Talking tech since 2003

Today, Kim Dotcom, the founder and public face of digital storage locker (and hotbed of alleged media piracy) Megaupload claimed that petabytes’ worth of data on some of the now-defunct site’s servers have been wiped clean. He claims that the deed was done by Leaseweb, which hosted a portion of Megaupload’s servers, and the US Government.

“Our legal team and @EFF have written several data preservation demands to #Leaseweb,” Dotcom tweeted. “We were never warned about the deletion.” According to many posts on his Twitter account, Dotcom claims that he had evidence stored on those servers, which has now been wiped clean.

“#Leaseweb could have waited for the US court to decide on #Megaupload user data. They knew of our desire to pay if the court released funds,” he said.

For its part, Leaseweb has issued a statement on the data wipe:

“When Megaupload was taken offline, 60 servers owned by MegaUpload were directly confiscated by the FIOD and transported to the US. Next to that, 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.

LeaseWeb has 60,000 servers under its management and more than 15,000 clients worldwide. The storage of the 630 servers – while a relatively small burden – must serve a purpose. During the year we stored the servers and the data, we received no request for access nor 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.”

Naturally, Dotcom is disputing Leaseweb’s claims that no one from Megaupload has been in touch with the company:

It’s unclear what effect the server wipe will have on his ongoing legal proceedings, but Dotcom clearly believes the data wipe was done to deliberately hurt his chances in court:

For those unfamiliar with Dotcom’s legal plight, he’s currently under investigation from the United States federal government on charges of “facilitating copyright fraud on a massive scale, racketeering and money-laundering,” as described in a post on Awaiting an August-set extradition trial, Dotcom is currently under house arrest in New Zealand.

For more background information on Dotcom and how he and Megaupload became one of the most talked-about topics in the tech world, Wired ran an in-depth piece late last year that should be required reading for anyone looking to understand today’s digital landscape.

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