However, Rothken also claims that in order to keep the files from being permanently deleted, Megaupload will need to get back some of its assets that prosecutors have currently frozen.

When US law enforcement officials, working with New Zealand police, made their raids on Megaupload's assets earlier this month, they took over the mansion rented by the company's founder Kim Dotcom.  NZ$10 million in assets were also seized from various financial institutions. A few days later, more raids in Hong Kong managed to seize another $42 million in assets. It's possible that the company has even more assets that have yet to be discovered.

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"It's possible that the company has even more assets that have yet to be discovered."

Yeah... that's likely one reason the gov is saying go ahead & delete all that stuff, & making the announcement. MegaUpload's attorney is politely saying: "We're not that stupid". Personally I'd think the right thing to do would be to place MegaUpload the company in a sort of receivership -- the people running the company have been charged, but that's not an indictment of the company itself, which obviously had a lot of legit customers depending on it. The way it's gone so far is kind of like the gov saying the CEO of whatever electric utility was caught embezzling, so we're cutting off electrical power to all of it's customers. It's just about equally absurd.

mikiem said,

but that's not an indictment of the company itself,


Actually if you read the documentation it is VERY much an indictment of the company itself. If it was just a money laundering operation, they would have just gone for the personnel, not seize the entire company.

I'm sorry but storing your important data in megaupload is like putting your safe in the basement of your friend's house, that he just happens to sell meth out of. You can't be surprised when the place gets shutdown.

Seriously between Dropbox, Skydrive, Box.net, YouSendit, Amazon Cloud drive and so many others, I have a hard time feeling sorry for someone who thought this was a safe place to store their data.

mightymightyme said,
I'm sorry but storing your important data in megaupload is like putting your safe in the basement of your friend's house, that he just happens to sell meth out of. You can't be surprised when the place gets shutdown.

Seriously between Dropbox, Skydrive, Box.net, YouSendit, Amazon Cloud drive and so many others, I have a hard time feeling sorry for someone who thought this was a safe place to store their data.


OMG the first part was perfect! I burst out laughing!

As to the 2nd part, ya, there are services like Carbonite that are MADE for online backups and are 100% legit. Store your **** there!

unfortunately as we all know the servers have been wiped already and all the data has vanished.

This is just trying to save face with the legit users. Anyone who actually used the service as advertised should join the class action lawsuit against the FBI. As the law is likely written, the FBI can shut down servers ANYWHERE in the world but likley only US citizens can file a suit against them.

srbeen said,
unfortunately as we all know the servers have been wiped already and all the data has vanished.

This is just trying to save face with the legit users. Anyone who actually used the service as advertised should join the class action lawsuit against the FBI. As the law is likely written, the FBI can shut down servers ANYWHERE in the world but likley only US citizens can file a suit against them.

I highly doubt that anything stored on MegaUpload's servers wasn't copied completely intact to gov hard drives -- they'd have to preserve everything as evidence for any trial. Otherwise at the very least the defense could say to the Judge/Jury the gov is withholding evidence that proved their client's innocence.

The FBI [& the US gov] doesn't have *Any* authority outside the US. That's why SOPA & PIPA came about -- since the US gov can't shut down servers/domains physically located outside the US, the only thing it could do is block them in the US.

As far as lawsuits go, while there are some restrictions protecting law enforcement, gov officials etc., anyone up to & including the prez can face legal action. Legal action outside the US [depending on the country] may be able to charge & even convict US agencies, officials, & of course citizens, but the results are I think for the most part unenforceable. OTOH it's entirely possible for non-US citizens &/or gov to pursue whatever in the US legal system -- it has happened & is happening now. If I remember correctly for example Mexico joined in on the US admin's legal actions against the state of Arizona.

Yes another reason why tape backup is far superior to cloud backup; if a virus gets on the online host and changes ONE BIT of the backup, the backup is useless. If the host goes down (not likely but as prooved here, it HAS happened) the backup is gone. If your internet is having problems, until you get it fixed, you're effectively working without backups and if you need to get something restored, pah, good luck with that.

