Megaupload: User Data Has Two Weeks to Live

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Former users of Megaupload have at least two more weeks to worry about what will happen to their data.

Despite the government’s indications that the Megaupload user data could be deleted by Thursday, Megaupload’s data hosting services, Carpathia Hosting and Cogent Communications, have agreed to preserve users’ files for a minimum of two weeks,┬áIra Rothken, Megaupload’s attorney in the United States, told CNet.

(MORE: Feds Shut Down File Sharing Website)

Although the stay of data execution is good news for Megaupload customers who were using the file-sharing service legally, it’s no guarantee that they’ll get their files back. Rothken told CNet that he’s in negotiations with the government to figure out a solution, but the U.S. Department of Justice has so far seemed unconcerned about users who relied on the service. Those users agreed to the service at their own risk, a DOJ spokesman said in a statement to PCMag last week.

“It is important to note that Mega clearly warned users to keep copies of any files they uploaded,” the DOJ spokesman said.

It’s also unclear how users would get their data back even if Megaupload and the government came to an agreement. Would they simply open the site again with uploads and sign ups disabled, or come up with some other way to access the data? And how would they ensure that users weren’t helping themselves to content that infringes copyrights? Any method would require time and development efforts — the process could easily get messy.

So while Megaupload users can breathe easy for now, they shouldn’t get their hopes up. Getting their data back is still a long shot.

(PHOTOS: The Larger-Than-Life Lifestyle of Megaupload’s Kim Dotcom)