Photo: expertinfantry via flickr
The now-defunct file sharing site MegaUpload revealed that more than 15,000 members of the U.S. Military and numerous other government officials held MegaUpload accounts, according to torrentfreak.com. MegaUpload — a “digital locker” that allowed users to store files that can then be streamed or downloaded by others — was shut down by the Department of Justice (DoJ) in January on charges including racketeering conspiracy and conspiracy to commit copyright infringement.
The site had more than 50 million daily visitors, including those who used the site for pirating movies and music as well as users who legitimately stored and shared information too large to email.
Kim Dotcom, MegaUpload’s founder and one of seven people arrested in connection to the site, disclosed today just how popular the file-hosting site was among government employees and military operatives.
From domains including dhs.gov, doe.gov, fbi.gov, hhs.gov, nasa.gov, senate.gov, treas.gov and uscourts.gov, the number accounts held at Megaupload total 1058. Of these, 344 users went the extra mile and paid for premium access. Between them they uploaded 15,242 files – a total of 1,851,791 MB…
From domains including af.mil, army.mil, centcom.mil, navy.mil and osd.mil etc, a total of 15,634 are registered with Megaupload. Of these an impressive 10,223 people paid to upgrade to a premium Megaupload account and between them they uploaded 340,983 files – a total of 96,507,779 MB [i.e. about 94,000 gigabytes].
Since being sut down, MegaUpload’s legal team has been negotiating with the DoJ to allow users to download their data.
Carpathia Hosting, the company where Megaupload leased some of its servers, said last week that it might have to delete all Megaupload data in the near future if Megaupload and the DoJ don’t reach a voluntary agreement.
The company leased 1,103 servers with 25 petabytes of data to Megaupload and is currently losing $9,000 per day while they are inactive.
Carpathia has filed a motion requesting a hearing on April 13 to discuss whether they should delete all data and use the servers for other purposes or get the costs covered by the parties involved in the criminal case.
There is no suggestion that members in the military or government were using Megaupload to infringe copyright but the documents, photographs and videos they stored on the site are now at serious risk of deletion.
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