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US Gov't Wants Megaupload Users To Pay For Their Data

Soulskill posted about 2 years ago | from the megaupload-users-need-love-too dept.

Government 203

angry tapir writes "U.S. federal prosecutors are fine with Megaupload users recovering their data — as long as they pay for it. The government's position was explained in a court filing on Friday concerning one of the many interesting side issues that has emerged from the shutdown of Megaupload, formerly one of the most highly trafficked file-sharing sites. Prosecutors were responding to a motion filed by the Electronic Frontier Foundation in late March on behalf of Kyle Goodwin, an Ohio-based sports reporter who used Megaupload legitimately for storing videos. The government argues that it only copied part of the Megaupload data and the physical servers were never seized. Megaupload's 1,103 servers — which hold upwards of 28 petabytes of data — are still held by Carpathia Hosting. Goodwin's options, prosecutors said, are either pay — or sue — Carpathia, or sue Megaupload."

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203 comments

Go Cloud! (5, Funny)

toygeek (473120) | about 2 years ago | (#40306543)

My data is safe. Its in the cloud!

Some very interesting issues (5, Insightful)

chrb (1083577) | about 2 years ago | (#40306833)

According to the MPAA, U.S. government, etc. these digital files are the same as physical property, and under the Fifth Amendment "No person shall be... deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law". Note the wording - it doesn't state that the government must actually have seized the property in question (which the government argues they did not do) - it must merely have caused a person to be deprived of their property. By their own logic, through the actions of the government, Mr. Goodwin has been deprived of his property, and without his right to a jury trial.

But the government argues that they aren't liable because they only copied certain servers, and a forensic expert could retrieve the original files with access to the servers and hard disks. This is like arguing that the government can seize your car from the garage and dismantle it into thousands of parts, but that they haven't deprived you of your property, because you are free to hire a mechanic (at great cost) to put it all back together again.

On the other hand, suppose you leave some property in the safe of your lawyer, who is subsequently arrested for committing some serious crime. You have now been deprived of your property, but it still exists in the safe. In this case, the government would not have a liability to release a criminal in order to let him open his safe and retrieve your belongings. I think that the government might win this one - if they are willing to let Mr. Goodwin have access to the servers, which they say they are. The Fifth Amendment does not require that the government ensure that you have access to your property that you have left in the care of another person, it only requires them to not be the ones depriving you of it.

The other big issue from the article is that the U.S. government plans to extradite Kim Dotcom and the employees of Megaupload (including web developers etc.) so that they can be charged with criminal copyright infringement in the U.S. Can you imagine what the outcry would be like if any other nation tried to extradite Americans working for a U.S. based file hosting company? What if British prosecutors decide to extradite the developers of {Dropbox,Google Drive,etc.} because some users were sharing episodes of Doctor Who? Most people support extraditions for serious offences like murder, but when it starts to be used for frivolous things like copyright infringement, that support is going to disappear.

Re:Some very interesting issues (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40307025)

I would like to see what happens if Iran decided to extradite some U.S.A. citizen involved in Flame or Stuxnet, what would this look like?? Whats the difference? The money and power of U.S.A.?

Re:Some very interesting issues (3, Insightful)

WrongSizeGlass (838941) | about 2 years ago | (#40307231)

I would like to see what happens if Iran decided to extradite some U.S.A. citizen involved in Flame or Stuxnet, what would this look like?? Whats the difference? The money and power of U.S.A.?

Parent is not 'flamebait' - it's a legitimate question. The answer is Yes, it's our money and power. The US government throws its weight around to get US friendly (or US business friendly) laws & treaties passed around the world. It's a byproduct of being a superpower and having a permanent seat on the UN Security Council. The globe is an international chess match between a slowly changing group of players. As long as we dole out influence, aid and weapons we will be seen and be treated differently than most countries.

Re:Some very interesting issues (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40307319)

Parent is not 'flamebait' - it's a legitimate question.

Yes they are, and no it isn't. On one hand we have two governments who are close allies and work together in a variety of matters, on the other hand we have enemies who are one wrong political decision away from an all-out war. That's the difference, and it's such a massive difference as to render any application to the current situation completely invalid. He's also comparing a question of copyright to an outright assault on a country's facilities and systems, those aren't even in the same league.

I'm not disagreeing with your post in general, as you're more-or-less on the right track. It IS a chess match, and the first thing you need to remember in chess is that while the Queen is the most powerful piece in theory, she is rarely the piece which actually decides the match.

