Mega mogul Kim Dotcom says he's "in tears" after a Dutch hosting company wiped data from servers formerly used by his now-defunct Megaupload business, an act that he claims destroyed "critical evidence" in his long-running legal battle with the US government.
On Wednesday, Dotcom took to his Twitter feed – his favorite communication medium of late – to excoriate Dutch hosting provider LeaseWeb for flushing petabytes of his company's old data, which he says LeaseWeb did without warning.
Dotcom said he first heard about the deletion on Wednesday morning, although LeaseWeb had already wiped the servers, way back on February 1, 2013.
Another hosting company, Carpathia, has kept Megaupload's old servers in a warehouse to prevent their data from being destroyed, Dotcom said. But despite repeated requests from Megaupload's lawyers and the Electronic Frontier Foundation to preserve the company's data, LeaseWeb went ahead and erased it anyway.
Describing the incident as "the largest data massacre in the history of the internet," Dotcom pointed the finger once again at the US government, implying that the Department of Justice pressured LeaseWeb to scrub Megaupload's files.
The FBI seized all my data and hasn't given me a copy yet. And now my backups on #Megaupload are gone too. How convenient.— Kim Dotcom (@KimDotcom) June 19, 2013
We can't help but scratch our heads a bit at that one, though. LeaseWeb is based in the Netherlands, but Carpathia is headquartered in Dulles, Virginia – so presumably the US DoJ would have an easier time starting its data-deletion campaign there, rather than trying to pressure a company based in a foreign country where it has no jurisdiction?
But seeing Uncle Sam lurking behind every shrub is nothing new for Dotcom. Ever since Megaupload was raided by federal agents in January 2012 on allegations of mass copyright infringement, racketeering and money laundering, Dotcom has used his Twitter feed as his personal bully pulpit, railing against everyone from the DoJ and the FBI to the US attorney general, the Motion Picture Ass. of America, and even President Obama himself.
On Wednesday, Dotcom said that he would have bought back all of Megaupload's servers from the companies that hosted them, but he was unable to because the DoJ had frozen all of the company's assets and refused to release even a portion of them for the purpose.
Dotcom also scolded US District Court Judge Liam O'Grady, who is presiding over the US government's case against Megaupload, saying he could have done more to protect the company's data and that of its many users.
For its part, LeaseWeb denies any wrongdoing. In a blog post on Wednesday, the hosting provider said that it had preserved some 630 servers containing Megaupload data – servers owned by LeaseWeb, not Megaupload – for a full year, despite never having been asked to do so.
"During the year we stored the servers and the data, we received no request for access nor any request to retain the data," a LeaseWeb spokesperson writes. "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."
Dotcom, naturally, says that's nonsense.
The New Zealand–based online kingpin says he's now looking for a Dutch law firm to help him evaluate legal options against LeaseWeb on behalf of both Megaupload and its individual customers, whose data he says is now "irreversibly lost." ®