LeaseWeb explains why it deleted Kim Dotcom's MegaUpload data

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.

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.


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."

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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