LeaseWeb explains why it deleted Kim Dotcom's MegaUpload data

LeaseWeb explains why it deleted Kim Dotcom's MegaUpload data

Summary: Kim Dotcom wasn't making it up. European Web-hosting company LeaseWeb did indeed delete massive amounts of data from the former MegaUpload servers. Now the two sides are arguing about why.

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When Kim Dotcom went on a rant yesterday about how Netherlands-based Web-hosting company LeaseWeb had deleted petabytes of former MegaUpload "customer's pictures, backups, personal and business property," LeaseWeb had nothing to say.

megaupload-logo

Now they do.

Late yesterday, June 19th, LeaseWeb responded on its corporate blog that no one had ever asked them to keep the files so they'd decided to start using the servers again and that meant deleting their files.

Alex de Joode, LeaseWeb's Senior Regulatory Counsel, wrote, When MegaUpload was taken offline, 60 servers owned by MegaUpload were directly confiscated by the FIOD [The Dutch anti-fraud and privacy government agency] and transported to the US."

kimdotcom
Kim Dotcom, Credit: CNET.com

Even after that, de Joode continued, "MegaUpload still had 630 rented dedicated servers with LeaseWeb. For clarity, these servers were not owned by MegaUpload, they were owned by LeaseWeb. For over a year these servers were being stored and preserved by LeaseWeb, at its own costs. So for over one whole year LeaseWeb kept 630 servers available, without any request to do so and without any compensation."

While this made up about 1 perecent of LeaseWeb's total servers, the company felt that this was an unacceptable waste of its resources. "The storage of the 630 servers – while a relatively small burden – must serve a purpose," wrote de Joode. "During the year we stored the servers and the data, we received no request for access or any request to retain the data. After a year of nobody showing any interest in the servers and data we considered our options. We did inform MegaUpload about our decision to re-provision the servers."

"MegaUpload didn’t respond," emphasized de Joorde.

Therefore, "As no response was received, we commenced the re-provisioning of the servers in February 2013. To minimize security risks and maximize the privacy of our clients, it is a standard procedure at LeaseWeb to completely clean servers before they are offered to any new customer."

And, there went the MegaUpload users' files.

Those files included his own personal ones, Dotcom claimed. He tweeted, "The #Leaseweb servers contained my personal files on #MegaUpload. Important evidence destroyed. How is this justice?"

Ira Rothken, an intellectual property attorney and Dotcom's lead legal counsel, publicly repudiated LeaseWeb's claims that they'd never heard from MegaUpLoad. "MegaUpload and EFF [Electronic Frontier Foundation] sent robust data preservation demands to Leaseweb to maintain all user data during the pendency of the @KimDotcom case."

Ultimately Rothken doesn't blame LeaseWeb for the loss of the files. "In our view the US is responsible for destruction of MegaUpload data - US trying to concoct a win rather than doing justice."

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Topics: Storage, Cloud, Legal, Networking, Privacy

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14 comments
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  • Kim Dotcom probably owes everyone money

    and blames everyone else for his woes. How transparent he is...
    LarsDennert
  • Ooops....

    So, Mr DC didn't have backups? I love the cloud, but all my files are backed up in multiple locations, most especially locally.

    Never trust a third party vendor with all your critical stuff. Consider that you're first lesson Kim...
    Lost In Clouds of Data
  • dc backup

    He had back up. It was confiscated. The only ones that were maintained where outside his control.
    hayneiii@...
    • then he had no backups

      If Leaseweb hadn't been paid for a long time, they had every right to format and start over. Unless of course you'd like to cough up enough to pay for the 630 servers?
      Cynical99
  • I love the

    "at their own expense" statement. How much does it cost to store a server that is not powered up?
    timspublic1@...
    • Cost of an unpowered server

      In accounting there is a concept called "opportunity cost". For instance, let's say you spend 4 years in college, with books, tuition, living expense, etc., totaling 30k per year. You would probably say, "My college degree cost me $120k."

      An accountant would say, "You could have probably gotten a job earning at least $20k per year. So your annual cost is $30k out-of-pocket PLUS $20k in lost wages--the OPPORTUNITY you DIDN'T take. Your REAL cost to get that degree was $200k -- $120k out-of-pocket PLUS $80k lost wages." (Of course, this assumes NET income would be $20k ...)

      With dedicated servers going for something like $150 per month and up, 690 servers (630 stored + 60 confiscated) would be OVER $100K PER month.
      Rick_R
      • Good analysis

        shows someone here understands that resources sitting idle cost the owner money. Morons that think storing servers is free should buy 630 servers and leave them in the boxes for a year and see how it feels.
        Cynical99
    • Yeah

      Space is free. That when you live on the streets and store your stuff there??!
      zd@...
    • alot

      as much as it cost NOT to lease them to another client.
      Aussie_Troll
    • I can't use this server...

      ..so I have to buy another one, set it up, and put it online.
      alan_r_cam
  • No such thing as a free lunch

    If the files were so important to him, he'd have paid the rent. And/or he would have had them backed up somewhere else.
    zdump
  • Wouldn't be surprised if there was still a backup somewhere

    But they will never see the light of day. If the Feds have it, it will never be given back to Kim or to the original uploaders. As far as the Feds and the copyright cartel are concerned, all of those files are illegal, and if there are a few legal bits mixed in, well too bad.
    terry flores
  • How sad

    No one has yet gone to trial and been proven guilty of anything, so how can the governments do this???
    eye4bear
    • Government did what exactly?

      The government didn't do anything. LeaseWeb, the company Kim Dotcom was renting servers from, deleted Megaupload's data of their own free volition. They, LeaseWeb, chose to delete Kim's data not the government.
      Jearld Burns