All data stored on the Megaupload servers could be deleted by this Thursday (2 February), including subscribers' personal and legitimate files.
A letter filed by the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Eastern District of Virginia states that the storage companies used by Megaupload to house files, Carpathia Hosting Inc and Cogent Communications Group Inc, may begin deleting data this week. The file-sharing site is currently blocked and senior employees, including founder Kim Dotcom, were arrested on 20 January.
Megaupload's attorney in the federal piracy case, Ira Rothken, admits that the company's finances have been frozen, so neither Carpathia or Cogent can be paid at present. But he is fighting to prevent them from deleting the vast amounts of stored data. Not only will this be important to customers if access is restored, but the files could prove vital in the site and its employee's defence:
"We're cautiously optimistic at this point that because the United States, as well as Megaupload, should have a common desire to protect consumers, that this type of agreement will get done," he said.
Rothken claims that the mass deletion of files could lead to around 50 million users worldwide losing their personal documents and family photographs.
The US government did copy some of the data from the servers, but did not remove them. It no longer has the right to access the data, and its future is up to the storage companies.
What do you think? Are you in danger of losing your files? Let us know your thoughts on the case in the comments below...