Re:Some very interesting issues (4, Interesting)

rhook (943951) | about 2 years ago | (#40307077)

This is like arguing that the government can seize your car from the garage and dismantle it into thousands of parts, but that they haven't deprived you of your property, because you are free to hire a mechanic (at great cost) to put it all back together again.

This actually happens all the time. Happened to a friend of mine more than once even. So long as the police were acting in "good faith" you have no legal recourse.

Re:Some very interesting issues (5, Informative)

poetmatt (793785) | about 2 years ago | (#40307225)

Which sounds nice and all, except that this is New Zealand and the judge is not at all convinced by our government's antics here. If they declare sovereign immunity (which they might) we are going to have some serious issues in new zealand - rightly so for our government's overreach.

And in contrast, when police do investigations and presume you may be suspicious (for things such as damage to your house incurred while they falsely investigated something) they absolutely are required to pay that back - you can easily win in small claims court for those damages. This is no different, since megaupload has not been found guilty of anything.

Re:Some very interesting issues (3, Insightful)

cusco (717999) | about 2 years ago | (#40307505)

Nice to know that not every US-allied government has gone entirely bat-shit crazy.

Re:Some very interesting issues (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40307241)

Not arguing against you, just the legal crap your friend got.

Drunk drivers are operating in "good faith" when they accidentally kill someone. They made a bad decision, but they didn't "mean it".

Re:Some very interesting issues (1)

Joce640k (829181) | about 2 years ago | (#40307271)

This actually happens all the time. Happened to a friend of mine more than once even.

Your friend should try a different lawyer. Just sayin'...

Re:Some very interesting issues (4, Informative)

necro81 (917438) | about 2 years ago | (#40307131)

"No person shall be... deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law". Note the wording - it doesn't state that the government must actually have seized the property in question (which the government argues they did not do) - it must merely have caused a person to be deprived of their property. By their own logic, through the actions of the government, Mr. Goodwin has been deprived of his property, and without his right to a jury trial.

Don't equate "due process of law" with a jury trial. A jury trial is an example of due process, but it's not the only one. There are all manner of legal processes through which you can lose, have taken away, be temporarily deprived of, or otherwise forfeit property without going through a jury trial. As a most simple example: property gets seized as part of a search warrant all the time, as has happened in this case. Sometimes it is eventually returned, sometimes it is permanently retained as evidence. None of that requires a jury trial, even though it's often involved.

Re:Some very interesting issues (4, Informative)

tapspace (2368622) | about 2 years ago | (#40307339)

This is like arguing that the government can seize your car from the garage and dismantle it into thousands of parts, but that they haven't deprived you of your property, because you are free to hire a mechanic (at great cost) to put it all back together again.

The government DOES seize vehicles without due process.

Re:Some very interesting issues (5, Informative)

cusco (717999) | about 2 years ago | (#40307541)

And if drugs are even rumored to be some peripheral part of someone thought to be related the case in some way the cops will generally sell the property before the owner gets a chance to try to recover it. NORML reported a few years ago that half of the assets seized and sold in drug cases didn't even belong to anyone charged with a drug crime.

Re:Go Cloud! (2)

rjgii (1176021) | about 2 years ago | (#40307573)

My data is safe; in a cloud.

It's just that my cloud is in my basement, being contained by a magnetic field.

In other words, a raided NAS externally available...

Or... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40306545)

Sue the Government. Might not work, but there is no reason why they can't be sued.

Or... (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40306563)

Sue Hulk Hogan. Might not work, but there is no reason why he can't be sued.

Re:Or... (4, Informative)

philip.paradis (2580427) | about 2 years ago | (#40306751)

The funny thing about that idea is that the government actually gets to choose whether a suit against it has merit and can go forward. Good luck with that in many cases.

Re:Or... (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40306893)

So you are saying that in the U.S., courts are not independent? I always thought that to be a cornerstone of democratic systems.

Re:Or... (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40307239)

They retain "Sovereign Immunity". So basically you can not sue the US Government unless they give you permission to do so.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sovereign_immunity#United_States

Re:Or... (5, Funny)

WrongSizeGlass (838941) | about 2 years ago | (#40307285)

Sue the Government. Might not work, but there is no reason why they can't be sued.