I bought a gaming PC. Why would I want to skimp on something. My point is still valid.

I have plenty of drives, but I'm saying. It's a bit stupid for people to tell others what they can and can't afford.

Nashy said,
I bought a gaming PC. Why would I want to skimp on something. My point is still valid.

I have plenty of drives, but I'm saying. It's a bit stupid for people to tell others what they can and can't afford.

thats called prioritizing; your priority was the million dollar gaming rig and rather bought a 200$ mouse (not saying you did) than a few dvds or an extra hdd for your family folder backup - so that means that folder's safety is less important than a gaming mouse; thats your choice

Nashy said,
I bought a gaming PC. Why would I want to skimp on something. My point is still valid.

I have plenty of drives, but I'm saying. It's a bit stupid for people to tell others what they can and can't afford.

the flood made HDDs more expensive....

Who the hell is everyone here to tell other people what they can afford? Get off your high horse, you're all condescending [insert profanity].

I just bought a new system. I can tell you. I can't afford another HDD for a little while. It's all very well if you have extra money left from your pay after you've paid you bills (or you parents board money), but I assure you, I am paid a decent wage, and will be in no position to purchase a new HDD for at least a couple of months.

Er, the argument is that if you can afford a system you can afford to factor in the cost of a back up in to that new system. If you don't think backups are worse the $100 cheaper graphics card or whatever else you skimp on to get them then fine, that's your prerogative; just don't complain when it comes crashing down.

The bottom line is that if you can afford a system, you can afford to attach a $ value to your data and factor it in to that system build.

Do people seriously think the FBI are about to just reconnect tb of prayed material to the net so everyone can download movies again? Oh, sorry, I mean your only copy of your important family document.

Sure, its not being deleted yet but its essentially gone for users.

dancedar said,
Do people seriously think the FBI are about to just reconnect tb of prayed material to the net so everyone can download movies again? Oh, sorry, I mean your only copy of your important family document.

Sure, its not being deleted yet but its essentially gone for users.


They don't have to 'reconnect tb of prayed material to the net' for everyone. All they have to do is allow account holders to download the data they uploaded to their account on the service.

Why is it so hard for some people to understand that there are people who actually use filehosting services for legitimate purposes?

I'm a pensioner and I can. Hard drives are cheap. I even have 5 hard drives running on my PC. 2 are extenal and 3 are internal. No excuse not to make backups. IF you can afford a computer, then you can afford to buy accessories for data backup. There are different options. Your just lazy.

ozgeek said,
I'm a pensioner and I can. Hard drives are cheap. I even have 5 hard drives running on my PC. 2 are extenal and 3 are internal. No excuse not to make backups. IF you can afford a computer, then you can afford to buy accessories for data backup. There are different options. Your just lazy.

after the floods they sure are not. they basically more than doubled in price. even now a hard drive that used to cost $80 fairly commonly (i.e. 2TB Samsung 5400rpm) now costs $160-170. which is twice what it used to cost and that's newegg prices to which are general solid.

from what i read it sounds like hard drive prices won't go back to what they used to be for at least another year.

Edited by ThaCrip, Jan 31 2012, 7:45am :

ThaCrip said,

after the floods they sure are not. they basically more than doubled in price. even now a hard drive that used to cost $80 fairly commonly (i.e. 2TB Samsung 5400rpm) now costs $160-170. which is twice what it used to cost and that's newegg prices to which are general solid.

from what i read it sounds like hard drive prices won't go back to what they used to be for at least another year.


Yeah. It seems we are back at 2009.

ThaCrip said,

after the floods they sure are not. they basically more than doubled in price. even now a hard drive that used to cost $80 fairly commonly (i.e. 2TB Samsung 5400rpm) now costs $160-170. which is twice what it used to cost and that's newegg prices to which are general solid.

from what i read it sounds like hard drive prices won't go back to what they used to be for at least another year.

They already have gone back down... I bought a 64gb crucial SSD drive before the floors for £80, price went upto £100 odd during flood period. now back down to £80 and I'm thinking of getting another one.

