Kim Dotcom's files are wiped in 'largest data massacre in history'

Megaupload founder lambasts Dutch hosting company for deleting 630 dedicated servers

It has been described as the “largest data massacre in the history of the internet”. The flamboyant founder of the file-storage website Megaupload, who calls himself Kim Dotcom, said he was in tears after being told that huge amounts of company data – some of it he claimed was evidence to be used in ongoing legal battles – had been permanently deleted by a European hosting firm.

A row broke out after Mr Dotcom posted on social media that he had been told the company which owns the servers that stored the data had “wiped” them all. He wrote: “All user data and crucial evidence for our defense destroyed ‘without warning’.”

But the Dutch server host LeaseWeb retaliated, insisting it had repeatedly tried to contact Mr Dotcom and his lawyers before deleting the information, but had received no response. In a statement, the firm said it had stored Megaupload data, which Mr Dotcom said included his own personal files, for more than a year for no fee and needed to offer the servers to other clients. 

In a series of posts on Twitter on Wednesday, an apparently enraged Mr Dotcom wrote: “Millions of personal Megaupload files, petabytes of pictures, backups, personal & business property forever destroyed by LeaseWeb.

“LeaseWeb has NOT warned us about deleting Megaupload servers. They informed us TODAY that servers were deleted on 1 February 2013.”

And, in later posts, he wrote: “Our lawyers have repeatedly asked LeaseWeb not to delete Megaupload servers while court proceedings are pending in the US. LeaseWeb says we did not ask them to preserve Megaupload data. Our lead legal counsel Ira Rothken says we did. Who’s lying?”

Mr Dotcom was arrested at his New Zealand home earlier this year and is fighting extradition to the US, where he is wanted for allegedly making more than £110m in illegal profits from online piracy. He is accused of copyright infringement, among other offences, and could face up to 50 years in jail.

He said: “[The FBI has] seized all my data and hasn’t given me a copy yet. And now my backups on Megaupload are gone too. How convenient.

“Think about it. The data in the world’s largest copyright case is getting deleted with Department of Justice blessing. How does that make sense? It’s EVIDENCE.”

He wrote on his Twitter account: “Shame on you LeaseWeb. You made millions in profits with Megaupload. Your actions shall be remembered by our users and the Internet.”

LeaseWeb, which manages 60,000 servers and has 15,000 clients, confirmed it wiped the information from the 630 dedicated servers that Megaupload rented from it. In its statement, the firm said: “These servers ... were owned by LeaseWeb. For over a year these servers were being stored and preserved by LeaseWeb, at its own costs... “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.

“As no response was received, we commenced the re-provisioning of the servers in February 2013... it is a standard procedure at LeaseWeb to completely clean servers before they are offered to any new customer.”

Life and Style
ebookNow available in paperback
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Gadgets & Tech

    Recruitment Genius: Project Manager

    £35000 - £50000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This global provider of call ce...

    Recruitment Genius: Application Support Engineer - Software

    £18000 - £22000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A small rapidly expanding IT So...

    Guru Careers: Software Developer / Web Developer

    £30 - 40k + Benefits: Guru Careers: A Software / Web Developer (PHP / MYSQL) i...

    Guru Careers: Account Executive

    £18 - 20k + Benefits: Guru Careers: An Account Executive is needed to join one...

    Day In a Page

    Blundering Tony Blair quits as Middle East peace envoy – only Israel will miss him

    Blundering Blair quits as Middle East peace envoy – only Israel will miss him

    For Arabs – and for Britons who lost their loved ones in his shambolic war in Iraq – his appointment was an insult, says Robert Fisk
    Fifa corruption arrests: All hail the Feds for riding to football's rescue

    Fifa corruption arrests

    All hail the Feds for riding to football's rescue, says Ian Herbert
    Isis in Syria: The Kurdish enclave still resisting the tyranny of President Assad and militant fighters

    The Kurdish enclave still resisting the tyranny of Assad and Isis

    In Syrian Kurdish cantons along the Turkish border, the progressive aims of the 2011 uprising are being enacted despite the war. Patrick Cockburn returns to Amuda
    How I survived Cambodia's Killing Fields: Acclaimed surgeon SreyRam Kuy celebrates her mother's determination to escape the US

    How I survived Cambodia's Killing Fields

    Acclaimed surgeon SreyRam Kuy celebrates her mother's determination to escape to the US
    Stephen Mangan interview: From posh buffoon to pregnant dad, the actor has quite a range

    How Stephen Mangan got his range

    Posh buffoon, hapless writer, pregnant dad - Mangan is certainly a versatile actor
    The ZX Spectrum has been crowd-funded back into play - with some 21st-century tweaks

    The ZX Spectrum is back

    The ZX Spectrum was the original - and for some players, still the best. David Crookes meets the fans who've kept the games' flames lit
    Grace of Monaco film panned: even the screenwriter pours scorn on biopic starring Nicole Kidman

    Even the screenwriter pours scorn on Grace of Monaco biopic

    The critics had a field day after last year's premiere, but the savaging goes on
    Menstrual Hygiene Day: The strange ideas people used to believe about periods

    Menstrual Hygiene Day: The strange ideas people once had about periods

    If one was missed, vomiting blood was seen as a viable alternative
    The best work perks: From free travel cards to making dreams come true (really)

    The quirks of work perks

    From free travel cards to making dreams come true (really)
    Is bridge the latest twee pastime to get hip?

    Is bridge becoming hip?

    The number of young players has trebled in the past year. Gillian Orr discovers if this old game has new tricks
    Long author-lists on research papers are threatening the academic work system

    The rise of 'hyperauthorship'

    Now that academic papers are written by thousands (yes, thousands) of contributors, it's getting hard to tell workers from shirkers
    The rise of Lego Clubs: How toys are helping children struggling with social interaction to build better relationships

    The rise of Lego Clubs

    How toys are helping children struggling with social interaction to build better relationships
    5 best running glasses

    On your marks: 5 best running glasses

    Whether you’re pounding pavements, parks or hill passes, keep your eyes protected in all weathers
    Joe Root: 'Ben Stokes gives everything – he’s rubbing off on us all'

    'Ben Stokes gives everything – he’s rubbing off on us all'

    Joe Root says the England dressing room is a happy place again – and Stokes is the catalyst
    Raif Badawi: Wife pleads for fresh EU help as Saudi blogger's health worsens

    Please save my husband

    As the health of blogger Raif Badawi worsens in prison, his wife urges EU governments to put pressure on the Saudi Arabian royal family to allow her husband to join his family in Canada