Yes [ ] - I would like to sue the US Government, endure a lifetime of tax audits, have my life turned upside-down & inside-out by the FBI, lose my job and family, and be laughed out of court by a Federal Judge for seeking reasonable redress for the bad acts of my government.
No [ ] - I was only filling out this form as part of a high school civics assignment.

Re:Or... (1)

PGC (880972) | about 2 years ago | (#40307315)

Lifetime of tax audits? What percentage of MU's users were Americans?

Re:Or... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40307607)

Right. Replace that with "get the unmanned drones treatment" for non-Americans.

All hail the cloud (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40306553)

Use the cloud, they said. It's a cheap and convenient way to store your data, they said.

Re:All hail the cloud (2)

icebraining (1313345) | about 2 years ago | (#40306909)

And it is. Of course, it shouldn't be the only place where you store your data, but then again, nothing should.

FUCK YOU US !! (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40306569)

Fuck US in the ass !!

USA Government == Captain ASSHOLES (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40306573)

USA Government == Captain ASSHOLES

Long story short... (3, Insightful)

Robert Zenz (1680268) | about 2 years ago | (#40306587)

...what idiot did upload their stuff to MegaUpload and did not keep an offline backup/original?

I mean, I might be heavily influenced, given that I'm...uuhhh...obsessed with keeping *all* data (executing rm hurts...) and keeping it safe and sound...

Re:Long story short... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40306611)

...what idiot did upload their stuff to MegaUpload and did not keep an offline backup/original?

I mean, I might be heavily influenced, given that I'm...uuhhh...obsessed with keeping *all* data (executing rm hurts...) and keeping it safe and sound...

You're an idiot.
Megaupload and other "cloud" give users data redudancy so that the poor guy doesn't depend only on his local backups.
Now what happens when your original backups are corrupted ? Yeah genius, you go to the cloud provider and get back your copies. That's the main reason to use the cloud, data redudancy. Except that the government has demonstrated that cloud providers are useless. Lesson learned.

Re:Long story short... (2, Insightful)

Lumpy (12016) | about 2 years ago | (#40306789)

What clueless moron has only TWO backups?

Their need to go to Megaupload to retrieve should be the last case. Oh crap, my offline is dead, oh double crap the backups of the offline is dead, Time to grab the files from online....

Oh crap....

Now it's the data owners fault for using shitty backup medium. Hard drives are unreliable at best. If your data has any real value, you BUY a backup medium with a proven track record of robust and low failure rates....

That is why all my data backed up at home is on SDLT drive tapes. If it's good for Corperate america, it's good for me. Anything less is just playing around with toys.

Re:Long story short... (1)

mwvdlee (775178) | about 2 years ago | (#40306895)

You keep your tapes safely at home, I presume?

Re:Long story short... (1)

Lumpy (12016) | about 2 years ago | (#40307237)

I keep the incremental at home yes. I keep a pair of Weekly Complete at work in my desk, and a yearly pair of tapes go into the safety deposit box at the bank.

Granted I don't have a LOT of data to back up. I have a SDLT 320 drive and tapes and I dont use compression so I only have a total of 320 gig of data backed up Off site. I'll upgrade to SDLT600 when I can afford to and I can always expand to 3 tapes for a complete backup. SDLT tapes are cheap.

Re:Long story short... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40307249)

Just Scotch and 3M.

Most people don't have the ability to recover data from a broken/dirty tape.
If you have ever recovered data from a broken tape on a S/390 (IBM Ditto) you know what I'm talking about.

With TB drives so cheap, just use multiple drives for the backups (store at multiple locations) and remember. Clean your data frequently!
Otherwise, suffer the perils of possibly getting caught with a huge data management nightmare!

Just my 2 cents!

Re:Long story short... (4, Insightful)

Calos (2281322) | about 2 years ago | (#40306613)

That's one part of it. Single point of failure is always bad, and trusting someone else to manage it is worse.

But then... It's fricken' MegaUpload. It's always seemed sketchy. Who trusts important stuff to them?

Re:Long story short... (5, Insightful)

ccguy (1116865) | about 2 years ago | (#40306695)

But then... It's fricken' MegaUpload. It's always seemed sketchy. Who trusts important stuff to them?

People who don't know better. This doesn't make them idiots, they just make them ignorant in a specific field.

The same thing could be said about many, many people that are quite knowledgeable in IT yet happened to deposit their money in the wrong bank. And well, they lost a lot of money, not just some digital picture or whatever.