Come on you lot must buy beer, or something else that isn't necessary in life. Don't have a couple of pints and buy yourself some pen drives or something to store your crap on. yes a dvd isnt going to last for ever, and as proven megaupload hasnt lasted for ever. either way its your own fault, use a more secure place next time.

Seems like people forget the good old data immunity rule (which doesn't REALLY make it immune but damn it makes it hard to get rid of!)

Of important files you should have three copies for safe keeping one on your HDD, Portable HDD & DVD/BD disc.

That way if one fails there are two other backups

raid works pretty well too

Ently said,
Seems like people forget the good old data immunity rule (which doesn't REALLY make it immune but damn it makes it hard to get rid of!)

Of important files you should have three copies for safe keeping one on your HDD, Portable HDD & DVD/BD disc.

That way if one fails there are two other backups

raid works pretty well too

i could not agree more. people who don't have AT LEAST 2 copies minimum are just asking for trouble be it from stuff like this or hard drive failure etc. but knowing how people are they wait until it's to late and then they complain. lol

personally i think a pretty safe way to backup data, depending on how much you got, is to have one copy on hard drive and another hard drive and definitely a copy on RELIABLE DVD media like Varbatim (or Taiyo Yuden) as once you burn the data to a Verbatim DVD and confirm it's good odds are that will not fail but if it's data you cannot afford to lose i would recommend a copy on both media (i.e. Verbatim/Taiyo Yuden) as the odds of both of those failing at the same time is very slim especially if you also have another backup copy on a hard drive (especially 2 hard drives).

doing that damn near guarantees no data loss lacking a fire or something but if it's that important you could always do that along with uploading a copy online to somewhere safe.

but if you got larger amount of data and you would rather not lose it... you should have a copy on one hard drive and a copy on another as that's not to hard to do and not to time consuming but if you got family photos and stuff of that sort you don't want to lose.... i would say quality DVD media along with hard drives etc, like i was saying, is a must.

p.s. i admit i slack off on some stuff but for stuff i would not be pretty upset losing i don't mess around with that stuff.

Ently said,
Seems like people forget the good old data immunity rule (which doesn't REALLY make it immune but damn it makes it hard to get rid of!)

Of important files you should have three copies for safe keeping one on your HDD, Portable HDD & DVD/BD disc.

That way if one fails there are two other backups

raid works pretty well too

not everyone can afford external drives and dvds, thats why everyone is moving to the cloud

ShareShiz said,

not everyone can afford external drives and dvds, thats why everyone is moving to the cloud

nearly everyone can afford a DVD burner along with a 100pack of Verbatim DVD's which would only cost around $40 and offers 470GB of data backup. that's counting the burner AND discs. at THE MOST, $50-ish out the door but odds are it will be around $40-45 especially if you wait for the right price.

i just looked and you can get a Liteon iHAS124 OEM drive for $22 out the door and a 100pack of Verbatim discs for $29 out the door (i.e. $51 total) which is more than they usually are but if you look around i am sure you can get a better price. so it would not be to hard to find it for $45 or less for all of it if you wait. as the discs @ $29 (out the door) are on the high price side right now on newegg as they usually float in the $20-25 out the door for them.

but using online storage you trust is not a bad option either if you don't have a ton of data that needs to be backed up. but if you use the online option i would verify your data is safe before trusting that completely. either way, there is NO WAY i could solely rely on a online backup as your only option for data retrieval as it's just not smart.

Edited by ThaCrip, Jan 31 2012, 7:53am :

ShareShiz said,

not everyone can afford external drives and dvds, thats why everyone is moving to the cloud

Most cloud services cost way more than a blank dvd and external HDD's are a fraction of the cost of a computer (which I assume they have to buy to have the files in the first place).

Ently said,
Seems like people forget the good old data immunity rule (which doesn't REALLY make it immune but damn it makes it hard to get rid of!)

Of important files you should have three copies for safe keeping one on your HDD, Portable HDD & DVD/BD disc.

