January 30, 2012
Federal authorities in the U.S. took down Megaupload because this cloud storage service contained a lot of pirated content. Unfortunately, there was also a lot of legitimate files mixed with the bad, and the people who owned them are out of luck.
The site’s data has been caught in a strange sort of legal limbo as a result of the raid on the company. The data still exists, but it’s sitting on servers that belong to a third party provider, and that provider hasn’t been paid since authorities froze Megaupload’s assets. Thus, it could start getting deleted as early as this Thursday.
That should send a shiver down the spine of anyone who uses a cloud service. As TechCrunch points out, what would keep the popular Dropbox from the same fate? For all we know, people are using it to share all kinds of pirated material.
Forget SOPA and PIPA, apparently the U.S. federal government doesn’t need new legislation in place to shut down major file storage sites and lock millions of users out of their file lockers. The bigger question, then, is who’s next?
The hard lesson is that depending solely on a cloud for file storage is a bad idea. You need at least one other copy on a hard drive you can physically lay your hands on.