I think before criticizing the victims here we should give it some thought: Do we have *all our own assets* (physical and otherwise) in the right place? Maybe we have our health insurance in the megaupload equivalent of insurance and we don't know about it? Or our funds?

Re:Long story short... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40306899)

if what they stored was important to them and they relied on the storage and they choose not to raise themselves from ignorance to basic knowledge then that is what makes them idiots.

This goes for anyone doing anything and has nothing to do with field or intelligence. Idiots are everywhere.

Re:Long story short... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40307385)

The same thing could be said about many, many people that are quite knowledgeable in IT yet happened to deposit their money in the wrong bank. And well, they lost a lot of money, not just some digital picture or whatever.

Which is why I keep my money in at least two different banks, and my "the cloud" backups with two different providers who keep datacenters in two different regions of the world.

I believe the saying is "Don't keep all your eggs in one basket", and it does not take a genius or even an expert to understand.

I think before criticizing the victims here we should give it some thought

I have. If you give your shit to somebody and don't pay attention to what they're doing with it, you're an idiot. I don't care how many other people are doing it, if that's your only excuse it makes you twice the fool.

Re:Long story short... (3, Informative)

dkf (304284) | about 2 years ago | (#40306793)

Single point of failure is always bad

Yes. This, a thousand times, this.

trusting someone else to manage it is worse

Not really. You're just exchanging one set of risks for another. The risk of messing up on your own shouldn't be underestimated; a fat-fingered rm can cause a lot of damage. Of course, if you're really competent then you'll be aware of the single-point-of-failure problem in the first place and so will replicate as appropriate (and according to budget) but for a lot of people the risks from keeping their data in the cloud are actually lower than from keeping the data locally. It's a trade-off (and so must be optimized to particular situations, as with all trade-offs).

Things get more complex when you've got data which you want to keep confidential yet available (e.g., health records) but a lot of stuff doesn't need that level of caution.

Re:Long story short... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40306627)

RTA, he did keep the originals on his hard drive, but it crashed.

Re:Long story short... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40306633)

He lost his offline backup/original.
And before he was able to download his online backup...

Should have had triple backup of course but videos are big.

Re:Long story short... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40306675)

Hi, I'm Kyle Goodwin. I uploaded all my videos on Megaupload, and then deleted them from my hard drive. Why? Because I trusted Megaupload to keep my files safe. More than I trust Dell and Microsoft. My Dell Windows computer is full of viruses and they are not to be trusted.

Megaupload service was excellent, I know because I get all my porn and anime from there, and it always worked flawlessly. How was I supposed to know that the evil US gubment was going to shut them down? It's not my fault, it's the evil Amerikkkan gubments fault!

Re:Long story short... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40306691)

Well, there's the case of the kid who had a video-hosting business who used Megaupload to store his off-site backups. When his main computer crashed, or some such failure, he discovered that the drive he was using for his on-site backup had also failed. That was the day after the Megaupload seizure.

never seized, but frozen by order (4, Interesting)

gl4ss (559668) | about 2 years ago | (#40306595)

but would carpathia give data to anyone who paid? doubt that. how would they even know how to get the data. are they even allowed to access the data? doubt that too.

seems like just washing of hands - amazingly fucked up investigation though. next they'll try to argue that they never did any legal action?? (which is actually true, "haha"). it's increasingly evident that the fbi tactic was that they assumed dotcom would settle for some prison time right away(thus not needing evidence or due process).

Re:never seized, but frozen by order (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40307103)

... the FBI tactic was that they assumed dotcom would settle for some prison time ...

This is Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) for the FBI. Those US cop shows aren't far from the truth. Get someone on a minor crime, then threaten to charge him with a serious crime, requiring a long trial and much longer imprisonment. A plea bargain from the defendant makes the FBI look good and prevents the judicial system suffering massive court-room costs.

Unfortunately for the FBI, New Zealand didn't have any evidence of an actual (physical damages) crime.

Nice new business model (5, Insightful)

NetDanzr (619387) | about 2 years ago | (#40306607)

1. Take people's data, hold it hostage
2. Tell people to pay if they want to see the data ever again
3. Profit!

All this, of course, is contingent of the hostage taker having access to the data storage. Solution is simple: don't store your data in a country with such practices, or with a company with ties to said country. The Internet should finally recognize the US as damaged area and route around it.

Re:Nice new business model (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40306625)

Quick, register slashdot.eu and make a backup before the main site is gone!