That way if one fails there are two other backups

raid works pretty well too


But even HDD/Portable HDD/DVD/Blu-Ray disc backups can be easily destroyed. I know megaupload has a few files that I don't have a backup for, because as I mentioned before those backups can be easily destroyed.

Zeet said,

But even HDD/Portable HDD/DVD/Blu-Ray disc backups can be easily destroyed. I know megaupload has a few files that I don't have a backup for, because as I mentioned before those backups can be easily destroyed.

Sure, DVD can be easily detroyed but as long as you don't abuse the discs (and handle them properly) they will last a long time (AT LEAST 5 years, probably 10+ conservatively).

plus the DVD copy is mostly a backup so after you burn it you put it in a safe place for storage as generally speaking if you use the data you can run it from the hard drive on your primary PC. so if that crashes or gets deleted from a virus etc etc you always have the DVD copy that you kept safe from general use to fall back on.

personally i would trust a properly burned quality discs like Verbatim (or Taiyo Yuden) with my data in a 5-10 year time span than i would a typical hard drive which is more prone to failure in that same time frame assuming you handle the discs properly.

p.s. when i say properly burned discs... i mean after you burned you make sure the data can be copied back to the hard drive after a burn and, if possible, scan the discs with Kprobe (assuming you got a Liteon burner (or other equivalent drive that can do disc scans)) to make sure the PIE's and PIF's are are well within good levels. so assuming that all passes... odds of that data going bad within 5 years is slim and i would be willing to bet it will last 10 years+ if the discs are handled well and kept away from direct sunlight or super high heat etc.

my 5-10 year estimate are more of conservative ones as it could go well over 10 for all i know but i would say it's quite unlikely quality media like Verbatim or Taiyo Yuden would fail within 5 years assuming it's handled with care and was burned properly initially.

Edited by ThaCrip, Jan 31 2012, 7:16am :

Ently said,
Seems like people forget the good old data immunity rule (which doesn't REALLY make it immune but damn it makes it hard to get rid of!)

Of important files you should have three copies for safe keeping one on your HDD, Portable HDD & DVD/BD disc.

That way if one fails there are two other backups

raid works pretty well too

There's a reason why RAID is meant for servers and workstations and not for home PC's. If You got 2 HDD's keep them separate and just copy-paste your stuff from one to the other, thats actually more safe then RAID on PC's. I've had 3 instances on my Servers where one HDD failed on RAID and I couldn't access my data before I swapped it out for a new one.

alwaysonacoffebreak said,

There's a reason why RAID is meant for servers and workstations and not for home PC's. If You got 2 HDD's keep them separate and just copy-paste your stuff from one to the other, thats actually more safe then RAID on PC's. I've had 3 instances on my Servers where one HDD failed on RAID and I couldn't access my data before I swapped it out for a new one.

That's doing RAID wrong. You have an additional HDD as a swap spare so that as soon as one HDD dies, the raid automatically includes the swap spare and rebuilds it. The likelyhood of two disks dying (RAID6) before your hot spare can be reslivered is fairly unlikely.

The real argument against raid as your only backup solution is what happens if you lose your house in a fire?

I know megaupload has a few files that I don't have a backup for, because as I mentioned before those backups can be easily destroyed.

Is that seriously your argument? I didn't back up because they could be easily destroyed, but now I'm unhappy my one file upload site is down? If you had spent $2 on a DVD and the DVD snaps, then you also have it on mega upload. If mega upload goes down, you still have it on DVD. Total cost: $2. Chance of megaupload dying and you snapping your DVD at the exact same moment? Extremely low. Silly argument, you do both for data you care about--not one or the other.

It has been said before, but RAID is an availability solution, not a backup solution. RAID was designed to keep downtime to a minimum in server rooms, but will not protect against fires or such catastrophic hardware failures, or theft -- all affecting the entire RAID setup. For backups, I recommend other methods than using RAID, such as copies to secondary drives in other locations than your home. This doesn't have to be as complicated as it sounds; a rugged portable hard drive thay you carry with you once away from home for longer periods will go a long way to achieve this. There are also cloud services that help you with this, such as Carbonite. Not free, but also far more reliable than Megaupload. Megaupload wasn't even designed for backups, but there are services which are.

ascendant123 said,

That's doing RAID wrong. You have an additional HDD as a swap spare so that as soon as one HDD dies, the raid automatically includes the swap spare and rebuilds it. The likelyhood of two disks dying (RAID6) before your hot spare can be reslivered is fairly unlikely.

