HOSTING FIRM Leaseweb has disputed allegations that it is a file storage killer, explaining that it had no alternative but to delete Megaupload data content.
Yesterday Megaupload founder Kim Dotcom went public with accusations against the firm, saying that it had deleted the data content, petabytes of it, without a second thought.
"VERY BAD NEWS: #Leaseweb has wiped ALL #Megaupload servers. All user data & crucial evidence for our defense destroyed ‘without warning'," he tweeted. "While @EFF is fighting for the rights of #Megaupload users in U.S. court #Leaseweb has taken it upon themselfs to play judge & executioner."
Leaseweb said that this is not the case, explaining that it had contacted the firm about the content, and had until recently been paying to host it.
"When Megaupload was taken offline, 60 servers owned by Megaupload were directly confiscated by the FIOD and transported to the US. 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," said Alex de Joode, senior regulatory counsel at Leaseweb.
"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."
Dotcom said that the opposite is true, and that in fact his legal team had repeatedly requested that the data be preserved. In a tweeted message, lead lawyer Ira Rothken emphasised this, saying, "Megaupload and EFF sent robust data preservation demands to Leaseweb to maintain all user data," he said. "Megaupload continuously urged Leaseweb to be a good corp citizen & preserve server data for consumers & evidence - no payment no preservation."
But de Joode said that economics got in the way. He said that while 630 servers out of a collection of 60,000 might not seem like a lot, they "must serve a purpose".
He said that Leaseweb looked after them for a year, but when no one came knocking or asking about them, it decided to hit the big red delete button.
"During the year we stored the servers and the data we received no request for access nor any request to retain the data. After a year of nobody showing any interest in the servers and data we considered our options. We did inform Megaupload about our decision to re-provision the servers. Megaupload didn't respond," he said.
"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."
The firm hopes that as an entrepreneur Dotcom will understand its decision. Judging by his tweets, he does not. µ