Re:Nice new business model (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40307503)

Quick, register slashdot.eu and make a backup before the main site is gone!

Too late. slashdot.eu has been registered since April 7, 2006. Last updated April 27, 2007 and expires April 30, 2013.

Someone should probably contact Caller Robin at Goallover or the hostmaster at Premium Registrations Sweden about it, cause it doesn't seem like ns{1,2}.eapps.com knows anything about that domain.

Re:Nice new business model (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40306775)

This is but the 2.0 "cloud" variant of classic ransomware [wikipedia.org] .

Fuck the US MAFIAA!

Re:Nice new business model (4, Insightful)

gnasher719 (869701) | about 2 years ago | (#40306859)

1. Take people's data, hold it hostage
2. Tell people to pay if they want to see the data ever again
3. Profit!

It's not quite like that. Megaupload paid Carpathia for hosting user's data. Carpathia doesn't care what data, they just supplied the storage and took money for it. Megaupload stopped paying Carpathia. So what is Carpathia going to do?

I would think it would be completely legal for them to just re-use all their servers that Megaupload is paying for, with total destruction of all the user data. Probably a matter of contract and contract law: For how long would a hosting service be required to keep your data if you stop paying? And I don't think Carpathia has any legal obligations to Megaupload's customers. On the contrary, I doubt that Carpathia has any right to give anyone other than Megaupload access to those servers without some court order, even Megaupload customers who want to access that data.

Re:Nice new business model (2)

mwvdlee (775178) | about 2 years ago | (#40306933)

It's not quite like that. Megaupload paid Carpathia for hosting user's data. Carpathia doesn't care what data, they just supplied the storage and took money for it. Megaupload stopped paying Carpathia. So what is Carpathia going to do?

According to a story posted a few weeks ago, Carpathia is required to keep the servers^wevidence intact by the government, while not being paid for it.

Re:Nice new business model (5, Insightful)

NetDanzr (619387) | about 2 years ago | (#40306939)

This would be true, if Megaupload willfully stopped paying Carpathia. However, they expressed the willingness to continue paying them for the servers, if they had the funds available. These funds, however, were frozen by the US government, who is thus responsible for Carpathia not getting paid, and as such has taken over the duty to maintain the data integrity. It's actually nothing new - authorities in the US have been doing similar things with physical property for a while, via asset forfeiture; the only difference here is that it's digital property. And that can be much more easily routed outside the authorities' reach in the future.

Re:Nice new business model (2)

Kjella (173770) | about 2 years ago | (#40307095)

This would be true, if Megaupload willfully stopped paying Carpathia. However, they expressed the willingness to continue paying them for the servers, if they had the funds available. These funds, however, were frozen by the US government, who is thus responsible for Carpathia not getting paid, and as such has taken over the duty to maintain the data integrity.

So if the government ceases your money (or better yet, ceases you), it is their responsibility to pay the landlord rent, the lease on your car, your cable bill, phone bill, electricity bill, utilities bill and magazine subscriptions? I don't think that's the way it works. Those bills will go unpaid, your services cut, your car repossessed and you'll be evicted from the apartment. And the stuff in the apartment that's legally yours? Well, unless you can get someone to pick them up or pay for transport and storage then the landlord can treat them as uncollected or abandoned and sell/dispose of them after a while. The government will not step in to prevent any of this. If this is all a screw-up you can sue the government for damages but your property is probably lost forever.

Re:Nice new business model (0)

Muad'Dave (255648) | about 2 years ago | (#40307197)

"...ceases..."

Cease, verb. To stop, as in cease and desist.
Sieze, verb. To take away, as in sieze one's property.

Read my signature.

Re:Nice new business model (1)

Kjella (173770) | about 2 years ago | (#40307351)

Cease, verb. To stop, as in cease and desist.
Sieze, verb. To take away, as in sieze one's property.

sieze
1. Common misspelling of seize.

Perhaps you should read your own signature?

Re:Nice new business model (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40307323)

So, according to what you say, American government can seize all your belongings including money on accounts with little to no cause and let the debt collectors eat you alive? And you say that it is morally and ethically OK and the government has no responsibility for what happened?

What is moral and what is the law says are sometimes two different things. They may have followed the American law, but what they did is still not right and they are still responsible for those data or their loss.

Re:Nice new business model (2)

bsdewhurst (986863) | about 2 years ago | (#40307479)

Let me try and explain this with a car analogy.