The real argument against raid as your only backup solution is what happens if you lose your house in a fire?

Is that seriously your argument? I didn't back up because they could be easily destroyed, but now I'm unhappy my one file upload site is down? If you had spent $2 on a DVD and the DVD snaps, then you also have it on mega upload. If mega upload goes down, you still have it on DVD. Total cost: $2. Chance of megaupload dying and you snapping your DVD at the exact same moment? Extremely low. Silly argument, you do both for data you care about--not one or the other.

I seriously doubt a company who hosts dedicated servers for more then 20000 people will setup RAID wrong. And even if they did, I will stick to my opinion, RAID belongs to Servers/Workstations not for home use or daily usage at home.

Best option is to open a safety deposit box at your nearest bank and store your hard drives there.

Ently said,

Most cloud services cost way more than a blank dvd and external HDD's are a fraction of the cost of a computer (which I assume they have to buy to have the files in the first place).

ThaCrip said,

nearly everyone can afford a DVD burner along with a 100pack of Verbatim DVD's which would only cost around $40 and offers 470GB of data backup. that's counting the burner AND discs. at THE MOST, $50-ish out the door but odds are it will be around $40-45 especially if you wait for the right price.

i just looked and you can get a Liteon iHAS124 OEM drive for $22 out the door and a 100pack of Verbatim discs for $29 out the door (i.e. $51 total) which is more than they usually are but if you look around i am sure you can get a better price. so it would not be to hard to find it for $45 or less for all of it if you wait. as the discs @ $29 (out the door) are on the high price side right now on newegg as they usually float in the $20-25 out the door for them.

but using online storage you trust is not a bad option either if you don't have a ton of data that needs to be backed up. but if you use the online option i would verify your data is safe before trusting that completely. either way, there is NO WAY i could solely rely on a online backup as your only option for data retrieval as it's just not smart.

dvd drives go bad... mine has.... it won't burn anymore. it reads discs but it won't burn anymore with any software, operating system, etc... I even cleaned the hell out of the laser lens and reseated connections inside the drive, etc...

and why pay 30 bucks for the drive when you can get a pen drive for like 50 bucks for a 16GB,.....

also who wants to lug around a huge stack of dvd's and get the scratched up? a 4.7GB DVD takes up a larger amount of room then a pen drive.

however if you loose your pen drive or it gets soaked or something cloud based data is still there...

Shayla said,
Yes about 2GB

You put 2GB of data online and then deleted the "hard" copy? That was a bit silly, wasn't it?

People really need to think in future. Megaupload is not the first service to have disappeared, and it won't be the last. If it's important to you, don't trust it completely with "the cloud."

Intrinsica said,

You put 2GB of data online and then deleted the "hard" copy? That was a bit silly, wasn't it?

People really need to think in future. Megaupload is not the first service to have disappeared, and it won't be the last. If it's important to you, don't trust it completely with "the cloud."

or what if he had it backed up there and then the pc or the HDD that the data was on died or it got stolen or something.... never assume.....

That's a reasonable point, in which case he is very unlucky that his HDD died in the same week that Megaupload went offline.

But again, why not have a physical backup on top of a cloud backup?

Intrinsica said,
That's a reasonable point, in which case he is very unlucky that his HDD died in the same week that Megaupload went offline.

But again, why not have a physical backup on top of a cloud backup?

true... I have my HDD, an external, a pen drive, and cloud.

Intrinsica said,
That's a reasonable point, in which case he is very unlucky that his HDD died in the same week that Megaupload went offline.

But again, why not have a physical backup on top of a cloud backup?

Especially if you know the cloud solution you are using has a blatantly illegal side to it. It isn't a question of if it will be taken down. It is a question of when.