The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) has asked all parties involved in the MegaUpload criminal case to halt any plans to delete or otherwise dispose of data hosted on severs once leased by file-hosting services. With its assets frozen and its operators in jail, MegaUpload is unable to pay for storage of the data.
The EFF sent a letter to the US Attorney's office in Eastern Virginia and to lawyers representing MegaUpload, asking that all data from the servers be retained "for purposes of contemplated future litigation and as a matter of obligation and courtesy to the innocent individuals whose materials have unfortunately been swept up into this case."
"In many instances, this material included protected expression under the First Amendment," notes the EFF letter, "which raises additional concerns… We are hopeful that our client and other third parties can obtain access to their material without resorting to legal action, but if that is not the case, we intend to take the necessary steps to ensure the return of their materials."
The EFF has said that it will do what is necessary to help those caught in the middle of this case – MegaUpload's honest customers who used its storage and did nothing wrong – even if it means filing lawsuits. The advocacy group also said that it was willing to work with the government to devise a protocol for getting data back to "innocent customers" in this and future cases going forward.
Source: Ars Technica