You are accused of committing a hit and run.

The police find you and throw you in jail until the court case (you couldn't make bail).

Your not working so you can't pay the lease on your car, so the leasing firm wants to repossess it, but the police say it is evidence of your crime and has to stay where it is until the trial.

replace you with Megaupload, a hit and run with copyright infringement, the police with FBI and the car leasing firm with Carpathia. Megaupload never owned the servers, only leased them, Carpathia owns the servers but can't do anything with them because the FBI wants them kept as evidence, so they are being punished through financial losses for a crime they didn't commit, just like in the analogy the leasing company has a car they are not getting any money for and can't do anything with it.

Re:Nice new business model (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40307725)

The big problem lies in whether they actually and properly followed due process or not. If they didn't, it falls under the Fifth Amendment- and it's the Government's problem, not yours. With the way they did this, I'm suspecting that "not" is the answer to the first part.

If you fail a mortgage payment (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40306949)

If you fail a mortgage payment, they blow up the house???

Re:Nice new business model (1)

mwvdlee (775178) | about 2 years ago | (#40306919)

Their alternative is to sue a company who, not yet having been proven guilty, should be considered innocent.

Re:Nice new business model (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40307175)

Tell people to pay if they want to see the data ever again

Carpathia have had their hardware idle so MegaLoad user's data hasn't been destroyed. For Carpathia, that's lost income. They can sue the government which caused such loss (ha ha ha ha ...), or charge the original users instead.

... country with such practices ...

Since the USA claims jurisdiction over any inter-tube that touches their country, even avoiding USA-owned sites isn't enough.

... recognize the US as a damaged area ...

It's not damaged until the DHS/FBI/ICE cause it. By then it's too late.

Re:Nice new business model (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40307265)

How to get out of paying Taxes.
Set up a new cloud business and 'insure it and the business against any failure' - payments heading out to a 3rd country haven.
Add consulting Lawyers - another 10% off the top. Insure suspension of services.

As for the case in NZ, certain improper actions could mean the case collapses, and MU may sue for damages.

Partial data... (2)

jasonq (244142) | about 2 years ago | (#40306639)

So, effectively, they based all of their case on partial data which *THEY SAY* they copied from the servers and don't actually have possession of the physical servers? They do understand that digital evidence is not really evidence, right?

Tin Foil Hat Time (2)

Pool_Noodle (1373373) | about 2 years ago | (#40306657)

This may be pointing out the obvious, but so what if someone does pay, and does legitimately retrieve their data. What's to stop the Government from prosecuting them next? After all, they get the "Criminal" with the evidence, and they had to pay to get it, (weakly) proving its their data.

Re:Tin Foil Hat Time (3, Insightful)

gnasher719 (869701) | about 2 years ago | (#40306957)

This may be pointing out the obvious, but so what if someone does pay, and does legitimately retrieve their data. What's to stop the Government from prosecuting them next? After all, they get the "Criminal" with the evidence, and they had to pay to get it, (weakly) proving its their data.

If its _your_ data, there is nothing the government could prosecute you for. If its _your_ illegal copies of copyrighted material, then I suggest it's a stupid idea to try and download any of that under the eyes of the government.

Government is the 1% (4, Insightful)

Shivetya (243324) | about 2 years ago | (#40306663)

the 99% can take a hike.

Get your rights trampled while they pursue someone or something, well too bad. Its called collateral damage and the little people simply have no say.

As the saying goes, "A government big enough to give you everything you want is a government big enough to take from you everything you have"

It also goes without saying a government big enough to give you everything want could care less what you want or what it takes from you.

Re:Government is the 1% (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40306817)

It's couldn't care less. Couldn't care less.

Re:Government is the 1% (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40306865)

Yup. Thats why we must shut down our government completely and form a new one. Our government is out of control.

Re:Government is the 1% (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40306935)

lulz. how is being a miserable bitter lunatic these days. is it as glamorous as it looks on TV?

Re:Government is the 1% (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40307219)

although your statement is a bit of a troll, I think it's important to make note of the fact that it doesn't have to be the government that is out of control, but the bureaucracies it has surrounded it self with.

Re:Government is the 1% (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40307277)

A little known rider to the recent must-pass defense spending bill:

i) All references in the Constitution and other laws to 'the people' are irrevocably changed to 'The People (TM)'. Note for the purposes of this amendment, ordinary humans are not part of The People.

