Megaupload loses petabytes of data as Euro host pulls plug

Petabytes of Megaupload data trapped on one hosting company's server has been deleted without warning, outspoken founder Kim Dotcom has revealed, meaning a huge number of predominantly European users have likely seen the end of their content. Leaseweb, one of several server providers Megaupload paid to store files, wiped 690 servers Dotcom told TorrentFreak, giving no notice to Dotcom's legal team or, indeed, the US court still tussling over what should be done with user data.

"This is a huge disaster" Dotcom said, describing Leaseweb's decison as "such a betrayal."

According to Dotcom, Leaseweb is playing right into the US government's hands by opting to delete the files with no warning. Previous attempts to extract data from Megaupload servers after the company had been seized midway through last year failed, with both the US government and the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) arguing against files being transferred.

That, so the arguments went, was because a huge amount of the data in question was allegedly stolen movies, software, and other copyright-infringing content. Megaupload had always denied that, however, pointing out that it complied with take-down requests from content owners, and suggesting that in fact the service was commonly used for users to store offsite backups of their systems safely.

"Our legal team asked them multiple times not to delete the data while the U.S. court is deciding about the rights of our users" Dotcom explained. "They could have given us some warning. We could have informed the court that a deletion is imminent. But Leaseweb did not even give us or our users a fair chance."

Whatever the use, the data has now gone. Storing it was undoubtedly expensive for Leaseweb, with no end in sight to the US court's deliberations. Another of Megaupload's former hosting companies, Carpathia, claims it is paying around $9,000 each day to maintain the files it holds.

We've asked Leaseweb for a comment, and will update accordingly.