LeaseWeb Deletes Megaupload Servers
June 20, 2013

LeaseWeb Pulls Plug On Megaupload Servers, And Kim Dotcom Is Not Happy

Michael Harper for — Your Universe Online

What's a hosting provider to do with 630 inactive servers sitting in a cellar that no one has shown interest in for over a year? If you're Europe's LeaseWeb, you simply wipe them clean of any data and put them back into service. The issue with these particular 630 servers, however, is that they once hosted Kim Schmitz's Megaupload, a file storage site which was shut down last January following accusations that the files being stored contained pirated material. Schmitz (who calls himself Kim Dotcom) and his legal team are now fighting extradition from his New Zealand home to the United States to be tried for allegedly earning over $175 million in profit from illegal file sharing.

In a Twitter rant now typical of the outspoken Schmitz, he claims the data wipe by LeaseWeb has destroyed critical evidence in that case “without warning." He also claims LeaseWeb actually erased these servers in February, but only now told him about it.

“17 months since the raid. US Judge Liam O'Grady could have protected the property rights of #Megaupload users. Now EU data & evidence GONE," reads one of Schmitz's many Tweets sent out in short blasts yesterday upon hearing the news.

“This is the largest data massacre in the history of the Internet caused by the U.S. government, the Department of Justice & #Leaseweb."

LeaseWeb, for their part, has written a blog explaining their actions and justifying their reasons for deleting this data. Senior Regulatory Counsel Alex de Joode states that an initial 60 servers were confiscated by the Institute of Directors (FIOD) and shipped off to the US. These servers were owned by Megaupload, a very important distinction.

“Next to that, MegaUpload still had 630 rented dedicated servers with LeaseWeb. For clarity, these servers were not owned by MegaUpload, they were owned by LeaseWeb," writes de Joode.

“For over a year these servers were being stored and preserved by LeaseWeb, at its own costs. So for over one whole year LeaseWeb kept 630 servers available, without any request to do so and without any compensation."

The LeaseWeb blog then claims that while they were storing the 630 inactive servers, Schmitz and his fellow Megaupload peers never made any request for the data. After a year of no response, LeaseWeb says they contacted Megaupload once more to let them know they´d be “re-provisioning" the servers and putting them back to use.

“As no response was received, we commenced the re-provisioning of the servers in February 2013. To minimize security risks and maximize the privacy of our clients, it is a standard procedure at LeaseWeb to completely clean servers before they are offered to any new customer," writes de Joode.

It seems LeaseWeb was content to never let this information come to the surface. De Joode begins the blog saying Schmitz began the fight by lambasting the hosting service with angry Tweets and causing a stir amongst remaining Megaupload fans.

“VERY BAD NEWS: #Leaseweb has wiped ALL #Megaupload servers. All user data & crucial evidence for our defense destroyed "without warning"," reads another of Schmitz's angry Tweets.

He also used the time to praise his current hosting providers who run his new file sharing site, Mega. “While #Carpathia has chosen to store #Megaupload servers in a warehouse to protect the data from destruction #Leaseweb has done the opposite."

Mega is built to be untouchable by the feds or any other law enforcement but still offers the same functionality as Megaupload.