Re:Government is the 1% (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40307311)

... a government big enough to give you everything want ...

Government gets everything from its citizens. The most a government can do is re-distribute your contribution, as bombs or school-teachers. A government's power is derived by 1) your obedience and apathy, 2) having more guns than you.

Apathy is achieved by corrupting the social contract: replacing meritocracy with feudalism (corporatism), and limited capitalism (socialism) with a plutocracy.

Gun-control robs the populace of its only power: armed rebellion.

Domain seizure? (1)

g0tai (625459) | about 2 years ago | (#40306665)

The Govt siezed the domain, thereby preventing access to users data.

Even if it could be switched to another domain easily enough, it was still forbidden to do so. Are valid users also entitled to sue for loss of earnings due to being unable to access their data or the inability to make it accessible to others?

Re:Domain seizure? (2)

gl4ss (559668) | about 2 years ago | (#40306747)

the gov. in this case is trying to weasel out of getting sued, because they know it's coming (and already in progress). so.. "we didn't take any data, what data??"

Re:Domain seizure? (1)

psy0rz (666238) | about 2 years ago | (#40307055)

What do you mean with 'the domain' in this context? That sounds a bit like a Windows AD term..

Sounds great (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40306669)

This is a wonderful idea. So long as the government intends to repay anyone who bites on the offer when the case comes to a close and it's found that the government behaved inappropriately by shuttering a legitimate enterprise without notice or trial.

So this now means that MU can go back online? (1)

Quick Reply (688867) | about 2 years ago | (#40306693)

"Access is not the issue -- if it was, Mr. Goodwin could simply hire a forensic expert to retrieve what he claims is his property and reimburse Carpathia for its associated costs," the response said.

Based on this statement, it sounds like the US Federal Prosecutors already have preserved a copy of all the data they need for their case, and now they don't have a problem with Megaupload/Carpathia taking Megaupload back online to allow users to retrieve their data, and any TOS/data retrieval fee is to do with the customer and Megaupload, not the US Government.

Re:So this now means that MU can go back online? (2)

peragrin (659227) | about 2 years ago | (#40307031)

But carpathia won't do it for free and meguploads assets are frozen. Individual users have no rights with carpathia they aren't the customers of carpathia.

Only mega upload can access that data but are forbidden by the government.

The best part of all this will be the end lawsuits and accutials. The us government had so completely botched this case that they can't win. They probably won't even get the extradition as they are denying legal rights to the accused.

This would never have been a problem... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40306711)

... had the government done its homework before it shut MegaUpload down.

The most cursory examination of its website would have revealed that there were many legitimate uses for the site, such as - surprise surprise - off-site backup, as well as inexpensive hosting of large content documents, such as one's own videos.

Frankly I am quite flummoxed that one of the very first steps that the government did not take was to contact all of those who hosted legitimate content there to point out to them that their data was at risk due to the seizure, and so should be backed up, with the second step being to separate the legitimate content from the infringing content so that some other company could carry one MegaUploads operations for legitimate users.

The fact that the government did not do this isn't going to sit well with a jury, or with the Appellate and Supreme Courts, when it is pointed out by the defense.

Really? (3, Insightful)

Karmashock (2415832) | about 2 years ago | (#40306803)

So if they just reopened megaupload with all the old data still on it the feds would just let that happen right?

Because if so, then yes... megaupload should just do that. But that seems more then unlikely. This is another game the feds like to play. They put down whatever you want, look you in the eye, and say "go ahead - take it!"

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Khyzj5toqwA [youtube.com]

I hate the federal government sometimes. This sort of dickish behavior should be reserved for pissing off dictators or various powers that deserve a good scare. But against the cyberlockers?...

Meh... we need some sort of digital Switzerland. Possibly that's just going to have to be the P2P world... no way around it.

Re:Really? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40307161)

How about this [slashdot.org] ...

Re:Really? (1)

Barny (103770) | about 2 years ago | (#40307389)

They (Megaupload) can't do that, they have all their accounts frozen by FBI.

Carpathia wont do it unless paid.

Shouldn't it be up to the FBI to pay them to put up the legit data?

Of the options... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40306809)

The only fair option is to sue Megaupload. But for their involvement in illegal activity, your legal data would be safe. Everybody who ever uploaded legal content has a good case to get back some of Megaupload's 100M USD, and their data too. Small claims or class action, I wonder...

