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Monday, February 6, 2012

MegaUpload Case Means Death Of The Cloud

A couple of days ago a gigabytes of personal information stored on the servers of MegaUpload are scheduled to be deleted, which means that thousands of people who used the website legitimately as a back-up will lose their personal information.

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In fact, it is amazing that the judicial system of the United States would allow everyone to do things like that. Even if the file-sharing service operated in a grey-area, the act of its destruction can also be regarded as the destruction of the personal property of thousands of innocent users. As you might have already heard, American prosecutors blocked access to MegaUpload and charged 7 individuals, claming that the website facilitated millions of unauthorized downloads of entertainment content.

A letter filed in the case admitted that two of the storage companies, Cogent Communications and Carpathia Hosting, might start removing information today. Meanwhile, this will happen not because of the investigation, but rather because the file-sharing giant happened to outsource its servers to storage companies for a fee. However, the police have seized all their cash, so it is now impossible for them to pay the organization which will effectively do the dirty deed.

At the same time, the American Attorney’s Office claimed that it only needed some information from the servers and copied it, but didn’t need to seize the servers. Moreover, its search warrants didn’t even cover the servers controlled by storage companies, while anything about the future of that information lies with them.

Worse still, by removing data, they would harm MegaUpload's defense. The website could argue that the information on the servers can prove it was an authorized work, with piracy only making up a tiny percentage of its operation, which they were trying to resolve. Although MegaUpload is registered in Hong Kong, American spooks claimed that they had the right to act, as a number of its leased servers were located in Virginia.

Thus far, the business model is already under threat due to US insistence that all information from American companies could be sniffed by its spooks. In other words, a European company wouldn’t allow its information to be placed in cloud based computing from giants like Microsoft, Google or IBM. In addition, they would have to find out whether any cloud operations offered by Europe have servers based in the United States. 

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