As of Monday, it seemed all but guaranteed that the files stored on the servers used by Megaupload, which was seized by the US government on January 19, were gone for good. This includes the data of people who used Megaupload for legitimate purposes, like distributing work documents, or their own photo and video creations. But thanks to a collaborative effort between the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) and Carpathia Hosting, which owns and operates many of the servers used by Mega in the US, users who lost their files may now have a way to get them back.
The EFF is now offering its legal services to “innocent” Megaupload users who lost access to their files. While the online rights organization does not guarantee that it can successfully help recover users’ data, it has asked users to email with details about their situation, which will be used to help the case for gaining access to the data.
“EFF is troubled that so many lawful users of Megaupload.com had their property taken from them without warning and that the government has taken no steps to help them,” said Julie Samuels, Staff Attorney at EFF, in a statement (pdf). “We think it’s important that these users have their voices heard as this process moves forward.”
At present, Carpathia “does not have access to any data for Megaupload customers,” said Brian Winter, CMO of Carpathia Hosting, in a statement. But he added that Carpathia supports “the EFF and their efforts to help those users that stored legitimate, non-infringing files with Megaupload retrieve their data.” To backup their claims of support, Carpathia has launched MegaRetrieval.com, which provides contact information and further details about the EFF’s efforts to help users recover their files.
Users who wish to utilize the EFF’s legal resources can email the organization with details of their case to this address: firstname.lastname@example.org.
We have reached out to the EFF to find out more details about what kind of information such users should provide, and what kind of legal hurtles stand between users and their data. We will update this piece as soon as they respond.