Re:Of the options... (2)

icebraining (1313345) | about 2 years ago | (#40306965)

What involvement in illegal activity? Megaupload is still (legally) innocent. You can only sue them for that if they're found guilty, which can take a while, if it ever happens.

Sue the gub'mint. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40306853)

After all, they illegally broke down doors, illegally took over a domain and illegally took over data AND physical objects.
None of the investigation was legal in any way.
It was all planned to go ahead immediately after they were set to "pass" in the house. NOPE. They were just mad that their crappy SOPA and PIPA never passed so went ahead with it anyway.

So everyone get together and sue the ass of them. Maybe this will bring an end to their overreaching borders of control that they think they have.

TOS Says NO! (3, Interesting)

beaverdownunder (1822050) | about 2 years ago | (#40306997)

As this http://www.techspot.com/news/48924-mpaa-would-allow-megaupload-users-access-to-non-copyrighted-files.html [techspot.com] article notes, "the MPAA expressed sympathy towards legitimate users who may have lost access to original content or data that was obtained legally, although they also point out that Megaupload's terms of service offered no guarantee of the safety or accessibility of uploaded data."

The fact is, Megaupload offered NO guarantee any data stored on its servers would be accessible at any given point in the future, if at all. Whether its servers were destroyed by an act of God, or the US government makes no difference -- there was never any contract between Megaupload and its users to safeguard their data, and as a result its users were not deprived of anything tangible when that data was taken offline.

It's kind of like sticking your stuff in a locker at a swimming pool or a gym -- they put up big signs saying they're not responsible for your stuff. Of course, you would never store anything valuable in a locker room, now would you? This sort of 'rejection of liability' flows on -- if the government turns up, takes over the building for some reason or another, and throws you out, they're not responsible for your stuff either. You're just SOL.

A locker in a gym is not the same as a safety deposit box in a bank vault. To argue that they are is just plain silly, and if you tried it in court, I imagine a judge would laugh at you. Your argument would be swiftly defeated by a rebuttal of simple common sense.

So although it's fun to rant about 'suing the gubbermint', such a pointless exercise would never lead anywhere, and the government knows that. By pointing out that you could recover your data through Megaupload's hosting provider, they're really just being 'nice'. They owe you nothing.

Re:TOS Says NO! (5, Insightful)

PGC (880972) | about 2 years ago | (#40307283)

Indeed, the gym tells you they are not responsible for my stuff. The person who steals my stuff from my locker however, is.

If my stuff is in a locker at the gym and a foreign government decides to open all the lockers and takes the content, I will not sue the gym: I will sue that government.

Gangsters (4, Insightful)

Wowsers (1151731) | about 2 years ago | (#40307039)

So the US steals legitimate users data, and now holding these people to ransom for money to get their data back. Sounds like a mafia gangster mob scheme, or is that what the American government has become, because that's what it looks like to non-US citizens. Land of the free!!!

Re:Gangsters (2)

JasterBobaMereel (1102861) | about 2 years ago | (#40307307)

...the US Government has not become gangsters, they always have been ...

Holding the world to ransom with superior weapons,

Threatening businesses with consequences if they don't pay

Threatening individuals with consequences if they don't pay

Ignoring the police (interpol/UN/NATO) when it suits them

So, anyone whining about this gonna vote Obama? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40307057)

A government big enough to give you everything you need, is a government big enough to take away everything that you have.

Yep, keep voting for someone whose only solution is, "More taxes! Bigger government!!!"

Just please stop acting surprised when that out-of-control government TAKES YOUR LIBERTY AWAY.

Re:So, anyone whining about this gonna vote Obama? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40307305)

I don't remember much shrinkage of Government under eight years of George Bush Jr.

Perhaps you can remind me. How many departments and agencies were closed and how many Acts rescinded?

Surely this is blackmail! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40307101)

This is blackmail. Sue them!

Grand Theft Data (1)

PGC (880972) | about 2 years ago | (#40307245)

So, if MU has all it's data and there will be no case against them (apparently MU is allowed to start their site again), why did the FBI copy the data? This is international data-theft (Using the MPAA's definition of the term theft). Plain and simple. This might even be the largest theft in history :P

Bad Maths (1)

thestudio_bob (894258) | about 2 years ago | (#40307499)

You know how you always see the fudged **AA's accounting that says that stealing music/movies cost billions in jobs/lost revenue, well now we can say that sloppily shutting down servers cost people billions in lost jobs/revenue.

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