Megaupload founder Kim Dotcom says many of the site’s users were U.S. government officials and he’s hopeful they’ll all soon be able to regain access to their perfectly legitimate data.
The hammer fell on Megaupload in January, when U.S. government officials unsealed an indictment against its founder, Kim Dotcom, and other employees, claiming that copyright infringement through the service had cost rights holders more than $500 million in lost revenue. Dotcom himself was taken into custody by way of an anti-terrorism style raid on his New Zealand home and of course Megaupload and its related sites were all seized by the U.S. government.
There’s no denying that copyright infringement was the bread and butter of Megaupload but it’s equally true that the site also had its fair share of legitimate users who lost access to their files as a result of the takedown. The Megaupload legal team is trying to come up with a way to reconnect these users with their data, according to Dotcom, which has led to the discovery that many of them are actually members of the U.S. government.
“We found a large number of Mega accounts from U.S. government officials including the Department of Justice and the U.S. Senate,” he told Torrentfreak. “I hope we will soon have permission to give them and the rest of our users access to their files.”
It’s hardly surprising that Dotcom would try to muddy the waters as he fights extradition, but the Electronic Frontier Foundation says the loss of legitimate data caused by the sweeping takedown is a real concern. “EFF continues to identify more people who have lost access to legitimate personal files. Our goal is to help them get their files back as quickly and efficiently as possible,” EFF attorney Julie Samuels said.
“In general we are very concerned about the implications the ‘Mega conspiracy’ indictment has for the future of cloud computing and file-hosting services, and innovation more generally,” she continued. “It’s hard to imagine how the nature in which this went down won’t have a chilling effect going forward. We hope to come up with processes for future cases that will counteract that.”
Dotcom’s extradition hearing is currently scheduled for August 20.